If you have established a web presence with your own site you face the issue of posting Terms and Conditions appropriate to your content. You will need some kind of protective language, but what kind of language and how much? If you are not Google or Groupon, and you’ve created an informational, self-promotional or small business website, you
probably need only a few pages of protections.
To create that language you have options. You could have a lawyer draft a simple Terms and Conditions approval clause for your website visitors. Or draft one our self and have a lawyer review it prior to posting.
You could also copy and paste one from another website, but doing so could expose you to claims of copyright infringement. And since it would not be tailored specifically for your website, it might, in any event, contain language that simply doesn’t apply or might be legally detrimental to you and your website.
To start, the first thing you need to ask yourself is: What are the things I need to protect myself against? By attempting to answer that question, you will get an idea of what issues you want to address with each person who visits your site. Consider what your site has been designed to do, and not do. Spend some time looking at other, similar websites and drawing comparisons to your own.
Terms and Conditions should cover some or all of the following issues: privacy, copyright, contact/follow-up, security measures, complaints and refunds, and website partners and affiliations. And they should include four basic considerations.
Terms of Service- These terms will predominantly provide information about your website and how visitors are permitted and not permitted to use it.
If yours is a business website, you will need these terms of service for your customers should any transaction disputes arise. You need to address issues that may occur during and after transactions, including choice of forum geographic location where jurisdiction takes precedence), and the method of having disputes settled.
Internet Copyright Notice- Designates the copyright protections in place for your website content stating how you grant or do not grant permission of use of that content, as well as how it can or cannot be copied and distributed.
One important last note: If you place an Accept/Do Not Accept button on your website for your Terms and Conditions, make the checkmark default Do Not Accept. This will require each visitor to physically accept your conditions and not either default into them or claim to have accidentally clicked the wrong button.