are a key ingredient for any website. Website terms and conditions set out
the various obligations, rights, and rules that govern the use of your
website. Users are told what they can and cannot do with the content that
you provide and rules governing sharing and linking will be set out.
Website terms and conditions should also govern user conduct where
appropriate, for example, by laying down rules on the lawful use of the
site and terms relating to viruses, malware, hacking, and the like.
In addition to setting out the dos and don’ts, your website terms and
conditions should also be used to protect yourself. Liability should be
limited where it is legal and fair to do so, and disclaimers should be
deployed to ensure that you are not held responsible for content that is
not yours or for over-reliance on content that is.
Last but not least (and, indeed first in our templates) website
terms and conditions must include a range of important information about
you and your business.
Simply-Docs Website Terms and Conditions Review
Here at Simply-Docs, we have offered a wide range of website terms and
conditions templates for many years. As with all of our documents, these
are reviewed periodically to ensure that they are kept up to date with
developments in law and best practice. Over the coming months, we will be
reviewing and updating all of our website terms and conditions templates
and adding some new supplementary templates to further enhance our range.
Updated Website Terms and Conditions for Small Sites and Free Digital
Our review begins now with the publication of updates to our templates
designed for websites providing basic information, brochure content, and
free digital content. Each template has been reviewed in-depth and rebuilt
from scratch. All have been updated in line with current best practice. Key
parts of each set of terms and conditions have been re-worded to make them
simpler, clearer, and more user-friendly. In some cases, sections of
documents have been re-organised to make them more logical and easier both
for you to work with, and for your users and customers to follow. Not only
does user-friendliness improve the overall user experience of a website
but, from a legal point of view, it increases the likelihood that standard
terms will be viewed as fair.
Provisions relating to the use of content have been re-visited. Common
practice tends to favour strict provisions that limit users’ subsequent use
of your intellectual property, even for personal use. In reality, a large
amount of online content will be used freely by users whatever the terms
and conditions say. We have therefore chosen to provide two versions of
each intellectual property section. One takes a more standard and
restrictive approach whereas the second includes more optional elements and
flexibility. In either case, technical measures (preventing the saving of
images via right-clicking, for example) may be a more effective means of
preventing excessive copying of your content.
For those terms and conditions that refer to some form of interactivity, we
have added a new option: the ability to streamline your terms and
conditions and refer to a separate acceptable usage policy.
New Acceptable Usage Policy
A Website Acceptable Usage Policy sets out rules and standards for users of
your website to follow when using the site. It requires users to use your
site in a lawful manner and sets out a series of content standards that
must be complied with. The content standards prohibit the kind of material
that you do not want users sending to you in communications, or uploading
to your site via any kind of interactive facilities. This typically
includes material that is unlawful, defamatory, discriminatory, offensive,
or that breaches other important duties such as duties of confidence.
Our all-new Acceptable Usage Policy template is designed for use alongside
the main terms and conditions for a website, in much the same way as you
incorporated into your terms and conditions with suitable cross-references
and it is made clear to users that a breach of the policy constitutes a
breach of your terms and conditions as a whole. A range of actions that you
may take in response to such a breach are also set out, including
suspending or terminating a users’ right to use your website.
This new template resides in a new sub-folder within our Website Terms and
Conditions group which we have called Supporting Website Documents. At
present, the Acceptable Usage Policy is the sole resident of this new
sub-folder; however, we will be adding more templates as our review
progresses. This begins next month with a new standard cancellation form
for use with e-commerce websites, which will be published alongside our
updated e-commerce terms and conditions.
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