Free Digital Content + User Content Website Terms and Conditions
These Free Digital Content + User Content Website Terms and Conditions are
designed for use with websites offering free media such as information,
images, sound and video (“digital content”) for general use, with the
facility for users to upload and share their own material. They are
suitable for a wide range of different websites – particularly those
designed with the sharing of creative content in mind.
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
also included to other terms which apply to the website itself, such as
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. 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. Users
retain the copyright (and other IP rights) in their content and grant a
licence to you to display and use that content to operate your site.
Different options are included in the document to cater for the use of user
content by other users on the 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 if they breach that warranty and 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.
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 Digital Content + User Content 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. User Content, Your Rights, Our Rights, and Users’ Rights (Intellectual
12. Links to Our Site
13. Links to Other Sites
16. Our Liability
17. Viruses, Malware, and Security
18. Acceptable Usage of Our Site
19. How We Use Your Personal Information
20. Communications from Us
21. Law and Jurisdiction
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