Can I Use Someone Else’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use?
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Can I Use Someone Else’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use?

Startups that are running new websites might think about cutting some corners because they don’t have the budget to do so. As such, most of them try to copy a competitor’s privacy policy and terms of use instead of hiring a lawyer to draft one especially for them. It might sound appealing to do so especially because lawyers are not really that cheap. But is it okay for you to use someone else’s privacy policy and terms of use?

Technically, you can just simply copy someone else’s privacy policy and terms of use but that is never a good idea. It can open up your company or website to potential lawsuits and it might turn off potential investors from your startup. Generally, you could simply get into trouble by doing so.

It might really be tempting for you to just copy and paste the privacy policy and terms of use you see on a competitor’s website but you should also keep in mind that there are legal implications involved here. As such, instead of cutting corners, just hire a lawyer. If you are not convinced, let’s discuss that further.

Can I use someone else’s privacy policy and terms and conditions?

When you are developing your own website or if you hired a web developer to do it for you, it really is simply easy for you and your web developer to use a pre-drafted catch-all private policy or to copy one from your competitor because it doesn’t seem like this part of the website is quite important. That’s why it is tempting to try to save money by simply copying from drafts and competitors instead of hiring an actual lawyer to do it for you.

While you technically can do that if you are not afraid of the implications, it is never really recommended that you do so especially if a lot of the things stated in the privacy policy do not apply to your website or business. For example, the privacy policy might be telling the visitor that your site is collecting cookies but it actually isn’t. 

Simply put, the privacy policy is there for a reason because it is supposed to tell your visitors that you are collecting certain personal information and that you intend on protecting whatever you may have collected. And if you are not collecting such information even though you did, you could put yourself at risk of a possible lawsuit from different users.

Copyright laws also protect privacy policies drafted especially for specific businesses and websites. While you can copy them, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you should because the law will punish you for doing so. That means that you will be opening yourself up to potential lawsuits, media backlash, and other similar negatives that you possibly cannot imagine yourself handling while you are running a business.

The same could be said when it comes to terms of use. Your website’s terms of use tend to be quite specific especially when it comes to the location of the agreement and the certain ground rules that should be set between you and the visitor of your site. Of course, failure on the part of the visitor to agree with such terms can prevent him or her from using your site any further.

But, because the terms of use tend to be quite specific, copying them really isn’t quite beneficial on your part because of how you could also get yourself into trouble. For example, if the terms and conditions you copied didn’t indicate that there shouldn’t be any explicit and sexual content posted on your site even though it should be included in it, this would allow your visitors and users the freedom to do whatever they want by posting such content. This can be quite troublesome on your part especially if you want your site and your business to have a good reputation.

Also, terms of use are protected by copyright laws as well. That means that they are similar to privacy policies in the sense that copying them from another source for which it was specifically drafted for can open your site and business up to potential lawsuits especially if the original owner catches on and sees that you actually copied the terms of use from his or her website.

How to create your own privacy policy?

If you want to create your own privacy policy to make sure that you don’t copy one for other websites, there are easy ways that you can use. The internet is full of privacy policy generators that are easy to use because all you have to do is to input certain information.

And even if you are not using a privacy policy generator, here are some of the more important information that you have to learn how to include in your privacy policy:

  • Which information is collected
  • Methods used to collect the data and information
  • Clause for child privacy
  • Communications clause
  • Business transfers
  • Ways to resolve any dispute
  • Notice of future changes
  • Contact information

There are some more things that you may want to include in your privacy policy but these are merely the basics that need to be covered.

How to create your own terms of use?

Writing your own terms of use may be a bit more technical because of the legalities involved here. You can hire a lawyer if you want things to be easier on your part but you have to spend more for that because lawyers aren’t really cheap. So, if you want to save money without having to copy someone else’s terms of use, you can also make use of a terms of use generator.

Here are the basics that should be in your terms of use:

  • Introduction
  • Acceptance of agreement
  • Privacy policy
  • Disclaimer
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Advertising
  • Payment terms
  • Termination clause
  • Notice of future changes
  • Contact information

While some terms of use may include more items, these are but the basics that you have to include in your terms of use to make sure that you get to comply with what the law is requiring from you and your website.

Can you copy a disclaimer?

A disclaimer is something that you should always include in your terms of use. The purpose of a disclaimer is to limit your liability and to release you from any liability that may come as a result of the visitor’s use of your website. In other words, you are basically making a waiver of liability for yourself by including a disclaimer so that you’ll have a way to protect yourself from any legal action in the future.

So, since a disclaimer is in the same realm as the terms of use, it goes without saying that you should never copy someone else’s disclaimer due to copyright infringement. On top of that, disclaimers tend to be designed specifically for a certain website, and the type of business the website is running. In that sense, it is always better to make sure that you are drafting a disclaimer that is tailored specifically to fit your website and your business to make sure that everything that you included in the disclaimer is on point with the nature of your website and business.

Always remember that there are a lot of legal implications regarding the disclaimer on your website. As such, everything you include in the disclaimer should tailor-fit your website and business so that you can really absolve yourself of any legal claim arising from the use of your website. At the very least, having a disclaimer that is made to be tailor-fit for your website also allows you to have a really good defense in case legal disputes may arise later on.

Best privacy policy generator

If you are looking for a way to save money by not spending on a lawyer, here are some of the best privacy policy generators on the internet. And the best part is that they are all free and won’t cause you a single dime:

  1. Termsfeed
  2. Free Privacy Policy Tool
  3. Privacy Policy Online
  4. Shopify
  5. Trust Guard

Best terms and conditions generator

For those who may not be willing to splurge on an expensive lawyer to get a terms and conditions drafted, you can make use of a terms and conditions generator that will be able to make one for you. Of course, these online tools are free and are just as good as the ones that lawyers draft for you. Just make sure that you know what you have to include in your terms of use to make sure that you have all of the things covered for your website.

  1. Termly
  2. GetTerms
  3. Privacy Policies
  4. FormSwift
  5. TermsAndConditionsTemplate

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