There are four types of “legal” documents that are commonly seen on websites. Not all are needed. What is needed will depend on what your website does. Your website:
- will need general Website Terms and Conditions;
- an Acceptable Use Policy – if your website permits users to upload content to it; and
- Terms of Sale – if you sell items or downloads from your website.
A quick rundown of the four main types of Website “Legal” documents is set out below, along with an indication of when each document is required; before that, though, a word of caution.
Rule No. 1 – Don’t “re-use” Someone Else’s
Rule No. 1 in relation to website legals is that, no matter how tempting it may be, you should never “re-use” someone else’s website legals for your website. Firstly, this is because each website and business is different and what may be a reasonable set of terms for one business’s website may not be appropriate for your business. Secondly, the likelihood is that the website legals you are copying may have also been copied off someone else’s website. Thirdly, this is copyright infringement.
Website Terms and Conditions
Every website needs these, even if your website is merely a “brochure” site that simply informs users what you do, where you are and how to contact you. Website terms and conditions set out things like the reliance, if any, that may be placed on the content of your website, and excludes any loss or damage anyone suffers as a result of reliance on the information on your website. It also informs users of your IP, such as your trade mark rights and copyrights. There will be other terms and conditions specific to your business that need to be included in the website terms and conditions and this is why a pro-forma set of terms and conditions, or someone else’s website terms and conditions, that have had no professional legal input, are at of little value and will not help protect your business on the Internet.
Privacy policies set out how your business will use the information it collects about visitors to its website or if you sell items or downloads from your website, how your business will use their personal information such as their names and contact details.
Acceptable Use Policy
If your business has a website that allows users to upload content to it then you will need an Acceptable Use Policy. A simple blogsite is an example of this. The Acceptable Use Policy sets out what kind of content users may upload and what they may not upload, and what will happen if they upload material that they are not permitted to upload. Acceptable Use Policies are generally aimed at protecting your business’s website from being used as a platform for the display of obscene, defamatory and vilificatory materials, and the liability that may flow from hosting such material on your website. Accordingly, the Acceptable Use Policy will seek to emphasise that the materials posted on your business’s website are not the views of your business. Your Acceptable Use Policy is also likely to contain provisions to allow the take-down of any materials posted.
E-Commerce – Terms of Sale
If you are selling products from your website, you will need to have a set of terms of sale governing that transaction that your buyers can agree to on making a purchase from your website. These will set out terms specific to your particular industry and products and deal with more pedestrian matters such as payment, delivery, returns and liability.
For ease of use we have packaged these documents up for download at a set price which is includes one hour of professional time. If you would like to purchase these documents online, please select the appropriate document. If you are unsure what document you need, please call us. We’ll help you.
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"Marshall IP Group has been assisting SAI Global with its trade mark, IT and other intellectual property agreements for over 4 years now. They have demonstrated a good understanding of our businesses and services and this commercial understanding is applied to the legal advice and assistance they have provided. They have shown expertise beyond their size and (regional) location and an ability to stand their ground against their City counterparts: you get the quality of a city law firm partner but you are not charged the big city law firm rates. They are pro-active, commercially sensible and this has given me, as a busy in-house Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary, peace of mind in relation to SAI Global’s national and international IP Portfolio and other legal needs. "Read More >
"Marshall IP Group has been a supporter of the iAccelerate from its very beginnings. iAccelerate is a state of the art incubator for start-ups and early stage technology businesses located at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus. Marshall IP Group’s CEO, Tim Marshall, has provided thorough, thoughtful and insightful contributions to iAccelerate providing informative seminars, workshops and advice for many of iAccelerate’s companies. Marshall IP Group demonstrates a commitment to the innovation agenda for Australia and the Illawarra region. "Read More >
"Marshall Legal helped us out with a particularly nasty allegation of IP rights infringement. They quickly got to the nub of the problem and navigated the complex regime of trade marks and copyright law to diffuse the situation. Not only were the allegations withdrawn but we got our costs back. I would recommend Marshall Legal; not only did they get us a great result, they put our minds at ease throughout the proceeding."Read More >
"I am delighted to recommend Tim Marshall and the team at Marshall IP Group for all aspects of intellectual property and technology law. Marshall IP Group fills an important space in the legal market in regional Australia and Australian capital cities. The businesses that I am heavily involved in, RMB Lawyers and Unison Outsourcing, have both enjoyed excellent advice and customer service from Marshall IP Group in relation to trade marking our businesses and protecting our brand."Read More >
"Nobody likes to have to fight a court case and especially one against an internationally based company, but that was what we found ourselves facing in 2012. We were so lucky we found Tim Marshall of Marshall Legal. We highly recommend his services to anyone who wants a good business lawyer that gives good solid advice on all matters, including Intellectual property matters, trademarks and Patent attorneys who have proved invaluable to our business"Read More >
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