Navigating your website’s legal documentation

I’ve bumped into several elements for Swayable.com where I have been stumped on who to contact, and where to find the right resources.  The legal documentation/contracts piece was one of them.

When I started Swayable.com, I knew that I had to get the correct legal representation this site as it’s complex in regards to user generated content, user accounts etc. I knew at a minimum I’d I need to have:

  1. NDA
  2. Developer/Designer contracts to make sure that all content I outsourced was “work for hire”
  3. Privacy Policy Statement
  4. Terms of Use Documentation

I found it very challenging to find an attorney who understands Internet law and terminology.  Internet law is was not something that the average lawyer understands, (they think they do, but within 5 minutes you can tell if they “get” the web component or not).

I wanted to make sure that I’ve protected myself personally, as well as the company by having all my legal documentation buttoned up. This is not an area where you want to try to cut corners and use templates available online.

I was frustrated early on after talking to several local lawyers.  So I searched Bing for web 2.0 lawyers & Internet law and found a fabulous one in the Bay area named Darlene Dozier. Literally within 5 minutes of talking with her, I could tell she completely understood the web landscape, terminology, API integration aspects, etc.  I didn’t have to spend $300/hour explaining how all these services can integrate within my site to an attorney that doesn’t get it.  Darlene got it from our first 5 minute conversation.

My disclaimer – I’m not an attorney (clearly) but I do know that having all your legal elements for your startup correct from the get go is huge. You need to own all work for hire elements and it needs to be documented. You need a clean paper trail.

Make sure to do your research, find an attorney that truly understands internet law and the tech startup industry, or your going to spend a lot of money explaining things and getting documentation that isn’t quite right for your business.

<SelfPromotion> You can sign up at http://www.swayable.com to be notified when I launch, or “like” the Swayable Facebook page.  You can also follow me on Twitter </SelfPromotion>

Advertisements

One response to “Navigating your website’s legal documentation

  1. Excellent piece of writing, l quite agree with your submission. I will subscribe to your rss to keep up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s