Is it okay to plagiarize another website's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy?


Let's say you find another website with very similar content and operations. Is it okay to copy their Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, tweaking it to fit your needs?

Privacy Terms And Conditions

asked Sep 22 '10 at 07:49
176 points
  • Unless the privacy policy covers the privacy policy. – John K 14 years ago
  • Please see this past discussion, which your question is an exact duplicate of: Mortensen 14 years ago
  • Thanks Jesper - if only there was a way to merge questions that are duplicates. – Superjoe30 14 years ago

5 Answers


Check out where you can generate your privacy policy for free and customize it for your needs.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 08:21
Marna Friedman
209 points
  • This doesn't answer the question. – Moshe 13 years ago


You can use the terms and services from Wordpress, it's GPL. That's what we did :).

answered Sep 22 '10 at 07:51
Vid Luther
131 points
  • It depends on what your site does... – Moshe 14 years ago


I don't think plagiarizing someone else's TOS and privacy policy will lead to too much trouble, because it's probably tough to track down & enforce such a potential violation. I can't speak to the legality of this move either, since I'm not legally trained.

What I would suggest in lieu of copying someone else's TOS and privacy policy is to use a generator like one of these:

  • - They have a long form that will allow you to highly customize a privacy policy to your exact needs. It's pretty neat.
  • Privacy Policy/Terms of Service Generator - This generates a very generic privacy policy and TOS. Just enter the name of your company and your US State of business, and you're done.

I like Zippy's answer too ;-)

answered Sep 22 '10 at 08:27
Mike Lee
1,356 points


Assuming you are legally allowed to do so...

I wouldn't recommend it for practicality reasons. If a site describes "gathering email addresses from our superamazingdataminer " and your site has nothing of the sort, it makes no sense.

In short, make sure the policy matches your activity.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 08:03
409 points


We felt that privacy is an important aspect of the brand for a new website we just launched in Beta. We used some of the generators people have mentioned, studied the privacy and terms on other sites, and then worked with a good attorney on the terms and with TRUSTe on the privacy policy. We received excellent support and guidance from the team at TRUSTe on the path to gaining their approval of our privacy policy enabling us to display their seal on our site.

If privacy isn't critical for your brand, then the generators do a good job of covering the basics.

By the way, if you're going to use major ad networks such as Google AdSense, it's typical that they require you to have a privacy policy and a link to it from your home page.

answered Sep 23 '10 at 05:29
Warren E. Hart
2,181 points

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