News Magazine + User Comments Website Terms of Use Template

Free News or Magazine + User Comments Website Terms of Use

TR.WEB.TC.29a

These News or Magazine Website Terms of Use are designed for use on sites offering free news or magazine-style 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, most often in the form of comments on articles.

This template has been reviewed and updated in line with current best practice. A number of sections have been re-worded to make them simpler, clearer, and more user-friendly. Some parts of the document have been re-structured, also to improve user-friendliness. This template now refers to a separate Acceptable Use Policy which covers both user content and communications between users. Further, following an EU Commission recommendation, these Terms of Use now expressly state that the site does not store terrorist content.

These Website Terms of Use 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 site itself, such as your Privacy Policy and Acceptable Use Policy.

Important information about your organisation 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 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 document and professional advice should be sought by those working in regulated professions.

IP is particularly important when providing content of this kind. Detailed provisions in this document address intellectual property rights. Various options are included in the document to allow you to choose how many freedoms to give to your users when it comes to saving and copying material from your website. These options are grouped into two versions of the intellectual property 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 terms. User content on websites providing news and magazine-style content usually 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 website.

It is important to establish who is responsible for user content. Users warrant that they will comply with your Acceptable Use Policy and will indemnify you for their breach of that warranty if you suffer loss or damage as a result.

If a user wishes to complain about another user’s content, a clause in these Terms of Use tells them how to do so. An optional link is also provided to a page on your website 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 Website Terms & Conditions group.

These Free News or Magazine + User Comments Website Terms of Use 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. Links to Our Site
12. Links to Other Sites
13. [Advertising]
14. Disclaimers
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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