A. General Legal Disclaimers. You should include adequate jurisdictional and warranty disclosure, such as the following on the homepage:
This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a complete description of our investment advisory services or performance. This website is in no way a solicitation or offer to sell securities or investment advisory services except, where applicable, in states where we are registered or where an exemption or exclusion from such registration exists. Information throughout this site, including, but not limited to, stock quotes, charts, articles or any other statement or statements regarding market or other financial information, is obtained from sources which we, and our suppliers believe reliable, but we do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness or accuracy of this information. Nothing on this website should be interpreted to state or imply that past results are an indication of future performance. Neither we nor our information providers shall be liable for any errors or inaccuracies, regardless of cause, or the lack of timeliness of, or for any delay or interruption in the transmission thereof to the user. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, OR RESULTS OBTAINED FROM ANY INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS OR ANY LINKED WEBSITE.
You should consider adding copyright disclosure, as discussed below.
B. Intellectual Property. You should consider the following intellectual property issues:
1. We generally recommend registering your domain name if you have not done so already.
2. We recommend verifying that another party has not registered your domain name as a trademark. You should consider registering your domain name as a trademark.
3. We recommend adding a copyright notice to the bottom of each page of the website. The notice should include the copyright symbol ©, the year of first publication and the name of the owner. You should update the date if there are material changes to the website. Example:
Copyright © 2013, Gassman Financial Group. All rights reserved.
4. Consider adding the following copyright disclosure to the homepage:
Unless otherwise noted, all information provided on this site is provided by Gassman Financial Group and is subject to copyright and trademark laws. Logos and marks contained in links to third party sites belong to their respective owners. Reproduction of this site without written permission is prohibited.
If your site will allow users to link to other sites including, among others, providers of financial information and news and/or providers of various financial tools and calculators, you should be aware that the use of links has been subject to heightened scrutiny by the SEC and that the SEC has issued extensive guidance in this area. When you allow issuers to link to other sites from your site, the primary issue is whether you may be liable for the content of that site. To mitigate this rule, you should take steps to avoid the appearance of “endorsing” a site or product as follows:
A. Adding disclaimer language about the content of third-party websites helps to avoid the appearance of endorsing such sites. Sample language is as follows:
These links are provided for viewer convenience. Gassman Financial Group is not associated or affiliated with any linked sites. Independent providers have prepared all information accessible through these links.
B. You should present comparable links with equal prominence. Depending on the context, highlighting one link over another or giving it more prominence may be considered an endorsement.
C. The SEC has stated that the use of an intermediary page advising users that they are leaving your site and entering an unrelated site is helpful to avoid the appearance of endorsing the other site.
D. You should show a clean break between your website and a third-party site (i.e., there should be no evidence of your name, logo or other identifying information when linking to third-party sites). When there is no clean break and a linked site appears in a minimized frame overlapping your site or your site “frames” a linked site, potential liability for the contents of the linked site may be increased. In addition, intellectual property issues may be raised; the owner of the linked site may object to your name and logo appearing in close proximity to their proprietary information.
III. Performance Information
If your site will include any information regarding performance, we should have a further discussion and review. SEC rules and guidance only permit the use of certain types of performance information, and any such information should be accompanied by the appropriate disclosures.