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Why do we need Terms of Use?


A website is an essential element of any business. Information about the company, service, functionality, product, or product is legally fixed in the site's Terms of Use. Popularly they are called "Terms", and in legal English:


  • Terms of Use

  • Terms and Conditions

  • Terms of Services, etc

The names of the documents and their content are not clearly regulated in any law. From a legal point of view, nothing prevents you from combining documents and their contents in different ways.


"I have read and agreed to the Terms" is the biggest lie on the web, and we are committed to fixing it. It is the slogan of the unusual project Tosdr, which helps users learn about their rights on the Internet. The service checks and evaluates the document and gives brief conclusions, explaining how high-quality thermal is or is legally dangerous.


According to the project version, there are a few excellent and slightly more good ones, for example, Wikipedia and Trello. There are a lot of triples and doubles, among them: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit.


The views of a lawyer, a business, and a user on a document are entirely different. The lawyer protects the business but does not think about the users. Business thinks about users but for profit. And the user thinks only about himself.


We are writing this article for site owners so that we can speak directly. If you do not want to create problems and visit courts for further consideration of disputes with users, you need to agree on everything "on the shore", that is, in terms of Use. And if the user does not like something, he should immediately stop using the site or application.


Why do you need Terms of Use if no one reads them?

Here, I would like to mention the phrase: "Prepare a sled in the summer and a wagon in the winter."


When all is well, users do not read the terms, but when doubts arise, they look for cherished lines. Consider how many concert tickets have been canceled due to COVID-19, and millions of people have yet not received refunds. Do many concertgoers read the chapter about force majeure in ticketing services before the announcement of the pandemic?


So why do businesses need Terms of Use?

The first reason is that terms are a legally binding contract between an Internet resource and a user. Internet resources can establish almost any rules and principles, necessary sections, and various information in the contract. The user must agree that small details to use the site are not overlooked. Without specific text, site owners will be stuck with rules established by law that can change.


The second reason for the need for terms is to limit the responsibility of the Internet resource for mistakes made.


The third reason this document is needed is the protection of intellectual property rights, which is the subject of a million disputes in the world. The Terms of Use can clearly outline who owns such rights.


The fourth reason is the possibility of determining the governing law. Which country's laws govern the relationship between business and users, which body will handle the case, and in which country?


The fifth reason is reputation. An Internet resource with competent, well-written Terms of Use is taken more seriously, and you want to trust it, even if the user does not read the text of the document in its entirety.


Each document in the context of electronic transactions has binding legal force if the user has received actual notice of them. Each country has different rules. The placement and notification of acceptance of the Terms of Use play a decisive role. It is desirable to confirm this by an active action - by pressing a button or filling in a checkbox.


I agree to the terms and conditions

For the contract to be valid, it must be accepted by the user. Everyone at least once clicked on the check mark next to "I agree with the Terms of Use and accept them." Everything is simple here: the site asks - you agree. However, not all websites require consent. Why? The Terms of Use may include so-called tacit consent. It means that when using the site, the user has demonstrated his agreement with the Terms of Use. If the user did not have the opportunity to read and accept them, the chances of the site proving its right in court are reduced to zero.


The case of the Great Sultan

One of the many cases that demonstrate the power of the Terms of Use was that of a user who wanted to collect more than $10,000 from Mechanist Internet Technologies and Google. This amount was debited from the plaintiff's bank cards a year after installing mobile game "The Great Sultan". After installing the game, he gave access to his bank cards tied to the service. The user did not know that the game developer and Google were deducting money from his card because he did not enable SMS notifications from the bank.


The plaintiff asked to declare the actions regarding the imposition of paid content illegal, to collect written-off funds, compensation for moral damage, and a fine for refusing to satisfy the consumer's demands voluntarily. In court, he tried to prove that these operations were carried out without his consent. During the conclusion of the contract, the plaintiff did not properly inform the consumer about the possible non-acceptance debiting of funds.


The court rejected the claim and established that the plaintiff accepted the Terms of Use when he first launched the game. All the necessary information in the appropriate language was placed on the corresponding page of the game, including paid content from $1 to $100 per product.


The secret of making good thermoses:

  • Know the law

  • A fresh look at the project

  • Possession of judicial practice

  • Read 10+ similar Terms of Use

Everyone should follow the rules:

  • Do not copy-paste — this is a violation of copyright and spoils the image

  • Do not let the question of the availability and quality of documents on the website go to waste — this threatens material losses

  • After drafting, it is helpful to update the text of the terms regularly

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