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Hosting Discussion > Operating a Web Hosting Business > Web Hosting Business and Legal Issues > how did you come up with your aup/privacy policy/tos?
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  Post #1 (permalink)   05-13-2008, 10:41 PM
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I have been wondering for some time how other web hosting companies come up with their Acceptable Use Policy, Privacy Policy and terms of service. I just modeled mine after Hostgators, which is where I have my resellers account set up
 
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   05-14-2008, 03:37 PM
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I looked at my server provider's TOS/AUP, then looked up the line at the datacenter's TOS/AUP, and made a list of all the points covered by those two documents. Then I read over hosting and business forums, figured out what other situations I might encounter, and wrote up a first draft. Then ran it by my legal advisor to find any missing information, or unenforcable provisions.

I figure if I can't explain the TOS/AUP to my customers, I shouldn't have them agree to sign it...because I'm bound by the agreement, as well.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   05-15-2008, 05:31 AM
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Lesli is absolutely right. At a minimum you must ensure that your TOS/AUP contains much of the same content as that your upstream provider's. Most are relatively short when compared to the license's for software.

In general, I'd say that most of the TOS/AUP's used by web hosts are very similar. Most of the differences may be fee's and services that are allowed.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   05-31-2008, 06:44 PM
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Combine what's been stated above with frequently asked questions by potential/current clients, and you should be all set.
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  Post #5 (permalink)   06-02-2008, 06:43 AM
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I looked at my datacenters TOS/AUP then what customers frequently asked. Then I wanted to see what other companys had to see if I mabey missed something and low and be hold I diden't miss anything
 
 
 


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  Post #6 (permalink)   06-02-2008, 12:39 PM
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I did exactly what Lesli Did. Also remember to put in a force majeure clause - you never know what my happen.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   06-18-2008, 02:08 AM
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Getting yourself to come up with a AUP/TOS/Privacy Policy is easy. First, just like lesli, take a look at your datacenter's AUP/TOS and see what their uptime and downtime policies are like. This is going to be the base on your uptime guarantee and other technical related policies.

Then take a look at your business process. Every Standard Operation Procedure you had to follow in your company will and might affect on how you will handle your customers. Things like promotions and refund policies and other related business policies that might be included.

Speaking of refunds, the billing policies are very important too. You have to look into your merchant gateway (if you are using authorize.net or PayPal) and see how they handle refunds and chargebacks to customers.

There are more details you need to figure out of course, but you get the idea.
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  Post #8 (permalink)   06-20-2008, 09:19 AM
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Matching your TOS to your data center may be fine in some cases but not all regions have the same laws.
It would be lacking in judgement not to have a local lawyer verify that your TOS pertains also to the place where you are doing business.
Laws vary from one state to another and they certainly vary from one country to another.
 
 
 


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  Post #9 (permalink)   06-20-2008, 09:50 AM
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Keep in mind that when doing business in different states, provinces, territories, and/or countries, clients in one area may have consumer rights that may override provisions in your TOS. I know that consumer rights in Michigan were, at one time, pretty favorable to the consumer. No matter how well you craft your TOS, there may be the occasional (.05%) instance where local consumer laws trump your client agreement. You don't necessarily write all of these instances into your client agreement - you'd have to update it every single year, at minimum. Just be aware that if/when a client tries to ask questions about one provision or another, they may have additional protections or consumer safeguards that many of your clients won't enjoy.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   06-20-2008, 11:10 PM
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Keep in mind that when doing business in different states, provinces, territories, and/or countries, clients in one area may have consumer rights that may override provisions in your TOS.
Hmm... is a business totally based in one country (as the vast majority of hosts are), supposed to follow the rules and regulations of each country where a customer may be living? I understand this requirement when a company has a local branch/distributor, but for this kind of remote thing, I'm not so sure...

Just a personal opinion, 'cause as they say, IANAL.
 
 
 


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  Post #11 (permalink)   06-26-2008, 07:23 PM
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I have checked what other websites have write and i just adapted it to my needs. I have changed a lot of tos and privacy policy models.
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  Post #12 (permalink)   07-12-2008, 12:54 PM
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Easy.

Copy your suppliers and edit it a little - contact your supplier before doing this though.
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  Post #13 (permalink)   07-18-2008, 04:18 AM
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Our terms of service is based off HostNine's (with written permission). I modified it to meet our needs, and also pulled information from our datacenter's website.
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