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What are Website Terms and Conditions?
Here is an article that also discusses website terms and conditions.
What Should be in Website Terms and Conditions?
Website terms and conditions should establish the legal relationship between the business and the customer and offer legal disclaimers, billing notices, privacy policies, and refund policies. Websites often link terms and conditions in the footer or a “pop up” with a prompt requiring the user to “accept” them.
Here are nine terms and conditions to include on a website:
Term 1. Intellectual Property Rights
You should assert ownership rights over your website’s intellectual property, such as photos, music, written works, and graphics. Include a brief statement establishing your ownership of the original materials and indicating the contexts in which they may be used, if at all.
Term 2. Products or Services Terms
Your customers should have no reservations about the services or products you offer. A comprehensive description should be included in your terms and conditions. Where appropriate, include a minimum duration requirement in your terms and conditions for the supply of goods or services on a permanent or recurring basis.
Term 3. Payment Terms
Your prices should be clearly stated or located where customers can find them. The inclusion or exclusion of applicable taxes from the costs should also be noted in your terms and conditions, as should any offer or price duration. Any shipping charges that apply should be included here, and you should specify the due date for payment and the penalties for non-payment.
Term 4. Guarantees and Warranties
Certain products you sell may be covered by guarantees or warranties, either directly or indirectly through the manufacturer. In these instances, you should specify the start and end dates of the warranty. Additionally, you should indicate what would happen if the customer discovered a defect.
Term 5. Limitation of Liability
A limitation of liability will protect you from liability for any offensive or defamatory postings on your site. This is assuming the language of the clause will hold up in court, especially if there is negligence or intentional wrongdoing involved. If your website permits user-generated content, your terms and conditions should include a clause allowing for it. Otherwise, you could face expensive fines for their original works.
Term 6. Minor-Aged Children
You must follow special rules when your website markets to children under the age of 13. Companies must ensure that their websites adhere to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). You may need to follow other relevant laws established by your government, which means you should speak with technology lawyers if your website engages minors.
Term 7. Future Modifications
You may want to amend your website’s terms and conditions from time to time, either to reflect changes in your business or applicable law. Ensure that you include information about how customers will be notified and the amount of notice required in advance of changes.
Term 8. Rules of Conduct
End-users should know how to conduct themselves when interacting with your website. Make it very clear that they may only use your website for its intended person and that all must follow the rules to access your services. In this section, you can specify penalties for violations.
Term 9. Choice of Law
Your terms and conditions should conclude by stating which applicable laws govern them. This statement protects you from having to leave your state or country to handle a civil dispute with an aggrieved party. Most companies choose the governing law clause of their headquarters’ location. It is worth noting that your preferred jurisdiction in your terms may be challenged in court, especially if the jurisdiction is perceived to be unfair to the consumer.
Legal Requirements for Website Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions are your contracts with website users, and they lay out the ground rules for what users can expect and what recourse they may have in the event of a dispute. Litigating or defending a case is significantly more challenging without terms and conditions on your website and no other documentation about the transaction.
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Do I need Terms and Conditions on my Website?
You need website terms and conditions if you want to protect your legal rights. Otherwise, your website faces liability in several areas, including unauthorized use, data privacy information, where to send business notices, and more. Drafting customized terms and conditions for your industry, company size, location, and other relevant factors will produce a better result from a legal standpoint.
Here are five reasons why you need terms and conditions on your website:
Reason 1. Prevents End-User Website or App Abuse
Website terms and conditions serve as a legally binding contract. This agreement establishes the terms and conditions users must agree to when using your website or mobile application. You can find information about how to engage appropriately and what happens if users commit a violation.
Reason 2. Protects the Owner’s Intellectual Property Rights
You own your logo, content, and website design. The terms and conditions will inform users that it is your intellectual property. This type of clause is also known as an intellectual property clause.
Reason 3. Ability to Terminate Accounts At-Will
This clause informs users that you reserve the right to terminate abusive accounts and prohibit them from using the service. The termination clause is for websites that permit user registration. It also allows you to disable or ban abusive users based on their account activity and practice.
Reason 4. Limits Your Liability For Mistakes
Terms and conditions frequently include a warranty disclaimer that attempts to limit the website owner’s liability if the website’s content contains errors. Limitations of liability waivers are popular with websites that permit user-generated content.
Reason 5. Establishes Your Choice of Law
A website’s terms and conditions help owners specify which jurisdiction and government they recognize. For example, if your website operates in Oregon and you serve customers worldwide, the choice of law clause communicates that you recognize the laws of the State of Oregon.
Get Legal Help With Website Terms and Conditions
It’s essential to draft your website terms and conditions with several legal considerations in mind. These are the documents that govern your company’s relationship with users, customers, etc., so it is important they are well thought out and defensible. Technology lawyers can help you create the perfect document that protects your legal rights. We recommend speaking with a legal professional licensed in your state for more information.