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    Question Non-commercial site - how do I represent myself legally?


    I have created a community website where people can upload a variety of different media. I need to write a disclaimer, terms of service etc. to protect myself and the website users.

    I'm stuck...how do I refer to myself in the TOS etc.?

    I'm an individual, not even a sole trader and I'd like to protect the rights of my users and myself without becoming a trading entity. Do I use my real name, the domain name of my site etc.?
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    Originally Posted by conoroleary
    I have created a community website where people can upload a variety of different media. I need to write a disclaimer, terms of service etc. to protect myself and the website users.

    I'm stuck...how do I refer to myself in the TOS etc.?

    I'm an individual, not even a sole trader and I'd like to protect the rights of my users and myself without becoming a trading entity. Do I use my real name, the domain name of my site etc.?
    The domain name or site name is generally sufficient, however, if you really want to protect yourself, you should seek professional legal advice for this. Copyright infringement is no joke and can carry pretty hefty penalties. It's well-worth the couple hundred dollars you'll spend to have a proper legal disclaimer drafted for you.
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    Originally Posted by Nilpo
    The domain name or site name is generally sufficient, however, if you really want to protect yourself, you should seek professional legal advice for this. Copyright infringement is no joke and can carry pretty hefty penalties. It's well-worth the couple hundred dollars you'll spend to have a proper legal disclaimer drafted for you.
    yes agree, but if one choose to write the TOS by themselves according to their needs and understanding, what else we need ? does it needed to be approved my some lawyers ? or it can be done by oneself too ?
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  7. Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Originally Posted by sarav_dude
    yes agree, but if one choose to write the TOS by themselves according to their needs and understanding, what else we need ? does it needed to be approved my some lawyers ? or it can be done by oneself too ?
    It certainly can be done by oneself. The problem lies in the fact that web sites are available to the world. There are several levels of local, regional, country, and even international laws that govern this. Depending on the country your site is hosted in, (the U.S. for example), your site may even fall into classification under international treaties. It can quickly become a very complex situation and might better be left to professionals who deal with this every day.

    To answer you more directly though, yes, you can write it yourself. You should include something along the lines that content is submitted by users of XYZ.com and do not necessarily reflect the views of XYZ.com. Neither XYZ.com, its owners, affiliates, or subsidiaries are responsible for the content submitted by public users.

    You should also include a clause that users may only post content that is considered public domain or specifically licensed for reproduction and any content that is found in violation of these terms will promptly be removed.

    You might also include a statement that content can be removed at the request of its creator or owner regardless of license.

    The last one offers your cooperation is usually sufficient for getting you out of any legal jams that might arise. Again, this isn't guaranteed to protect anyone fully in any given situation. It's best to seek professional advice from someone who can properly analyze your specific situation.

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    • sarav_dude agrees : thanks !
    Last edited by Nilpo; July 13th, 2009 at 07:32 AM.
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    Thanks Nilpo. You've shared a lot of useful pointers.

    My problem now is that I live in a country where English is not widely spoken. Finding the services of a lawyer with perfect English will be difficult/costly.
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  11. Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Originally Posted by conoroleary
    Thanks Nilpo. You've shared a lot of useful pointers.

    My problem now is that I live in a country where English is not widely spoken. Finding the services of a lawyer with perfect English will be difficult/costly.
    You're very welcome.

    You could have everything written in your native tongue. There are legal translation services that might be cheaper than finding a lawyer capable of writing these in English for you.
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