Rather than write such documents from scratch, it can help to base it on someone else’s work. But while you can read most anyone’s policies and terms, technically such documents are covered by copyright protections just like your average Great American Novel (though a good deal less entertaining, I hope).
One might think that such documents are “useful articles,” and – like a bicycle rack/sculpture that was deemed too useful to be covered by a design copyright – should not be copyrightable. But, just like software, they are.
This makes them perfect to reuse and repurpose (but do not do so without seeking legal counsel as part of the process, since they need to be customized to your specific needs.) Such a starting place can make the whole process easier and more understandable (and therefore cheaper, since legal counsel is quite expensive). Kudos to Automattic and WordPress on this.
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- Licensing Your Dissertation under Creative Commons (futurelab.net)