Other Types of eCommerce Contracts
A variety of other eCommerce agreements need to be considered on an as-needed basis. When conducting one's self online, there are a variety of other concerns that need to be addressed.
- The domain name
that a business chooses can lead to legal problems. This is because of the use of domain names and trademark law.
- Developer contracts
also need to be considered. When it comes to launching an eCommerce site, developers may try to copy another site or hold back on the "go live" date. Having definitive contracts in place can ensure that a business is launching their site in a timely manner.
- Intellectual property
development and compliance is extremely important with eCommerce because oftentimes website developers copy content from other websites which have proprietary value. Therefore, legal compliance on this issue is crucial. It is important to make the necessary disclosures and advise third party contractors that the company will not tolerate the use of proprietary content belonging to third parties. Therefore, companies must voice their no copyright infringement policy on their agreements with website developers and related contractors.
- It is important to secure work for hire agreements to govern the relationship between the company and any of its contractors to ensure the content they present to the company is original and that the ownership of said original content is transferred to the company as a result of the services provided by the contractor. Obtaining permission (performing the proper clearance) for the use of content placed on the website is also an integral part of any business that operates online and must be performed by the company's attorney.
- Hosting an eCommerce site
leaves another avenue to be explored for contracts. Response times, hacking security and uptimes should all be considered in the contract with the third-party hosting company. All issues should be discussed thoroughly within the confines of the contract to offer sufficient protection to the business.
- Visitor Privacy
- Furthermore, the privacy of customers (including potential customers) must be protected at all times. Confidentiality clauses must be placed within the clickwrap agreement or elsewhere on the site. When it comes to partnering arrangements with third party providers, privacy concerns need to be addressed vis-à-vis the manner in which third parties obtain information and what needs to be presented to the visitors and customers using the website.
In many ways, eCommerce contracts are very similar to regular business contracts. It tells a business partner or customer what they need to know prior to proceeding with the business deal. However, when business is conducted online, the importance of proper contract drafting is much more evident because their primary reason for existing is creating a shield to protect the company from legal action based on its online practices.
The law is in constant evolution regarding online transactions and, as thus, claims arising from the use and abuse of online commerce are much more common than ever. Therefore, companies have to be much more vigilant of their online practices and ensure they seek the advise of experience legal counsel to navigate their online business at a smooth and successful pace.
Every company that is looking to exploit their business model online must explore what are their particular needs regarding eCommerce. Obtaining the effective assistance of an attorney in this area is very important. Effective legal compliance will ensure that the business is adequately protected from potential lawsuits, which can impair business growth, credibility, financial hardship and potentially bankruptcy.
Why You Should Have eCommerce Contracts
According to Francelina Perdomo, our Managing Partner, electronic commerce ["eCommerce"] contracts are becoming an integral part of doing business on the Internet. eCommerce is growing rapidly and with it are also legal concerns that need to be addressed when forming business relationships and closing on transactions online. eCommerce law has had a steadfast development in recent years.
Legal considerations regarding interstate commerce, choice of law, and forum and arbitration are important considerations that every online business must take into account. These legal considerations are important in all commercial business
settings but much more significant in online business. Every company conducting business online should be concerned about contracts and agreements between their site visitors, customers, business partners and even third parties.