Before you put a website online, you need to deal with a number of legal matters. This applies to all websites and especially to corporate websites. We want to give you an overview of what you need to pay attention to when creating a legally compliant website. We will also answer the important question of what must be included in the legal notice.
Our goal is not to make you a specialist lawyer for online legislation. However, we want to give you an overview of the legal basics for an internet presence in a comprehensible way. With this we want to put you in the position to decide for yourself whether you want to have your website protected by a lawyer or whether you want to take care of these important issues yourself. Both is possible in general and is lived successfully and legally secure by numerous webmasters.
What do you have to consider for a legally secure website?
At this point, we would like to point out that the requirements for a legally compliant website can vary from country to country. Today, we will focus on websites from European countries. If you intend to launch a homepage in another region, please search for country-specific information.
In the following, we will tell you everything you need to know about the following sub-aspects of a legally compliant website. We will tell you what is important and what tools are available to make your website legally secure. Please note that our information is only recommendations and not legal advice. To be on the safe side, we advise contacting an IT law attorney.
- Domain registration
- Legal notice
- Third-party content
- Online forms
Even the first step in creating a legally compliant website requires you to do thorough research. The domain name is the figurehead of an Internet presence. It should be memorable, so that the site visitors remember it. At the same time, you must be aware of some legal risks that may arise if you register a domain name too hastily.
After you have checked in the first step whether the desired domain is free, you should clarify some other important questions. Otherwise you run the risk of violating the trademark rights of third parties. This is the case, among other things, if the desired domain is registered as a brand name. This could result in claims for damages or an injunction for the website operator. Unpleasant legal disputes that you can avoid from the outset with thorough research.
In any case, when choosing a domain for a new legally secure website, you should avoid the names of well-known companies, foreign work titles and names, city names and also typo domains. The probability of receiving mail from a lawyer otherwise is high.
The legal notice
One of the legal basics of a web presence is a legally secure legal notice. This indicates which organization or company is the operator of a website and is mandatory. It is not sufficient just to have a legal notice page. The content must meet the current legal requirements. Because mistakes are often made in this process, an inadequate legal notice is a frequent reason for warnings.
On the Internet, you will find numerous free and also paid legal notice generators that help you to create a correct legal notice. If you want to be on the safe side, use an offer from a specialist lawyer for online law. They will tell you what must be included in the legal notice. It is advisable to regularly check whether the requirements have changed.
Anyone who wants to legally secure their website will inevitably also have to deal with the creation of a data protection statement. This has been mandatory since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Since the requirements of the GDPR are very strict, there are often warnings due to missing data protection declarations.
You should therefore seek the help of a professional in any case, so that you can present a legally compliant website in this point as well. Several law firms have specialized in legal texts for websites and offer their services at a fixed price. Anyone who wants to legally secure their website will not be able to avoid these costs. In view of the threat of high costs in the event of a warning letter, this is capital well invested.
A website lives from its content. Besides texts, images and also videos can be found on websites. In doing so, you must always observe copyright and trademark law. Otherwise you could pay dearly for it.
If you want to upload and publish images or videos on your own website, you have to be sure that they do not violate the rights of the copyright holder. The easiest way to rule this out is to have taken the pictures yourself. But even in this case, legal trouble can threaten if you depict a protected object in your own image or infringe the image rights of a person.
A great help in legally secure media are providers of stock images. The authors release their works for use on the Internet free of charge or for a fee.
For a website to be successful, online forms such as application forms, registration forms or contact forms are essential for visitors. However, there are legal pitfalls here as well.
The GDPR places high demands on the exchange of personal data. At the same time, as a website operator, you must protect yourself from spam messages and bot attacks. So-called reCAPTCHA tests have become established for this purpose, in which users must prove that they are a human site visitor by solving a task. This can be done, for example, by clicking on a certain image or typing in a text. However, personal data is collected in this process and processed by the US provider Google. Such data transfer to the US is only possible under strict conditions. Thus, when using reCAPTCHA, the legal security of your website is at risk.
Friendly Captcha is legally compliant
We have intensively studied CAPTCHA tests and developed Friendly Captcha, a legally secure captcha solution. Friendly Captcha is also very convenient for the user of an online form, because with this method the user does not have to solve any task. It automatically checks whether the interaction is made by a human or a bot while the online form is being filled.
Friendly Captcha is legally compliant because it is both GDPR and Schrems II compliant. If our software solution sounds interesting to you as a building block to a legally compliant website, you can find more information here.