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Why we need website terms and conditions page?

22nd November 2010
By Robert Mark in Legal
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Website Terms and Conditions
This article contains a brief information vis--vis website terms and conditions whereby you can protect you online business.

Website Terms and Conditions
The Terms and Conditions of a website essentially set out a contract between the website and its visitors. They are there to protect your visitors but more importantly, to protect you.

What type of Websites needs Terms and Condition Statements?
If you are running a business website, I would definitely recommend that you have a terms and conditions statement. This is especially true if you are selling a product or service on your site.

It is a legal requirement for websites to have a minimum amount of information. This includes contact details and where a product or service is being sold, the identity of the supplier. Its a good idea to communicate these things in the terms and conditions of your website.

Whats usually covered in a Terms and Conditions Page?
Heres a list of common topics covered in most terms and conditions statements:

Copyright, trademark and patent information
Returns, Refunds and Losses Policy (Retail)
Complaints Procedures
Visitor conduct
Website Access
A link to your Privacy Policy
Health and Safety notice (If you sell potentially hazardous goods).

Why Website Terms and Conditions Page
It is important because if you are running a website that provides pricing information, advice or any other service, you may want to consider adding a terms and conditions page. This will absolve you of responsibility if anyone mistakenly uses your information for the wrong purposes, or wants to hold you liable for damages they have incurred by using your website or its information.

What are the Risks?
There are two kinds of legal liability: civil liability and criminal liability. Civil liability may lead to injunctions and damages payments; criminal liability could mean a fine and a criminal record, and possibly worse.

Unfortunately, websites can create both kinds of liability.

Issues of civil liability are more prevalent, although not necessarily less serious. For example, you need to be careful about copying text, images and other material from third parties - if you don't, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a copyright infringement lawsuit. You should also check that your domain name and other branding doesn't infringe another person's trade mark rights.

Intellectual property is just one issue affecting websites. Another big risk is libel. You should be conscious that any derogatory comments you or another person posts on your website could give rise to a defamation claim.

There is also a substantial body of legislation designed to help and protect consumers and others involved in online activity - which places special obligations upon website owners. Into this category we can place accessibility law, data protection law, e-marketing law, and ecommerce law.

Some of these things (e.g. copyright infringement or breaches of data protection law) can give rise to criminal liability. Other areas of criminal law which are relevant to websites include the laws of contempt of court, obscenity and racial hatred.

Standard Terms and Conditions Document an example
A standard terms and conditions document contains the contract provisions concerning the use of the online store. It does not contain contract provisions concerning the purchase of goods from the online store. It should therefore be used in conjunction with appropriate terms and conditions of sale (and for that matter a website privacy policy).

The standard terms and conditions (online shop) include:
(1) Introduction
(2) Licence to use website
(3) Acceptable use
(4) Products
(5) Limited warranties
(6) Limitations and exclusions of liability
(7) Indemnity
(8) Breaches of these terms
(9) Variation
(10) Assignment
(11) Severability
(12) Exclusion of third party rights
(13) Entire agreement
(14) Law and jurisdiction
(15) Registrations and authorizations
(16) Our details

Net Lawmans Website Terms and Conditions Templates for Australia
The template website terms and conditions that are available for download from our site are suitable for most types of websites. Specifically: information websites or brochure style websites; online ecommerce websites selling either goods or services; personal websites such as weblogs or personal blogs; and a variety of similar websites. The template is prepared in a manner that gives you a number of options which will expand the scope of the terms and conditions if required. This makes the terms suitable for use by premium content or subscription websites where access is required through membership registration which can be paid or unpaid.

Our templates are up-to-date and congruent with relevant legislation of Australia. Our expert team of Solicitors and Barristers regularly scrutinize each template for the comfort of our customers.

Partnership Agreement Form - Website Terms - Website Terms & Conditions

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