Your Customers May Not Review Your ToS and Click Agreements, but You Should!

14 September 2011 Publication
Authors: Peter Vogel

E-Commerce Times

Does your website include any social media-type activities? For example, do you encourage users to post ideas, pictures, articles, PowerPoints or videos? If so, are you protecting yourself in the event the user posts something without having the intellectual property rights to do so? Or if you plan to reuse or repost the material, are you making it clear that you will have the right to do so?

In a previous column, I addressed the importance of website users understanding what they are agreeing to when they use a site. Now I’ll take a look at the other side: What risks do site owners run by having poorly written Terms of Service (ToS) or Click Agreements — or none at all?

If your company offers goods or services through its website (or for that matter, if downloads or advice are offered for a cost — or even for free), when was the last time you looked to see what your ToS or Click Agreements say? If you’ve read my prior column, you would know that those ToS or Click Agreements could constitute a binding contract on the user, and that those contractual terms are important to your company.


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