Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a TOS?

A : A terms of service agreement (or “TOS”), also known as a Terms of Use agreement or Terms and Conditions agreement, is a written notice of the rules your visitors must follow in order to receive the services you offer on your website. A TOS is generally legally enforceable and is treated like a contract unless the rules you set for your visitors to follow are unreasonable and violate consumer protection laws.

If you have a valid TOS and your visitors disobey your rules, you have the right to enforce consequences for that violation. Depending on the severity of the user’s misconduct and the terms you set in your TOS, you will have the ability to restrict access or terminate that user from having an account on your website.

It is important to have a TOS is enforceable and also tailored to the particular website you run. Depending on the layout of your website and the services you offer, a “cookie cutter” TOS, or one that is copied and pasted from another source, may not be applicable to your business and may not be legally enforceable when problems arise. 

Q: What is a Privacy Policy?

A: A Privacy Policy is the technical term for the rules you use in the collection, storage, and use of the information your users give to you. Many websites have privacy policies, but most do not actually comply with the various legal guidelines suggested by the FTC and other applicable laws. Others try to use “cookie cutter,” pay-and-use Privacy Policies that are either too broad or that do not describe the website’s specific services at all.

In the news, major websites like Google and Facebook have been scrutinized for their privacy policies. These sites have suffered serious legal consequences for not being forward with their data collection methods. While it is not a “required” document for your website in most instances, it is becoming increasingly crucial to the “Web 2.0” websites that exist on the internet today.

It is critical to ensure that your data collection, storage, and use policies are straightforward and comply with corresponding law. Our skilled cyberlawyers can work with you to draft a privacy policy that is user-friendly and reasonable and, most importantly, that is tailored to the services your website provides.

Q: Why Is a Privacy Policy Required for Sites that Target Children?

A: The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”, 15 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) was drafted to protect children under 13 years old from unlawful data collection practices. COPPA outlines specific requirements (including privacy policies and obtaining parental consent) from websites directed at children.

Under COPPA, it is required to have a privacy policy attached to a website that is targeted to children under 13 years old. While most other types of websites are strongly urged to contain a privacy policy, it is required by law for a children’s website to have a privacy policy present. If your website or service is directed to children, we can help you draft this special privacy policy and also help explain the other compliance requirements under COPPA.

Q: What is a EULA?

A: An End User License Agreement (or a EULA) is a contract between you and your customers when they purchase and use your software. These agreements generally are in digital form and pop up before your customers use or install your software for the first time. A customer will usually click “I Agree” after reading a EULA to continue through to the installation.

A EULA gives your customer the permission (or a license) to use your software, states particular rules for using your software (including IP regulations), and also limits your liability for the damaged caused in the event of a malfunction. Due to the large amount of important information contained within this contract, a EULA is a crucial legal component to any piece of software.

For more information about EULAs and related legal services for software developers, please visit our Software Developer page or contact us with specific questions.

Q: What is a “Clickwrap Agreement”?

A: Clickwrap agreements, like EULAs, are contracts between you and your customers when they purchase or use your services. Unlike EULAs, clickwrap agreements are generally presented within the confines of a website. When a user goes to use a web-based services, a clickwrap agreement will pop up before entering the requested page. A user will usually click “I Agree” after reading a clickwrap agreement to acknowledge that they have read the contract.

Like a EULA, a clickwrap agreement gives your visitors the permission (or a license) to use your online services, states particular rules for using your online services (including IP regulations), and also limits your liability for the damaged caused in the event of a malfunction. Due to the large amount of important information contained within this type of contract, a clickwrap agreement is a crucial legal component to any web based service.

For more information on clickwrap agreements or other developer-related legal services, please visit our Developer pages or contact us with specific questions. 

Q: What is a Shrinkwrap Agreement?

A: Shrinkwrap Agreements, like EULAs and Clickwrap agreements, are contracts between you and your customers when they purchase or use your software. Unlike EULAs or Clickwrap Agreements, Shrinkwrap Agreements are printed contracts that exist beneath the plastic packaging of a CD or other device. Your customers can view and read this Shrinkwrap Agreement through the packaging, and (upon agreeing to the terms you have set forth) agree to the conditions of that contract by opening the plastic wrapper.

A shrinkwrap agreement gives your customers the permission (or a license) to use your software, states particular rules for using your software (including IP regulations), and also limits your liability for the damaged caused in the event of a malfunction. Due to the large amount of important information contained within this type of contract, a shrinkwrap agreement is a helpful tool during software distribution. While this type of agreement is not as heavily used (in lieu of other, electronic means) it is still a valid contract format that may be applied to your software.

For more information about shrinkwrap agreements and other related legal services, please visit our Software Developers page or contact us today with specific questions.

Q. Do I need an attorney to write my TOS, EULAS, Privacy Policy, etc?

No, but there are many benefits to retaining a lawyer for these services.

Internet lawsuits are costly, and having a well-drafted TOS, EULA, Privacy Policy, or other online document is an effective practice to limit liability. By hiring an attorney, these important legal documents will be expertly tailored to the business you run and the services you provide. Our cyberlawyers provide a level of care, attention, and customization that is unmatched by online “cut-and-paste” forms. We understand the laws associated with online businesses, and draft these documents to the best of our ability to meet your professional and legal needs.

Please visit our other pages for more information, or Contact Us today for a free consultation.

Q. Why should I have these legal documents on my website?

A. The current “Web 2.0” movement creates an online environment that fosters global collaboration and social interaction. We live in an era where virtually anyone, even people with little to no technological expertise, can create content on the internet.

While there are many benefits associated with allowing the community at large to creating their own piece of cyberspace, there is the potential for widespread legal issues to arise. The risk of a users posting defamatory, infringing, or other illegal content on your website is a very real and frightening concern. As a website owner, you have the potential to be sued for the actions of your users. The best way you can protect yourself from liability is to have these documents on your website in an accessible place at all times. If you are sued by one of your users or by an unanticipated third party, a well-written TOS and Privacy policy has the potential to help you significantly in court. The judge will use these documents to determine if your users abused your policies, and if you fulfilled the administrative duties you outlined in these documents.

For more information about these legal documents, please visit our Developers pages or contact us today with specific questions.

Q. What other types of legal services are important for my business?

A: There are many legal services that coincide with e-commerce, mobile app development, or software development businesses. In addition to drafting legal documents like a TOS and a privacy policy, intellectual property protections and corporate law services can further safeguard your business’ legal well-being.

By protecting your intellectual property (that is: intangible property attached to your content such as copyrights and trademarks), you can stop others from using your content without your permission. To learn more about our intellectual property protections, please visit our developers page or our sister site: www.trademarksmadesimple.com. You can also contact us directly for a free consultation to determine how we can help you.

In addition to the services listed above, our corporate law services can help your company tenfold. By incorporating your business, you can significantly limit your liability, reduce your tax exposure, increase your credibility in the marketplace, and create an entity that will last perpetually. Our lawyers specialize in Pennsylvania corporate law, and can help you determine the best legal course of action for your business. To learn more about our corporate law services, please visit our developers pages or our sister site at www.incorporateinpa.com. You can also contact us directly for a free consultation.

Q. How much does it cost for cyberlaw help?

A. Not all web-based services or apps are created equally. As such, the legal fees associated with cyber law services vary. Overall, our prices are competitive and represent a clear value in view of the quality of our services and the level of care, attention, and customization we give to each client’s legal matters. Please see Pricing for more information.

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