Terms and conditions that will protect your business
These T&C will form the contract between your site and your members. Without them, it is much harder to protect your business if your visitors behave in a detrimental way.
What you will find in our documents
We provide an acceptable use policy, setting out what visitors can do on your site. We also include terms applicable to selling subscriptions.
No term appears in every template we sell. Each document has been drawn to be relevant to the business we intend to protect.
Use of plain English strengthens the document
Consistent use of plain English and minimal “legalese” throughout helps because:
you can set out clearly how your business works and what your site users can expect
it prevents misunderstandings and makes solving disputes easier
it presents a professional image of your business
it helps ensure customers do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language
it makes a document easy for you to edit
Extensive guidance to help you edit the template
With each document we include guidance notes that explain the meaning of, how to edit each paragraph. We expect that there will be parts of the document that might not suit your business model exactly because we know every business is different. We can, however, check your edits as part of our additional review service if you would like confirmation that they fit.
Restrictions on what your user may post to your website
Subscribers are likely to be able to interact with your website in some way, whether posting comments or uploading their own content. Having strong security terms in a T&C document is not going to stop crime, but it does:
provide a deterrent to any misuse for which you could sue in court
prevent you being blamed for criminal or nuisance activity
reduce the chance of your being the subject of some bad social medium campaign - particularly important if your members can contribute content to your site that you might not moderate in real time
present your site in a strong and purposeful way, giving out a message that you are not a “soft touch”
assist in protecting you from civil or criminal charges for which you may otherwise be liable as a result of what someone else posts to your website
provide permission for you to remove offensive content and generally stay in full control of what happens on your website
By using these provisions, we give you the best possible defence against anyone who claims he has been insulted, injured, or defamed.
Particular terms which are included where relevant.
Provisions specifically for membership sites
Membership and subscription sites vary widely. You can use a subscription business model not only to sell goods or services but also to provide information or regulate a free service.
A key point in paid membership sites business models is how and when to obtain payment. You cannot unilaterally renew a contract. However, if you continue a course of action and your customer accepts or acquiesces, he cannot later complain if he has continued to enjoy the services. In reality many Internet contracts are continued from year to year. We cover this thoroughly of course.
The best way to deal with this issue is to provide a warning to a customer or member about four weeks before you take payment, with a copy of the invoice against which payment will be taken. You then take the payment on the due date and send a new message to your customer or member to confirm.
We provide disclaimers. They are not always binding because you can disclaim only so far as the law allows. If you overstep the mark, your disclaimer will be void.
Intellectual property protection
We provide the strongest protection for your IP rights, whether your business is “IP light” or involves complex software and systems.
Suitable for sites with international visitors
Our documents are written to cover international use because most websites are likely to attract visitors from across the world.
Every document is drawn under the South African laws but much is likely to be enforceable in many other legal jurisdictions as well.
Your business model might include advertising revenue in some way. Our documents do not cover this because those arrangements are between you and your advertisers, rather than between you and your visitors. But we do include general terms intended to protect you from a claim by a site user in respect of anything he or she might claim against you.
Visitor data storage
We make sure your user does not expect you to keep his data indefinitely, or at all. We also cover you against any claim that you are in breach of any customer “right” covering his data.