Can I Copy Another Company’s Terms and Conditions?
It Is an Important Contract
One of the primary reasons why it would not be wise of you to copy another company’s Terms and Conditions is the importance of to your relationship with your customers. The Terms and Conditions is a contract which specifies what is to be expected from your products and services and the manner in which your offerings are expected to be made use of. The importance of the Terms and Conditions contract increases manifold when in case of an ecommerce website, considering how the Terms and Conditions agreement is the only thing that is governing the business. Without a good set of Terms and Conditions on your site, you are putting your business at risk of being sued by customers. Bearing everything in mind, pulling off another company’s Terms and Conditions as your own is the worst thing that you can do to your business, considering how every business is unique. The Terms and Conditions agreement, in essence, is supposed to be drafted with great care so that it might give you and your business the maximum possible coverage.
The Breaching of Copyright
Not only is the copying of Terms and Conditions bad for your business, but it will end up getting you into a pickle as well. It is because the act of copying is illegal which can get into you a lot of legal trouble, especially if they are not related to your business. On top of that, you should never take the route of copying another business’ work, owing to how you wouldn’t want someone else to copy your own. If you despise investing into the protecting of your website idea, products, services and other intellectual property, then ensure that you are not the reason why businesses need protection.
Imposition of Penalties
Websites that don’t have clear and pertinent Terms and Conditions for their customers to make use of then your business might be at the risk of penalties by the authorities. If you have copied your websites Terms and Conditions from somewhere else, then there’s a high chance for the Terms and Conditions to not pertain to your website’s products and services. Under such a scenario, your Terms and Conditions will be termed misleading and your website will be subject to a hefty fine by the authorities. This is becoming a focus for the authorities and the regulators, in an attempt to protect the interests of the consumers in online transactions. Bearing all of that in mind, enough stress cannot be put into ensuring that your own house is in order.
Bad for the Company’s Name and Image
Considering how the copying of Terms and Conditions from another company is illegal, it won’t be wrong to suggest that it can prompt an inquiry from the federal regulators. This results into negative name and image for the business, which ultimately damages the business itself. From scaring off potential investors to ruining the owner’s exit strategy, there are a lot of issues that are linked with the image of your business.
An Opportunity to Attract the Customers
Regardless of whether you can or cannot copy another company’s Terms and Conditions agreement, the question arises: why would you choose to? It is because the drafting of the Terms and Conditions agreement can be used as means for standing out of the competition, as well as attracting attention from the customers. The Terms and Conditions have got to be legal, no doubt, but that doesn’t mean that they cannot be fun to read. The example of Tumblr can be taken in this regard. Not only are Tumblr’s Terms and Conditions legally on point, but they serve as a good read as well. You can be sure of the fact that Tumblr wouldn’t have been able to come up with such interesting Terms and Conditions in case they had chosen to copy from another business.
Rather than seeing Terms and Conditions as a mandatory requirement, treat them as an opportunity…an opportunity to get up close and personal with your customers!