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Social network and subscription website terms and conditions

Social networking functionality such as user profiles, friendships, groups, forums and messaging boards are often combined with paid-for subscriptions on a single website. Typically, a basic level of functionality will be available to all registered users, with subscribers gaining access to premium functionality. This terms and conditions template has been created for websites combining these sorts of features.

Copyright in website content is handled in the terms and conditions by means of a standard copyright notice, combined with a flexible licensing provision specifying the rights granted to users. You will need to consider, for instance, whether the website can be used for personal or business purposes, or both. You will also need to consider whether any content from the website can be redistributed by users - and if so, how.

Copyright in user content is licensed to the website operator under a flexible licence provision. The licence may be broad or narrow. In any event, the user gives a range of warranties to the operator in relation to the user content. These warranties cover both legality and broader questions of offensiveness, taste, and so on.

A short-form acceptable use policy has been incorporated into the terms and conditions. This prohibits damaging and unlawful behaviour in general terms, but also contains some specific prohibitions, for example on the automated collection of data from the website.

Fairly detailed provisions cover the creation of user accounts, the use of user accounts, the choice of user IDs, the confidentiality of passwords, responsibility for the misuse of user accounts, and the suspension and cancellation of user accounts.

Age-based criteria may be applied both to general website use and to registration. Of course, stipulating that users must be of a certain age is not the same thing as ensuring that they are. If it is (legally or commercially) important to limit site usage to certain age groups, you should introduce an age verification mechanism.

In relation to subscriptions, the benefits that subscribers gain should be set out somewhere on the website. The terms and conditions allow for the variation of those benefits, providing that if there is a substantial loss of value of functionality, the user will have a right to end the subscription and receive a pro-rata refund of the subscription fees.

This document can be used in relation to both B2B and B2C subscriptions, and includes a special provision dealing with the cancellation right for B2C distance contracts in the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

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Social network and subscription website terms and conditions contents

  1. Introduction: document governs website use; consent to website document: implied; consent to website terms and conditions: express; website user minimum age; cookie consent.
  2. Copyright notice: UCC copyright notice; ownership of rights in website.
  3. Licence to use website: licence to use website; no downloading; website use: permitted purposes; no modification of website content; limitations on licence to use website; redistributable content; restriction of access to website.
  4. RSS feed: access to RSS feed; accessing RSS and acceptance of document; RSS licence; RSS licence condition; revocation of RSS licence.
  5. Acceptable use: acceptable use: prohibitions; using contact details prohibited; veracity of information supplied.
  6. Use on behalf of organisation: use on behalf of another.
  7. Registration and accounts: account eligibility; account registration process; no other person permitted to use account; notify on misuse of account; use of another's account.
  8. User login details: provision of login details; user ID rules and impersonation; password to be kept confidential; notify on disclosure of password; responsibility for password loss.
  9. Cancellation and suspension of account: rights of operator over account with paid services (B2C or mixed); cancellation of website account with paid services by user.
  10. Social networking: social networking features; no responsibility for user behaviour; no liability for defamatory posts.
  11. Personal profiles: profile information accurate etc; profiles to be kept up to date; personal profile as user content.
  12. Subscriptions: initiating subscription; input error correction and identification; subscription benefits; variation of subscription benefits; end of subscription period.
  13. Fees: fees specified on website; amounts inclusive or exclusive of VAT; payment of fees; variation of fees; disputed payments; unjustified charge-backs; unpaid fees: withdrawal of services; right of set off.
  14. Distance contracts: cancellation right: cancellation right for consumers; cancellation right for services and digital content; consumer agreement to provision of services; exercise of cancellation right; refund upon services distance contract cancellation; refund method; refund timing for services and digital content.
  15. Your content: licence: definition of user content; licence of user content; sub-licensing of user content; right to bring proceedings in respect of user content; waiver of moral rights in user content; user may edit own content; delete etc user content on breach.
  16. Your content: rules: user content warranty; no unlawful user content; user content rules.
  17. Report abuse: request to report abuse; how to report abuse.
  18. Limited warranties: no warranties for information; right to discontinue website publication; no implied warranties or representations relating to website.
  19. Limitations and exclusions of liability: caveats to limits of liability (with consumer protection); interpretation of limits of liability; no liablity for free information or services; no liability for force majeure; no liability for business losses; no liability for loss of data or software (with consumer protection); no liability for consequential loss (with consumer protection); no personal liability; liability cap upon services contract.
  20. Indemnity: indemnity from website users.
  21. Breaches of these
    terms and conditions
    :
    consequences of breach; non circumvention of measures upon breach.
  22. Third party websites: third party websites: hyperlinks not recommendations; third party websites: no control or liability.
  23. Trade marks: website operator's trade marks; third party trade marks on website.
  24. Variation: document may be revised; variation of website document: unregistered users; variation of website document: consumers.
  25. Assignment: assignment by first party (with consumer rights); assignment by second party.
  26. Severability: severability of whole; severability of parts.
  27. Third party rights: third party rights: benefit; third party rights: exercise of rights.
  28. Entire agreement: entire agreement - use of website.
  29. Law and jurisdiction: governing law; jurisdiction.
  30. Statutory and regulatory disclosures: copy of document not filed; language of document; ecommerce regulations: trade register; ecommerce regulations: authorisation scheme; ecommerce regulations: professionals; ecommerce regulations: code of conduct; value added tax number; link to ODR website; name and URL of ADR provider.
  31. Our details: website operator name; company registration details; place of business; contact information.
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