Photo Editor’s Checklist: Seven New Years Legal Resolutions For Your Website Thompson Coburn LLP

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As we approach the end of 2021, here are seven resolutions – not including the mandatory “get in shape” or “be more organized” – that you may want to consider for 2022.

  • Copyright ownership. Check that you own the content for your website, which typically requires your employees to create the content as part of their normal duties, or that you have an appropriate copyright assignment or “work for pay” agreement. for external subcontractors. Confirm that your contract of employment for pay covers the intended work (not all types of work can be the subject of an FMH agreement), is clear on the issue of ownership and is signed before the creation of the work . Confirm that you have added Copyright Management Information (CMI) – which is “identifying information” about the copyrighted work, the author, and the copyright owner – to your site. This can be useful under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) if a potential infringer removes or modifies the CMI when they copy your content.
  • Timely registration. Identify the most important content on your website and consider registering it with the Copyright Office. To be eligible for legal damages, you must generally register any published work within 90 days of publication or before an alleged violation begins. You can get a registration for minimal cost, especially compared to potential legal damages of up to $ 150,000 per violation. A registration is a prerequisite for filing a copyright infringement lawsuit, and it will help you remove your stolen content from other infringing sites.
  • Domain names. Confirm that your domain name is locked against transfers, timing when the domain registration expires, and ensure that the current and full name is used as the registrant, especially if there have been any mergers or mergers. changes in business form. Consider registering domain names with spelling errors or company nicknames to reduce the risk of a third party registering them. Make sure that you are listed as Technical Contacts and Administrators. Sometimes web designers will list themselves as the administrative contact. You will generally want an employee in this position. And review your agreement with this employee so that if the relationship turns sour, he leaves the company, or is unavailable, you can change the registration information to prevent him from taking your domain. Held hostage.
  • Terms of use. Review your Terms of Service to confirm that they are visible, up to date, and allow you to update them. Your site should provide site users with the terms, allow them to review them, and notify them of actions that constitute their agreement with your terms. Terms are generally more likely to be enforceable if a user is required to take action to agree to them (such as clicking a box to indicate acceptance).
  • DMCA Agent. If you allow third-party content on your site, you must register a DMCA agent with the US Copyright Office (or if you have already registered one, confirm that the information is up to date). Rightsholders who wish to submit a takedown request for third-party content to you can first visit the Copyright Office’s online agent directory. You must provide this same designated agent information on your website. Finally, implement a process to respond “promptly” to each opt-out request submitted (and otherwise comply with DMCA requirements) so that you can claim “safe harbor” protection against a subsequent claim of infringement. ‘author.
  • Privacy policies. A privacy policy typically tells site users about 4W and 1H of your collection of their personal data – who collects their data, what data you collect, when you collect it, why you collect it, and how you use and disclose it. Your information collection practices and privacy policy may need to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), depending on different facts (for example, type and the size of the business, to whom your website is directed, etc.). You should check your policy to make sure it is consistent with your current practices and that you have a business need for the data you collect and maintain. You do not want to collect – and be under an obligation to protect – data that you no longer need or that you no longer use.
  • Trademarks. Review your website for consistent use of trademarks and brand symbols. If you have obtained federal trademark registrations, you should generally use the registered trademark symbol ® with those marks, and if you are claiming common law (i.e. unregistered) trademark rights, you can use the ™ or SM brand symbols.

From all of us on the In Focus blog, we wish you a Happy New Year 2022.

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