We came across the “Terms and Conditions” also known as “Terms of Service” clause everywhere, when we either install a software or surf any of the web-site on Internet. The main purpose of this clause is to govern a healthy and transparent relationship between the service-provider and beneficiary of those services. To explain the same concept, “Terms and Condition clause” can be defined as follows:
These often include an explanation or definition of key terms used in the clause, and also outlines the legal limitations of responsibility of the website owner for any damages or harm incurred during usage of the site by the user. It clearly provides what action may be taken against a user who breaks the terms and may also highlight the intellectual property rights (IPR) of the website owner. Specifically, Website Terms and Conditions are formatted by Lawyers, because of its nature being in the name of a legally recognised Contract, which will be governed by the Indian Contract Laws (in reference to India).
Therefore, it is a must requirement which is to be adhered if you are wishing to interact with your user either through E-Commerce or with personalised website. In lieu of the same, Website Terms and Conditions formatted by lawyers have innumerable benefits and significance, which will make your interaction fruitful via Internet (but is not a mandatory legal rule, but is recommended to secure the IPR protection and privacy policies).
Because of its importance, the T&C conforms the site-owner and user the following benefits:[i]
- It Prevent Abuses and govern the relationship legally.
In this agreement, you can consolidate various necessary sections to inform your users about penalties and procedure for abusing any Website terms and conditions formatted by lawyers and so on.
These include: spamming other users, posting defamatory content, etc. and doing such activities in some cases even results in temporary banning of such illicit users.
- Sole-Owner of all content.
As the website owner, you own everything, starting from logo, content except those which are user-generated, the design of your website and extended to any modifications done thereafter in the site.
In T&C page, you can inform your users that you are the owner of prescribed content and all of these contents you own is protected by international copyright and IPR laws, which will protect your data from IPR infringement. This kind of clause is commonly referred to as the Intellectual Property clause, and it usually looks like this:
“The Site and its original content, features, and functionality are owned by [Owner of Website] and are protected by international copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property or proprietary rights laws.”
- Termination of Users on repetitive abuses
Above-mentioned benefit (Prevent Abuses) suggests that you have option to temporarily ban users, another common clause which is now-a-days prevalent after recording various cyber-crimes is the Termination clause.
This clause informs users that abusive accounts will be terminated and will be exclusively banned from using the services on the site. The Termination clause is aimed at websites who have a registration section (e.g. user must register before using and/or accessing certain sections of the website), which empowers them to ban after reviewing their actions with the help of their registered accounts.
The Termination clause usually looks like:
“We may terminate your access to the Site, without cause or notice, which may result in the forfeiture and destruction of all information associated with your account. All provisions of this Agreement that, by their nature, should survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.”
- Limited Liability Clause
Website Terms and Conditions format by lawyers include a warranty disclaimer which tries to limit the owner’s liability in cases where any flaw is found on the presented content. This kind of clause notifies users that the owner cannot be held responsible, in any case, for any errors in the content presented, or for any discrepancy in information provided being accurate, complete, or suitable for any purpose.
- Removes ambiguity of the law by which the T&C are governed by.
Usually, the Governing Law clause of a T&C agreement provides that which law will govern the terms presented in the agreement and sets up jurisdiction under which these T&C lies.
For instance, if your website is operated by a registered business in India, then the governing law of your Terms of Service would be presented something like this:
“These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of India.”
Therefore, before starting your website, be cautious to formulate Terms of Service agreement, to avail the above-mentioned benefits, otherwise be ready to face the contingencies. Please ensure that a legal Expert or a specialised IPR law firm is hired which will aid and help you to prepare an ideal agreement of T&C as well as Website Terms and Conditions format of lawyers should be adhered, specifically. To know more about this, please refer to the Terms and Conditions services offered by Company Vakil an Online E-Legal Portal that helps resolves all your Legal Registration and Legal Drafting queries.