Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Website Secrecy Agreements – Is this legal in Aust?

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  • #988118
    JohnW
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    Hi All,
    Would any FSs from the legal profession be so good as to comment on the issues involved in the following.

    An Australian business with a USA domain name is offering services to Australians.

    The only identifying information on the site is a person by name, a “.com” domain and an Australian phone number. It does not say whether the service is provided by a company, partnership or sole trader.

    There is a link to a website “Secrecy” agreement. The Secrecy agreement is made out between the “.com” domain name and the person using the service and who subsequently submits information.

    The agreement basically says that anyone who uses the service gives away all rights to how their information is used – name, email, address, etc.

    Eg: The (domain name) reserves the right to “use or disclose”… the “information in ways that we think are appropriate”.

    Google has indexed around 1,600 virtually identical secrecy agreements and all the ones I’ve checked specify a domain name (either US or Aust) as the agreement issuing entity.

    In Australia, can a party to an agreement of this type be identified solely by a domain name?

    Is this a legal agreement in Australia?

    Many thanks,
    JohnW

    #1165723
    I.T. Guaranteed
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    Hi John,


    I don’t think a domain name is an entity, but it could be one if that domain name was also a business name. eg. http://www.mydomainname.com was the business name.

    Just did an ASIC search on WWW
    There are couple of businesses registered that have domain names as their registered business name.

    Personally, I like to get a young child or a dog, to click “I accept” internet agreements.

    My dog is really good at removing the shrink-proof wrapping on software which states “by opening this …..”

    Have a great day

    #1165724
    JohnW
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    I.T. Guaranteed, post: 191996 wrote:
    Just did an ASIC search on WWW
    There are couple of businesses registered that have domain names as their registered business name.
    Hi Jay,
    Thanks for your reply.

    I imagine (but don’t know) that registering a business name that is a domain name is OK.

    The issues to me include whether a website and a Secrecy agreement can be written to simply reference (domain).com.

    I believe a registed company name in Aust should be written as (domain).com Pty Ltd in the Secrecy agreement.

    If it is a sole trader I thought it would be written as (person’s name) trading as (domain).com.

    We also have the issue of, no legally defined entity means we can’t claim any GST expenses paid to it in our own BAS.

    If we are selling to it, we should hit it with 46.5% GST if we have no info about its registered status.

    What do you think?
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1165725
    Johny
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    Hi John,

    Also not legally trained but done a fair share of legal documents in the quite distant past.

    I tend to agree with you about an entity being either a company (pty ltd) or an individual name as in ‘Johny trading as ABC Business.com”, in which case Johny is the legal entity.

    As far as I recall, you can register the business name, but that doesn’t make it a legal entity.

    So my opinion would be that “domain.com” would not be a legal entity for completing such documents in Australia. There would have to be a person or registered company behind it somewhere.

    The agreement basically says that anyone who uses the service gives away all rights to how their information is used – name, email, address, etc.

    Eg: The (domain name) reserves the right to “use or disclose”… the “information in ways that we think are appropriate”.

    Certainly in my part of the word, wording like that can often mean they will sell your information to whoever is interested.

    #1165726
    Divert To Mobile
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    John,

    It sounds like a handful of decent website templates being used by many and then their t&c’s being copied.
    Its not uncommon to go to an aussie website and look at their terms mentioning Californian law.

    Steve

    #1165727
    JohnW
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    Divert To Mobile, post: 192526 wrote:
    John,

    It sounds like a handful of decent website templates being used by many and then their t&c’s being copied.
    Its not uncommon to go to an aussie website and look at their terms mentioning Californian law.

    Steve
    Hi Steve,
    I know my example originated in the USA. It was one of many world-wide sites that were set up in the USA with the same Terms page copy.

    This example does not actually state under whose laws the agreement applies.

    Further legal confusion for the participants to the agreement.
    Regs,
    JohnW

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