Our range of website terms and conditions have been updated on a number of occasions over the past several years. Now, for the first time since their creation, they are in the process of being fully re-written from the ground up. The first batch of revised terms and conditions, beginning with those designed for basic websites, small businesses and digital content are now available, with many more to follow in May and June.
The web has changed in the past several years. Perhaps more importantly, the way in which we use the web has changed. Sharing on social media has exploded, along with the use of mobile devices and mobile apps – many of which allow web browsing outside of the traditional browser environment. Website operators are generally very good at keeping up with new developments, both on their user-facing front-ends, and in their code and functionality. It is equally important, however, to keep terms and conditions up to date with changing habits.
Overall, the freshly updated website terms and conditions templates benefit from a greater level of detail and clarity. Every term has been re-written, and designed to be as informative and helpful to both users and website operators as possible.
All of our updated documents include important details about the website operator, particularly for those in regulated trades and professions. Disclaimers and limitation of liability provisions help to protect website operators by making it clear what they are (and, more importantly) are not responsible for. Terms and conditions designed for websites with interactive facilities include detailed provisions governing user accounts, acceptable usage policies, data protection and email marketing restrictions.
Of particular importance are usage limitations and intellectual property protection provisions. Typically, these can be quite draconian. It is surprising, for example, how many websites revoke your right to use them should you dare to print more than one copy of a page. Many others have restrictive provisions on the sharing of links. Some seek to prohibit “deep-linking” – links to any page other than the homepage. Others would prefer that links are only established on websites under the control of the user sharing the link. Not only are such provisions difficult to enforce, but they also run contrary to modern practice. The provisions of our new template website terms and conditions are more permissive. Users are not given freedoms so great that website operators’ interests are unfairly prejudiced, and you are of course free to tighten up limitations as you wish, however we believe a balance has been struck between protecting your interests and providing fair, not to say realistic terms for your users.
Many More to Come
Updates will be rolled out over the next two months for the entire portfolio of website terms and conditions. Each document will be re-written, benefitting from the enhancements described above and more. Ensuring that the interests of both you and your users are protected, and your respective rights and obligations clearly explained is of great importance, so don’t delay – update your website terms and conditions today!
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific