Potential purchasers of online music can have trouble distinguishing between websites offering legal music sales and questionable or illegal websites offering more dubious downloads. A well-drafted set of legal documents can help customers make this distinction. Our music download terms and conditions provide a template for operators of legal sites to define buying procedures for customers and to reassure them about their rights to the digital music they purchase and download via the site.
The purchasing process suggested in our model terms and conditions is straightforward and allows the online music store operator to prevent any contractual relationship from being created until it has sent an email confirming the customer's order. This process allows the operator to distinguish between those users who simply browse the site and those who make purchases, thereby limiting the group of people who may lawfully assert contract claims against the site.
To reassure customers about their digital music purchases, the template contains a licence for buyers to use the music files in the ways expressly permitted in the T&Cs. These include typical personal uses, such as copying to devices, backing up or burning to a CD, and specifically exclude a number of other uses, such as further distribution, altering the files, violating the law or competing with the seller.
To reassure suppliers of digital music to the online store, the model terms and conditions contain requirements for the customer not to remove copyright notices in the downloaded files as well as an express statement that the customer obtains no intellectual property rights other than those explicitly granted in the T&Cs.
Customers are required to acknowledge that the music download website is providing the digital music in a specific format and to affirm that they have the equipment necessary to make use of the downloaded file. These provisions can serve to minimise disputes or claims about whether the music file is defective.
The template allows operators of digital music sites to comply with the dispositions of UK law governing distance contracts, in particular by providing consumers with a right to cancel and receive a refund within 14 days of making a purchase subject to the conditions and following the procedure set out in the T&Cs.
The music download terms and conditions also include boilerplate contract clauses addressing, among other matters, limitations on liability, the warranties of the parties, the amendment and assignment of the contract, as well as the information that is legally required on the websites of UK companies.