Let's dive in.
These documents are essential for any company that offers the use of a website and mobile app and are essential because they serve as a legal contract between a user and a company.
Privacy Policies are required by law for sites that collect personal data from users, including email addresses, first and last names, shipping address, etc.
As a website owner, there are some forms of content you own right off the bat. These content types include your logo and website design, for instance. Just because you own these things, though, does not stop other people from ripping them off.
"The Site and its original content, features, and functionality are owned by [Owner of Website] and are protected by international copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property or proprietary rights laws."
This clause informs your users that any account that is deemed abusive will be terminated and banned from using the service going forward.
Termination clauses speak directly to websites that have a registration sector, which means they require users to register before they can use specific functions on your platform. Termination clauses usually look like the following:
"We may terminate your access to the Site, without cause or notice, which may result in the forfeiture and destruction of all information associated with your account. All provisions of this Agreement that, by their nature, should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability."
The Guardian, for example, presents its Termination Clause like this:
These clauses serve to notify the user that you, as the site owner, cannot be held responsible for errors in the content presented, or for information that is not accurate, complete, or "Suitable for any purpose."
"These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of the United States of America and the laws of the State of Montana."
These sections can also cover your jurisdiction information if you operate from a foreign country.
Here are a few examples:
Intellectual Property disclosure. This tells users that your website's logo, content, and all other media is solely your property and that it is all protected by copyright laws.
A Termination clause. This clause will inform your users that all accounts on your website and mobile app are open to termination, in the case that you find abuse or other poor behavior, and that the decision to terminate an account is up to your sole discretion.
Here's how Facebook does it in its Terms of Service:
A Governing Law. This will notify users which locations and laws govern your agreement. The governing law should pertain to the country in which your company is headquartered or from which you operate.
A "Links To Other Websites" clause. This will tell users that you are not responsible for links to any third-party websites. This clause is generally designed to inform users that it's their responsibility to read and agree (or disagree) with the terms and privacy policies of these other sites.
A DMCA notice clause. When user content is available to the public and other users, a DMCA notice clause (or Copyright Infringement) section helps inform authors that you will respond to any DMCA takedown notices received in the event copyrighted content is found.
Here's how Twitter includes a DMCA notice in its Copyright Policy:
This is true for anyone who operates a SaaS app, for example, as the relationship with customers can come to an end for any number of reasons. When it does, though, you need a way to end the relationship without incurring liability on your part.
Other options include display during checkout, during signup, when submitting user-generated content, or any time you want users to be aware of your terms and get agreement to them.