You might not think that something like a website’s Terms of Service would be all that interesting, but you’d be wrong. After that post about how awesome 500px’s Terms of Service are (tl;dr: they translate them into human speak), the inbox kind of blew up with questions. Is anyone else doing this?, emailers wanted to know, can I talk to them? (Also: hey, stupid, Aviary has done this forever. Thank you, thank you, and yes, the post is updated.)
Regardless, one email stood out from the crowd. It described a newly launched legal service called SnapTerms, which provides startups with simple, reasonably priced, and personalized Terms of Service and Privacy Policies.
The Sarasota-based company, only a few months old, was founded as a side project by legal entrepreneurs Mike Kolb and Aaron Kelly, the latter who’s an attorney specializing in Internet law. With the SnapTerms service, startup founders on limited budgets have an alternative to the naughty little practice of copy-and-pasting from another website’s Terms of Service or having to dive deep into their own pockets to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars via billable hours.
Explains Kolb, SnapTerms is sort of the sweet spot right in between the copy-and-pasting and paying big bucks.
The plans offer different levels of support for revisions, too. For example, on the basic plan, you get one revision within the first 48 hours. On the mid-level plan, it’s one within the first three month. (Custom plans vary).
Oh, and they can also make your Terms funny, so your customers will actually read them. For an example of how funny legalese can get, you can check out SnapTerms’ own Terms here.
Kelly has experience writing terms for sites other than startups, including celebrity fan sites, affiliate, e-commerce, diet sites, and more, so the company isn’t limited to supporting early stage startups, although it does have a couple of startups that have been featured here on TechCrunch as paying customers.
Attorney-client privilege means I can’t blog about which ones unless they give word, so we’ll update if any agree to come out of hiding. In the meantime, you can check out Photodropper, Sevacall, or Murderdate for some current, legally-approved examples. SnapTerms has about 100 clients to date, despite not having done press or having advertised (save for once on Startups.com). Almost all the sign-ups have been word of mouth, Kolb tells me.
Assuming this takes off, Kolb says they may expand to offer a network of lawyers, many of whom would likely do the work on the side.
Address a need. Fulfill it for an affordable price.
Not a bad idea, SnapTerms. Not bad at all.