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What is Terms of Use?

A Terms of Use sets out the rules for using a website and defines the legal relationship between the website operator and the website

What is Terms of Use?

A Terms of Use sets out the rules for using a website and defines the legal relationship between the website operator and website users. It is also known as ‘terms of service’ or ‘terms and conditions.  ‘Terms of use’ sets out each party’s rights and obligations for users to read, and, by continuing to use the site, users accept the terms. A Terms of Use is different from the terms and conditions for the supply of goods or services offered on a website.

Why do I need Terms of Use?

Any business with an online presence, even those that are not selling goods and services on their website, should have terms of use for these reasons: Prevent Misuse: It acts as a legally binding agreement between you and your users. With this agreement, you can set the rules and guidelines that users must agree to and pursue to use and access your website and even include what happens if users are found misusing your website.

To own your content: You’re the owner of your website’s logo, content, and design. To protect all of these, you must inform the users that you’re the owner of the website and that the content you own is protected by international copyright laws.

Terminate account: If the users are found violating the agreement and misuses the website you can temporarily ban users. This clause warns the abusive users will be prohibited and terminated from using the service.

Limit liability: Terms of Users agreement generally includes a warranty disclaimer that tries to limit the website owner’s liability in case errors are found in the content given on the website. So, if a customer ever decides to take you to court, ‘Terms of use’ could protect you.

Set the governing law: Generally, the Governing Law clause refers to the rules and regulation that applies to the terms mentioned in the agreement.

How do I implement Terms of Use?

A noticeably displayed link to the website should be visible from every page on your website. The more noticeable your terms to website visitors, the more likely they will adhere. If there is a registration process on the site, this can deal with the agreement of users to your website’s terms of use. You can even ask the users to accept the website terms to get access to certain functionality.

What should be included in the Terms of Use Agreement?

No two businesses will have the same ‘Terms of Use’ as the services offered by one will vary from another. Numerous factors affect the kind of terms of use a website has. However, there are a few general components that should be there in a ‘term of use’. These will help keep your website and business safe and secure. A few of these elements are:
-Details of the website owner and web address: this will reveal the details of ownership.
-Username and password requirements: Websites at times have specific requirements for usernames and passwords such as “one number and character”. This needs to be disclosed.
-Whether you allow users to be able to post information on your website or upload files to your website: The conditions to be able to do so has to be revealed.
-Complaint email address: terms of use should mention where customers can head to for their complaints or grievances.
-Alleged copyright infringement arrangements and Date of Terms of Use.
-Limitation of Liability statement so you can’t be held responsible for any mistakes on the content that is up on your website.
– Permissions and copyright: Mention the rules for using the contents on your site. For instance, can users use your logos?
-Privacy Policy: If your website also collects personal information a privacy policy should be mentioned in the terms of use.
– Governing Law: It is important to clarify the details of which governing laws apply to your site.

Why do you need to draw up general terms and conditions?

General terms and conditions clearly determine the rights and duties of both you as well as your customers. Your customers will have an idea of what they’re dealing with and it also decreases the risks you face while handling a business. It covers the issues related to liability, payment terms, guarantees, cancellations, and others. As these are updated regularly, they will keep you protected in case any mishaps do arise.

What is the difference between a Privacy Policy & Terms of Use?

Both of these are important legal documents for businesses with an online presence. However, there are a few key differences between the two.

Privacy policy
This is usually a legal requirement in most regions. These protect users, their information, and their data by getting businesses to declare compliance with applicable laws. These are intended to mostly protect users.

Terms of Use
This allows businesses to lay down rules regarding how the users on their site can access the service or product. It includes information such as copyright conditions, governing law, and others. These are not legally mandatory but it is intended to protect the business and so it is a good idea to have one.

How often should the ‘Terms of Use be updated?

Terms of use should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. It is recommended to do it every few months depending on your industry and type of website.  It is best to do it quarterly.

Conclusion

A Terms of Use is essential for every business that has an online presence to protect the content from being misused. It is a legally bonded agreement and is also subject to change which should be noted in the disclaimer. Websites should always have terms of use regarding users’ activity, accounts, products, and technology.Plan the expansion of your business’s online presence, with Zegal. Get legal protection to protect your content and enhance security.

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