What's Squidoo? Squidoo is the free (yes, free), simple tool that makes it easy for you to publish your interests online. (You could even earn a royalty for yourself or for charity). From authors and astronauts to marketers and musicians, to cat lovers and seahorse keepers and quiltmakers and video gamers and teachers and... well, everyone... anyone with something to say, share, promote and recommend is welcome on Squidoo. All you need to do is agree to the below Terms of Service, which, as you'll see, generally cover: 1) Our Zero Tolerance policy about Spamming and 2) An easy list of Do's and Don'ts and 3) Your usual legalese jibberjabber.
So, congratulations. You're participating in one of the realest, coolest, most powerful free publishing platforms online. We're thrilled to work with you. And now, the TOS proper...
The principals in these Terms do not change, though the specific enforcement of our content standards may change from time to time; you can always check in on the most current version here. By your continuing use of the service, you're agreeing to the terms that were in place when you joined the service. By continuing to use Squidoo, you're agreeing to the terms in place each time you create new content.
By using Squidoo.com's platform and community forums, you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions ("Terms of Service") on this page, we well as the policies outlined in ourSquidDon't
pages that supplement our TOS.
These Terms apply to anyone who uses Squidoo (the Service), from our Members and Lensmasters, to people stopping by and using the social tools featured on Squidoo Lenses (ie, the free, single pages set up by our Lensmasters).
We're in this together. The more you give, the more you get;and to protect our Lensmasters and the web at large against spammers or other abuse, we've laid out clear guidelines. Our goal is to treat every Member and Lensmaster fairly and with respect, and to make sure this community is a fun, engaging, diverse, positive place.
We aim to support high-quality, original and useful lifestyle content that real readers will be glad to land on. So, in addition to enforcing our TOS, we reserve the right to unpublish lenses that have shallow or lower-quality writing, as well as lenses that point to other sites that have been flagged as low quality or spam.
Squidoo makes available a collection of resources to registered (free) account holders (Members and Lensmasters), including hosting services (the "Service") for our ("Lensmasters") who wish to create their own customized "Lenses" on our site. A web surfer can quickly explore Lenses on topics of interest, allowing him or her to quickly find thoughtful, personal, and handbuilt collections of links to relevant online content.
If a user fails to follow these rules below, Squidoo can discontinue their ability to use the Service entirely. In addition, we have the right to delete your account and corresponding lenses without notice if we see evidence of clear abuse or other inappropriate activity.
Registering: You agree that you are at least 18 years of age on the date that you registered with Squidoo, or that you have a parent who has written a note to us here to proxy for your participation in the site. If any information that you provide during registration is not accurate (or if Squidoo has reasonable grounds to believe so), then as detailed further below under "Termination," Squidoo has the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse to grant you further access to the Service.
You will be responsible for any activities that take place under your name and password, or that take place on or via any of your Lenses. If you become aware of any unauthorized use of your password or account, or any other breach of security, please cancel your Lenses immediately. It is up to you to maintain the confidentiality of your password and account. Squidoo is not liable for any loss or damage arising from your failure to comply with the provisions of these Terms.
Privacy: (More to come on this below, too). You also understand and agree that as part of the Service, you may receive certain communications from Squidoo, such as account creation confirmations, royalty statements, service announcements, administrative messages and any of the opt-in Squidoo newsletters. You will be able to opt out of most of these communications, but not others (such as ones concerning your account and your royalties). We'll promise to keep notes from us at a minimum (we don't like crowded inboxes, either!). If you don't want to receive ANY messages from us, ever, you will need to cancel your account. Sorry.
And, of course, Squidoo promises to never ever ever (did we mention ever?) rent or sell your personal information, and you will never receive email from a third party as a result of your relationship with us, unless we explicitly ask and you explicitly opt in to do so.
When becoming a Lensmaster, you have the ability to turn ON a feature called "contact the Lensmaster"--this function allows people to send emails to you, without seeing your email address. The feature starts turned off, to protect you. You have the right to be contacted by readers with questions or comments. You also have the right not to. It's up to you to manage any email you get from your readers; Squidoo cannot mediate email disputes that happen in your personal inbox.
Here are the big picture rules. Please remember that Squidoo reserves the right to cancel your account if we suspect that you're spamming, sharing illegal content, abusing or maligning another community member or individual, or any other activities that don't fit the spirit of the site. We promise not to do this without fair cause. By following the below rules, we're betting you'll be just fine.
- You are solely responsible for your conduct and any data, text, information, screen names, links, graphics, photos, profiles, audio and video clips, and links ("Content") that you submit, post and display on your Lens or via the Service.
- You cannot Spam. We hate Spam. Everyone hates Spam. Meet our Zero Tolerance Policy: You cannot modify, adapt or hack the Squidoo website, your own lenses, or anyone else's lenses. You also cannot use your Squidoo lenses or our platform to spam or attack others online, on the site or off. This includes such behaviour as automatically redirecting traffic from your lenses to other pages, introducing viruses to the site, spamming bloggers, email spam to lensmasters or others, and more. If our community reports you for this activity--even if your lenses and actions just SMELL spammy, you'll likely have your account deleted.
- You also cannot create spam lenses (multiple lenses that carry the same content, lenses that are irrelevant to the topic, lenses that are uncurated and lifted from other sites, Squidoo accounts with several lenses devoid of multiple modules of handpicked content, accounts trying to promote the same service on hundreds of matching lenses, or anything the Squidoo officials deem to be Spam). Period.
- We run regular and periodic reviews of lenses to enforce our policies, including (but not limited to): acting against known spam content,
locking lenses on topics we can't support, 'doorway' lenses that exist solely to promote an affiliate program, and most recently we have also
increased our systematic intolerance of aggressively duplicated (unoriginal) content, article spinning (yikes), and plagiarism. We aim to support high-quality, original and useful lifestyle content that real readers will be glad to land on. So, in addition to enforcing our TOS, we reserve the right to unpublish lenses that have shallow or lower-quality writing, as well as lenses that point to other sites that have been flagged as low quality or spam.
- You must not abuse, harass, threaten, malign, flame or intimidate other Lensmasters, staff, others who use the Service, bloggers or others online. Nor may you upload, post or otherwise include any Content that is defamatory, libelous, tortuous, vulgar, obscene, invasive of privacy, racially or ethnically objectionable, hateful, promotes or provides instructional information about illegal activities, or promotes any act of cruelty to animals or certain vegetables.
- You must not impersonate another Lensmaster or any official of Squidoo. This also extends to falsely claiming to be a "Giant Squid" (one of our VIP members) or volunteer Citizen Squid or Angel or any of our other community awards and positions. If you trick someone into thinking you're something you're not, we'll lock your account.
- Thou shalt not create X-rated lenses. Creating X-rated lenses may result in having your lens or entire account locked and/or deleted.
- Your lensmaster bio pics MUST be G-rated. Using R or X-rated avatars may result in having your entire account deleted.
- If SquidStaff believes your lens to be grossly miscategorized, they reserve the right to re-categorize your lens right away or lock it.
- You cannot create Lenses or use the Service for any illegal or unauthorized purpose, or to promote or make solicitations for any illegal or unauthorized activity.
- You cannot use the Service to distribute, share or solicit Content belonging to third parties without proper authorization from the owner(s) of that Content. You must respect the proprietary and intellectual property rights of others (including trademark, copyright and trade secrecy) in creating your Lens. Squidoo is a fair harbor platform and can't endorse the content on our pages; if you have an issue with another user's content, please contact that individual directly first. Failing that, please send us a note, and we may be able to review or lock the lens in question.
- You must not, in the use of Squidoo, violate any Federal, state or local laws. If you are creating a Lens outside of the United States, you must comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content
- The Squidoo Respect Everyone Policy: You cannot abuse other lensmasters, bloggers, organizations and individuals online and off. Wait, did we mention this one yet? Probably because we're serious. Abuse = flaming people in the SquidU forum, harming their lenses for your own gain, publicly maligning other members of the community, emailing threatening notes to lensmasters, and more. If our forum moderators or community report you for these activities, your lenses could get locked or deleted.
- You cannot transmit content in breach of a confidentiality or fiduciary obligation you may have.
- We've said this already but it's worth saying again: You cannot attempt to automatically redirect surfers to other domains, mislead surfers of the origins of the Content contained in your Lens, or use your Lens as storage for remote loading or to a website outside of the Squidoo website.
- You cannot manipulate our affiliate partners (like ebay and Amazon, but not limited to those) by purchasing items from your own lenses in order to snag an extra commission. This will result in defaulting your royalties to charity.
- You may not develop restricted or password-only Lenses, or hidden pages or images (those not linked to from another accessible page).
- You cannot interfere with or disrupt the Service, or any servers or networks connected to the Service, or disobey any requirements, procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the Service.
- You cannot collect or store personal data about other users, except that you may encourage surfers to contact you and you may, in return, contact them back.
- Note: Squidoo does not endorse or recommend ratings swaps. And, in fact, if you spam people asking for them, you'll assuredly lose. Building a so-called business on ratings swaps or traffic exchanges could mean you did a whole lot of work for a whole lot of nothing.
- Squidoo reserves the right to change our LensRank algorithm at any time.
- The end of spambait: Some topics are just irresistible to spammers. These are topics that don't generally exist in the real world, that aren't particularly useful, and that are very profitable to people who spam. So, here's where we draw the line between junk and spam. There are topics we're just not going to let people write about. We wish we didn't have to do that, but it's the best plan available to remove the bad actors that want to take advantage, while keeping the site open for passionate people of all stripes. So the deal is: you can't build any content in these areas on Squidoo. If you are interested in these areas, it's entirely possible you will bump into our filter (we call it the SquidDon't filter), and if you do, we hope you'll just walk away, not try to be clever and get around it. Hey, there must be other things you're passionate about in this world. Why not make a lens on that, and leave the online texasholdem4u pages out. Even better, we hope that 99% of you won't even know it's there.
- If your lens exists to send people to a site that offers illegal downloads of movies, games, or music, we will suspend it, and will probably suspend ALL your lenses. It's a violation of the DMCA and our policies. We understand that more options are becoming available to watch TV shows and movies online, some paid and some free. However, writing lenses about this topic can be tricky. These lenses are almost always flagged and locked by our community for appearing to be a violation of our TOS and DMCA laws. If you choose to create lenses about free online media sources, please keep in mind:
- If we doubt your resource, or if your lens is reported as spam, we may end up locking your lens, possibly for good.
- If you actively spam, regardless of your topic, your lens will probably be locked for good.
- The most successful lenses revolve around not-found-anywhere-else content. There are plenty of great ways to uses links as resources, and if your lens has no original content, it could get flagged or locked.
- If we doubt your resource, or if your lens is reported as spam, we may end up locking your lens, possibly for good.
- Even further clarification of our Terms of Service for those that need it to be clarified:
- If you make a lens filled with repetitive language designed to bait the search engines, we'll probably delete it. We are looking for useful, updated material that is written by a person, for a person.
- If you make lots and lots of cookie cutter lenses, each one mirroring the next, we will probably delete them. See #1.
- Hosting content used without permission, copied and pasted articles, and/or uncredited images and language is against our TOS. For best results, just be you. Yup, we're more strict than the law states, and we also don't allow PLRs, purchased articles, etc. If you didn't write it, it isn't yours to use.
- If you make a lens filled with repetitive language designed to bait the search engines, we'll probably delete it. We are looking for useful, updated material that is written by a person, for a person.
As a Lensmaster, you will be able to incorporate various forms of Content into your Lenses. Squidoo does not claim ownership of the Content you place on your Lens. The Content will be owned by you or a third party from whom you got permission to post the content. By placing Content on your Lens, however, you grant Squidoo a worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license, for as long as your Lens is displayed on Squidoo, to reproduce, display, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your Lens on Squidoo. Squidoo may preserve and store Content, and may also disclose Content if required to do so by law or if Squidoo believes in good faith that such preservation or disclosure is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process (e.g., subpoenas); (b) enforce these Terms of Service; (c) respond to claims that any Content violates the rights of third parties; or (d) protect the rights, property, or personal safety of Squidoo, its users and the public.
The Lensmaster, and not Squidoo, will be fully responsible for all Content that is uploaded, posted, transmitted or otherwise made available by the Lensmaster on his or her Lens. Squidoo cannot guarantee the accuracy, integrity or quality of such Content. Squidoo does not pre-screen Content, but will have the right (but not the obligation) in its sole discretion to refuse or remove any Content in a Lens for any reason, including Content that may violate these Terms, or that is otherwise objectionable. Squidoo also cannot take responsibility for anything that your surfers may do in reliance on the Content you post in your Lens. Bottom line: put it on your Lens, you're responsible.
Squidoo provides pre-built modules that make it easy for you to find and add links to various sites. However, just because we provide these modules does not mean we are responsible for their accuracy. The Lensmaster is still responsible for what links he or she elects to put in his or her Lens.
As a co-op, Squidoo distributes 50% of its earnings from lenses to lensmasters who create successful pages on the site. By registering for Squidoo as a lensmaster, you are appointing Squidoo as your agent to handle all Service transactions. Revenue from Postcards is not shared.
Many of our lensmasters earmark their earnings for charity, and the Squidteam also makes donations to worthy causes throughout the year. So far, Squidoo has generated more than $500,000.00 to charities around the world, including Acumen Fund, charity: water, Room to Read, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and literally hundreds of others. We hope you'll join us in creating positive change in the world.
When money generated by lenses arrives at Squidoo headquarters, we immediately (without taking any deductions of any kind) earmark half of it (that's 50% for those of you using a calculator at home) for our lensmasters. Many of them have marked this royalty to go to charity, while some get the money directly by Paypal, using it for luxuries like feather boas, lotto tickets or paying the rent.
It's entirely possible that things will occur that will make it, in Squidoo's sole discretion, impossible to maintain the structure described in this document. Hey, we're a startup, and we've taken zero venture capital. We may, for example, have to change the percentages or details of the CO-OP. We agree that we will not make any financial changes retroactively. Any changes will be for future payments. If we do need to change any significant terms, we will notify you by email before any change occurs. At that point, you will have the option of removing your Lens from the Service if you choose to stop working with the CO-OP under the new structure.
There are two kinds of earnings available in the site: The Squidoo CO-OP divides incoming revenue into two piles. The first pile we call "pooled revenue." This is revenue that is not directly attributable by Squidoo to a particular Lens. For example, when we sell sponsorship ads on a Search Results page. Or when an affiliate is paying us income based on our overall performance, as opposed to performance of one trackable Lens. The most usual case of this is the Google Adsense ads, or other display ads, that we feature on your lenses. To prevent clickfraud, all ad revenue is pooled, and then distributed to the community according to a structure that pays the best performing pages the most. Please note that per our partnership with Google AdSense, if they ask us to remove ads or lock a lens that is promoting illegal activity or featuring content that violates our agreement with them, we will act to lock your lens from view and will always let you know when we do. Furthermore, Google AdSense determines the type of ads that show up on lenses, based on the content and tags you have put on the page. They may also turn on "interest-based advertising" as part of the AdSense program, which is a system that attempts to increase relevance of ads for your readers, based on other ads they've clicked in the AdSense network. As per Google: "Interest-based advertising will allow advertisers to show ads based on a user's previous interactions with them, such as visits to advertiser website and also to reach users based on their interests (e.g. "sports enthusiast"). To develop interest categories, we will recognize the types of web pages users visit throughout the Google content network. As an example, if they visit a number of sports pages, we will add them to the "sports enthusiast" interest category."
The second pile of earnings generated on the Squidoo platform we call "attributable revenue." This, you've probably guessed, is revenue that we choose to track directly to a particular Lens. So if you feature an Amazon item on your lens, using our Amazon module, and someone buys that product from your page... you get a direct 50% cut of the revenue we receive from the sale. It's not pooled for the rest of the community--it's yours.
We haven't yet, but we reserve the right to use pooled revenue to pay our overhead and then allocate pay it to Lenses based on their LensRank and traffic. We may also use attributable revenue to pay any remaining overhead and then distribute the CO-OP share (50%) directly to the Lenses that earned it.
Your Reported Earnings. When you register for CO-OP Services, Squidoo will establish an earnings account for you as part of your Squidoo account). This will hold any revenues generated from the use of the CO-OP Services on your Lens (the "Earnings"). Any Earnings in your Squidoo Earnings Account will not be held in an interest-bearing account and will not bear interest. Squidoo may adjust, both up or down, any reported Earnings balances as may be necessary or required to reflect payment adjustments implemented, failures to pay, or other reasons caused, by third parties. The reports of Earnings set forth in your Squidoo Earnings Account will include such information as will be determined by Squidoo from time to time in its sole discretion, and will be conclusive, final and binding on you.
In the event that your use of CO-OP Services has terminated, Squidoo will pay your earned balance (net of offset for fees and other deductions) to you within approximately ninety (90) days after the end of the calendar quarter in which such termination occurred. If your earned balance after termination is less than $15, we will donate that balance to the charity pool.
Forfeiture of Earnings. There are several ways in which you may lose your ability to access, use, or withdraw your reported Earnings from your Squidoo Earnings Account. These include, without limitation, the following:
* If you in any way violate or otherwise breach these Terms of Service;
* If you engage in any activity intended to, or the result of which could or would, defraud Squidoo or any third party, including, without limitation, with respect to any advertising activity arising on your Lens, taking any action (or authorizing any third party to take any action) to inflate or otherwise manipulate traffic or click-through counts from your Lens to participating advertisers or merchants, or otherwise attempting, in Squidoo's good faith judgment, to simulate artificially the behavior or activity of an individual live Web user.
* If you list items for sale via an affiliate partner (like eBay or Amazon) just to buy from them yourself and otherwise inflate your commissions;
* It's important to note that if you go more than twelve months without reaching a payout, we'll assume you've abandoned your account and that money will be returned to our system and applied to our overhead and our charity fund.
In the event of any downtime of the site, or a glitch that prevents LensRank from updating, or any other technical problem the site may (heaven forfend!) undergo, Squidoo, as a free service, is not responsible for compensating lensmasters for perceived loss of royalty potential. We historically go out of our way to make it up to lensmasters, in your favor, when there is a demonstrable and specific and individual royalty glitch. But by default we cannot treat earning potential the same as actual recorded royalties earned.
By using the CO-OP services, you acknowledge and agree that Squidoo will not be responsible for, and will not be obligated in any manner to repay you for, any lost earnings.
Royalties are paid only via PayPal at this time. If you're unable to use PayPal in your country, you can set your earnings to be sent to one of our worthwhile charities. All lensmasters are responsible for making sure their PayPal address on file with us is correct and current. Payments that go unclaimed and are returned to us will be rolled over into our Squidoo Charity Fund.
6. Number six
You lucky dog...there is no #6.
First things first here: we don't ever sell your email address, and we don't ever spam. We're also committed to keeping your lenses and identity protected from others off the site who (who knows?) may try to spam you.
You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, or exploit any portion of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service, other than through the display and use of your lens. This means you agree not to hijack content from other lenses, plagiarize, set up false accounts, spam or hack lenses, duplicate lenses on other services, or exploit other users by selling them false information or services about Squidoo. However, you have our approval to start a service or services offering lens-building, lens analysis, lens inspiration, lens perspiration (not really), and lens leveraging services to the public. If you do, you may use our logo, but you must not call yourself an official Squidoo resource or otherwise impersonate our staff. And, if you do run a resource like this and charge for it, we'd consider it a tremendous favor if you'd donate a portion of your earnings to charity. You're also welcome to collaborate on, sell, or donate your lenses to another member, assuming that that member also abides by these Terms of Service.
Prohibited uses: Squidoo is designed to permit users to share information that is important to them. It's built around individuals and their passions. You're not permitted to spam Squidoo to create lenses for hire in order to generate web traffic and SEO rankings. It is fine to use Squidoo to create lenses about your business or even for your clients, but you may not cross the line and start creating pages in bulk.
Squidoo reserves the right at any time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Service (or any part thereof) with or without notice, without liability to you or any third party.
You may not use external services, software or networks to automatically create or to augment your creation of lenses.
Oooo, scary. But true. Squidoo, in its sole discretion, may terminate your password, account or use of or access to the Service (including CO-OP Services), and remove and discard any Lens, for any reason. Some of the more likely reasons for termination are inaccurate information in the registration form, or harassment of other Lensmasters (this is a BIG no no), Citizen Squids, SquidooStaff, bloggers and other individuals online. More reasons include hacking Lenses or the Service, automatically redirecting lens traffic to another site, spamming people on and off the site, illegal transactions via Squidoo, and otherwise acting in violation of the terms or the spirit of these Terms of Service or other policies making a Lensmaster a fine, upstanding member of the Squidoo community. If Squidoo terminates your use of the Service, then your Lens may be immediately taken down, and your Squidoo Earnings Account may be closed (and donated to charity). In this event, Squidoo will not be responsible to you or any third party for any termination of your access to the Service. (So, if you sell your lens, make sure the buyer knows this stuff).
You acknowledge and agree that the Service and any necessary software used in connection with the Service ("Software") contain proprietary and confidential information that is protected by applicable intellectual property and other laws.
The Service is provided on an "as is" and "as available" basis. We're not perfect, but we're getting better every day! You expressly understand and agree that your use of the Service is at your sole risk. Squidoo expressly disclaims all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including, but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Squidoo makes no warranty that the service will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free (gremlins happen!), or that the quality of any products, services, information, or other material purchased or obtained by you through the service will meet your expectations, or that any errors in the software will be corrected. If you've got a really big beef with a bug or a technicality, and you don't like the way Squidoo is being run, we hope you'll share your feedback with our team before quitting the service.
You expressly understand and agree that Squidoo will not be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary damages, including but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses (even if advised of the possibility of such damages), resulting from the use or the inability to use the Service, unauthorized access to or alteration of your transmissions or data, statements or conduct of any third party on the Service, or any other matter relating to the Service. Wow was that a long sentence.
These Terms of Service and the relationship between you and Squidoo will be governed by the laws of the State of New York without regard to its conflict of law provisions. The failure of Squidoo to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms of Service will not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. These Terms of Service, together with any other agreements incorporated by reference in these Terms of Service or entered into between you and Squidoo in connection with your registration as a Lensmaster, constitute the entire agreement between you and Squidoo and govern your use of the Service, superseding any prior agreements between you and Squidoo. You also may be subject to additional terms and conditions that may apply when you use affiliate or other Squidoo services (such as CO-OP Services), third-party content or third-party software. You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of the Service or the Terms of Service must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred.
By accepting these Terms of Service, you acknowledge that as a CO-OP, we're all in this together. If at any point, you feel as though you have a dispute with Squidoo, you agree to abide by our dispute resolution principles.
- You agree to read our FAQ file to see if your question has been previously answered.
- If that doesn't work, you agree to contact us, outlining your problem.
- If that doesn't work, you agree to send us a letter, by mail, to Suite 3R, 45 Main St, Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706.
- If, after two weeks, you haven't found a satisfactory resolution, you agree to submit to binding arbitration, to be conducted by a member of the American Arbitration Association, in New York, at your expense. If you win, we will pay the arbitration expenses and your reasonable attorney's fees. If we win, you agree to do the same for us.
- By accepting these terms, you waive your right to go to court and you explicitly waive your right to participate in a class action lawsuit.
Squidoo is one of many ways you can post information online, and if you find any of these conditions unacceptable, we will totally understand (though our feelings will be hurt) if you choose to use a different service.
The following are trademarks of Squidoo LLC:
The Squidoo CO-OP
WHEW! You made it. You read the whole Squidoo Terms of Service. Please let us know how we can do better. And thanks!