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Legalities for Course Creators: A Basic Guide


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With big names like Udemy, Coursera, Masterclass, and Skillshare being more successful and widely known than ever, it’s clear that the online course industry is experiencing a meteoric rise.

As more people become aware of the endless opportunities to learn about anything and everything, course makers are now in a position to make a killing! From general topics like investing and finance to photography and pottery, nearly every field and topic is now being taught online, with hundreds of courses accessible to a growing number of interested learners.

For any content creator, the growing online course industry poses an invaluable opportunity to make money by doing good and sharing knowledge to help millions of people. In your case, you may currently be in the process of following suit and tapping into a much larger market of potential consumers that you can impart your knowledge to.

Before you jump into the world of online learning, building your framework, and start marketing your first course, however, there’s something you need to account for before all else: The legal terms and policies that any online course creator should know about.

Everything Course Creators Need to Know

Like any other large and lucrative kind of business, online courses are bound to an array of rules and regulations that creators can use to protect their hard work and ensure that it prospers as it should.

The American government has unrolled specific measures with policies that course creators can use to ensure that everything checks out legally to their advantage. As someone that’s looking to follow the same path and turn their knowledge into a constant stream of income, it’s crucial to be aware of these key concepts that should be in your legal policy:

Terms of Use

Also known as “Terms and Conditions” or “Terms of Service” in any legal document, the Terms of Use are any course creator or content creator’s trusted ally when it comes to securing their hard work.

Course owners can lay out various do’s and don’ts that users and platforms must hold themselves to ensure that fair use is maintained at all times. Through the help of a “Terms of Use” section, you’ll be able to avoid certain issues that many creators have faced in the past, such as:

  • Illegal reselling of course content
  • Unauthorized course sharing
  • Unauthorized replication of content
  • Misuse of provided material

Intellectual Property Rights

In any kind of course, content creators utilize, feature, and impart key concepts, practices, insights, and formulas that they have created from their own minds. This can be a crucial legality point for most people. Unfortunately, many end up failing to protect their original ideas from being stolen: Intellectual Property Rights.

By including these same rights and establishing them in your legal policy, it becomes easier to specify what you attribute as an original idea and how they’re protected by law. Once you establish your intellectual property rights, it will be much easier to set forth everything your students or subscribers can interact with.

Refund Policies

Let’s be honest here: it’s nearly impossible to have a product and not have a customer or subscriber that’s dissatisfied with it.

If your course’s customers or subscribers have a complaint that will make them want their money back, you can end up in a tricky situation if you’re not prepared. Through the help of a well-established refund policy, you can establish all that your customers need to know when it comes to getting their money back.

If you’re unaware of how you can implement these concepts in your contract or terms, there’s no need to worry because Creators Legal has got you covered with template contracts that you can use!

The Wrap

Taking the step towards creating your first online course can make for a rather exciting experience, but it’s essential to be aware of the legal concepts that you need to use. Through everything we’ve discussed in the guide, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps forward to ensure that your content and hard work are protected!

Creators Legal is the first and only legal platform build just for Content Creators. Get simple, straightforward, and trustworthy creator contracts in a fast, easy-to-use platform. With a powerful guided Form Builder, a secure e-signature system, and your own personalized dashboard to store and organize all your contracts, you can get yourself protected in minutes without the need for expensive entertainment lawyers!

Want to learn more? Check out, where you can get single use contracts or monthly and annual subscriptions on all contracts for creators! Try us now!

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