Updated Website Terms & Conditions Templates.

September 2011

An essential component of any website is the terms and conditions that regulate users’ use of it. Whether your website is a simple two page brochure site or an online superstore complete with live technical support, a clear set of terms and conditions will help to reassure users that your website is safe and secure, that their data will be handled in accordance with their legal rights, and to be aware of their own obligations.

Accordingly, a wide selection of the Website Terms and Conditions have been updated. To view all the updates please click on Website Terms and Conditions.

What’s New?

Security is a key concern for many if not most users. Equally, it is a concern for businesses and website owners. Website owners should always take good care to ensure that their websites and other online services are free of any security problems including viruses and malware. It is important, however, to ensure that users are also aware of their own responsibilities. A new sub-clause has been added to the disclaimer clauses of all terms and conditions explaining that the website owner has taken reasonable steps to ensure the security and safety of the site but that it remains the users’ responsibility to keep their computers and details secure.

Websites are rarely static entities. Designs will often be changed, as may the products and/or services on offer. A new sub-clause dealing with modifications has been added to many of the documents in this area, informing users that the website owner reserves the right to make any changes at any time and that the current terms and conditions will remain applicable unless it is stated otherwise.

In the age of spam and overflowing mailboxes, reminding users of their right to avoid unwanted emails is essential. In any event, when signing up to a website, users should be given the right to opt-in or opt-out of such marketing and those same options should appear at the foot of every email. To further enhance this position, a new sub-clause has been added to the communications clause of each set of terms and conditions, reminding users that they may receive communications from time to time, but can put a stop to them should they so wish.

Many websites provide some form of system for users to post messages. Whether for record keeping, service improvement or simply to display messages on a forum or similar system as intended, website owners will often need or wish to retain such messages. In certain cases, modification may also be necessary or desired. New provisions added to the Communications Facilities clauses of all relevant terms and conditions provide for such cases. Under the new provisions, any users wishing to restrict the website owners’ use of or alterations to their posts must inform the website owner.

Finally, a small legal formality has been added to the so-called ‘boilerplate clauses’ in each set of terms and conditions. A new clause headed “Third Party Rights” expressly states that the terms and conditions apply only as between the website and an individual user.

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 legal matter.

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