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  1. #1
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    Is it legal to copy TOS and AUP and use it as your own?

    Just wondering if I can copy the majority of a TOS and AUP policies and use it as my own. Is that some sort of copyright infringement?

    -Trav

  2. #2
    A majority of them are copyrighted and regardless, it would be questionable to copy anything without permission from a site operator to begin with. However, I remember a thread in "Running a webhosting business" where someone had a TOS that they had written up that was open to anyone to use. I'll see if I can dig it up.

    I should mention that it would be best to have one of these written specifically for your company.
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  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Coach
    A majority of them are copyrighted and regardless, it would be questionable to copy anything without permission from a site operator to begin with. However, I remember a thread in "Running a webhosting business" where someone had a TOS that they had written up that was open to anyone to use. I'll see if I can dig it up.
    Thank you, I suppose I could write my own, but in general it would be the same:

    No DDOS attacks
    No copywritten files
    No mailbombs/harassment/viruses/virus emails
    No pornography/adult sites
    etc.

    Thanks,
    Trav

  4. #4
    Originally posted by Blazin Trav
    No DDOS attacks
    No copywritten files
    No mailbombs/harassment/viruses/virus emails
    No pornography/adult sites
    etc.
    Maybe, add:
    • Unsolicited Bulk Email/SPAM,

    throw the whole lot under the section AUP;
    Add other sections like:
    • Services
    • Bandwidth
    • Backup
    • Payment
    • Termination
    • Liability/Indemnity
    • General Terms

    and there is your very own customised TOS
    "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

  5. #5
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    I think it will be good to provide short explanation for each topic as well.
    Imagination is more important than knowledge.

  6. #6
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    Most Terms of service are the same, its just the organization that is a little different. I don't know if I would copy and paste, but you could look at others and it should be pretty easy to make your own.
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  7. #7
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    Host Legal offers a TOS that you might find fruitful

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Corey Bryant
    Host Legal offers a TOS that you might find fruitful
    I don't want to pay $35 for something that I can write myself. I also know a few lawyers who I'm sure would be more than eager to help me for free. Thanks a lot though!

  9. #9
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    Well if you know attorneys, use them. Why would you copy someone else's TOS when you do not even know if it has been reviewed by an attorney? At least with Host Legal, you know that an attorney has review it.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Corey Bryant
    Well if you know attorneys, use them. Why would you copy someone else's TOS when you do not even know if it has been reviewed by an attorney? At least with Host Legal, you know that an attorney has review it.
    Okay thanks. I might as well put $35 forward, since that isn't too big of an expense.

    Thank you,
    Trav

  11. #11
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    Anytime - Zachary is a great guy to work with and I am sure that he has covered a lot more in there. A lot of hosting companies have used his services in the past as well.

    Do a search on here for him and you can see how well he is a pleasure to work with.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Coach
    However, I remember a thread in "Running a webhosting business" where someone had a TOS that they had written up that was open to anyone to use. I'll see if I can dig it up.
    Yeah, that was ours.

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  13. #13
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    A TOS isn't something you can just copy and run a notepad replacement from XYZHost to YourHost (Which I see way too often now-a-days!). You should have something completely customized to your needs and make sure your back is covered completely.

    Thanks,
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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by elix
    A TOS isn't something you can just copy and run a notepad replacement from XYZHost to YourHost (Which I see way too often now-a-days!). You should have something completely customized to your needs and make sure your back is covered completely.

    Thanks,
    Actually, many portions are most likely the same throughout all of the various ToS' out there. All that really needs to be done is to tweak the language where appropriate to fit your needs.
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  15. #15
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    Originally posted by jslivko
    Actually, many portions are most likely the same throughout all of the various ToS' out there. All that really needs to be done is to tweak the language where appropriate to fit your needs.
    That's what I meant. I'll probably end up buying the legal package, since $35 isn't much for all you get. But I could always write up a tempoary one as well.

    Thanks,
    Trav

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Blazin Trav
    That's what I meant. I'll probably end up buying the legal package, since $35 isn't much for all you get. But I could always write up a tempoary one as well.

    Thanks,
    Trav
    No such thing as a 'temporary' TOS in my book. But, if you say so.

    Thanks,
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  17. #17
    http://www.spamhaus.org/isp/create_aup.lasso

    Creates a free to use AUP for you. Note that an AUP is NOT the same as a TOS and you should effectively have both.



    The AUP is the manner in which you expect the client to behave in using your servers (basically what they are and more importantly NOT allowed to do).
    The TOS is a set of rules by which you will provide services to a client and how certain situations will be handled. (ie refunds, server abuse, uptime guartentees, suspensions, etc). The TOS is usually what determines the course of action by the host if certain situations arise or if the client violates the AUP.

    You also should have a Privacy Policy that states how you will handle clients private info.

  18. #18
    Originally posted by elix
    No such thing as a 'temporary' TOS in my book. But, if you say so.

    Thanks,
    It's important to include a line that reads something like "this TOS is subject to periodic review and revision without notification and client agrees to abide by those revisions".

    That way you can put up a simple TOS and modify it as you go.

  19. #19
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    Originally posted by elix
    No such thing as a 'temporary' TOS in my book. But, if you say so.

    Thanks,
    The last poster pretty much understood what I meant. I have the ability to have the TOS subject to change at any time. It wouldn't be temporary but it could be chaged at my discretion.

    -Trav

  20. #20
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    There is plenty of stuff in a TOS that is just a general knowledge, and nobody has the right to claim a copyright over it.

    Just don't copy the exact sentences, order if the terms and words.

    Copy the idea, just say it with different words.

  21. #21
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    Originally posted by webcho
    There is plenty of stuff in a TOS that is just a general knowledge, and nobody has the right to claim a copyright over it.

    Just don't copy the exact sentences, order if the terms and words.

    Copy the idea, just say it with different words.
    That's what I mean, I think I can make a pretty general TOS until I have everything finalized with my business partners (my company now has 3 employees.)

  22. #22
    I observe the TOS/AUP of most companies are almost same, however you may add something extra which you deem best on it, as per the suitability with reference to your individual experience and thought.

    The TOS should have clause that you can revise or review it periodically enable to make change without any notice to give it more flexibility to you.

  23. #23
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    I too have found many hosting companies have almost identical TOS, some with just the company name changed.

    I don't know if lawyers are using the same template for their clients or whether the hosting companies are basically copying and just doing a search and replace of the company name.

    I have seen a couple that are so identical, that even the mistakes are the same...

  24. #24

  25. #25
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    The one real big thing that has not yet been mentioned ...

    When you are a reseller, you should very carefully read and understand the TOS under which you get your service, and then probably use that as a basis to create your own.

    It is very important that your TOS reflects the TOS for which you must operate under.

    With this in mind, I see no problem whatsoever for anyone who uses a reseller account to copy the TOS from their provider - at least this way, you can be sure you have not missed something out that may come back to haunt you.

    If I ever offer reseller accounts, I would make it a condition that they base their TOS on mine - this will ensure they don't attract the wrong sort of clients...
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  26. #26
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    It is a good idea for the TOS of the reseller to include all conditions as stated by their host and perhaps add on any extra conditions that the reseller sees fit.

    But what happens if the reseller gets more than one reseller account from different hosts who have different TOS? The reseller will have to either carefully create his own TOS to cover all conditions, or have different TOS for clients depending on which host server they are going to be located on.

  27. #27
    Originally posted by RRWH
    The one real big thing that has not yet been mentioned ...

    When you are a reseller, you should very carefully read and understand the TOS under which you get your service, and then probably use that as a basis to create your own.

    It is very important that your TOS reflects the TOS for which you must operate under.

    With this in mind, I see no problem whatsoever for anyone who uses a reseller account to copy the TOS from their provider - at least this way, you can be sure you have not missed something out that may come back to haunt you.

    If I ever offer reseller accounts, I would make it a condition that they base their TOS on mine - this will ensure they don't attract the wrong sort of clients...
    That doesn't just go with resellers. You need to incorporate the TOS of you datacenter as well. Say you lease a server from EV1, yoiu need to make sure your TOS and AUP adhere to EV1's tos and AUP as well. If, for example, your datacenter says "No Adult Content allowed on our servers", you can't tsay in you're TOS ("Adult Content Allowed").

  28. #28
    Originally posted by Blazin Trav
    I don't want to pay $35 for something that I can write myself.
    Good way to start a host

  29. #29
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    Originally posted by timj
    Good way to start a host
    Because I like to keep costs low?

  30. #30
    If your not willing to invest to do the job propper, then why bother... Its like people saying I want a free resellers account to sell unlimited hosting account for $1 / mo.

  31. #31
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    It is best to write your own vs copying one. If you are a reseller you should ask the company your are reselling from and ask if you can excerpt their TOS for your own use.
    Domain Maven

  32. #32

  33. #33
    Question: How many hosts have actually BEEN sued because you cancelled someones acct or had outrageous downtime? Seriously.

  34. #34
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    Originally posted by ArtieFishill
    Question: How many hosts have actually BEEN sued because you cancelled someones acct or had outrageous downtime? Seriously.
    I am sure not many, it is easier for someone to cancel and move on to a better provider
    Domain Maven

  35. #35
    Originally posted by ArtieFishill
    Question: How many hosts have actually BEEN sued because you cancelled someones acct or had outrageous downtime? Seriously.
    A lawsuit can be brought before a court in order to recover a right, or obtain damages by even a small error in the TOS by a single person, can be much heavier and troublesome.

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