This is version 1.0.6 of the Terms and Conditions of Service, last updated on February 10, 2012. A history of changes can be found after the end of the Terms and Conditions of Service. The Terms and Conditions of Service can be briefly summarized as follows:

"We promise to always try to do the right thing. If you do too, it'll all be cool."

Please report any violations of our Terms and Conditions of Service to abuse@nearlyfreespeech.net. Due to our privacy policy, we will probably not be able to give you much information about any action we take in response to your report, but we will give it full consideration, and we strive to make sure every member knows and follows our Terms and Conditions of Service at all times.

Terms and Conditions of Service

INGREDIENTS

AWARENESS OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

NFSN, Inc. ("NearlyFreeSpeech.NET" or we/us) provides certain content- hosting services ("Services") to you, subject to these Terms and Conditions of Service ("TACOS").

We may change these TACOS or make new TACOS at any time. Although we will attempt to notify you through reasonable means when the TACOS change, we are under no obligation to do so.

The newest TACOS will always be available at https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/about/terms.php.

REGISTRATION

Your membership identifies you as a person and is non-transferable. You may not have more than one membership. You may not set up a membership for an individual other than yourself, access any membership other than your own, or let anyone else access your membership.

You must provide accurate, complete, and current information about yourself as needed for registration and payment ("Registration Information"). In the event of a change, you must promptly update the Registration Information to ensure that it remains accurate, complete, and current.

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET will handle Registration Information in accordance with a published privacy policy ("Privacy Policy") available at https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/about/privacy.php.

To provide anonymous hosting, we may, at our sole discretion, waive in advance in writing part or all of the requirement to provide or maintain Registration Information.

REFUNDS

We want you to be happy with our service. However, we understand that it is not for everyone. We offer a very flexible refund policy in keeping with our belief that you should be able to try things out without taking a big risk.

We will refund the unused balance of your account(s) and close your membership at any time upon request. However, if you have registered domains through us, you must transfer them elsewhere or abandon them prior to requesting cancellation.

We typically issue refunds through the same method (e.g. credit card, PayPal) that you used to pay. Due to time limits imposed by our payment processors, sometimes this is not possible. In those cases, we will try to offer you a variety of refund options, some of which may carry a fee based on the cost. For example, we can mail a check to US residents for a fee of $1.00.

If issuing a refund would cost more than the amount of the refund, your remaining balance will be considered a non-refundable credit.

NON-REFUNDABLE CREDIT

There are certain actions you can take, such as transferring an account (see TRANSFERS below) to another member, that will convert your balance into a non-refundable credit. Also, we may offer incentives or bonuses in the form of non-refundable credits. PayPal payments made from email addresses other than the email address in your Registration Information may be regarded as nonrefundable credits.

Non-refundable credits cannot be refunded (hence the name). If you have a nonrefundable credit in your account when you close it, you may designate a website hosted by our service belonging to another member. We will transfer the nonrefundable credit to the account funding that website.

If you indicate that you are abandoning the nonrefundable balance, or if your account is dormant (i.e. has no sites and no activity) for over one year and is funded only by nonrefundable credit, we will transfer the nonrefundable credit to an account funding a deserving member-hosted website of our choice.

We will not ordinarily convert any balance to a nonrefundable credit except as needed to fulfill your requests. Before we do so, we will prominently notify you that your request will affect your eligibility for a refund and we will obtain your consent.

Under no circumstances (except as required by law) will we ever accept money from one party and pay it out to another party.

TRANSFERS

You and another member may jointly request that we transfer a personal bandwidth account from your membership to theirs. We will be happy to do so, however the balance becomes a non-refundable credit (see NON-REFUNDABLE CREDIT above).

You and another member may jointly request that we transfer some or all Services (sites, domain names, MySQL servers) from a personal bandwidth account under your membership to one under theirs. The recipient's account must be funded. We generally require that related items stay together (such as a site and its domain name, if applicable).

If you give control over your membership to another person, we may choose to treat this as a transfer of accounts from one member to another. In that case, any account funds will become non-refundable. We will notify you and/or the other person before doing so and provide you with an opportunity to explain before taking this action.

DONATION DEPOSITS

Under certain circumstances, we may allow you to accept deposits into your personal bandwidth account from third parties through our service. Such deposits are non-refundable. We call these payments "donations" in keeping with the spirit behind offering the feature, but they are not considered charitable givings, nor are they tax deductible. If you choose to accept transfers or donations from third parties, additional terms and conditions apply.

CREDIT CARD BILLING PRACTICES

All credit card transactions you submit to our service will appear on your statement as NFSN, Inc.

We charge your credit card only at your request and only with your authorization. If you submit a credit card as payment, you warrant to us that you have provided true and accurate card information and that you are fully authorized to use that credit card.

As described under REFUNDS, we have a very flexible refund policy. Therefore, there should be no reason to ever file a chargeback request for credit card transactions. We investigate all such requests as potential fraud, and are required to freeze all affected accounts while the investigation is in progress. Because of the time and expense incurred in responding to a chargeback request, we charge a fee of up to $25.00 per occurrence. This fee will be waived if we find the chargeback is legitimate or due to an error on our part.

We do not keep your credit card information above and beyond the minimum amount necessary (your name, billing address, and the last four digits of the card number) to identify transactions. This means we can never charge you for other transactions unless you explicitly log in and provide your card information.

Should you commit credit card fraud of any kind in conjunction with our service, we will wreak dreadful vengeance upon you to the fullest extent of the law.

CONTENT

You are solely responsible for any and all information, literature, software, works of art, or any other materials ("Content") you make available using the Services.

You may not upload, publish, or otherwise use the Services to make available any Content that:

CONDUCT

You may not:

We may provide a variety of ancillary services from time to time for the express purpose of facilitating your ability to upload and manage your Content. You may not use said ancillary services (including but not limited to ssh access) for any other purpose.

INTERNATIONAL USE

It is your sole responsibility to ensure your compliance with any and all applicable local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable Content.

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET will generally cooperate with foreign authorities in the investigation or prosecution of alleged criminal activities. There is one important exception to this policy. We will generally not help authorities of any repressive foreign government to investigate or prosecute alleged criminal activities if (and only if) the scope of those activities is limited to the operation of a website on our service that is critical of that government in a manner that would be Constitutionally protected speech in the United States.

This exception is granted on a case-by-case basis. You should not assume you have this protection unless we have told you in writing that you do, in conjunction with an anonymous hosting arrangement. You should not bet your life or your family's life on our ability to protect you. Under no circumstances will this protection extend to non-speech-related criminal activity.

INDEMNITY

You indemnify and hold harmless NearlyFreeSpeech.NET and its subsidiaries, affiliates, owners, officers, directors, agents, partners, employees, and contractors from any and all claims, demands, losses, causes of action, damages, lawsuits, and judgments, including attorneys' fees and costs, arising out of or relating to your Content, your use of the Services, or your activities in conjunction with the Services.

MODIFICATIONS TO SERVICES

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET reserves the right at any time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Services or any portion thereof with or without notice.

SECURITY AND AVAILABILITY OF CONTENT

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET makes a good faith effort to provide the Services in a reliable and consistent fashion. No guarantee is made as to the availability of Content at a particular time or the persistence of Content. Similarly, NearlyFreeSpeech.NET makes a good faith effort to ensure the security of your Content but cannot guarantee it will remain secure. It is your sole responsibility to secure your Content and to restore it in the event of a system failure.

TERMINATION

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET reserves the right at any time and for any reason, including but not limited to your violation of these TACOS, to limit, suspend, or terminate your use of the Services and to discard any of your Content. Such termination of your use of the Services may be performed without prior notice, and NearlyFreeSpeech.NET may immediately deactivate or delete your Content and all related files relating to the Services and/or bar all access to the same. NearlyFreeSpeech.NET will not be liable to you or to any third party for any termination of your access to Services.

If NearlyFreeSpeech.NET terminates your service because you violated our TACOS, we may retain some or all of any balance remaining in your personal bandwidth account as liquidated damages. You will remain liable for any additional damages you cause NearlyFreeSpeech.NET by your violation of these TACOS. Please respect our TACOS.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

NearlyFreeSpeech.NET, including but not limited to its officers, directors, owners, employees, and contractors, shall not under any circumstances be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, exemplary, or any other type of damages, including but not limited to damages for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses even if NearlyFreeSpeech.NET has been specifically advised of the possibility of such damages. Your sole remedy regardless of the circumstances shall be the return of funds contained in your Personal Bandwidth Account(s) that have not been disbursed or allocated to pay for Services provided or liquidated damages.

EXCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS

Some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion of certain warranties or the limitation or exclusion of liability for incidental or consequential damages. Accordingly, some of the above may not apply to you.

You are solely responsible for any and all fees associated with obtaining access to NearlyFreeSpeech.NET and associated Services.

NOTICE

Notices to you may be made through regular mail, electronic mail, via the NearlyFreeSpeech.NET website, or during the normal course of providing the Services.

GENERAL INFORMATION

These TACOS constitute the entire agreement between you and NearlyFreeSpeech.NET. The TACOS govern your use of the Services, superseding any prior agreements between you and NearlyFreeSpeech.NET including but not limited to any prior versions of the TACOS. The TACOS and the relationship between you and NearlyFreeSpeech.NET shall be governed by the laws of the State of Delaware without regard to its conflict of law provisions. The failure of NearlyFreeSpeech.NET to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the TACOS shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any provision of the TACOS is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the TACOS remain in full force and effect. Regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action you have arising out of or related to your use of the Services must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action first arose or be forever barred. The section titles in the TACOS are for clarity only and have no legal or contractual effect.

THE END

Be excellent to each other.


History of Changes:


2/10/2012

1.0.6

We made a few minor tweaks:

First, one bit of the REGISTRATION section blatantly contradicted the entire rest of our service (including the preceding and following sentences in the same section), stating that under certain circumstances we allowed organizational memberships rather than organizational accounts. (Documented proof that at least once in our history, even we have confused the two.)

We removed that because it was inaccurate and updated what was left to make sure we are saying the same thing in the same way throughout our site and service. Nothing about how we actually operate is affected by this change, it's just shorter, more consistent, and less wrong now.

Note: We did at one point in the past allow "role memberships" to be created, but only if a person neither had nor wanted an individual membership and got prior approval from us. That proved to be a really bad idea with a complex set of rules and restrictions nobody wanted to follow, and was discontinued. Despite superficial similarity, this change is not related to that, so if you're one of the few that still has a preapproved "role membership" this change does not affect you.

Second, we hacked up the REFUNDS section to be shorter and to better reflect what happens when e.g. a credit card payment is too old to be directly refunded.

Third, in the CREDIT CARD BILLING PRACTICES section, we removed a reference to "NFSN, LLC" which has not appeared on credit card statements in many years. We also changed our chargeback amount from "$25.00" to "up to $25.00" to leave open the possibility for us to charge less. For reasons we do not understand, sometimes we are charged less by processors, and we have zero interest in chargebacks as a revenue source.

Fourth, the INDEMNITY section has been somewhat broadened. Unlike the other changes, this does change the meaning. The previous language limited our ability to recover some types of legal costs that weren't related to lawsuits against us. (E.g. fighting a subpoena in a lawsuit against you.) There have been several cases where we have spent thousands of dollars fighting on behalf of members who subsequently stiffed us or turned out to be lying to us all along.

Our intent hasn't changed: to give ourselves as much flexibility as possible to fight alongside our members when appropriate, without turning into a legal aid clinic (which we cannot afford to be) or being left holding the bag while someone with bad intentions makes a hasty getaway. However, this is not a "to be clearer" or "reorganized" change.

All of our money comes from our members, so when someone else doesn't pay the costs they incur, you do. That's not fair, so regrettably we need stronger language in this area. As a result, if someone tells us they want us to fight and lies about their willingness to cover the costs of doing so, it will now be harder than it was yesterday for them to get away with it. The other 99.99% of our members will not be affected.

9/21/2011

1.0.5c

Fix a duplicate HTML tag ID preventing jumping to the CONTENT section. The text, intent, and meaning was not changed.


8/1/2009

1.0.5b

Fix a couple of longstanding typos. The intent and meaning was not changed.


8/1/2009

1.0.5a

Updated some of the HTML markup to clean up display errors with our new site layout. The content was not changed.


6/26/2007

1.0.5
  • Split the CONDUCT AND CONTENT section into CONDUCT and CONTENT sections since they really have nothing to do with each other.
  • Renamed the CONTENTS section to INGREDIENTS so it would not be confused with the new CONTENT section.
  • Reword the thou-shalt-nots in the CONTENT section. Nothing about our implementation of this section or our views on what content is or is not acceptable is changing; this is just our annual effort to stay ahead of would-be-evildoers looking for loopholes in the wording.
  • Add to the CONDUCT section a couple of things from the should-have-been-obvious department. (Don't give out your login info and do not taunt happy fun tech!)
  • Still chasing XHTML compliance.
  • A couple of minor spelling and grammar fixes.

6/6/2006

1.0.4a
  • Updated TACOS to reflect that we don't call our DNS service "Basic DNS" anymore.

Neither our intentions nor the underlying meaning of the terms and conditions were changed by this update.


1/4/2006

1.0.4
  • Changed the name from "Terms of Service" to "Terms and Conditions of Service" because we like the resulting acronym better.
  • Made some changes in the general direction of XHTML compliance.
  • Reorganized some sections and moved some things around to make it easier to understand.
  • Tried to make a few spots less wordy.

Neither our intentions nor the underlying meaning of the terms and conditions were changed by this update.


10/8/2005

1.0.3

The name of the page was changed from terms.shtml to terms.php. Some style and link changes were made to fit with our new site design. The content was not changed.



9/20/2005

1.0.3

A number of changes were made:

  • The CONTENTS section was added.
  • To pave the way for fully anonymous hosting, we added the possibility of waiving our requirements related to providing your personal information in the REGISTRATION section.
  • Repetitious language in the CONDUCT section was consolidated without changing its intent.
  • Language has been added to the CONDUCT section indicating that you may not use other services we provide (like ssh) for purposes other than what we provide them for (maintaining your site). This should have been obvious.
  • In response to legal advice on the DMCA, a change was made to the TERMINATION clause specifically clarifying that violating the TOS may result in termination, and that termination for violating the TOS may mean that you don't get a refund.
  • The INTERNATIONAL USE section was expanded to clarify that compliance with your local laws is your responsibility, and that we may choose not to help thuggish foreign countries track down the operators of critical/opposition websites.
  • The VIOLATIONS section was removed, as it was primarily directed at people who are not subject to the TOS.
  • The THE END section was added to clarify that the history of changes is not itself part of the TOS, leading to a mental recursion problem when recording changes.

We also underlined the section headings. Woo hoo, we're exciting people.


1/4/2005

1.0.2

The HTML markup was changed to make the document W3C HTML 4.01 Transitional compliant. The content was not changed.



11/6/2004

1.0.2

Added credit card, transfer, and refund sections, which document our existing policies in these areas. These policies have not actually changed, except that we now charge a $25.00 fee for handling spurious credit card chargebacks.


5/27/2004

1.01

Changed the CONDUCT section to indicate that only the laws of the United States will be used to determine whether a violation of that section has occurred.


2/4/2002

1.0

First version.

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