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Confusing Terms of Service clauses

This report is spurred by, an incredibly bad faith reading of your Terms of Service by the co-founder of Dreamwidth. Despite the alarmist and bitter tone of this thread, there's a few good points it brings up:

Section 4
> You may not use the Services for any commercial purpose (except when transacting business with ASSC or with another User via the Services) or for any unlawful or wrongful purpose.

Depending on how this is read, this could disallow actions like posting to a Patreon/Ko-Fi or about commissions/products for sale. This needs further clarification.

> You further agree not to copy, reverse engineer, translate, port, modify or make derivative works of any portion of the Services.

This technically puts the people reverse engineering Cohost's API under violation of the Terms of Service, as I understand.

> By using the Services or features thereof, you represent and warrant that (i) any information you submit to us is truthful and accurate, (ii) you will maintain the accuracy of that information, and (iii) your use of the Services and its features does not violate any applicable law, rule or regulation.

Obviously this is referring to contact and payment information and not the content of the posts (at least I hope it does!) but this isn't very clear from an initial glance.

This is also repeated in Section 15, for some reason.

Section 5

> You agree (i) to provide correct, current and complete information as prompted by the account creation form, and maintain and update such information as needed to keep it correct, current and complete;

I don't see why this requirement would be necessary, unless it's specifically referring to contact/payment information for ex: Cohost Plus.

> (ii) register only once using a single username;

This technically makes the Pages/Projects feature of Cohost violate your Terms of Service. It would also prevent API developers from making testing accounts.

Section 6

> You may not post User Content that infringes others' intellectual property or proprietary rights
> You must own all rights, title, and interest, including all intellectual property rights, in and to, the User Content you make available on the Services.

This seems to disallow fanart, etc. I know Jae clarified on the comments for the latest staff post that this isn't true, and that this clause is intended to prevent wholesale piracy, but that isn't very clear from this statement.

> The User Content must not be stored in a data repository that would enable any third-party access. You must store all User Content in a manner which enables you to identify, segregate and selectively delete such User Content.

I'm not sure what this means or how this would be enforced.

Section 9

> Billing and Payment. This Section 8 applies if your use of the Services incurs a fee.

This isn't Section 8.


There's a few more questionable areas that I'm sure other people here might point out, but those are the clauses I see causing the most confusion and controversy. I understand you have the best intentions in mind, and that there might be legal reasons I don't understand for some of these clauses. This ToS isn't nearly as bad as that Twitter user is making it out to be, but I would advise giving it a good look-over.

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I'm also curious about section 11:



Except as otherwise expressly indicated herein, ASSC owns all rights, title, and interest, including all intellectual property rights, [...] including without limitation all [...] User posts to Community Forums

 I'm assuming that Sections 5 and 6 are the ones that 'except as otherwise expressly indicated herein' limit this IP ownership? I think, as an author, this is the type of thing that could use some clarification (whether in the TOS itself or in a lay breakdown of the TOS), I suppose. I trust you all on this, just that clarification would help!

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