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Oddities in the Terms of Service - Can anyone explain --- repost

  1. Hi again,
    Even though I find the TOS quite reasonable and fair, following have caught my attention:

    14. Changes. "...It is your responsibility to check this Agreement periodically for changes... "
    It would here be helpful if Automattic announced any critical changes in the TOS via email. To expect every user to constantly be checking the TOS is neither realistic nor fair.

    15. Termination. "Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time,with or without cause, with or without notice,effective immediately..."
    As I understand it, this gives Automattic the right to destroy any user material, intellectual property etc. and hinder access to the users website permanently without any apparent reason.
    This doesn't sound like honorable conduct or signs of mutual respect.
    Obviously the folks at Automattic have good reasons to chisel the TOS in this way. However I would be very interested in learning what these reasons are.

    Can anyone explain. (Sorry for asking again)

  2. Volunteers do not interpret ToS clauses policy even when it's a case of standard clauses in common use. I tagged this thread for a Staff response. Please subscribe to it so you are notified when they respond.

  3. P.S. Where exactly is your blog please? I'd like to this content that your are concerned about.

  4. Thanks timethief for your swift answer.
    New here... how to subscribe to the tagged thread?

  5. I haven't moved my blog to Automattic.
    I first wanted to review the TOS before signing an agreement.

  6. Below each comment box you find:
    _Notify me of followup posts via e-mail
    In the sidebar your find your can subscribe as well.

    In the event that your are looking for what triggers instant blog suspension that's referred to above see:
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/suspended-blogs/
    http://wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/affiliate-links/

  7. I apologize for the inappropriate "your" where I mean "you". I'm visually challenged, my app doesn't catch those and I failed to proofread before clicking submit. :(

  8. Thanks again,
    I dont know about visually challenged, but you certainly type faster than my daughter and she is fast like lightning :)

  9. I've had lots of experience as a fully sighted person ie. as a hunt and peck typist. I also have a private blog full of copy and paste answers to the questions that have been most commonly asked here on the peer support forums over the last 7 years. :)

  10. 14 is pretty much standard for anyplace on the web, even for web hosting terms of service such as at GoDaddy, etc. The responsibility for checking TOS changes is typically placed on the user. Some places will send out emails announcing changes (PayPal, etc.) but the vast majority do not.

    Generally, if you violate the TOS or do something that gets your site suspended, Automattic (WordPress.com) will work with you to get your site back to you. They do not want to keep you from your content and in my experience are very, very willing to work with people except in the most extreme circumstances.

    Here, you can export your content to your home computer on a regular basis if you wish so that you always have a copy of your stuff, just in case.

  11. @thesacredpath
    Good day to you. :)

  12. Thanks thecacredpath for the explanations and time thief for the links.
    My main concern is the phrasing:

    "Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time,with or without cause, with or without notice,effective immediately..."

    I can certainly understand that after some years of getting to know the folks at Automattic, a gentler and more human side will appear, but some of the TOS (like the above) gives me the chills.

    Thanks again for your kindness.

  13. TSP is right, even that part is pretty standard. I haven't seen that particular smackdown laid on anyone except an overseas felon who was ripping off children, so if that doesn't describe you, don't sweat it.

  14. Regarding, "Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time,with or without cause, with or without notice,effective immediately..." thesacredpath is correct, and I couldn't have put it in better words myself.

    Generally, if you violate the TOS or do something that gets your site suspended, Automattic (WordPress.com) will work with you to get your site back to you. They do not want to keep you from your content and in my experience are very, very willing to work with people except in the most extreme circumstances.

    I'd also like to add that we are big supporters of freedom of speech, and we fight censorship whenever we can: http://en.wordpress.com/freedom-of-speech/

  15. Still, "terminate ... without cause" sounds nasty and absurd. What does it mean, terminate if it so pleases us?

  16. "terminate ... without cause"

    They just need to give you a note or something that says you be gone - no need to give much if any reason

  17. Thanks everyone for your input.
    I conclude that the partly harsh TOS clearly doesn't reflect Automattic's intent. This is unfortunate since dry old nerds like me, who do read manuals and TOS seem to be picky about wording.
    We get the wrong impression.

    Greetings to all the helpful and patient commentators.

  18. You're welcome!

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