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Every website I've ever been to has links to legal, privacy, tos, etc on the bottom of every page.

Is this required?

Can I have all that info on a specific about page rather than on every page?

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3 Answers 3

That depends on the jurisdiction your in.

For example in Germany it is a requirement per law to have an easy-to-find imprint linked on all your pages as of §5 TMG (German Telemedia Act) (Google translation). It is also specified, which information has to be included.

Personally, I've never bought on online-shops, that didn't have a supplier identification in some way.

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I would typically include a small, uninstrusive link in the footer that takes you to a page with full legal details, should you require them - If your site offers a product or service, you will want to outline the terms of usage or sale of them. If your site is just a blog, all you may require is a line saying 'copyright to x', though this usually goes without saying and I wouldn't worry about that - search engines have their own way of punishing plagurism.

Another thing to add might be that your terms of service mean absolutely nothing just by 'being there'. Unless a user agrees to them, they don't apply. Something to bear in mind - this is why a lot of websites that require registration to access various features or content force the registrant to agree to some set terms.

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Whilst copyright is generally automatic, explicitly stating it, and calling out who holds the copyright is beneficial (for example in light of the Orphan Rights Bill in the UK) –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Sep 16 '11 at 12:43
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Of course, I guess my point was that it doesn't have to be obtrusive. A moderate snippet of information like you suggested with a link to a page with further details (if necessary) should suffice. –  Anonymous Sep 16 '11 at 12:46

I think having that information available on every page is largely a convenience for your users. It needs to be somewhere, but making your users search for it or making it harder to find is not going to instil confidence in your (potential) customers.

What is actually required in this respect might be regionally dependent?

AFAIK you are only required to provide privacy information (or a link to) on pages where the user is supplying personal information. Through a contact form for instance. I'm not sure that simply storing a session cookie, or other non-user supplied information warrants a privacy statement, in which case I don't think it is required on every page.

TOS and legal information may only be required on pages where you are providing that service, but again you don't want to make this information hard to find IMO and differentiating between pages that do and don't could be more trouble.

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Certainly the EU has now brought in laws regarding the use of cookies, etc., and UK has pretty much adopted the legislation wholesale, meaning that you should get permission before storing any information on the users machine - including session cookies, etc. (ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/…) –  Zhaph - Ben Duguid Sep 16 '11 at 12:47

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