But users aren’t the only folks that take terms of service (TOS) agreements for granted – startup developers of software, video games, applications, websites, and business owners are also guilty of taking shortcuts. Frequently, click-wrap agreements are just copy-pasted from another website, instead of getting an experienced intellectual property lawyer and contract attorney to draft a proper legal agreement. This is a short sighted mistake that can have an impact on the long-term success of the business.
A well-drafted click-wrap agreement isn’t just a method of protecting you from liability and complying with various state and federal laws, it’s also an important tool to build valuable intellectual property rights and prepare for the flexibility and exit strategy you may want to deploy as you alter or change the course of your service, product, or business strategy.
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.
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.