BY RICHARD BEST

Online Courses & Legal Stuff – How to launch your course with confidence you’ve ticked legal boxes

How course creators in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand can avoid costly legal mistakes, and protect themselves and their content, without it costing the earth
view_module Modules 9
menu_book Sessions 9

About This Product:


The problem many of us face


Have you ever wanted to create and launch an online course, only to find yourself worrying about what could happen to you or your business or your family if you don’t get the legal stuff right? We’ve all felt those alarm bells, right? Or perhaps you’ve launched an online course only to think, "damn, I’ve not given a moment’s thought to the legal side of things!" Or perhaps you’ve subconsciously put your head in the sand when it comes to getting the legal stuff right, due to a feeling that it’s too hard, too expensive, or both.

Now here’s the thing: when we launch an online course on the Internet, we are launching it internationally and to a potentially large and diverse audience, most of whom we won’t know. Launching a course in these circumstances without understanding what, legally, we can and cannot do, and without taking steps to protect yourself, is as unwise as going to sea without a life jacket or jumping from a plane without an emergency chute.  

Why is it unwise? Because various things could go wrong. We might:

  • fail to take steps to protect the course content that we’ve poured our heart and soul into
  • make mistakes by copying or cobbling together pieces of other people’s content, thinking we can, when actually we can’t
  • use Creative Commons-licensed content but not comply with the licence requirements, which would leave us exposed as the licence falls away and the copyright owner would have grounds for complaint
  • use email addresses and market our course in a manner that breaches anti-spam laws
  • fail to comply with privacy law transparency requirements, or do something with your customers’ personal information, thinking you can, only to find you’re breaching privacy laws
  • leave ourselves open to claims against us in negligence, based on people relying on our course content and alleging that we've assumed a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused them some kind of loss.

The solution


With this course, you can take your leap of faith into the online course industry, with the confidence you'll land safely because you have ticked legal boxes that protect your business and help it thrive, and all this without it costing the earth in lawyers' fees.

It’s much better to do this sort of thing sooner rather than later. If you need to see a lawyer down the line when things have gone wrong, and when they’ve gone wrong because you didn’t take any steps to protect yourself at the outset, it could cost you a large amount of money. Lawyers are expensive, and the costs of fixing a mess can be much higher than the cost of preventing the mess from arising in the first place.

Your course provider


Hi, I'm Richard Best. For a day job I’m a lawyer. I’ve been working on the legal stuff for 25 years. That sees me getting deeply involved in matters relating to technology, contracting, intellectual property, privacy, and social media, to name a few. I’m a lawyer that gets into the trenches too. I’ve created my own blogs, ebook and audiobook, my own and others’ websites, my own online contract generation tools, an online privacy toolkit, and my own course. I've practised law in multiple countries, I’ve delivered seminars on social media and the law, and I’ve blogged regularly on legal issues associated with the use of WordPress, called WP and Legal Stuff. Very few lawyers have this background and practical skill set.

What you'll learn


The course is broken down into nine modules:

Module 1: Protecting your original creations from those who would pillage and plunder 

  • Two key questions and two key answers we need to be thinking about
  • Copyright protection of our course content
  • Contractual protection of our course content
  • How we can check if people are ripping off our content and, if they are, what we can do about it
  • Action time
Module 2: Creating killer written content that won’t backfire and slap you in the face 

  • Why this can be an important issue
  • Why other people’s written content is usually protected by copyright
  • The need for permission if we use it
  • Busting common copyright myths so you don’t get caught up in them
  • Using written content that is licensed under a Creative Commons licence
  • How to comply with attribution requirements of Creative Commons licences
  • Using materials you’ve developed for someone else as an employee
  • Being careful about other people’s terms of use
  • Action time
Module 3: Using others’ images to your advantage without being told to cease and desist

  • Why we need to take care when using images
  • Using Creative Commons-licensed images
  • Using images from Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels
  • Risks of using Creative Commons licensed images and images from Unsplash, Pixabay and Pexels
  • Using alternative image repositories with lower risk
  • Having your own photoshoot done
  • Action time
Module 4: Bringing music to one’s ears without its owner deafening yours

  • Why we need to take care when using music tracks and sound files 
  • Why we should avoid using unlicensed music
  • Using Creative Commons-licensed music
  • Paying for the use of licensed music
  • Action time
Module 5: Including others’ videos in your course content without being struck out

  • Why we need to take care when using other people's videos
  • What we can and cannot do with videos we find on YouTube and Vimeo
  • Embedding videos
  • Ripping a YouTube or Vimeo video for download, or recording one with screen-recording software
  • Circumstances where we can just take a video from YouTube or Vimeo and insert it into our own recorded course video - Creative Commons-licensed videos
  • Action time
Module 6: Encouraging people to promote your course by licensing particular content on Creative Commons terms

  • Why you might want to do this
  • How you can release a piece of content that’s completely your own original creation, under a Creative Commons licence
  • How you can release a piece of content under a Creative Commons licence where you’ve created most of it but you’ve used someone else’s Creative Commons-licensed image
  • Whether you can release a piece of content under a Creative Commons licence where you’ve created most of it but you’ve used an image from Unsplash, Pexels or Pixabay
  • Action time
Module 7: Managing your mailing list like a marvel and not a muppet

  • Why this is an important topic
  • Main areas of law relevant to the creation, maintenance and use of email lists
  • Discussion of main laws in each of United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand
  • Practical implications of these laws
  • Action time
Module 8: Understanding privacy statement requirements and preparing and posting your own one when you need to

  • How, as online course providers, we are collecting people's personal information
  • What privacy statements are all about
  • Why we need to think about this, even when using online course platforms
  • Discussion of main privacy laws in each of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand
  • What the law requires of online course providers and how you can comply with them
  • Action time
Module 9: Protecting yourself, your cash and your course with disclaimers and terms of use

  • How and why liability or financial risks can arise in the context of providing our online courses
  • Three steps we can take to reduce or limit those risks
  • Disclaimers and how to write one
  • Contractual limitations of liability
  • Refund policies
  • How to include clauses covering the steps – as well as other clauses – in terms of use
  • Action time

I’ve poured all my learnings into this course to help course creators who care about their business to avoid making costly legal mistakes, and protect themselves and their content, without it costing the earth. You’ll be able to launch your course with CONFIDENCE, instead of anxiety, or nervousness or the ringing of alarm bells. You’ll do it with CONFIDENCE, knowing that you’ve considered the kinds of things that can trip people up, and knowing how to take steps to minimise the risk of your falling over. 

Bonuses


In addition to learning everything I've mentioned above, you'll also get access to automation tools that will help you produce drafts of some of the legal documents you’ll need. You'll be able to build your own draft privacy statement and terms of use!

Incredible value


With a launch price of only $197, the course provides incredible value. You could pay several hundreds or thousands of dollars just to have a lawyer advise you on any ONE of the module topics above, not to mention the thousands of dollars it could cost to have a lawyer prepare a draft privacy statement or terms of use for you. For now I've kept the cost at a low level to enable more course providers to launch with the confidence they won't land on legal landmines. 

The time is now


Take advantage of this while you can, don't let the legal stuff trip you up, and launch your course with confidence. I look forward to seeing you on the inside for Module 1.


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Program Details


Protecting your original creations from those who would pillage and plunder
Available Now

Creating killer written content that won’t backfire and slap you in the face
Available Now

Using images to your advantage without being told to cease and desist
Available Now

Bringing music to one’s ears without its owner deafening yours
Available Now

Including others’ videos in your course content without being struck out
Available Now

Encouraging people to promote your course by licensing particular content on Creative Commons terms
Available Now

Managing your mailing list like a marvel and not a muppet
Available Now

Understanding privacy statement requirements and preparing and posting your own one when you need to
Available Now

Protecting yourself, your cash and your course with disclaimers and terms of use
Available Now

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Disclosure: The course is provided for general informational purposes only. I am not providing you with legal advice, and no lawyer-client relationship is being formed. Seek professional advice if required. In signing up, you are agreeing to our Terms of use that are linked to below the course description.