Basic Website Terms and Conditions
These Basic Website Terms and Conditions are designed for use with simple websites, providing straightforward, non-interactive content in mind. These template terms and conditions are best suited to websites operated by individuals or small businesses.
This template has been reviewed and updated for compatibility with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which entered into force on 1st October 2015.
As with many website terms and conditions, these are designed for acceptance through use. In other words, visitors to your website are deemed to have accepted them as soon as they start using the site.
Important information about the website operator is provided, including company registration details, trading address, and details of any relevant regulatory bodies or associations. For certain trades and professions there may be additional information that website operators are required by law to provide. If, for example, the operator is an investment company, it must identify itself as such. Members of regulated professions should include professional titles, links to professional rules and other important details. Such details are not included in this template and professional advice should be sought by those working in regulated professions.
Intellectual property rights are protected by these terms and conditions, not least copyright. Unlike many such provisions, however, those included in this template are relatively generous to users. Primarily, this has been done to assist in realistic enforceability. It may be common practice to revoke a user’s right to use your site for printing more than one copy of a page, but the prospect of enforcing such a provision would be unrealistic at best. While not allowing complete free rein, therefore, the provisions protecting copyright and other IP do take an accommodating approach to modern internet use habits. Indeed, rather than attempting to prevent users from copying material through draconian clauses in your terms and conditions, it may instead be preferable to use technical measures, such as coding preventing right-clicks to save images or scripts designed to interfere with printscreen functions.
IP protection provisions in this document also make it clear that the content of your website is not designed for commercial use but that users in a commercial environment are not prohibited from accessing it. An optional phrase is included to clarify this.
Website linking is another area benefitting from more open, pragmatic terms. Many terms and conditions prohibit so-called “deep-linking” (linking to specific pages on a site, rather than its homepage). Others may allow users to only link from sites the content of which is under their full control. Deep linking may or may not be permitted in this document by selecting the appropriate option. Prohibiting users from linking from sites they do not control is not covered, not least given the value to website operators of having links to their sites spread around social media. Instead, users are restricted from linking from sites that mainly comprise unsavoury or unlawful material. A further optional clause provides clarification: whilst a user may not link from a site the primary purpose of which is to promote violence, for example, they are not going to be considered to be in breach of the terms by linking from a site on which a fellow user may make a violent comment or the like. Once again, the realities of the heavily user-content centred internet are taken into account.
Disclaimers and liability provisions in this template seek to protect website operators to the maximum extent deemed reasonable. It is important to ensure that such provisions are not made excessively tough – particularly when dealing with consumer users – lest they be considered unfair in the eyes of the law. Additional provisions, therefore, are provided that apply only to commercial users.
Further key clauses address internet security, data protection, privacy and cookies (integrating separate policies into the terms and conditions by reference), acceptable use of the website (more detailed usage provisions are included in terms and conditions for websites offering more interactivity), and opting in and out of marketing communications.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
These Basic Website Terms and Conditions contain the following clauses:
1. Definitions and Interpretation
2. Information About Us
3. Access to Our Site
4. Intellectual Property Rights
5. Links to Our Site
6. Links to Other Sites
8. Our Liability
9. Viruses, Malware and Security
10. Acceptable Usage Policy
11. Privacy and Cookies
12. Changes to these Terms and Conditions
13. Contacting Us
14. [Communications from Us]
15. [Data Protection]
16. Law and Jurisdiction
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