Congratulations on setting up an online furniture store! As an online business, you should have a Website Terms of Use which applies to every person who visits your website. This should apply whether or not they purchase your furniture.

What is a Website Terms of Use?

A Website Terms of Use claims your intellectual property rights and sets out prohibited uses of your website. Your Website Terms of Use does not deal with the sale of products or consumer issues nor does it set out your relationship with customers. To cover terms that relate to selling products you will need a Sales Terms and Conditions.

A Website Terms of Use should outline who owns the website including your business’s full legal name. It should also address that the Website Terms of Use forms a contract between your business and the visitor using the site.

Intellectual Property

As a furniture business you are likely to have photographs, descriptions and product details listed for each product on your website. This intellectual property will be protected as a part of your Website Terms of Use. Your Website Terms of Use should include a disclaimer in relation to this content. You should set out that technical information, product images and colours are approximates only and should not be relied upon to be accurate.

It is likely that you will have third party links to social media sites, articles or blogs about your products. You should disclaim that you have no control over and do not endorse the content of any third party links and that you are not responsible for any delays or interruptions to the website caused by them.

Copyright Clauses

One of the most important things that your Website Terms of Use protects is your copyright and intellectual property rights. This sets out that you own all copyright in the website, however it is a good idea to allow people to republish your content. For example you may wish to allow visitors to link to your blog or post your images to social media sites such as Pinterest.

Your Website Terms of Use can include any limitations you would like. For example you may stipulate that visitors must place a link back to your website or that they must not alter the content in anyway.

Privacy Policy

Your Website Terms of Use should also make reference to your Privacy Policy. Your Privacy Policy sets out how you will collect and use personal information. It should also set out that it is between your business and each person that you collect personal information from. A common scenario of when you may need a Privacy Policy would be when your business acquires personal information from visitors signing up to a newsletter.

Prohibiting Conduct

You may want to list particular prohibited conduct that relates to your website. If you have a forum, blog or the ability for visitors make comments or write reviews this can also be addressed in your Website Terms of Use. You should set out that any content that visitors add to your website will become your intellectual property and that the visitor should have all the necessary rights to post the content.

You should include a clause which states that you are able to alter the Website Terms of Use without consulting visitors and that if they continue to use the website they are accepting the changes to the Website Terms of Use. This assists you as you do not need to notify visitors every time you make a change to the Website Terms of Use.

Conclusion

As an online furniture business, it is important that you protect your intellectual property. The lawyers at LegalVision have extensive experience drafting Website Terms of Use for furniture stores across Australia. We have assisted many furniture stores to expand and grow their business and protect their intellectual property so if you’re in need of legal advice, contact us on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our experienced online business lawyers.

Edith Moss

Next Steps

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