We are very conscious that most people are asked to click on terms of service without ever being given a clear idea of what it is that they are allowed to do, or not, unless they have practiced law for some significant period of time.
This strikes as a little unfair, and so what we intend to do here is to set out what you can and can't do with our service, and what we are allowed to do.
Don't get this wrong, just because this is written in friendly language doesn't mean that we are going to allow you to do anything at all with the service. In fact, quite the opposite. We are rather proud of it, and don't want anyone trashing it, thank you very much.
Who we are
This service is owned and operated by HoodsUp.org. You can reach us by e-mail at admin@HoodsUp.org.
We won't tolerate nasty people using any of our services. There are not too many nasty people out there, but those that are tend to be racists, liars, homophobes, illegal pornographers, abusers of trade marks, spammers, stalkers, propagators of viruses and generally people who fall outside of what you might classify as 'nice'. Naturally we tolerate free speech (although it may in certain cases be what we decide it is...), and look forward to wide-ranging debates. You only have to look at some of the spaces we operate to see that we have people of widely varying views already.
Do not use HoodsUp.org to break the law, wherever you might be.
Frankly, if we really don't like your community space we will remove it from our service, full stop. It will not affect anything not on our servers. If we believe it ought to have been categorised as 18+ due to the nature of the space, or its name or description, we reserve the right to give it an 18+ categorisation, which means it is very, very private, and can't generally be seen, apart from by members.
If we don't like you, we'll revoke your membership (most people we deal with are lovely but some are abusive or intimidatory, and we don't have to put up with that). There is no appeal to this, so just be reasonable, please. Also, do not try to sue us, because you are responsible for what you post and for what you allow others to post. In fact, if we get sued for anything you do or allow others to do, you agree to pay us for any loss we suffer (what the lawyers call an indemnity).
Children - we have children of our own, and are particularly keen to ensure they are protected. If you are under 16 then you must have permission from a parent or guardian to use the service. If we find anyone trying to harm children in any way using our spaces then we will go out of our way to hunt you down. We retain the IP addresses of computers accessing resources in the service and additionally the usernames of people who contribute content to the service. We will pass these and other details on to the relevant authorities if we ever find children being harmed.
Some groups will be age restricted, because there may be chat of an 'adult' nature, or because they relate to discussions of things such as alcohol or tobacco. We may ask you to confirm your age in some way from time to time - please comply if we ask you.
Under no circumstances must you attempt to remove or obscure any advertising carried by the service.
Keep your user name and password safe. Do not hand them out to anyone else because, amongst other things, it is pretty stupid. If someone is so desperate to use the service, get them to sign up themselves. And if you're in a community, it's a collaboration tool, for goodness sake, so there is no need to have shared logins.
We and our friends at Kinomi Limited have worked very hard on producing the underlying software, and that means that all you are allowed to do is use the fruits of our labour via the HoodsUp.org service - if you want to have your own copy, we're happy to sell you a licence. We will provide certain APIs, mainly because we see it's in our interest to get you to connect us to other stuff. But apart from that, do not attempt to hack into the system, or abuse or misuse it. If you do find a hole in our security, please just tell us.
Anything you post on the service is yours, and so you are responsible for it. That said, you do need to allow us to do certain things with it within the spirit of HoodsUp. So we need to be able to reproduce it on our website, and we may also syndicate it in whole or in part (e.g. via RSS or Atom). Our communities include e-mail-based discussion, so we have to mail it to people as well. We may also launch other editions of HoodsUp, such as a mobile version, and we need the right to reproduce it there as well. It is possible that the whole nature of the web will change, and so we become a TV channel - well, we reserve the right to use the material then. Quite rightly, it is unfair to have terms of service that give such wide sub-licensing rights that it effectively passes ownership of the material to a site owner in all but name. It is not our intention to end up owning all your material, but bear in mind that as we are bearing the cost of producing the software that allows you to publish your material, and we are paying for the hosting, so we would like something in return if you do become famous off our backs. A plug for the service would be nice.
Ideally, we'd like you only to have one login. Why? Well disk space still costs money, and we do restrict how much you can use.
Make sure that you give accurate details. That is your responsibility. Also, remember that the Internet is not a very secure place - all of your data is bouncing around the globe, from computer to computer, until it arrives with us. We can't be held responsible for that, so please just bear it in mind.
We don't give any guarantees about the service, except to the extent that they are implied under English law, and only accept legal liability to the minimum extent set out under English law. The service may stop working, produce strange results, erase all of your data, or do all manner of other nasty stuff - we hope not, but you never can tell. Always keep a copy of your data somewhere, just in case it happens. So if anything goes wrong, unless we have been malicious ourselves, please don't come to us. If you have paid us anything, we'll refund you anything you've paid in the last year if we really screw up. But don't rely on any of our services to do anything really fancy like design airplanes, sell nuclear secrets, or plan life-saving operations. We're not that sort of company. Make sure that you have all the latest security releases built into your browser and operating system and that you are running up-to-date virus software - someone might just send an e-mail through our system with a virus, or similar nasty, as an attachment. Make sure you can detect it, and deal with it.
If you really do want to get nasty and sue us, bear in mind we are based in the UK, so English law applies, and you have to come to the English courts.
In general, we want you to use the service, and enjoy it - we want you to invite your friends and make us the biggest site on the planet - but we won't put up with any nonsense, and that is the bottom line.
We may update these terms from time-to-time by posting a new version on our web site. We will usually tell you in our support space when this happens but you should check this page occasionally.