Legal Liability in Affiliate Marketing?

by 6 comments
Hi, I'm trying to get started on Clickbank under my dad's name, and he's concerned about legal liability in the case of misguidance/harm to a person following the instructions of a product, and in turn, a lawsuit of some kind.

In the case of a lawsuit, could the affiliate ever be held liable for promoting the product?

I feel as if the products on Clickbank contain disclaimers/have taken proper legal precautions as they'd be the ones concerned about lawsuits, etc. I think it's just a good idea to you know, know any legal risks involved. If anyone could answer/point me in the right direction that would be great.

#internet marketing #affiliate #legal #liability #marketing
  • Profile picture of the author LB
    As the above posters to a lawyer. However, yes, affiliates certainly play a part and could share liability. Many view it as a magical happy land where they can do what they please without repercussions- not so.

    A few years back I received a court order regarding an affiliate program I had signed up for (never sold any though...thankfully) and according to the documents it looked like they were going to be investigating some of the top affiliates of this product as well as the publishers.

    If you make a recommendation and are compensated for it (i.e. "review sites") there are also other considerations that come into play and FTC guidelines as well.
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    The fact is that vendors do NOT want affiliates to be considered to be employees. It just creates TOO MANY problems! That means you AREN'T an employee, which means you are culpable if you mistate facts, or divert people to the system for money.

    If you want to avoid problems, avoid health, legal, and investment products, as well as any scams or anything not totally legit.

    On the bright side, if you act in "GOOD FAITH", the worst that is likely to happen is that you will have to pay back the amount you get.

    IANAL but I DO believe all I said here to be true.

  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    I have received a C&D letter and claim for compensation from a law firm before for promoting a T-shirt whose design had infringed another company's copyright. I just told them I was an affiliate rather than a merchant and they agreed to leave the matter.

    I also heard of affiliates who promoted online pharmacies having received letters from lawyers threatening to file a mass action lawsuit against them unless they pay the lawyer off.

    Over the years, I have received other C&Ds, lawyer's threats, and even sued once in the US court but it all came to nothing. There will always be some legal risk when you are conducting business of any sort. But I would say that you have a big advantage living in Australia because it would present a rather high hurdle for US firms to get you there.

  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    If your dad's uncomfortable with Clickbank, have him
    select the products or sign up with CJ or the other
    affiliate networks. CB isn't the only game in town.

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