Website Terms of Use form a contractual relationship between you and any visitors to your website. They outline how visitors can use your website, what kind of conduct is prohibited and a disclaimer to limit your liability for your website.

As an online business you should also have a Privacy Policy and a set of Terms and Conditions, which will work in conjunction with your Website Terms of Use. These documents should be drafted, or at least reviewed, by a business lawyer. An Email Use Policy is also advisable.

What is prohibited conduct?

When you (or your business lawyer) are drafting your Website Terms of Use you should attempt to define the parameters of prohibited conduct. For example, visitors can’t use the site for any activities, post or transmit any material from the Site:

  • Unless they hold all necessary rights, licences and consents to do so;
  • That infringes the intellectual property or other rights of any person;
  • That would cause them or you to breach any law, regulation, rule, code or other legal obligation;
  • That defames, harasses, threatens, menaces, offends or restricts any person;
  • That is, or could reasonably be, considered to be obscene, inappropriate, defamatory, disparaging, indecent, seditious, offensive, pornographic, threatening, abusive, liable to incite racial hatred, discriminatory, blasphemous, in breach of confidence or in breach of privacy; or
  • That would bring you, or your business website, into disrepute.

Other activities, which you and your business lawyer may also want to be prohibited, include:

  • Interfering with or inhibiting any other user from using your website;
  • Using your website to send unsolicited email messages;
  • Attempting to, or tampering with your website;
  • Hindering or modifying your website;
  • Knowingly transmitting viruses or disabling features which will damage or interfere with your website; and
  • Facilitating or assisting any other person to do any of the above acts.

Conclusion

It is essential to include a ‘Prohibited Conduct’ clause in your Website Terms of Use to ensure that the appropriate activities are undertaken on your site. It can also assist in blocking or removing people from your site, as they have breached the Terms of Use for the website.

If you’re unsure how to go about drafting your Website Terms of Use, you should speak with a qualified, experienced business lawyer, preferably one with experience drafting Website Terms of Use. You can save your business valuable time and money by getting your Website Terms of Use adequately protective in the first place. At LegalVision, we draft Website Terms of Use on a regular basis, so if you’re in need of legal advice, contact us on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our small business solicitors.

 

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