A website agreement mentions the terms and conditions of usage which are to be compulsorily followed by the website users. Most importantly a web agreement provides details of the license of copyrights. It helps in creating a legal relationship with everyone who visits the website regardless of whether they buy anything, avail any services or even identify themselves.Website agreements are legally binding and subject to change without notice.
Why do we need Terms and Conditions on a website?
With the help of terms and conditions, one can protect his/her website and its users. Most terms and conditions for websites set out issues such as permitted usages, privacy, cookies, registration, passwords, intellectual properties, disclaimers etc., which are necessary to protect a website from liabilities of a user who relies on the information, goods and services provided and then suffers a loss.
Elements of Website Terms and Conditions
Some of the most important things included in the terms and conditions of a website are as follows:
The manner and the way used to collect information
Terms of service are needed to be specified in case of online sales of goods and services
Specify applicable taxes on the purchase
Terms of intellectual property protection of the website
License clause to restrict the user from copying data from the website
Conditions applicable to interacting with other users and posting comments
Clauses to the Jurisdiction of any legal proceeding
Terms of cancellation and refund
Contact information in case of grievance, complaint and disputes etc.
Laws governing the website agreements and terms & conditions
In India, the website agreements and its terms and conditions are governed by the provisions of the information technology act, 2000.Who are required to maintain the Terms and Conditions for a website as per the information technology act 2000?As per the Information Technology Act, all corporates, businesses and entities who gather, use, deal with handling personal data or information are required to maintain security practices and procedures designed to protect such information from unauthorized access, damage, use, modification etc.
Absence of Terms and conditions on a website
If you do not have terms and conditions for use, the website is at potential risk and if there is any disclosure of information in breach of lawful contract the punishment is imprisonment extending up to 3 years and a fine which may extend up to 5 lakh rupees or with both of them.
Benefits of the terms and conditions for the website
Own your content: As a website owner, you are the owner of your logo, content (excluding the user-generated content) etc. In the terms and conditions, you can inform users that you are the exclusive owner of such contents and no one has the right to copy the same as it’s protected by copyrights.
Liability: The terms and conditions agreement usually include a disclaimer that limits the website owner’s liability in cases where discrepancies are found in the contents on that website. These clauses assist in notifying users that owner cannot be responsible for any errors in the content presented, or for the information provided is accurate, complete or suitable for any purpose.
The accurate information that will be collected from website users (names, email address, contact information etc.)
The method in which information is collected for example survey, online quizzes etc.
The manner in which the information will be used and whom will it be shared with.
How protection is provided to user information
How to opt-out of data sharing and the consequences.
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