Reasons to Implement a Terms of Use Policy on Your Website

Jonathan Morse
October 30, 2020

Do you have a website? If so, one can assume that its purpose, among others, is to attract users. Whether your website offers information, services, products, or some combination thereof, what users do on your website (including how they use the information on it) can implicate the liability of you or your business.

Responsible website maintenance (much like responsible business practice) requires preventative measures, which are much easier to take than dealing with issues after they arise. In terms of maintaining your website, it is critical to put in place Terms of Use or Terms and Conditions in order to limit your liability exposure. In Register.com, Inc., v. Viero, Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York established that when a user accesses a website that maintains Terms of Use, the user is considered to have assented to be bound by them. This determination was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Regardless of whether your website is used for information posting, business transactions, communications effected through the website, or other purposes, having Terms of Use will help cover your bases in terms of liability exposure. The appropriate language for any given website’s Terms of Use depends on the nature of the website, its contents, and your business. JLM Law Group can outfit your website with the Terms of Use it needs to minimize liability exposure by identifying the class of user your website attracts. It is common to see websites posting copied and pasted Terms of Use from some other similar website. However, not only does this expose the copier to liability under copyright law (copyright infringement), it is also likely that the copied Terms of Use do not adequately cover everything on the copier’s website, as every website offers unique information, services, products, etc.

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