Free Digital Content + User Content Website Terms and Conditions Template

Free Digital Content + User Content Website Terms and Conditions


These Free Digital Content Website + User Content 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.

As with many website terms and conditions, these are designed for acceptance through use. In other words, visitors to your website are deemed to have accepted them as soon as they start using the site.

Important information about the website operator is 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 website operators are required by law to provide. If, for example, the operator is an investment company, it must identify itself as such. 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.

IP rights including, but not limited to, copyright are protected by these terms and conditions. Optional provisions are included in the template to allow you to choose how many freedoms to give to your users with regard to saving and copying material from your site, as well as establishing deep-links to pages within your site on other sites. Further provisions concerning linking are also designed to help to prohibit users from establishing links to your site from sites publishing unsavoury or unlawful content.

User content is handled separately. Under these terms, in common with most websites offering similar features, users retain the copyright (and any other IP rights) in their content, and grant a licence to you, the website operator, by submitting it to the site. Specific provisions protecting user content can be selected from a number of options, ranging from free, unrestricted use, to heavily restricted. A further option has been included for sites offering users the ability to select from different usage permissions as they add their content. It is important that these options are clearly explained to users on your site as they are not included in these terms and conditions. A further optional clause refers to technical measures you may wish to implement to further protect users’ content. Again, these should be clearly explained.

Disclaimers and liability provisions in this document seek to protect website operators to the maximum extent deemed reasonable. It is important, however, to ensure that such provisions are not unduly biased against users – particularly when dealing with consumers – lest they be considered unfair in the eyes of the law. Additional liability provisions, therefore, are provided that apply only to business users.

In addition, the IP protection provisions in this document also make it clear that the content of your website is not designed for commercial use but that users in a commercial environment are not prohibited from accessing it. An optional phrase is included to clarify this.

Of further relevance to the submission of user content is the Acceptable Usage Policy. Applying to the use of the website in general, but in particular to the submission of user content, the policy sets out clearly the types of material and conduct that will not be accepted. Sanctions for breach are also included.

An optional reference to advertising is included, informing users that advertising may appear on the site along with their user content and prohibiting them from attempting to hide or remove it. A further option explains that the website operator is not responsible for the content of advertising, pointing out who is. Note that these provisions only represent a basic example and that more complex terms may apply depending upon the source of the advertising on your website.

Further key clauses address internet security, data protection, privacy and cookies (integrating separate policies into the terms and conditions by reference), and opting in and out of marketing communications. All parts of this template are designed to be compatible with consumer protection legislation including, but not limited to, the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

This template is duplicated in the Internet & E-Commerce group.

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.

These Free Digital Content + User Content Website Terms and Conditions contain the following clauses:

1. Definitions and Interpretation
2. Information About Us
3. Access to Our Site
4. Accounts
5. Intellectual Property Rights and Our Site
6. User Content
7. Intellectual Property Rights and User Content
8. Acceptable Usage Policy
9. Links to Our Site
10. Links to Other Sites
11. [Advertising]
12. Disclaimers and Legal Rights
13. Our Liability
14. Viruses, Malware and Security
15. Privacy and Cookies
16. Data Protection
17. Communications from Us
18. Changes to these Terms and Conditions
19. Contacting Us
20. Law and Jurisdiction

This document is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.

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