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.
These Website Terms and Conditions are intended to be accepted through use.
Visitors are deemed to have accepted them as soon as they start using your
site. This is made clear at the start of the terms. Users may also be
required to accept the terms when signing up for an account. References are
included to other terms which apply to the website itself, such as your
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
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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