Putting Together a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service


I am putting together a privacy policy and terms of service. I have read these two posts:

http://answers.onstartups.com/questions/2783/where-to-start-writing-a-terms-of-service-privacy-policy http://www.brightjourney.com/q/software-license-terms-service-end-user-license-agreement Along with half a dozen other resources on the matter.

My position: I'm working on a project full time which I hope to turn into a business. It's an online community with a small membership fee. I don't want to spend a ton of money on this project until it's making money. In a perfect world, I'd hire an attorney... but the goal is to whip something up, use it for less than 2 months, and have it professionally done by an attorney.

I'm currently looking at starting with the Wordpress TOS and Privacy Policy because of the CC licensing. Which are at:

http://en.wordpress.com/tos/ http://automattic.com/privacy/ I'm also looking at :

http://www.bbbonline.org/privacy/sample_privacy.asp http://www.docstoc.com http://www.dmaresponsibility.org/PPG/ On that last link, it supposedly generates something for me. Has anyone used that or familiar with that organization? I'm debating whether I should use that or start with what Wordpress has to offer.

On a latter note, if anyone has any references for an attorney who is knowledgeable with a project like mine (online community, nothing too crazy), please drop me links. I'm typically not one to do things the wrong way, but I don't want to overthink this... I'm confident that if this works out like I plan on I'll do it the right way ASAP. Thanks


asked Jan 3 '10 at 15:55
460 points
Get up to $750K in working capital to finance your business: Clarify Capital Business Loans

1 Answer


Matt -

DMA is a highly reputable organization. I had not previously seen their Privacy Policy generator, but from the questions they ask, it appears that they have provided an excellent checklist of privacy policy issues (I am not in a position to comment on the quality of the pages that they generate, not having seen any).

With respect to Terms of Service, i think you are in a much stickier situation, because TOS need to be quite specific to the applicable business. Entrepreneurs have an almost impossible task getting TOS right without an attorney's help. Please see, for example, Terms of Service and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Disclaimer: This post does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


answered Jan 4 '10 at 11:20
Dana Shultz
6,015 points
  • Thanks Dana. I was looking for "DMA is a highly reputable organization." Yeah, the questions look fairly in-depth. I think I'll give this a shot. Yeah, I'm going to semi-wing the ToS. I hope to have this redone professionally within the first 2 months if this project works out. – Matt 14 years ago

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