Can I use another site's TOS?

My site is very similar to a few others sites out there.

Would it be ok to take parts from various site’s TOS’s and paste them together to form my own?

While using another site’s TOS would be a violation of U.S. copyright law, I would recommend against this for a far more important reason.

The TOS becomes the contract between you and the site visitor. If you do not do what you say you are going to do in your TOS you will be in breech of contract.

If you just copy a TOS and don’t know what your obligations are, and you are sued for not following your own TOS in a breech of contract action you will lose.

Why not just use them for ideas and write your own that incorporates all of the pieces of the others you want using your own words.

It’s definitely a bad thing to outright copy a license word-for-word because as noted above, content is copyrighted to the author and copying a legal document would constitute a violation, however I happen to agree with felgall that there’s nothing wrong with taking the denoted clauses in a terms of usage agreement, taking the time to read and understand their implications and decide if they do apply to your projects needs that it can be re-written by you to reflect what you provide. :slight_smile:

You can buy a Terms of Service contract for only $10 at http://www.contractedge.com/websitetermsagreement.html.

While buying the $10 TOS will provide words to put on a page, it is what is in those words that counts.

Your web site’s TOS is a contract between you and your visitors. As the web site owner you are in a position to offer the contract on a take it or leave it basis which puts you in a position to protect yourself from all sorts of liability if your TOS is properly written.

While a $10 TOS puts words on a page, are they the words you want? Further, the TOS will also require you to fullfill your promises to the visitor. Do you know what those promises are?

The TOS is by far the most important page of your web site. You need to put time and effort into your TOS, as well as understanding what your responsibilities are.