Updated Terms of Service Template


(Joshua Rosenfeld) #1

As mentioned in the Discourse 2.2.0.beta5 Release Notes, we’ve updated the default Terms of Service template that ships with Discourse. The terms have been completely rewritten, though they are fairly similar in substance to the previous terms adapted from Automattic (Wordpress).

It should be noted that if you modified the default terms in any way, they will not automatically be replaced with these new terms. The new terms are included below in both formatted and raw forms for your convenience. And now, a word from our sponsors lawyer:

CDCK, Inc. can’t make any guarantee that the template terms that ship with Discourse will be the best terms for any particular forum operator. We’re happy to offer a starting point. Forum operators can and should make changes to suit their needs from there, or replace the template entirely.

It’s entirely up to forum hosts what terms of service, privacy policies, and other documents they publish and follow. We’re happy to share the terms that we use as part of the standard install, and to make filling them in simple, using the wizard. But we can’t take attorney-like responsibility for every Discourse host’s decisions, or provide legal advice like commentary or opinions on what we provide.

Formatted terms

Terms of Service

These terms govern use of the Internet forum at <{{{Forum Link}}}>. To use the forum, you must agree to these terms with {{Company Name}}, the company that runs the forum.

The company may offer other products and services, under different terms. These terms apply only to use of the forum.

Skip to:

Important Terms

These terms include a number of important provisions that affect your rights and responsibilities, such as the disclaimers in Disclaimers, limits on the company’s liability to you in Limits on Liability, your agreement to cover the company for damages caused by your misuse of the forum in Responsibility for Your Use, and an agreement to arbitrate disputes in Disputes.

Your Permission to Use the Forum

Subject to these terms, the company gives you permission to use the forum. Everyone needs to agree to these terms to use the forum.

Conditions for Use of the Forum

Your permission to use the forum is subject to the following conditions:

  1. You must be at least thirteen years old.

  2. You may no longer use the forum if the company contacts you directly to say that you may not.

  3. You must use the forum in accordance with Acceptable Use and Content Standards.

Acceptable Use

  1. You may not break the law using the forum.

  2. You may not use or try to use another’s account on the forum without their specific permission.

  3. You may not buy, sell, or otherwise trade in user names or other unique identifiers on the forum.

  4. You may not send advertisements, chain letters, or other solicitations through the forum, or use the forum to gather addresses or other personal data for commercial mailing lists or databases.

  5. You may not automate access to the forum, or monitor the forum, such as with a web crawler, browser plug-in or add-on, or other computer program that is not a web browser. You may crawl the forum to index it for a publicly available search engine, if you run one.

  6. You may not use the forum to send e-mail to distribution lists, newsgroups, or group mail aliases.

  7. You may not falsely imply that you’re affiliated with or endorsed by the company.

  8. You may not hyperlink to images or other non-hypertext content on the forum on other webpages.

  9. You may not remove any marks showing proprietary ownership from materials you download from the forum.

  10. You may not show any part of the forum on other websites with <iframe>.

  11. You may not disable, avoid, or circumvent any security or access restrictions of the forum.

  12. You may not strain infrastructure of the forum with an unreasonable volume of requests, or requests designed to impose an unreasonable load on information systems underlying the forum.

  13. You may not impersonate others through the forum.

  14. You may not encourage or help anyone in violation of these terms.

Content Standards

  1. You may not submit content to the forum that is illegal, offensive, or otherwise harmful to others. This includes content that is harassing, inappropriate, or abusive.

  2. You may not submit content to the forum that violates the law, infringes anyone’s intellectual property rights, violates anyone’s privacy, or breaches agreements you have with others.

  3. You may not submit content to the forum containing malicious computer code, such as computer viruses or spyware.

  4. You may not submit content to the forum as a mere placeholder, to hold a particular address, user name, or other unique identifier.

  5. You may not use the forum to disclose information that you don’t have the right to disclose, like others’ confidential or personal information.

Enforcement

The company may investigate and prosecute violations of these terms to the fullest legal extent. The company may notify and cooperate with law enforcement authorities in prosecuting violations of the law and these terms.

The company reserves the right to change, redact, and delete content on the forum for any reason. If you believe someone has submitted content to the forum in violation of these terms, contact us immediately.

Your Account

You must create and log into an account to use some features of the forum.

To create an account, you must provide some information about yourself. If you create an account, you agree to provide, at a minimum, a valid e-mail address, and to keep that address up-to-date. You may close your account at any time by {{{Account Deletion Method}}}.

You agree to be responsible for all action taken using your account, whether authorized by you or not, until you either close your account or notify the company that your account has been compromised. You agree to notify the company immediately if you suspect your account has been compromised. You agree to select a secure password for your account, and keep it secret.

The company may restrict, suspend, or close your account on the forum according to its policy for handling copyright-related takedown requests, or if the company reasonably believes that you’ve broken any rule in these terms.

Your Content

Nothing in these terms gives the company any ownership rights in intellectual property that you share with the forum, such as your account information, posts, or other content you submit to the forum. Nothing in these terms gives you any ownership rights in the company’s intellectual property, either.

Between you and the company, you remain solely responsible for content you submit to the forum. You agree not to wrongly imply that content you submit to the forum is sponsored or approved by the company. These terms do not obligate the company to store, maintain, or provide copies of content you submit, and to change it, according to these terms.

Content you submit to the forum belongs to you, and you decide what permission to give others for it. But at a minimum, you license the company to provide content that you submit to the forum to other users of the forum. That special license allows the company to copy, publish, and analyze content you submit to the forum.

When content you submit is removed from the forum, whether by you or by the company, the company’s special license ends when the last copy disappears from the company’s backups, caches, and other systems. Other licenses you apply to content you submit, such as Creative Commons licenses, may continue after your content is removed. Those licenses may give others, or the company itself, the right to share your content through the forum again.

Others who receive content you submit to the forum may violate the terms on which you license your content. You agree that the company will not be liable to you for those violations or their consequences.

Your Responsibility

You agree to indemnify the company from legal claims by others related to your breach of these terms, or breach of these terms by others using your account on the forum. Both you and the company agree to notify the other side of any legal claims for which you might have to indemnify the company as soon as possible. If the company fails to notify you of a legal claim promptly, you won’t have to indemnify the company for damages that you could have defended against or mitigated with prompt notice. You agree to allow the company to control investigation, defense, and settlement of legal claims for which you would have to indemnify the company, and to cooperate with those efforts. The company agrees not to agree to any settlement that admits fault for you or imposes obligations on you without your prior agreement.

Disclaimers

You accept all risk of using the forum and content on the forum. As far as the law allows, the company and its suppliers provide the forum as is, without any warranty whatsoever.

The forum may hyperlink to and integrate forums and services run by others. The company does not make any warranty about services run by others, or content they may provide. Use of services run by others may be governed by other terms between you and the one running service.

Limits on Liability

Neither the company nor its suppliers will be liable to you for breach-of-contract damages their personnel could not have reasonably foreseen when you agreed to these terms.

As far as the law allows, the total liability to you for claims of any kind that are related to the forum or content on the forum will be limited to $50.

Feedback

The company welcomes your feedback and suggestions for the forum. See the Contact section below for ways to get in touch with us.

You agree that the company will be free to act on feedback and suggestions you provide, and that the company won’t have to notify you that your feedback was used, get your permission to use it, or pay you. You agree not to submit feedback or suggestions that you believe might be confidential or proprietary, to you or others.

Termination

Either you or the company may end the agreement written out in these terms at any time. When our agreement ends, your permission to use the forum also ends.

The following provisions survive the end of our agreement: Your Content, Feedback, Your Responsibility, Disclaimers, Limits on Liability, and General Terms.

Disputes

{{Governing Law}} will govern any dispute related to these terms or your use of the forum.

You and the company agree to seek injunctions related to these terms only in state or federal court in {{Forum}}. Neither you nor the company will object to jurisdiction, forum, or venue in those courts.

Other than to seek an injunction or for claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you and the company will resolve any dispute by binding American Arbitration Association arbitration. Arbitration will follow the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules and Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes. Arbitration will happen in {{Forum}}. You will settle any dispute as an individual, and not as part of a class action or other representative proceeding, whether as the plaintiff or a class member. No arbitrator will consolidate any dispute with any other arbitration without the company’s permission.

Any arbitration award will include costs of the arbitration, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and reasonable costs for witnesses. You and the company may enter arbitration awards in any court with jurisdiction.

General Terms

If a provision of these terms is unenforceable as written, but could be changed to make it enforceable, that provision should be modified to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable. Otherwise, that provision should be removed.

You may not assign your agreement with the company. The company may assign your agreement to any affiliate of the company, any other company that obtains control of the company, or any other company that buys assets of the company related to the forum. Any attempted assignment against these terms has no legal effect.

Neither the exercise of any right under this Agreement, nor waiver of any breach of this Agreement, waives any other breach of this Agreement.

These terms embody all the terms of agreement between you and the company about use of the forum. These terms entirely replace any other agreements about your use of the forum, written or not.

Contact

You may notify the company under these terms, and send questions to the company, at {{{Company Address}}}.

The company may notify you under these terms using the e-mail address you provide for your account on the forum, or by posting a message to the homepage of the forum or your account page.

Changes

The company last updated these terms on {{Last Updated}}, and may update these terms again. The company will post all updates to the forum. For updates that contain substantial changes, the company agrees to e-mail you, if you’ve created an account and provided a valid e-mail address. The company may also announce updates with special messages or alerts on the forum.

Once you get notice of an update to these terms, you must agree to the new terms in order to keep using the forum.

Unformatted terms for copying
These terms govern use of the Internet forum at <{{{Forum Link}}}>.  To use the forum, you must agree to these terms with {{Company Name}}, the company that runs the forum.

The company may offer other products and services, under different terms.  These terms apply only to use of the forum.

Skip to:

- [Important Terms](#heading--important-terms)
- [Your Permission to Use the Forum](#heading--permission)
- [Conditions for Use of the Forum](#heading--conditions)
- [Acceptable Use](#heading--acceptable-use)
- [Content Standards](#heading--content-standards)
- [Enforcement](#heading--enforcement)
- [Your Account](#heading--your-account)
- [Your Content](#heading--your-content)
- [Your Responsibility](#heading--responsibility)
- [Disclaimers](#heading--disclaimers)
- [Limits on Liability](#heading--liability)
- [Feedback](#heading--feedback)
- [Termination](#heading--termination)
- [Disputes](#heading--disputes)
- [General Terms](#heading--general)
- [Contact](#heading--contact)
- [Changes](#heading--changes)

<h2 id="heading--important-terms"><a href="#heading--important-terms">Important Terms</a></h2>

***These terms include a number of important provisions that affect your rights and responsibilities, such as the disclaimers in [Disclaimers](#heading--disclaimers), limits on the company's liability to you in [Limits on Liability](#heading--liability), your agreement to cover the company for damages caused by your misuse of the forum in [Responsibility for Your Use](#heading--responsibility), and an agreement to arbitrate disputes in [Disputes](#heading--disputes).***

<h2 id="heading--permission"><a href="#heading--permission">Your Permission to Use the Forum</a></h2>

Subject to these terms, the company gives you permission to use the forum.  Everyone needs to agree to these terms to use the forum.

<h2 id="heading--conditions"><a href="#heading--conditions">Conditions for Use of the Forum</a></h2>

Your permission to use the forum is subject to the following conditions:

1.  You must be at least thirteen years old.

2.  You may no longer use the forum if the company contacts you directly to say that you may not.

3.  You must use the forum in accordance with [Acceptable Use](#heading--acceptable-use) and [Content Standards](#heading--content-standards).

<h2 id="heading--acceptable-use"><a href="#heading--acceptable-use">Acceptable Use</a></h2>

1.  You may not break the law using the forum.

2.  You may not use or try to use another's account on the forum without their specific permission.

3.  You may not buy, sell, or otherwise trade in user names or other unique identifiers on the forum.

4.  You may not send advertisements, chain letters, or other solicitations through the forum, or use the forum to gather addresses or other personal data for commercial mailing lists or databases.

5.  You may not automate access to the forum, or monitor the forum, such as with a web crawler, browser plug-in or add-on, or other computer program that is not a web browser.  You may crawl the forum to index it for a publicly available search engine, if you run one.

6.  You may not use the forum to send e-mail to distribution lists, newsgroups, or group mail aliases.

7.  You may not falsely imply that you're affiliated with or endorsed by the company.

8.  You may not hyperlink to images or other non-hypertext content on the forum on other webpages.

9.  You may not remove any marks showing proprietary ownership from materials you download from the forum.

10.  You may not show any part of the forum on other websites with `<iframe>`.

11. You may not disable, avoid, or circumvent any security or access restrictions of the forum.

12. You may not strain infrastructure of the forum with an unreasonable volume of requests, or requests designed to impose an unreasonable load on information systems underlying the forum.

13.  You may not impersonate others through the forum.

14. You may not encourage or help anyone in violation of these terms.

<h2 id="heading--content-standards"><a href="#heading--content-standards">Content Standards</a></h2>

1.  You may not submit content to the forum that is illegal, offensive, or otherwise harmful to others.  This includes content that is harassing, inappropriate, or abusive.

2.  You may not submit content to the forum that violates the law, infringes anyone's intellectual property rights, violates anyone's privacy, or breaches agreements you have with others.

3.  You may not submit content to the forum containing malicious computer code, such as computer viruses or spyware.

4.  You may not submit content to the forum as a mere placeholder, to hold a particular address, user name, or other unique identifier.

5.  You may not use the forum to disclose information that you don't have the right to disclose, like others' confidential or personal information.

<h2 id="heading--enforcement"><a href="#heading--enforcement">Enforcement</a></h2>

The company may investigate and prosecute violations of these terms to the fullest legal extent.  The company may notify and cooperate with law enforcement authorities in prosecuting violations of the law and these terms.

The company reserves the right to change, redact, and delete content on the forum for any reason.  If you believe someone has submitted content to the forum in violation of these terms, [contact us immediately](#heading--contact).

<h2 id="heading--your-account"><a href="#heading--your-account">Your Account</a></h2>

You must create and log into an account to use some features of the forum.

To create an account, you must provide some information about yourself.  If you create an account, you agree to provide, at a minimum, a valid e-mail address, and to keep that address up-to-date.  You may close your account at any time by {{{Account Deletion Method}}}.

You agree to be responsible for all action taken using your account, whether authorized by you or not, until you either close your account or notify the company that your account has been compromised.  You agree to notify the company immediately if you suspect your account has been compromised.  You agree to select a secure password for your account, and keep it secret.

The company may restrict, suspend, or close your account on the forum according to its policy for handling copyright-related takedown requests, or if the company reasonably believes that you've broken any rule in these terms.

<h2 id="heading--your-content"><a href="#heading--your-content">Your Content</a></h2>

Nothing in these terms gives the company any ownership rights in intellectual property that you share with the forum, such as your account information, posts, or other content you submit to the forum.  Nothing in these terms gives you any ownership rights in the company's intellectual property, either.

Between you and the company, you remain solely responsible for content you submit to the forum.  You agree not to wrongly imply that content you submit to the forum is sponsored or approved by the company.  These terms do not obligate the company to store, maintain, or provide copies of content you submit, and to change it, according to these terms.

Content you submit to the forum belongs to you, and you decide what permission to give others for it.  But at a minimum, you license the company to provide content that you submit to the forum to other users of the forum.  That special license allows the company to copy, publish, and analyze content you submit to the forum.

When content you submit is removed from the forum, whether by you or by the company, the company's special license ends when the last copy disappears from the company's backups, caches, and other systems.  Other licenses you apply to content you submit, such as [Creative Commons](https://creativecommons.org) licenses, may continue after your content is removed.  Those licenses may give others, or the company itself, the right to share your content through the forum again.

Others who receive content you submit to the forum may violate the terms on which you license your content.  You agree that the company will not be liable to you for those violations or their consequences.

<h2 id="heading--responsibility"><a href="#heading--responsibility">Your Responsibility</a></h2>

You agree to indemnify the company from legal claims by others related to your breach of these terms, or breach of these terms by others using your account on the forum.  Both you and the company agree to notify the other side of any legal claims for which you might have to indemnify the company as soon as possible.  If the company fails to notify you of a legal claim promptly, you won't have to indemnify the company for damages that you could have defended against or mitigated with prompt notice.  You agree to allow the company to control investigation, defense, and settlement of legal claims for which you would have to indemnify the company, and to cooperate with those efforts.  The company agrees not to agree to any settlement that admits fault for you or imposes obligations on you without your prior agreement.

<h2 id="heading--disclaimers"><a href="#heading--disclaimers">Disclaimers</a></h2>

***You accept all risk of using the forum and content on the forum.  As far as the law allows, the company and its suppliers provide the forum as is, without any warranty whatsoever.***

The forum may hyperlink to and integrate forums and services run by others.  The company does not make any warranty about services run by others, or content they may provide.  Use of services run by others may be governed by other terms between you and the one running service.

<h2 id="heading--liability"><a href="#heading--liability">Limits on Liability</a></h2>

***Neither the company nor its suppliers will be liable to you for breach-of-contract damages their personnel could not have reasonably foreseen when you agreed to these terms.***

***As far as the law allows, the total liability to you for claims of any kind that are related to the forum or content on the forum will be limited to $50.***

<h2 id="heading--feedback"><a href="#heading--feedback">Feedback</a></h2>

The company welcomes your feedback and suggestions for the forum.  See the [Contact](#heading--contact) section below for ways to get in touch with us.

You agree that the company will be free to act on feedback and suggestions you provide, and that the company won't have to notify you that your feedback was used, get your permission to use it, or pay you.  You agree not to submit feedback or suggestions that you believe might be confidential or proprietary, to you or others.

<h2 id="heading--termination"><a href="#heading--termination">Termination</a></h2>

Either you or the company may end the agreement written out in these terms at any time.  When our agreement ends, your permission to use the forum also ends.

The following provisions survive the end of our agreement: [Your Content](#heading--your-content), [Feedback](#heading--feedback), [Your Responsibility](#heading--responsibility), [Disclaimers](#heading--disclaimers), [Limits on Liability](#heading--liability), and [General Terms](#heading--general).

<h2 id="heading--disputes"><a href="#heading--disputes">Disputes</a></h2>

{{Governing Law}} will govern any dispute related to these terms or your use of the forum.

You and the company agree to seek injunctions related to these terms only in state or federal court in {{Forum}}.  Neither you nor the company will object to jurisdiction, forum, or venue in those courts.

***Other than to seek an injunction or for claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you and the company will resolve any dispute by binding American Arbitration Association arbitration.  Arbitration will follow the AAA's Commercial Arbitration Rules and Supplementary Procedures for Consumer Related Disputes.  Arbitration will happen in {{Forum}}.  You will settle any dispute as an individual, and not as part of a class action or other representative proceeding, whether as the plaintiff or a class member.  No arbitrator will consolidate any dispute with any other arbitration without the company's permission.***

Any arbitration award will include costs of the arbitration, reasonable attorneys' fees, and reasonable costs for witnesses.  You and the company may enter arbitration awards in any court with jurisdiction.

<h2 id="heading--general"><a href="#heading--general">General Terms</a></h2>

If a provision of these terms is unenforceable as written, but could be changed to make it enforceable, that provision should be modified to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable.  Otherwise, that provision should be removed.

You may not assign your agreement with the company.  The company may assign your agreement to any affiliate of the company, any other company that obtains control of the company, or any other company that buys assets of the company related to the forum.  Any attempted assignment against these terms has no legal effect.

Neither the exercise of any right under this Agreement, nor waiver of any breach of this Agreement, waives any other breach of this Agreement.

These terms embody all the terms of agreement between you and the company about use of the forum.  These terms entirely replace any other agreements about your use of the forum, written or not.

<h2 id="heading--contact"><a href="#heading--contact">Contact</a></h2>

You may notify the company under these terms, and send questions to the company, at {{{Company Address}}}.

The company may notify you under these terms using the e-mail address you provide for your account on the forum, or by posting a message to the homepage of the forum or your account page.

<h2 id="heading--changes"><a href="#heading--changes">Changes</a></h2>

The company last updated these terms on {{Last Updated}}, and may update these terms again.  The company will post all updates to the forum.  For updates that contain substantial changes, the company agrees to e-mail you, if you've created an account and provided a valid e-mail address.  The company may also announce updates with special messages or alerts on the forum.

Once you get notice of an update to these terms, you must agree to the new terms in order to keep using the forum.

Are you looking for an easy way to update your Terms of Service with the latest version for your current language? Take a look at “Manual Update” in Update seeded categories and topics.


Can't update privacy policy page 502 bad gateway
(Alex Woolfson) #2

This might be a foolish question, but I have an older Discourse install that uses the old TOS. I must have edited it, because with the recent update, it didn’t update.

I was hoping that I could just copy the Unformatted version you have here, and I copy-pasted it into my TOS page post. But unlike the original TOS, it didn’t automatically replace my Company name or Forum link—not the end of the world, but inconvenient. More troublesome is that none of the internal table of content links don’t seem to work (and those links are not just included in the “Skip to:” section but also in the body of different paragraphs as well.)

Is there a way to trigger a wizard to automatically populate the variables and links, just as I think happened with the original TOS? Since this is all new, and a better base to work from, I’d like to base any edits on the new document, so I’m fine with losing any edits and starting from scratch. But I’m a bit daunted with trying to figure out how to edit all the internal links. And it would be great if some if not all of the fields would autopopulate.

Is there something I’m missing? Do I need to add the unformatted text someplace other than editing the TOS post? Is there some wizard I could trigger to just create it as if I were starting a new Discourse install?

Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


(Gerhard Schlager) #3

I’m sorry about that. We inserted the wrong version of the TOS in the first post. I’ve corrected that. The internal links should work now.


(Alex Woolfson) #4

Thank you. :slight_smile: I’ve copy-pasted the new code and the internal links are now all working.

As for the fields like <{{{Forum Link}}}> and {{Governing Law}} and {{{Account Deletion Method}} – do those auto-populate on a new Discourse install? Are admins expected to search for those and replace them manually? Is there any guide for what kind of language to put in each of the fields?

I, of course, understand that y’all can’t be offering specific legal advice. But I think that this is included in all the installs, and the last version filled in all the blanks. I’m just wanting to make sure I’m understanding how I’m supposed to make use of this as someone with an existing install.

Thank you again for the assistance and for all the great work y’all do on this.


(Keith Guerrette) #5

Another possibly silly question, but what’s the recommended way to notify our users of this large TOS update? The bottom clause of the new terms says that we’ll email all of our users announcing the new Terms of Service - is there a way to send an all user email through the forum?


(Régis Hanol) #6

A banner topic would be the best way :wink:


(Keith Guerrette) #7

A banner obviously works, but the Terms of Service provided above explicitly state that we’ll email the users:

For updates that contain substantial changes, the company agrees to e-mail you, if you’ve created an account and provided a valid e-mail address


#8

There is no simple way to do this directly using Discourse. You’ll need to pull email addresses and compose the email externally.