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AI Lawyer (GPT-3) Explains Terms of Use

4 mins read
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AI’s natural language processing capabilities are getting very impressive. Here is my GPT-3 based paralegal explaining, very coherently, the legal aspects of the Terms of Use. It’s just a part of a 4,800 blog “she” wrote.

[Transcript]:

Hi! Welcome to San Francisco!

I am an Artificial Intelligence Lawyer, powered by GPT-3, which is currently the most advanced language learning model in the world. Today, I will explain the legal aspects of website Terms of Use. Follow the link in the description to read the 4,847-word blog post I wrote about it for Terms.law almost completely from scratch in just a few minutes.

When you visit any website, you might not read or even think about the legal terms that govern your use of that site. However, it is important to be aware of these terms, as they affect your rights and obligations. Let’s discuss some of the key things you need to know about the website terms of use.

Normal, standard Terms of Use (also known as the terms and conditions, user agreement or the terms of service) are legally binding even if you never agreed to them and never read them. However, if they contain some unusually unfair, deceptive, or unreasonably restrictive provisions, then such provisions may end up unenforceable.

But the standard boilerplate provisions will be enforced even if people never read them. If they use the online platform, then their consent to the platform’s Terms will be implied and, thus, the terms of use will be legally binding.

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How to tell if the platform’s Terms try to steal your content or personal information? Look at the sections with titles like Intellectual Property Ownership, License to Your Content, Disclaimer of Warranty, Limitation of Liability, Arbitration, Waiver of Jury Trial, Feedback. See if there is anything in those clauses that says that by submitting content you are giving up some of your intellectual property rights, or you grant perpetual license to your content just because you submitted it through the platform.

Some common issues to watch out for in terms of use agreements include:

-Who owns the content that you upload to the website?

-What are the disclaimers of warranty?

-How is the liability limited?

-Can the platform change its Terms at any time without notice?

– Are there any arbitration clauses? Waiver of jury trial?

-What is the governing law and jurisdiction? Ideally, it should be set close to your home.

-Does the losing party have to pay the other party’s legal fees in case there is a legal dispute?

-What legal entity owns the platform?

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It is not legally required for website owner to have the Terms of use in place. However, it is highly recommended. Here are the top 5 reasons of how terms of use might be beneficial to a site owner:

1) You can limit your liability. For example, your Terms can state that in no event a user can sue you for more than the fees they paid you in the last couple of months. The Terms can also state that no claim or lawsuit can be initiated against you after more than a few short months have passed from the date the problem occurred.

2) You can terminate a user’s account if they misuse your platform or mobile app in any manner. Your “Termination” clause can advise users that. if they abuse your service, their accounts will be subject to termination.

3) You can inform users that everything on your platform is on an “as is” basis, to be used at own risk, without warranties of any kind. This will make it more difficult for people to sue you in the future for anything that can go wrong when they do something silly after reading something on your platform.

4) If you offer goods or services, you may be able to cancel particular orders if the pricing of a product or service is inaccurate.

5) You can provide users with information about appropriate payment arrangements, shipping policies, returns and refunds.

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Here are the top 10 essential clauses for the Terms of Use that almost every website needs to have to be protected from unnecessary liability.

1) Acceptance. To inform users that the Terms of Service are legally binding whenever they visit the platform, even if they are only surfing browsing.

2) Neutral Venue. The law shields neutral eCommerce service owners from liability for materials/transactions of the service users, if their function is just to provide a neutral platform for users to transact. The Neutral Venue clause states unequivocally that the owner is neutral and, as such, is entitled to liability protection.

3) A Link to Your Privacy Policy. You must post a Privacy Policy. Because most businesses collect at least some personal data, you are likely subject to privacy regulation. It is critical that you include a link to your Privacy Policy somewhere in the Terms and Conditions agreement. This manner, the provisions of your Privacy Policy are incorporated into your wider Terms and Conditions agreement.

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4) IP Ownership. The Terms of Use should state that, as between you and the users, your company owns all IP rights in the content on the platform. Users should retain rights to their own content that they submit to or through your platform.

5) Disclaimer of Warranty. To disclaim any responsibility for the accuracy, timeliness, or completeness of information on the platform and to limit liability for damages resulting from its use.

6) No Guarantee of Continued Service or Support. The Terms of Use should state that your company does not guarantee any particular level of service or support for the platform.

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7) Limitation of Liability. To limit your company’s maximum liability for any damages that may result from use of the platform (to fees received or some nominal amount).

8) Acceptable Use Policy. A set of rules that specify the permitted uses of your platform and content and prohibited uses of your platform and content.

9) The Right to Modify the Terms of Use at Any Time.

10) Termination of use and access to the Platform if users violate the Terms of Use or for any other reason you deem appropriate and reasonable.<break time=”1s” />

I hope this helps, even though none of this is an official legal advice because I am not a lawyer, I am a very intelligent and constantly evolving computer. Please contact an actual human lawyer if you need further assistance.

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