Blogs

Web partnership contracts involving content-based promotion

Partnerships are an important part of many website marketing strategies, particularly content-based partnerships. Through such partnerships, a website operator can access the anonymous traffic, registered users and marketing lists of others. Just as important, an operator can gain access to original and relevant content for his or her own audience.

Website design, contracts and designer credits

Many web designers include credits ("Designed by XYZ") as a matter of course on the websites that they create. Many web design contracts do not, however, cover the issue of credits. Whilst in some cases contractual clauses relating to credits may be overkill, in other cases they can be very useful indeed. This post examines the main issues: rights of paternity and contractual rights to include, remove and edit credits.

Notes on manufacturing, exclusivity and competition

One of the more contested provisions in many types of manufacturing contract is the non-compete or exclusivity clause. Customers often want to restrict the rights of manufacturers to use customer know-how to compete against the customer. Indeed, they may want to go further than this, restricting the rights of manufacturers to use know-how gained simply as a result of the contract, even if it wasn't disclosed by the customer. Manufacturers, on the other hand, will usually wish to retain a free hand to apply know-how gained in one area of their business to other areas.

Cloud service reseller agreements

Cloud services reseller agreements seem to be in vogue. Enquiries about agreements for the resale of software-as-a-service systems keep cropping up in my inbox, and I've taken on several instructions in the past few weeks. Software vendors have long relied upon resellers to market and sell traditional software licences. Quite naturally, the reseller model is being extended to cloud services. But the legal issues – and the contract models - can be quite different. There are three different approaches that I have come across, and another one that I haven't seen in the wild, but that should work in the right circumstances.

7 deadly sins of contract drafting

Every contract lawyer has his or her drafting bugbears and hobby-horses, problems that they look for – and frustratingly find – time and time again in other lawyers' contracts. This is my list. Not all of these sins are really deadly. Some are merely embarrassing. Some I commit myself, sometimes deliberately. Others, however, carry real risks for clients and lawyers.

Contract contraction: is short the new long?

In the early part of my legal career, most of the clients I worked for were lawyers or legally trained, and a 50 or 500 page contract was nothing special to them. Most of SEQ Legal's clients aren't lawyers, and I'm sometimes asked about the size of legal documents. Do they really need to be so long? Contractual documents prepared by those without any legal training often take the form of a handful of statements about the commercial fundamentals: the contract price or charges, and the service or goods being provided. Isn't that enough?

Troll hunting: forum abuse and the law

A troll is defined in the Urban Dictionary as "one who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument". The etymology seems to be disputed. My preferred explanation is that the usage comes - via the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban - from fishing, where trolling is the practice of trailing a baited line behind a moving boat, as in "trolling for mackerel".

10 things you should know about ... publishing law

The law relating to the publication of books, journals, newspapers, magazines and their electronic equivalents is, I think, one of the most interesting areas of legal study. Although the core principles of publishing law are enduring, change is a constant. The manifestation of the principles of publishing law in legislation and case law reflects both the march of technology and the deep currents of our literary culture - as well as passing parliamentary and judicial fashions. In this way, publishing law holds a cracked mirror to our literary culture; and the reflections we glimpse aren't always pretty.

Writing an SEO contract

Success or failure in the search engine results pages (SERPs) can make or break a business. With serious money at stake, all SEO consultants and agencies need to be conscious of the legal risks that their work entails. One of the most important ways of managing those risks is through the use of a good contract. In this post, I look at those matters which are particular to SEO contracts.

Internet marketing for lawyers: good, bad or ugly?

In the good old days of legal practice, effective marketing meant being good at your job, and once in a while taking clients out for long, expensive and boozy lunches. That, at least, is what a senior partner at an international law firm once told me. Those days, if not entirely mythical, are long gone. In this post I'm going to look at the nexus between internet marketing and legal services. I'll consider how the peculiar features of legal businesses affect the marketing of legal services online.