Legal Information

Every Web site and Blog owner should be aware of legal issues. We are not attorneys. The information below is offered as a guideline only not as legal advice. Consult with your attorney when in doubt.


  • Copyright of Text and Graphics
    Unless clearly stated otherwise all text and graphics at Web sites and Blogs are automatically protected by copyright law. You cannot copy someone else’s work without permission. You cannot grab photos just because they are on the Web. Copyright laws also cover derivative work. The good news is: no one can legally copy your material either. Please be sure to read our Copyright Information page.
  • Trademarks and Servicemarks
    You cannot use other’s trademarked or servicemarked terms at your Web site or Blog whether visible or invisible. This means that you cannot, without permission, use marks you do not own in your meta tags or alt tags. You cannot use other’s marks as if they were your own. Further, you cannot own domain names containing a trademark or servicemark unless the mark belongs to you. Should you be sued by the legally registered holder of the mark, precedent says you will lose.
  • Company Names and Product Names
    You cannot use your competitor’s names and product names in your site meta tags. Should you be sued by the other company, precedent says you will lose. You also cannot mention ‘excessively’ your competition or competition’s products in visible text in order to manipulate search engine rankings so that your site appears when someone specifically searches for your competition.

Privacy Policy and Terms of Use

Your Blog should have a clearly visible Privacy Policy and a clearly visible Terms of Use Policy. Read ours to get some idea of what you need to cover in your agreements. Your site and/or blog is especially vulnerable if it contains links to other Web sites. There have been court cases where it is assumed that linking to another site endorses the content found there, and any action taken by a site visitor based on the content at the end of the outbound link could provide grounds for legal action against the site owner who provided that outbound link (e.g., applying for a mortgage which the applicant did not receive, etc..)

Compliance With Rules From Governing Bodies

Real estate, for example, is heavily regulated by state law which varies from state to state. In addition, the National Association of REALTORS® governs the activities of its members, and many real estate companies (especially the national franchises) have Web rules and regulations that licensed real estate agents must follow. It is VERY important that you know what is required in your state and by your board and by your company in order that you remain in compliance. These compliance rules can apply to everything from domain names to meta tags to statements about equal opportunity housing. You are fully responsible for the compliance of your site. We do not have any way of knowing current rules and regulations for every state, every real estate board, and every company.

Meta Tags and Compliance

Some states require that your broker’s name be included in page titles, keywords, and site description as viewed in search engines. On the surface this may sound like a good idea. However, consider this. When you change companies and your site has been listed in a bazillion search engines, it’s almost impossible to get the description changed to reflect your new company. You are then most likely not in compliance since you are being advertised as affiliated with a broker for whom you no longer work. We have no good solution for this problem. You may need to get a new domain name and start all over with a new site.

Legal Resources

In researching the information on this page, we came across a site that you might care to visit – The attorney behind the site has prepared many forms that you can purchase for use at your Web site. While we do not necessarily endorse the material you find at the end of the link, it is certainly a place for you to start in your own research of what’s required to minimize your exposure to risk. You can purchase an agreement here that will serve as the basis for your Privacy Policy/Terms of Use. Be sure to also check with your company and other governing bodies about their requirements.