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Website Terms Of Use Agreement: 9 Important Issues To Cover

Website Terms Of Use Agreement: 9 Important Issues To CoverYour website terms of use agreement is an important legal document that explains the rights and responsibilities of the website owner (you or your company) and site visitors (whether or not they’re your customers).

Also known as a website terms of service, this agreement at a minimum should typically address the following nine issues.

1. How does your site’s terms of use interplay with other website legal documents. For example, if there’s a conflict between the terms and your site’s privacy policy, which legal document controls?

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

2. Who owns the rights to the content on your site? It’s important to note that this issue is more complicated than it seems on its face. For example, if you’ve embedded a YouTube video on your site that was created by someone else, chances are you’re using it under license because you are not the copyright owner. Similarly, stock photos are typically used under license.

3. If a visitor accesses your site via a mobile app (e.g. on a smart phone or tablet), what special restrictions are you placing on such use that are different than if your site was access via a desktop or laptop computer?

4. What types of disclaimers and limitations on liability must a site visitor agree to in order to use your site? Are you making any warranties? If so, which ones? Are you excluding specific warranties? If so, how will you identify them in your website terms of use agreement?

5. What’s your policy on cyber-bullying and other forms of online harassment? How will you handle complaints when such misconduct is alleged to have occurred at your site?

6. Do you limit or prohibit obscene and offense content from being posted on your site?

7. If a site visitor commits misconduct that leads to a lawsuit against you or your business as the site owner, who is responsible for paying for your defense?

8. What laws govern your terms of use? For example, if your company is located in California but your site’s hosting company is based in Texas, which state’s laws will apply in a dispute involving your website’s terms of service?

9. If there is a dispute, should it always be resolved in court as part of a lawsuit? Or are there some conflicts you want handled through alternative dispute resolution (e.g. mediation and arbitration)?

Are there other terms and conditions you can include in your website terms of use agreement?

Of course. However, these are some of the key issues you should address.

How do you get a professionally prepared terms of use to protect your site?

Related Article: 5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents

For customized terms of use, be sure to check out our firm’s Website Legal Protection Package prepared for a flat fee by Internet Lawyer Mike Young.

However, if you cannot afford to invest in attorney-customized website legal protection, consider getting Website Legal Forms Generator software. The website terms of use template, privacy policy, and other site legal documents generated by the software were created and updated by Attorney Young.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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