What are Website Terms & Conditions?
Does my Council Need Website Terms & Conditions?
Website Terms and Conditions should be in place for all Councils operating a website. They serve as a protective measure for the Council, setting the parameters of liability. If there are any glitches or if the website experiences downtime, well-crafted terms can ensure the Council is not held accountable.
Key Features of Website Terms & Conditions:
- Acceptance: This section informs users that by using the website, they agree to comply with and be bound by these terms and conditions. Some websites also include an explicit acceptance requirement, such as a checkbox on entering the website.
- Intellectual Property (IP): This section clarifies the ownership of the content and design on the website. It explains that the website, its original content, features, and functionality are owned by the Council and protected by relevant intellectual property rights laws
- User Obligations: This outlines the rules users must follow while using the website. For example, if users can submit information to the website or if there's an open forum, that they must respect other users not post offensive content.
- Limitation of Liability: This is a crucial section where the Council limits their liability in case something goes wrong. The Council disclaims warranties to the extent permitted by law, such as the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of the content on the website.
- Governing Law: This specifies the jurisdiction's laws that will be used to interpret the Terms & Conditions.
You need to ensure that these Terms & Conditions are properly incorporated into your website which, in practice, means having a link at the bottom of your website that users can click on to view these T&C's. It's unlikely users will, but it gives you the protection and is a real no-brainer!
Take a look at other key legal documents your Council should have here.