Terms of use

Terms of Use are rules set up by the owner of an intellectual property or service to govern how they may be legally used.

In many cases, terms of service are used as a contractual agreement between a company and users of a service they provide. They generally detail restrictions on what each party is and will be responsible for in relation to the service. They may give rules concerning copyright and other legal details. In a court of law, agreeing to terms of use designates entry into a written contract in most cases.

Where intellectual property is concerned, Terms of Use may be set up in order to let an audience know specifically what can and cannot be done to the work with or without the creator's permission. For written work, terms of use may say that it cannot be distributed by email or other means. Artistic works may stipulate a requirement for compensation in the way of payment, advertising, artist credit and/or other items or services. Musicians may stipulate that they do not allow unauthorized recording of live performances or distribution of such recordings. In copyright infringement cases, the court may consider the tangible, written terms of use of the creator in determining whether or not a use of copyrighted materials was legal. It is, therefore, extremely important that terms of use be as specific and accurate as possible.

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