Business Tips 101: If you're going to rip a TOS word for word...

Discussion in 'Operating a Hosting Business' started by DomainBop, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. DomainBop

    DomainBop Dormant VPSB Pathogen

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    ...for your new host-in-a-box VPS business, could you at least read what you've ripped before you copy and paste it into your template, and make sure that what you're about to paste is relevant to a hosting business??? 


    (TOS section from a new VPS host which was started by a couple of people who used to work for a provider whose main claims to fame were mediocrity, incompetence, and downtime before the provider was acquired by a company in Buffalo):
     

    ^^facepalm...WTF is that section (which is written for user-generated content sites like forums, blogs, social networks) doing in a VPS provider's TOS (especially one that does not have a forum or  blog)?


    Startup Advice 101: Writing Terms of Service and Company Policies: Your "terms of service", which is a contract between you and your customers, is not something that you can just copy and paste verbatim from some crap site without putting any thought into it. If you, or the others involved in your business, don't have the legal knowledge to write TOS/AUP/contracts/privacy policies that are tailored to your specific business, then you should hire a professional to write your contracts and policies.  You should also have an attorney look over your TOS and other policies to make sure everything is OK (if you can't afford to have an attorney look them over before you open for business it probably means you're starting your business with inadequate working capital which is a topic for another post


    TL;DR  If you can't even take the time to write your own TOS (or proofread what you've ripped from somewhere else) you should stick to your day job.  If you need a hobby take up something that doesn't involve handling other people's data. 


    disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only and the author hopes this advice will help aspiring young hosting entrepreneurs avoid deadpooling within a year. It is not the intent of the author to dent fragile geek egos,  hurt the feelings of the emotionally challenged, or invade the safe-spaces of socially inept millennials, and if this post does cause you the reader needless anxiety you need to grow a pair of balls and get outside more often. It should be stressed no animals were harmed in the production of this post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2016
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  2. CenTex Hosting

    CenTex Hosting Member Verified Provider

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    Great Feedback
     
  3. TechVM

    TechVM New Member

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    While examples like you pointed out is highly unprofessional (and in fact violate copyrights), there are options than spending $3,000+ on "covering up your butts". DIY can get you started IF you take the TIME and EFFORTS to do it decently than just bluntly copying, plopping it in Word and replacing the ripped company's policies, and then just uploading that contents to your "business" site.  


    The short "version" is... Will it best to hire legal intelligence people if budget and situation calls for them? Yes of course. But it is ALWAYS viable and even NEEDED at certain stages? Nope. 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 3, 2016
  4. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    HalfEatenPie
    This is where risk assessment is necessary.  


    Are you willing to invest the funds to have a proper lawyer take a look at your official legally binding document?  Those individuals shouldn't cost 3000 dollars to just review a TOS.  Now if you want them to actually write it for you then that's another issue, but if a lawyer is willing to look it over and point out any issues it may have (as long as it's within the scope) it shouldn't cost you 3000 dollars.  


    You know why some major companies don't care about legal liability?  It's because they can get more money by simply taking the "hit" or the fine for the infraction because the amount of profit is considerably more.  


    Taking some time to get legal advice from someone isn't something that costs an arm and a leg.  Lawyers are people too and they're more than willing to work with you on any issues you need for a fair sum.


    My experience with our lawyers anyways.  I don't know what kind of lawyer gave you a 3k quote for a simple TOS review but that's an absolute scam. 
     
  5. TechVM

    TechVM New Member

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    I see now, I used to run a company and I was so good at rewriting a host's terms as a "base" and was told it was "so good" that it would had costed me ~3k to have it written up if I didn't take the time and efforts to DIY.  


    My point of view if the company was not heavily invested or whatever to warrant the expenses then why bend over for it and just wait until you got any decent assets to "protect"?
     
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  6. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    HalfEatenPie
    Fair enough.  The point of the matter is that everything will be cheaper if you do it yourself.  The amount of time you have to invest into knowing the proper regulations, making sure you didn't leave out any "loopholes" and to make sure your butt is covered is a scary thing for some people.  Time is money (as much as I dislike that saying it is true), and you can always pay someone else to take care of it for you. 


    In regards to the second line, why would they?  Again this is Risk Management and Cost-Benefit Analysis.  Would the company be willing to invest resources into experiencing new markets but is not willing to invest in protecting those resources?  Then sure!  I mean if it's valued at 100 dollars but costs 2000 dollars to protect, then are you really willing to protect that 100 dollar investment?  Does that 100 dollar investment also come with 5000 dollars worth of risk?  Well then is that 100 dollars investment really worth it?  But then you can also ask the question is that 2000 dollars to protect that investment now worth it if it minimizes a 5000 dollar risk to 2000 dollars?  


    This answer is different from person to person and is defined as decision making science... Also why I have a job!  It's also why CEOs get paid so much (because they should be great at decision making).  This is all relative to the person who is making the decision (officially referred to as the "decision maker") and for some people, they're willing to invest large amount of money into protecting themselves from certain risks.  Now factor in statistics (since we understand this is not a deterministic situation and we need to factor in a probabilistic approach) and you get a TON of concern.