Legal Question in Technology Law in New York

Terms Of Service - need to be on same page as Continue?


I have a website where users can

upload pictures. It is to be used with

cellphones. The first time a user

comes to my website, I ask them to

agree to my terms of service. I'm

wondering if it's necessary to actually

display the terms of service on that

same page, or can I provide a link to

them, and say ''do not continue

unless you agree to these TOS''? Are

both methods lawfully equivalent?


Welcome to my site

Before continuing, please read and

agree to our TOS found ''here''. Do

not continue if you have not read or

do not agree to our TOS.

Ok, I agree, continue

the cell phone screens are so small,

and nobody really reads the TOS

anyway - I'd like to avoid putting the

full TOS on the that same page

otherwise users will spend an hour

trying to scroll through it on their

small screens.

Actually this is exactly what this

website does - so I'm hoping that it's


Thank you

Asked on 3/10/09, 2:54 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Johm Smith tom's

Re: Terms Of Service - need to be on same page as Continue?

Your ToS is useless unless you show the whole thing before they consent. I'm licensed in NY and have many clients with online businesses. Let me know if you want help avoiding problems before they happen.

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Answered on 3/10/09, 11:51 am
Ken Feldman Feldman Law Group

Re: Terms Of Service - need to be on same page as Continue?

I think the strongest legal coverage is if you require they "click through" by taking affirmative action to agree to your terms.You are right that putting the terms on the page is unwieldy and ineffective. If you just put it on the site, people can (legitimately) say they didn't see it, or didn't agree. Again, I recommend you do a click through, requiring users take action to agree. Obviously, you have to consider carefully what your terms of service are.

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Answered on 3/10/09, 9:39 am

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