A little help from Google
1) UK Website Terms and Conditions Templates:
The WebsitePrivacyPolicy.co.uk and Ecomlegal.com templates are both prepared by UK law firms. They are almost identical so it is probably the same firm which prepared them. Guidance notes for completing the template are here. I found them to be clear, reasonably comprehensive yet concise, and not overly technical. They are a great place to get started.
Between these terms and conditions templates I had plenty of examples to go on, which I then mixed together when drafting mine. No doubt there are plenty of other examples out there which some more googling may reveal.
Important Stuff to Be Included
As with website privacy policies, the terms and conditions for a blog will need to match the intended use of the blog. There are certain key things which these documents should be included as a matter of course, but there is other stuff which may be optional. The tricky bit is knowing the difference.
So I thought I would compile a list of the important things which I adopted from the templates listed above, which I used in putting the terms and conditions together for this blog. This list includes a number of things which should probably be included in the terms and conditions for most blogs:
- a statement that people using the website will be bound by the terms and conditions (so they are effective);
- a disclaimer and limitation of liability statement (to reduce the risk that visitors will be able to sue the blog owner);
- a statement which discusses links to and from external sites, and outlines that affiliate links may be used;
- a clause which identifies the local law applicable in determining any disputes under the terms and conditions (always good to have a home ground advantage);
- a paragraph regarding the conduct of visitors on the site (something that encourages people to play fair and discourages online shenanigans); and
- a statement outlining the intellectual property arrangements, and permitted uses of blog materials.
There are also a couple of specific things in the Legalriver.com template terms and conditions which I excluded as they weren’t really relevant for my blog, but they are worth noting as they may be relevant for others blogs:
- DMCA notice procedures – I excluded these given I tend to scruitinise blog comments, and thought it was unlikely that material violating copyright would otherwise get posted to this blog; and
- Terms and conditions of sale – I excluded these as I am not selling any products directly and hence they were unnecessary.
The Paid (But Inexpensive) Alternative
If the thought of saving a fair amount of time and hassle appeals to you, then I recommend investigating the template internet legal forms at findlegalforms.com:
- the agreements come customised for the USA (by particular states), Canada, the UK, Australia or India (country can be selected at the top right of the header to their website); and
- they are very resonably priced, given the time they save.
© Tom McEwin