We’ve all received those emails in our inbox – “We’ve updated our terms of service!” There’s a reason all of the biggest companies in the world take website terms very seriously.
If you have a website conducting business – whether you’re a Software as a Service (SaaS), eCommerce website, or a service provider – you should have website terms published and easily accessible. The purpose of these terms are your let your users know how to use your website, ultimately protect your intellectual property, and ultimately limit your liability – just in case.
This post is outlines 18 provisions your website terms should have and what they mean:
- Intellectual Property Rights/Trademarks – This is a provision protecting your intellectual property on the website – and letting the user know that they are not to use your intellectual property or trademarked material for commercial use without permission.
- Prohibited Uses – This outlines what the prohibited uses of your website are – ensuring that your users follow federal, state, and local laws and do not use your website to conduct illegal businesses.
- User Contribution Standards – If your website allows user contributions, this provision lets the user know that you have standards they must adhere to.
- Monitoring and Enforcement; Termination – As an add-on to the user contribution standards, this gives you the right to monitor, enforce, delete user generated content or terminate a users account.
- Content Standards – As an add-on to the user contribution standards, this provision actually lays out the rules you expect your users to follow – including avoiding defamatory language, conduct illegal activities, violate legal rights, etc.
- Copyright Infringement – If you have a separate copyright policy, you can use this provision to link to that.
- Reliance on Information – This provision lets users know that the information you provide on your website are solely for general purposes, and that you do not warrant accuracy, completeness, or usefulness.
- Changes to Website – This provision lets users know that you can update the content of your website if and when you see fit at your own discretion.
- Links from Website – This provision lets users know that they may link your website to their social media, and other networks – under certain conditions.
- Disclaimer on Warranties – This provision is important, and lets the user know that you are disclaiming any warranties from damage your website might cause to the user – and that the use of your website is at the users own risk.
- Limitation on Liabilities – This provision limits your liability in case the user suffers damages due to use of your website.
- Miscellaneous Provisions are standard in every contract, and include:
- Governing Law
- Arbitration or Court – How will disputes be handled – in arbitration, or in court?
- Limitations on Time to File Claim
- Waiver and Severability
- Entire Agreement
- Your Comments and Concerns – This provision gives users a clear way to reach out to you in case they have comments or concerns about your website.
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This post is not legal advice, and does not establish any attorney client privilege between Law Office of K.S. Kader, PLLC and you, the reader.