Terms and conditions that will protect your content
When you’re developing a website, it seems that there are a million and one tasks more important than writing your terms and conditions. However, they can be valuable in protecting the content you create and publish.
T&C are the agreement between you and your site visitor. Without them, it is much harder to protect your business if your site visitors behave in a way that is detrimental to it. That may be posting upsetting messages to your blog, or copying photographs or videos you have taken.
What you will find in our documents
All our T&C provide what could be called an Acceptable Use Policy, which sets out what visitors may and may not do when they interact with your site.
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 what your visitors can expect while on your site
it prevents misunderstandings and makes solving disputes easier
it makes a document easy for you to edit
Extensive guidance to help you edit the template
We include guidance notes that explain how to edit each paragraph. We know that there will be paragraphs that you will want to add to or edit because your site operates differently. There is no problem with that. We can also check your edits as part of our additional review service if you would like confirmation that they fit.
Restrictions on what a visitor may post to your website
Having strong security terms in a T&C document is not going to stop abuse, 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.
We provide disclaimers. They are not always binding because you can disclaim only so far as the law allows and the law is complicated. We use disclaimers strongly but we use words that we hope will avoid upsetting your visitors.
Intellectual property protection
We provide the strongest protection for your IP rights, whether your content is simply words on a page or videos, photographs and perhaps 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 and much is likely to be enforceable in many other legal jurisdictions as well.
If you are in publishing, your business model might include taking advertising in some way. Our documents do not regulate the terms of any advertising. That deal is between you and your advertiser, 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.
Basis of Contract
A contract is only formed if your visitor ticks a box to do so explicitly. No tick, no contract. Unless your website requires registration, you are unlikely to form a contract with a visitor.
So if you have a site that is entirely open to use, or even pages that can be explored before registration, it cannot be fully protected by any T&C document. Despite that principle, there are circumstances in which you could claim that your T&Cs apply, so it is always worth having them.