Is it legal to copy and modify another sites partner agreement and terms of service for my use?

I'm in the process of drafting terms for a partnership agreement. This will all be shared with a lawyer in the near future to make sure that everything is legit and passes inspection, but I'm finding the generic templates available online too general to be of use to me.

I have found some partnership agreements from other similar companies in other industries that can be adapted to my use case.

How much do I need to modify the agreement in order to be safe, and is plagiarism in this case something I should even be concerned with?

thanks, RR

Startups | 👁 898 | Posted 2018-03-07 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: 2018-03-07 | Author:


Roznoshchik 2 years ago

Awesome! thanks for that tip. I'll definitely give the ycombinator stuff some look. I appreciate it.

Roznoshchik 2 years ago

Right. I changed quite a bit, added in a bunch of stuff relevant to my own situation, and in general gave it some editing. The language trick is interesting. I like to think I'm a good spellchecker myself :D Will take a look more closely.

FoneGasm 2 years ago

Look into the top companies and at their agreements. Much of them sounds the same but with different layouts and titles.

jmb_enginecommerce 2 years ago

I would start by saying, it is worth the time to have a document drafted by a lawyer, it is >$1,000 and will save massive headaches down the road. Another great resource is https://www.ycombinator.com/resources/. Do remember that most partnership agreements need to be notarized.

2LegitToQ 2 years ago

I think for the most part you'd be fine. No one person or company has "claim" over "generalized legal jargon" so as previously stated, use the search function and make sure you modify for your business needs. Anybody can go on RocketLawyer or Legal Zoom and get a general version of one anyhow.

Roznoshchik 2 years ago

That sounds scary. What exactly comprises wholesale plagiarism?

mfosker 2 years ago

If you are just pulling these together to pass to your lawyer for them to then write up the final text then I'd guess that you are probably OK. I've definitely seen a law firm in the past go after a company that wholesale plagiarised the Terms of service from the website of their client.

Roznoshchik 2 years ago

I didn't think to send them the original agreement. Good call. Thanks.

Roznoshchik 2 years ago

Right. I have a few examples that I'm using. Thanks!

theshadean 2 years ago

To answer your question about how much you would need to change in order for you to be able to use a document, just the name of the company to yours. I've seen attorneys receive a document from somewhere, just change one or two words, put their names on it and send it back out. Unless there is a specific copyright for the terms of service, you should be good. Of course, I would still have your attorney review both the source material and your modified document to make sure you're in the clear.

Monkeyboogaloo 2 years ago

I would and do. Everything I do involves research and often a key bit of material sticks out and is used as the basis of my own work. And that includes contracts. I'd say look at a few not just one. See if any have clauses that you think are relevant that you might want to incorporate into your own. I wrote a detailed partner contract from scratch in plain English and then passed it to a lawyer to convert it into a legal document. It took me a week to write. Never again!

Roznoshchik 2 years ago


kkrajk 2 years ago

Most lawyers work from templates anyway editing a few clauses here and there to suit businesses. So if it fits you, use it

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