Should You Copy Terms And Conditions From Another Website?

Should You Copy Terms And Conditions From Another WebsiteWhen you’re looking for website legal protection, you’ll want to include website legal documents on your site. But does it make sense to copy terms and conditions from another website?

The Pros And Cons

Benefits

The benefits to an entrepreneur on a tight budget are that you’re saving time and money up front by not investing in the terms and conditions, privacy policy, and other website legal documents that you need. It’s simply copy-and-paste to have legalese added to your site.

Related Article: Privacy Policy 101 – What Every Website Owner Should Know

But do these benefits outweigh the risks? Or, are you putting yourself in greater danger by taking another site’s legal documents to use as your own?

Legal Risks

As a practical matter, “borrowing” someone else’s legal documents without permission is stealing intellectual property. This typically is referred to as copyright infringement. If you’ve infringed upon someone else’s copyrights, you may be liable for up to $150,000 per document “borrowed” plus the copyright owner’s legal fees in the infringement lawsuit against you.

Note that it’s often difficult to track down and obtain the copyright owner’s permission (usually by paying a fee) to use another site’s legal documents. Most site owners are using their documents per a license obtained from the copyright owner.

A few have also “borrowed” theirs and are at risk of being sued for copyright infringement at any time for intellectual property theft. If you use their bootleg forms, you’re at risk too.

Unfortunately, many site owners simply don’t know what rights they have to the legal documents because they’re not attorneys and didn’t bother to check when buying a license. They might think they “own” the terms and conditions but are actually only licensees with no rights to give others permission to use the documents.

Even if you obtain the legal right to copy terms and conditions from another site, those provisions are probably not designed to protect your site. For example, the website legal documents used at Amazon.com are very different than what the average small business website needs.

What If You Decide Not To Copy Terms And Conditions From Another Site?

Our Internet law firm provides customized website legal documents for a flat fee as part of a Website Legal Protection Package.

Related Article: 7 Keys To Picking The Right Internet Lawyer For Your Business

If your budget is too limited to pay a website attorney to prepare customized documents you need for your site, you may want to consider using Website Legal Forms Generator, a software that generates site legal forms that were created by Internet Business Lawyer Mike Young.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

To get legal help from Attorney Mike Young, call 214-546-4247 or click here now to schedule a phone consultation.

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