Operational Systems Co-ordinator at Connexions Cornwall and Devon
13 May 2004 09:30am
I am seeking information about the legal position should a web-site offer a services directory from which a person uses information to make contact with an agency that then turns out to be less than reputable.
Would the organisation be liable to prosecution should information that it gathered and then published on a web-site be found to be the source that was used to make contact with a less than reputable organisation, even if the information was gathered in good faith.
Is there also a recommend 'Disclaimer' that can reduce the risk
Partner at White & Case LLP
13 May 2004 10:47am
Unless the company providing the online directory is representing that the agencies on the directory are reputable then the risk to the company providing the directory is low.
Even if the company providing the online directory is representing that the agencies are reputable, but they turn out not to be, then the legal risk to the company is also fairly low. There will of course be non-legal reputational risk to the directory company.
Not withstanding this, your idea of using a disclaimer is a good one (you will see even I use it below) and even better than a disclaimer is web site terms and conditions which are preferably click accepted.
The reason for this is that people and companies can limit liability by using a contract - and web site terms and conditions - when click accepted - should become a contract. You need to positively accept something to make a contract - you don't necessarily do this with a disclaimer or notice and so they are not as good when limiting liability.
Kind regards, Ashley
[Why don't you check out the disclaimers used by other online directory companies? - but you should remember not to copy them too exactly as otherwise they could theoretically claim that you have infringed their copyright in the disclaimer.]
(Disclaimer: I am a lawyer, but the above is not legal advice and you may not rely upon it or republish it without my express consent.)
Freelance Web Consultant at architxt.net
13 May 2004 13:53pm
I've come across certain sites that when linking to any external pages use a pop-up disclaimer that the user needs to accept before the external page loads up.
A very draconian and annoying solution, but it may allow you to sleep at night if you're very concerned about this.
(Disclaimer: what I just wrote may not be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth)
Marketing Consultant at Email Marketing Solutions
19 May 2004 15:32pm
>Is there also a recommend 'Disclaimer' that can reduce the risk
"Our website may contain links to other websites. Other websites may also reference or link to our website(s). We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such other sites and expressly disclaim all liability associated with your use of and the content on such other websites."
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