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Professional Webmaster Business Issues Forum

Legal Problems with chat rooms, forums
Webmasters can't afford to ignore legal issues

 5:34 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

While considering operating a chat room I started wondering about legal problems that might crop up. Specifically this:

If someone wants to sue you for something connected with your website they ordinarily must do it in the state you are located in. (This is called "personal jurisdiction".)

If you operate an interactive site, they can sue you in any state. (Go to [profs.lp.findlaw.com...] for an excellent article on this.)

We like to concentrate on our efforts at SEO, but don't ignore legal issues. Everyone with a website should be incorporated, as it affords some protection against lawsuits, and believe me, the shysters are out there prowling the web looking for hapless website operators to sue for anything.



 6:20 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

This one issue escapes more pros than anything else, IMO. (Second is taxation.)

How important? I've just been telling Marcia about a site I bought last year and the only real content was a very active set of military-related forums. The first thing I did was shut those down.

This week marks the anniversary of these forums, about a year ago those of us involved behind the scenes were spending hours and hours of "quality time" researching and discussing this very topic and how it impacted WmW. Unless you're judgement-proof (broke, bankrupt), it needs to be on your A#1 priority list when planning an interactive site.


 7:48 pm on Jun 22, 2001 (gmt 0)

Just ran across this:
Excite@Home drops risky newsgroups [news.cnet.com]

Law & Order comes to the Wild West

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