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Summary: WordPress’ “fascinating terms of service”

When a user signs up for a WordPress.com account, he agrees to the “fascinating terms of service,” as the people at Auttomatic, Inc. describe them. The very first paragraph of these fairly short and easy to read terms of service, after encouraging the users to express themselves freely, reminds them to be responsible in what they publish. The “Dispute Resolution and reporting Page” then explains that no blog will be suspended for “offensive or objectionable” content, if it does not violate their terms. The content can be “reproduced, modified, adapted and published” by Automattic, but they claim to use it “solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog.”

Furthermore, once you delete the content, they will “use reasonable efforts” to remove it, but it will not be immediately deleted – compare to Google terms of service summarized by Judy. Yet, “effective immediately,” even without cause or notice, they can “terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time,” as well as delete or change anything they consider “inappropriate or unlawful.” In addition, the bottom of the page offers a change log, where we can see that posting “non pornographic” content became a requirement for the users on July 7, 2009.

Finally, it should be noted that their terms of service are made available via Creative Commons Shairalike licence, allowing the users to “steal it and repurpose it”. Therefore, the readers are encouraged to use these terms for their own purposes, and they even get a treat for reading them. So do you for reading this summary.


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