Why You Should Read Terms & Conditions Before Joining A Site
When people sign up for a new account, they usually simply check the "Agree" box when they see the link to the terms and conditions, but they often don't read them.
Because they're usually written in legalese and sound complicated and repetitive. There's only one problem - if you don't read the terms and conditions you put both yourself and your business at risk.
Here are five things that can happen if you haven't read the terms and conditions when you sign up for a site or program.
You can lose your copyright - Although many sites have scary sounding copyright rules, these usually just mean that they are covered if your image appears anywhere on their website (or in some cases, embedded to other websites.) But some sites will actually retain rights to your writing or images and even go so far as to request you don't share them on any other site.
You can lose your money - If you're a member of any site where you earn money (such as affiliate networks, wholesale networks or party planning companies), many have clauses that include the right to keep your earnings if certain rules are broken.
You can lose your posting rights - Many sites are moderated by automatic system that look for warning signs such as repeatedly linking from the same same site or posting too many things too fast. As soon as you go over the line, you can see your account locked so you can't post, or receive bans from using parts of the site for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.
You can lose your account - Some sites will give you a warning or ban for the first offence. Other sites will close your account without warning as soon as you break any one of their rules.
You can lose your page - If you run a page on a site like Facebook or Google Plus, you can have it shut down without notice for breaching page terms and conditions. Although some people have successfully appealed these bans, many people have had to start from scratch with a new page.
What Are Some Important Things People Miss In Terms & Conditions?
Every site has a different set of terms and conditions - these are usually based around the demographic of the people using the site and what the site is used for. Just because you've read one site's terms does not mean you're not breaking another's - many sites have very different rules.
- Spam - Posting certain types of links, posting the same link over and over, or even copying and pasting the same text is against the rules of many sites.
- Competitions - Because different countries (and even different states) have very different rules on how to run competitions, including requiring registration, many sites have strict rules on running any type of competition. For instance, Facebook requires all competitions to follow strict rules and include a complete disclaimer.
- Copyright - If you use someone else's words or images without permission and someone reports you or complains, you can be in big trouble, both from the site you posted them to and even legally. Everything on the internet is copyright UNLESS stated otherwise. A well recent case saw a Facebook page for The Cool Hunter, with 788,000 fans, get shut down for copyright infringement.
- Image Rules - Many websites have rules on the type of images you can post, how much text you use and copyright.
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