Almost every web page has some kind of disclaimer or terms and conditions of service – even pages that aren’t for businesses or e-commerce websites. Software, application, and website terms of service are so ubiquitous and boring that most users don’t read an online click-wrap agreement – they simply accept the service terms and conditions of use blindly.
Are Website Terms of Service Enforceable?
1. The user should be required to select a “check box” to agree to the terms of the TOU or disclaimer;
2. The TOU or disclaimer that is referenced in the check box confirmation should be hyperlinked to the actual TOU or disclaimer.
3. It’s best practice to include a check box confirmation for any user submission, whether the user is uploading content to the site, submitting communication to the webmaster or business, or simply subscribing an email address to a newsletter.
4. It’s best practice to include a hyperlink to the TOU or disclaimer on every page throughout your website.
Business Strategy and Click-Wrap Agreements
Software, application, video game, and website terms of service (TOS) can be one of the strongest components of your business strategy. It is a contract between you and your users. With well-drafted terms and conditions of service, you can acquire licenses to use information and user-generated content, and to re-license or sell such data. Further, most businesses will change certain policies or strategies over time, and it’s important to ensure that your TOS commits the user to accept future changes that you make to the TOS when your product, service, or business strategy changes. Additional processes and mechanisms may be appropriate to maximize the effectiveness of these terms, and an experienced IT lawyer can advise you in the best approach for your business strategy.
Danger of Copy-Paste Terms of Service (TOS)
If your business interacts with customers in the digital world and you want to build value and security into your business strategy, don’t shortcut your terms of service. Get advice from an experienced intellectual property attorney to align your business goals with diligent business law strategy.
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