Term, Termination, and Severability
Often considered boilerplate for standard contracts, provisions such as term, termination, and severability can be overlooked when drafting terms for a website that a user might only visit for a short time. A user should be aware that the contract they are assenting to begins when the user first accesses and uses the website and ends when they are no longer using the website.
In addition, good contract practice is to include a severability clause indicating that if any part of the contract is deemed invalid, that provision should be severed to allow the rest of the contract to be upheld.
Rules and Prohibitions
Ownership of IP
The content of the website can be an asset in itself. That means that a website should have an adequate intellectual property (IP) policy. A copyright policy, for example, puts users on notice that the website’s material is protected by copyright. An IP provision can let users know if they can use the website’s content, and if so, how they can do so legally.
Users should be put on notice of what types of content are protected by respective IPR (Intellectual Property Rights), such as audio recordings, video recordings, photographs, and text.
This provision should also address ownership of third-party content, explicitly stating that the website owner is not liable for infringement on protected material of a third party.
If the site’s cookies are used to gather user information, users must be explicitly apprised of how the cookies are being used, what information is being collected and for what purpose, how the information will be protected, and how the user can instruct the website’s owner to remove the user’s collected information from the records. It is also recommended to list data retention laws of the website owner’s respective state as well as applicable data privacy laws.
Consent to be Bound