About Web Site “Terms of Use”

A Terms of Use agreement or Terms and Conditions, as it is sometimes called, is an important part of an e-commerce website. A Terms of Use agreement is important for limiting the potential
liability of website owners and operators, protecting intellectual
property rights, and establishing other contractual terms or policies
relating to the use of the site. A Terms of Use agreement can also serve
as an important marketing tool by setting the tone and providing
information about the substance of the website.

A Terms of Use agreement or Terms and Conditions, as it is sometimes
called, is an important part of an e-commerce website. A Terms of Use
agreement is important for limiting the potential liability of website
owners and operators, protecting intellectual property rights, and
establishing other contractual terms or policies relating to the use of
the site. A Terms of Use agreement can also serve as an important
marketing tool by setting the tone and providing information about the
substance of the website.

The basic objective of a Terms
of Use agreement is to form a binding contract with the user that
licenses access to the website and use of intellectual property found
there, as well as limit the website owner’s liability. Enforceability
of a Terms of Use agreement is based on the theory that a contract is
formed between the party offering the website and the user of the
website. However, the enforceability of this contract depends largely
on how the Terms of Use agreement presented to the website user.

Terms
of Use agreements should be specifically catered to each individual
e-commerce business. The types of goods or services offered, the
perceived audience of the business, and the type of business are all
factors that can largely affect the contents of a Terms of Use
agreement. For example, websites that collect personal information from
children do not want to run afoul of the Children’s Online Privacy
Protection Act. Websites in heavily regulated industries – such as
securities or insurance brokers – may need to require visitors to print
and manually sign certain documents. Other Terms of Use agreements may
wish to address unsolicited idea submissions or simply reflect the
particular business objectives of the site.

Typically, a
Terms of Use agreement should also include common provisions found in
most contracts, including: (1) the governing law and jurisdiction for
disputes; (2) integration or merger clause; (3) survival language; and
(4) the effective date of the agreement.

E-commerce
businesses should regularly revise the Terms of Use agreement to reflect
changes on their website. However, revisions require some
acknowledgement from the users that they have been alerted or otherwise
been made aware of the changes and updates to the Terms of Use.

About Web Site "Terms of Use" 

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