Terms of service for a website set the rules that visitors and clients must follow while using services, establish property rights, and limit the liabilities that fall on business, which may help avoid or resolve potential legal disputes.
The set of clauses will be different, depending on the types of websites, so we prepare the guide on Terms of service creation based on our previous cases from different IT business fields. You can find not only legal advice in this article, but examples of clauses to implement them and make your document better at once.
The website purposes
The next step is to explain a website's purpose, more precisely its functionality, how it can be useful and what needs can be satisfied through using it. The description will be unique for every IT product, so let’s take a look for some examples we have drawn up for our clients.
Through reading the description, website visitors may figure out at once what IT product’s functions are and what tasks can be performed.
The methods of monetization and payment
In this aspect it is important to describe what a payment system is connected to a website and is used for transactions. Payment for SIA Simata subscription can be made by:
- non-cash payment through Paddle or Stripe payment systems;
- crypto payment through Coingate.
- The session was not held due to the fault of the specialist, who must provide some services on the Youwex platform, when providing evidence of a disrupted or not held online session, namely: screen recording, screenshots, and more.
- The session did not take place due to technical problems on the platform.
These two options can be used only after providing evidence of specialist fault or technical problems, namely: contacting technical support to fix problems, screen recording, screenshot and other facts.
- Taxes, for instance VAT. SIA Simata warns that the subscription price includes applicable VAT taxes depending on the clients’ jurisdiction.
- Payment system commission. For example, Youwex set that the cost of the services hosted on the platform includes payment service fee, so the client pays it.
The age restrictions
Every website must designate the permissible age for its users, which is defined depending on types of services, content, target audience, and targeting territory. For example, Youwex can be used by those over the age of 18. Anyone younger — exclusively with the permission of a parent or guardian.
The rules for visitors and clients
You can find the list of restrictions we advice to add to your document, concerning prohibition to:
- Use any devices, programs, procedures, algorithms and methods, automatic devices to access, acquire, copy or monitor the content of a website.
- Sell and transfer login and password to access a website to third parties.
- Copy, reproduce, modify, distribute or present to the public any information contained on a website.
- Use services in any manner that could damage, disable, overburden, or otherwise impair a website.
- Create a similar or competitive website and others.
Some clauses we add to the document are common for different websites, but some of them are more specific and suitable for individual projects. Let’s take a look at the Youwex case. This freelance service forbids to indicate in a user’s profile addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, passport or registration data and other information through which a user can be contacted outside the platform. This is because Youwex charges a commission on transactions between users and is not interested in their interaction outside the platform. Therefore, the platform can get acquainted with the history of private messages and at any time delete a private message that does not meet the requirements.
You can limit your liability in case:
- Technical errors take place on a website.
- A website is inaccessible.
- The speed of loading and working of a website is insufficient if the user's Internet connection is unstable.
- A website isn’t systematically updated.
- A user has suffered losses as a result of using the website’s services.
Usually, websites additionally need unique disclaimers to protect their specific interests. The SIA Simata case is a relevant example to explain this idea. This platform provides clients analytical information about security and currency markets, but nothing contained on the website constitutes a recommendation of any particular investment. It was important for SIA Simata to limit liability for the results of applying recommendations from the platform, and warn clients that the company does not provide investment guarantees.
The intellectual property protection
Firstly, we identify all intellectual property objects which are protected. This list may include software code, design, technologies, trademarks, content, banners, icons, illustrations and images, audio or video and others. Some IT products need to add special objects. For example, SIA Simata needs to protect analytics, reports and other content about financial markets, so the list must be full and precise. Secondly, it is important to warn visitors and clients that coping, republishing, modifying, distributing, and reverse engineering is prohibited. If any violations take place, these clauses will be used as strong evidence in a court of consequences.
Five more legal clauses which are crucial for your document and must be indicated:
- how to contact website support team
- what law will apply if disputes happen, and where it will be considered.