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Do have "terms and conditions" any copyright protection?
Do have "terms and conditions" any copyright protection?

 3:46 pm on Oct 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi, I have launched my first “serious” project. It is community classifieds site (content is user generated). It is US based (planning to establish real us inc. company). I have realized that I need some terms and condition place on site.

1. Can I copy it from my competitor’s website, it is legal?
2. Are layer text protected by any copyright law?
3. Are there any open-source terms and condition which I can use?
4. How you have solved this “legal issues”?



 3:49 pm on Oct 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ask Mr Google [google.com...]


 5:35 pm on Oct 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Welcome to Webmaster World!

There are a number of free templates you can use- try searching "terms and conditions template" or "free terms and conditions template" on your favorite search engine. Just make sure you read them carefully and tweak as appropriate for your site. I've never heard of someone being sued for copying another sites T&C verbatim, but why take a chance.


 5:51 pm on Oct 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks LifeInAsia to keyword suggestion.


 5:55 pm on Oct 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

Those are questions to ask a competent qualified attorney.

Disclaimer: The following is not legal advice.

Generic templates as BeeDeeDubbleU suggested search query returns are many and readily available. While I do recommend competent legal advice for business legal matters they certainly provide a convenient default starting point.

Much that is in contracts - and web site Terms and Conditions are a type of contract - is 'boilerplate', i.e. standard provisions, that are reusable in many different contexts. As such copyright would not apply.

However, (1) both jurisdictions and business requirements differ enough that simply cutting and pasting from elsewhere may not be entirely appropriate for your business in your jurisdiction; (2) it can be helpful to account for requirements of other jurisdictions, especially those of your most troubling scrapers and competitors; (3) it can helpful to account for the requirements of web entities, i.e. SEs, regarding copyright, privacy, etc.; (4) while I have never heard of anyone claiming copyright infringement on a contract I wouldn't wholly discount the possibility (especially in the litigious US).

Note: remember that 'your' jurisdiction is not only where you reside but also where your server(s) reside, your business is registered or has a presence.


 8:09 am on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a set of T and Cs, which has evolved over a number of years (for website design). There are highly specific, use my words and they are widely copied. Since they are my words then it is an infringement to copy them. When I have time I search for offenders and insist that they either credit me for this with a link or remove them.


 9:50 am on Oct 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

When I started my forum I borrowed most of the Ts & Cs from WebmasterWorld. I acknowledged this on the Ts & Cs page and linked back to here. Brett has never asked me to take the page down :-)

As BDW above I also have a very specific set of Ts & Cs for my main site which have evolved over the years. Parts of these Ts & Cs occasionally get copied and if I find them I get them taken down.

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