Free News or Magazine + User Comments Website Terms and Conditions
These News or Magazine Website Terms and Conditions are designed for use with websites offering free news or magazine-type content for general (and, optionally, non-commercial) use and are thus suitable for a wide range of different websites. Provision is also made for user content, commonly in the form of comments on articles.
This document has been reviewed and updated in line with current best practice. A number of provisions have been re-worded to make them simpler, clearer, and more user-friendly. Some portions of the template have been re-structured, also to improve user-friendliness. This document now refers to a separate Acceptable Usage Policy which covers both user content and communications between users. Further, following an EU Commission recommendation, these Terms and Conditions now expressly state that the site does not store terrorist content.
Important information about your business should be 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 you are required by law to provide. 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 is particularly important when providing digital content of this kind. Various options are included in the template to allow you to choose how many freedoms to give to your users when it comes to saving and copying material from your site. These options are grouped into two versions of the IP clause. The first is more restrictive; the second, more flexible with more options. In either case, use of your content can be restricted to personal use or can be opened up to commercial use as well.
User content is handled in a dedicated section of the document. User content on sites providing news and magazine-type content most often takes the form of comments on articles. Users retain the IP rights in their content and grant a licence to you to display and use that content to operate your site. Users are also able to copy and quote each other’s comments within your site.
It is important to establish who is responsible for user content. Users warrant that they will comply with your Acceptable Usage Policy and will indemnify you for their breach of that warranty if you suffer loss or damage as a result. Users are also responsible for backing up their content themselves and you are not responsible if any is lost.
If a user wishes to complain about another user’s content, a clause in these Terms and Conditions tells them how to do so. An optional link is also provided to a page on your site where you should explain how your reporting and take-down process works; how your guidelines are developed, enforced, and reviewed; and where you provide information on metrics and take-down. This reflects guidance from the UK Government’s “Code of Practice for Providers of Online Social Media Platforms”. As methods and systems are likely to vary quite significantly from one website to another, we do not provide a template for this information.
The disclaimers in this document also include an important addition over and above our standard terms and conditions for free digital content sites – a disclaimer informing visitors that opinions, views, and values expressed in content on your site are those of the authors, not necessarily yours.
Further key provisions address links to and from the site, disclaimers, liability (with different provisions for consumers and business users), viruses and security, and acceptable use of the site.
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. Please note that while clause numbering is automatic, cross references to other clauses within the text do not update automatically and must be changed manually if the addition or removal of other clauses changes numbering.
This document is also available in the Internet & E-Commerce group.
These Free News or Magazine + User Comments Website Terms and Conditions contain the following clauses:
1. Definitions and Interpretation
2. Information About Us
3. How to Contact Us [and Your Use of Our Contact Tools]
4. Access to Our Site
5. Changes to Our Site
6. Changes to these Terms and Conditions
8. [International Users]
9. How You May Use Our Site and Content (Intellectual Property)
10. User Content
11. Links to Our Site
12. Links to Other Sites
15. Our Liability
16. Viruses, Malware, and Security
17. Acceptable Usage of Our Site
18. How We Use Your Personal Information
19. Communications from Us
20. Law and Jurisdiction
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