Website terms template: moderated directory, blog or review site

This document is suitable for blogs, directories, review sites or information sites that do not require as strict terms regulating visitor contributed content. You might not ask visitors to contribute to your site, or you might moderate or approve content before it is published.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this document

This set of terms of use is suitable for websites that primarily provide information but that also contain features that allow visitors to interact, whether by posting comments on an article or blog, or by exploring an interactive product model.

Examples would include:

  • the website of a business that does not trade online (such as an accountants' practice or a manufacturer), but which have tools to help visitors select products or services sold offline

  • personal or corporate blogs (including those on which visitors may leave comments)

  • magazines or review sites (such as ones reviewing restaurants or gadgets) where articles have been written by approved writers

  • a directory of local businesses where the information is verified before publication

  • websites of charities and not-for-profit organisations (such as members' clubs or sports clubs)

This template does not include provisions for payment or subscription for access, so your site should be free to browse.

Your visitors could be businesses or private individuals or both.

This template complies with UK law. It is likely to be enforceable in many other legal jurisdictions as well - just as your website is likely to attract visitors from across the world.

Although it is slightly 'lighter' on terms governing how visitors use your site than the alternatives we offer, this template still contains numerous provisions to help protect your website and your business.

The benefit of clear terms

Using this document will help you:

  • set out clearly how your website and business work, the service you provide and what you expect from site users

  • present a professional image of your site. Our use of plain English helps ensure visitors do not feel intimidated by overly formal or legalistic language

  • prevent misunderstandings and make solving disputes easier

  • protect your website from misuse (we include paragraphs that form an Acceptable Use Policy, useful if your visitors can interact with your website, for example, by posting comments on a blog)

  • protect your website from complaints about content that your visitors posted

Alternative templates

This set of T&C and the others listed below provide protection to sites that are "content rich" (in other words, provide text, images, videos and other media), and which require protection against misuse of that content.

The templates differ in the level of interaction of site visitors with the site, and whether visitors pay on the site for access to the content.

Our terms for a website that is free to access is suitable where content is primarily contributed by the users and where the site aims to foster an open community.

Examples would be free-to-access forums, wikis and community driven information portals.

Like this template, it contains extensive provisions relating to use of content and interaction. It differs only in that it doesn't contain terms relating to on-site subscription for access.

Our terms for a subscription-based website are more suitable if you charge for access to some or all of the content.

Examples would include online newspapers and magazines, sites that sell information such as reports through subscription, forums and information portals where visitors subscribe for access.

The template contains extensive provisions relating to use of content and interaction.

If you are in any doubt as to which template you should choose, please contact us.

The law in these terms

The law in these T&C is largely common law that deals with the basics of contracts: offer, acceptance, liabilities and risk. That means that, by and large, you can set the commercial terms you want. Our guidance notes will tell you what you can change safely.

The terms provide some intellectual property protection, governing how your site content can be used by your visitors.

We have contracted out of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 so as not to obligate you in contracts made between your customer and any other party. This is usual in a document such as this one.

Contents

The document includes provisions that cover:

  • definitions
  • interpretation
  • inclusion of data (optional - for sites such as directories that collect and publish data)
  • acceptable use policy: terms governing user posted content
  • removal of offensive content
  • use by children
  • security
  • protection of intellectual property
  • other miscellaneous legal provisions to protect you (limitation of liability, warranties, exclusions, indemnities etc)
Draftsman

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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