Yes most certainly. why doesnt he search around for some free to use tos and adapt them to his needs?..
Likely because the person's being a cheapskate.
I'm going to tell you something: an internet marketer sold copies of a software.
Link to purchase a copy of more "comprehensive" legal docs.
Just recently an attorney who copyrighted his own legal docs is sending letters.
To those who used such software, claiming copyright infringement and monetary.
Damages. So far I've seen them all settle.
That reminds me: someone posted being able to create those legal docs for free..
I'd better warn them right away.
That's one reason why it's preferable to retain an attorney to have him/her.
Design your legal fine prints for you. Not to mention each state has it's own.
Respective laws on how to deal with certain issues, and not all of them are.
Treated in the same way...
I think you have answered your own question with the title of your post - "STEALING.".
Yes he can be sued...
Alot of people copy this legal stuff and it's very annoying. Especially when you pay good money for a lawyer to write it up...
I want to suggest some links to your friend: http://webpage-tools.com/tos.asp http://www.webmasters-cavern.com/tools/tosgen/ http://www.the-dma.org/privacy/creating.shtml..
Simple answer: Yes.
Long answer: Yes. BUT - Depending on the site, they may not bother. If the site is tiny, and not harming the site with original TOS, then I'd say the would not bother. If it were a threat to them, then they may.
Nonetheless, stealing TOS is not right..
What about privacy service?.
Can someone be sued for copying the same text from other site?..
I won't dispute whether or not TOS are afforded copyright protection, by the very nature of the document, I would say in most cases it falls under Fair Use, but we'll assume it is.
Even if you use the exact TOS from another site, there is really little they could do. They may ask you to take it down, but what recourse do they have other than that? In order for them to sue you and hope to win any amount of money against you, they have to show that either 1. you directly profited from using their copyrighted material or that 2. they directly lost income due to your use of the copyrighted material.
In the case that Dave Zen cited, that guy could easily prove that he lost income, because his business was to directly sell TOS as a template to other business owners. In a case where you take it off of Yahoo.com or something like that, they can't prove that, because they aren't in the business of reselling their TOS to other companies. And they cant show that you directly profited from it's use, unless you are reselling copies of it...
So it very much depends on the context.
Generally speaking, it's not a good thing to do and I wouldn't recommend it...
I don't see that big a deal, considering most ToS' state generally the same thing. But the ethics of stealing still factors in...