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Free Digital Content + User Content Website Terms and Conditions Template

Free Digital Content + User Content Website Terms and Conditions

TR.WEB.TC.05

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 your Privacy Policy and Acceptable Usage Policy.

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
7. Accounts
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 Property)
12. Links to Our Site
13. Links to Other Sites
14. [Advertising]
15. Disclaimers
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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