Terms of Service of Docracy.com

Official version of Docracy TOS, always updated.  We cut legalese as much as possible and simplified boilerplates for a short and agile read. Feel free to branch this and make your own, but make sure it fits to your site! Some of our provisions are very specific to what we do. This document is a part of Docracy's Terms of Service Tracker project, which tracks changes to terms of service and privacy policy documents of many of the world's top websites.

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1. Acceptance of the Terms of Service

Welcome to Docracy! (a.k.a. "we" or "us" or the "Company"). We are excited to have you as user and member of the community. The following terms and conditions (collectively, these "Terms of Service") apply to your use of www.docracy.com, including any content, functionality and services offered on or via Docracy.com (the "Website"). The Terms of Service also include our Privacy Policy, that you can review here: http://www.docracy.com/65/privacy-policy-of-docracy-com

Hi! I'm an annotation. I'm here to explain you the hard parts of this document, but I'm not technically part of the Terms so don't skip the rest. You can add annotations like this in any of your documents on Docracy BTW.

We want to keep our relationship with you as lean and informal as possible, but please read the Terms of Service carefully before you start using Docracy, because by using the Website you accept and agree to be bound and abide by these Terms of Service.

This is a very standard provision for a site like Docracy: since you don't need to register to access most of our services, we have to disclaim some things in advance (like the fact that our site might experience downtime, that we don't give legal advice, etc.). Our Terms are linked on every page of the site, according to the industry standard, to be easily found.

Should you disagree with some of the provisions herein, you can either leave the Website (although we'll be sad to see you go!), or contact us at support@docracy.zendesk.com. Docracy is all about collaborating for improving legal documents, and we'll be happy to hear your comments and suggestions.

You can also leave a comment below, like other people did. Or branch this document into the one you would like to see!

2. Changes to the Terms of Service and the Website

Docracy is a work in progress, meaning that a lot will change in the near future. We reserve the right to update the Website and these Terms of Service from time to time, at our discretion. We will make sure to announce any major change in a prominent way, but since "major" is a very subjective concept, you can always monitor and subscribe to changes via our TOS Tracker (yes, we track our own Terms!). Of course, this document is public on Docracy, and you will be able to see the changes for any new version (just click on the "See all versions" button on the right). Your continued use of the Website following the publishing of updated Terms of Service means that you accept and agree to the changes.

3. Accessing the Website,Security and Privacy

We are working hard on improving Docracy, but we can't guarantee that the Website will be up and running 24/7. We also reserve the right to suspend or restrict access to some features to users. In any case, we will not be liable if for any reason all or any part of the Website is unavailable at any time or for any period, nor for any data loss (see also section 7 below).

To access certain features of the Website you have to register by entering your email and choosing a password as part of our security procedures. You must treat such information as confidential, not disclosing it to any third party and only using Docracy in person. There is a password reset procedure in case you forget your password, but please notify us of any breach of security. We highly recommend to choose a strong password (e.g. "correcthorsebatterystaple") and that you log out from your account at the end of every session.

It is a condition of your use of the Website that all the information you provide on the Website is correct, current and complete. In the future, you may be asked to provide certain registration details or other information. As custom for internet websites, we reserve the right to disable any user account, at any time in our sole discretion for any or no reason, including, if in our opinion you have failed to comply with any provision of these Terms of Service.

We use SSL encrypted browsing for all logged-in users, but we cannot guarantee that all use will be secure. We also do not guarantee that the Website or any content provided on the Website is error free. We manage your personal data according to our Privacy Policy.

4. Intellectual Property Rights and Use Guidelines.

The Website and its original content, features and functionality (including look!), are owned by Docracy and are protected by United States and international copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret and other intellectual property or proprietary rights laws. Docracy is about copying, branching and modifying documents, not Website, design or code. So you agree to not copy, modify, create derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, republish, any of our copyrighted material, except to the extent permitted by the Website itself. If you have doubts about whether and how to use of material on the Website, please address your concerns to: support@docracy.zendesk.com

This means that Docracy's design, features and original copy (e.g. our About page or blog) are covered by copyright. The public content, i.e. the documents hosted here, is subject to the very broad license below and the rules in Paragraph 5. We wish we could say "everything else is public domain", but it's not that simple!

For purposes of these Terms of Service, the term “Content” includes, without limitation, information, data, text, photographs, videos, audio clips, written posts and comments, software, scripts, graphics, and interactive features generated, provided, or otherwise made accessible on or through the Website. For the purposes of these Terms of Service, “Content” also includes all User Content (as defined below).

All Content added, created, uploaded, submitted, distributed, or posted to the Website by users (collectively “User Content”), whether publicly posted or privately transmitted, is the sole responsibility of the person who originated such User Content. You represent that all User Content provided by you is accurate, complete, up-to-date, and in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. You acknowledge that all Content, including User Content, accessed by you using the Website is at your own risk and you will be solely responsible for any damage or loss to you or any other party resulting therefrom. We do not guarantee that any Content you access on or through the Website is or will continue to be accurate.

By submitting public User Content through the Website, you hereby do and shall grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, fully paid, sublicensable and transferable license to use, edit, modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, perform, and otherwise fully exploit the User Content in connection with the Website and our (and our successors’ and assigns’) businesses, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Website (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels (including, without limitation, third party websites and feeds). You also hereby do and shall grant each user of the Website a non-exclusive, perpetual license to access your User Content through the Website, and to use, edit, modify, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display and perform such User Content. For clarity, the foregoing license grants to us and our users does not affect your other ownership or license rights in your User Content, including the right to grant additional licenses to your User Content, unless otherwise agreed in writing. You represent and warrant that you have all rights to grant such licenses to us without infringement or violation of any third party rights, including without limitation, any privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property or proprietary rights.

We do not guarantee that any Content will be made available on the Website. We reserve the right to, but do not have any obligation to, (i) remove, edit or modify any Content in our sole discretion, at any time, without notice to you and for any reason (including, but not limited to, upon receipt of claims or allegations from third parties or authorities relating to such Content or if we are concerned that you may have violated these Terms of Service), or for no reason at all and (ii) to remove or block any Content from the Website.

You are permitted to use the Website for your personal, non-commercial use, or legitimate business purposes, provided that your activities are lawful and in accordance with these Terms of Service. Prohibited uses include violation of laws and regulations, hacking the Website in any manner, or violating the Content Standards set below. No right, title or interest in or to the Website or any content on the site is transferred to you, and all rights not expressly granted are reserved. Any use of the Website not expressly permitted by these Terms of Service is a breach of these Terms of Service and can lead to account termination.

We ecourage your feedback, in the form of reviews, comments, and suggestions or recommendations for modifications, improvements or changes to the Services or the Site that you may choose in your sole discretion to provide us from time to time (“Feedback”). When you provide Feedback, you grant us, under all right, title and interest in and to the Feedback, a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, transferable, sub-licensable, irrevocable, perpetual license to use that Feedback or to incorporate it into the Website or other producs or services.

The Website may contain Content specifically provided by us, our partners or our users and such Content is protected by copyrights, trademarks, service marks, patents, trade secrets or other proprietary rights and laws. You shall abide by and maintain all copyright notices, information, and restrictions contained in any Content accessed through the Website.

Are you still reading? Awesome! Please bear with us a little longer as what follows might look as legal boilerplate but it's actually important. A treat is waiting for you at the end of the page.

5. User Contributions and Content Standards. Special Disclaimer for legal content.

Docracy contains user generated content, and also may contain message boards, personal web pages, forums or other interactive features that allow you to upload, post, submit, publish, display or transmit to other Users Content on or through the Website. All User Content must be lawful, not spammy, and clear of virus or other malware. More specifically, but without limiting the foregoing, it must comply with the following Content Standards:

  • Not contain any material which is defamatory, obscene, indecent, abusive, offensive, harassing, violent, hateful, inflammatory or otherwise objectionable.
  • Not promote sexually explicit or pornographic material, violence, or discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age.
  • Not infringe any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual property rights of any other person.
  • Not violate the legal rights (including the rights of publicity and privacy) of others or contain any material that could give rise to any civil or criminal liability under applicable laws or regulations or that otherwise may be in conflict with these Terms of Service.
  • Not be likely to deceive any person.
  • Not promote any illegal activity, or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act.
  • Not cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety or be likely to upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person.
  • Not be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person or organization.
  • Not involve commercial activities or sales , such as contests, sweepstakes and other sales promotions, barter oradvertising.
  • Not give the impression that they emanate from us or any other person or entity, if this is not the case.
  • Not used, if public, as test empty documents with no actual content, or typing exercises: please respect our community and help us minimize the clutter!

As stated above, all the user generated legal documents are in the public domain, unless otherwise specified by the author. The rest of the content (e.g. private documents, comments, description, guides, etc) is creative work, therefore covered by copyright. We claim no intellectual property rights over the User Content. Your content remain yours. However, by setting your documents to be viewed publicly, or commenting in public, you agree to allow others to view, comment, edit and branch your content, and you grant us the right to use, copy, distribute and disclose to third parties the content for any purpose.

User Content is not intended to be legal advice nor form an attorney-client relationship, nor among the users, nor between the users and Docracy.Use of the Website should never be understood to be replacing use of a qualified attorney, and Docracy's relationship to all documents and transactions completed using the Website is that of a trusted, disinterested third party.

6. Law and Copyright Infringment

We do not undertake to review all material before it is posted on the Website, and cannot ensure prompt removal of objectionable material after it has been posted. Accordingly, we assume no liability for any action or inaction regarding transmissions, communications or content provided by any user or third party. In the unlikely event we receive a disclosure request from an authorized party, we reserve the right to disclose user identities when required to do so by the law, including in response to a law enforcement request supported by a valid court order. You waive and hold harmless the Company from any claims resulting from any action taken by the Company during or as a result of its investigations and from any actions taken as a consequence of investigations by either the Company or law enforcement authorities.

If you believe that any User Content violate your copyright, please follow the procedure set forth by article 512(c) of the DMCA and provide us a written takedown notice including the following information:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site.
  3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material.
  4. Information reasonably sufficient for us to contact you, such as email, address, telephone number.
  5. A statement that you a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

The notice should be addressed to dmca@docracy.com, or via snail mail to DMCA Designated Agent, c/o Docracy Inc, 20 Jay Street, #312, Brooklyn, NY 11201.

7. Disclaimer of Warranties, Limitations of Liability and Indemnification.

Your use of Docracy is at your sole risk. The service is provided "as is" and "as available". We disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. We are not liable for damages, direct or consequential, resulting from your use of the Website, and you agree to defend, indemnify and hold us harmless from any claims, losses, liability costs and expenses (including but not limites to attorney's fees) arising from your violation of any third-party's rights. You acknowledge that you have only a limited, non-exclusive, nontransferable license to use the Website. Because the Website is not error or bug free, you agree that you will use it carefully and avoid using it ways which might result in any loss of your or any third party's property or information.

8. Geographic Restrictions

For now, we provide this Website for use only by persons located in the United States. We make no claims that the Website or any of its content is accessible, appropriate or legal outside of the United States. If you access the Website from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.

9. Governing Law and Jurisdiction

These Terms of Service and any dispute or claim arising out of, or related to them, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the State of New York without giving effect to any choice or conflict of law provision or rule.

Any legal suit, action or proceeding arising out of, or related to, these Terms of Service or the Website shall be instituted exclusively in the federal courts of the United States or the courts of the State of New York.

10. Waiver and Severability

Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms of Service shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. The Terms of Service constitutes the entire agreement between you and Docracy and govern your use of the service, superseding any prior agreements (including, but not limited to, any prior versions of the Terms of Service). If any provision of these Terms of Service is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be eliminated or limited to the minimum extent such that the remaining provisions of the Terms of Service will continue in full force and effect.

11. Feedback

We welcome any comment, question and communication at support@docracy.zendesk.com

Did you really make it to the end, without missing a word? Well, you deserve a treat: http://bit.ly/XY12HX

Document Discussion

A question: Is this service valid just inside USA? If I sign in a contract in UK it doesn't have a legal value? And what happen if someone hack your account and sign stuff pretending to be you?

How can users report documents with spam and ads that violate these terms?

Great document guys! Why did you decide not to use a creative commons license? The Terms of Service sounds like User Content is CC BY-NC (without BY requirement) and Docracy content is CC BY. Thanks

We think legal documents should be absolutely free and not covered by copyright, so CC licenses were a bit too restrictive for us (they used to have a "public domain" license but it's deprecated now). On Docracy, all user-generated public content on the site is free to take/copy/sell (basically public domain, unless the owner specifies otherwise in the description), only Docracy's own look & feel and website copy (e.g. our F.A.Q. or blog posts) are covered by ordinary copyright, like pretty much every other website. Hope this makes sense! Feel free to suggest a language to make our licensing more clear.

Actually this is not entirely true. Creative Commons indeed deprecated a Public Domain license but it developed a new better one. It looks like you want to use Creative Commons Zero Public Domain Dedication Tool (CC0). See http://creativecommons.org/choose/zero/ and http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ . CC0 is not a license but a waiver where you waive all your copyrights and neighbouring rights and gives a global unlimited license for re-use for jurisdictions where the above is not possible. Source: I work at the Dutch affiliate of Creative Commons.

How much is your service, and can I upload my real estate transaction to be signed by both parties? Thank you, Stuart

Hi Stuart - Docracy e-signing is free. You can upload your document privately and invite people for signing. Feel free to contact support@zendesk.docracy.com for more details!

i have an online dating site...any terms of conditions sample for me ??

Branched and modified for my own site. Seems like a worthy TOS. A few minor points I found while editing it: Section 6 heading has infringement misspelled. Section 5, third to last list element is missing a space between "or" and "advertising" at the end. Section 3 header is also missing a space.

It's just an affiliate marketing site for nutritional supplements. Nothing particularly interesting and innovative like this one.

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