Alpha Terms of Service

Version 0.4 (see our changelog for history)


Welcome! is a nonprofit cooperative with a mission to fund and otherwise support public goods projects.

We welcome you to participate in the community. But first, please read and agree to the following Terms of Service.

We've tried to make our terms as ethical and transparent as possible. To that end, we include a non-binding summary table below and non-binding "short version" introductions for each terms section. Please contact us if you have any questions or see room for improvements.

(Comic) Mimi: "We've become a society ruled by lawyers! A Lawyerarchy!" Eunice: "Lawyertarianism!" Mimi: "I'm not suggesting we eat them." Eunice: "I am!"


Section What can you find there?
A. Definitions Key words and phrases used within these terms.
B. Account Terms The basic requirements of having an Account on
C. Acceptable Use The basic rules you must follow when using your Account.
D. Copyright Licensing and Using Content from We use free/libre/open licenses for content at
E. User-Submitted Content Content you post on must be compatible with our free/libre/open licensing.
F. Copyright & DMCA Policy This section talks about how we handle claims of copyright infringement on
G. Crowdmatching, Pledging, and Financial Transactions This section describes how our fundraising system works and how we handle financial transactions.
H. Projects We have a few specific rules for Projects listed at
I. Volunteers Basic legal requirements to volunteer at
J. Cancellation and Termination You may cancel this agreement and close your Account at any time.
K. Legal Communications with How we send and recieve legal notices.
L. Disclaimer of Warranties We provide our service as is, and we make no promises or guarantees about this service.
M. Limitation of Liability We will not be liable for damages or losses arising from your use or inability to use the service or otherwise arising under this agreement.
N. Release and Indemnification You will not hold us liable if your use of the service leads to legal action against you.
O. Changes to these Terms of Service We may modify this agreement, but we will give you 30 days' notice of changes that affect your rights.
P. Miscellaneous Further details and legal boilerplate for terms like this.

The Terms of Service

Effective date: September 10, 2018

A. Definitions

Short version: We use certain terms with specific meanings throughout the agreement.

  1. The "Agreement" refers, collectively, to all the terms, conditions, notices contained or referenced in this document (the “Terms of Service” or the "Terms") and all other operating rules, policies (including the Privacy Policy), and procedures that we may publish from time to time on the Website. Most of our site policies are available at our legal repository.
  2. The "Service" refers to any services, software, products, and applications provided by
  3. The "Website" refers to content, services, and products that we provide at the domain, the naked domain (which is our fundraising platform) as well as subdomains (such as and our forum at Occasionally, websites owned by may provide different or additional terms of service. If those additional terms conflict with this Agreement, the more specific terms apply to the relevant page or service. Note that these Terms do not cover your use of third-party services that integrate with or support services, such as payment services (e.g. Stripe) or community and project management tools hosted elsewhere (e.g.,,
  4. "The User," "You," and "Your" refer to the individual person that has visited or is using the Website or Service; that accesses or uses any part of the Account; or that directs the use of the Account in the performance of its functions.
  5. "," "We," and "Us" includes our affiliates, directors, subsidiaries, contractors, licensors, officers, agents, and employees.
  6. "Content" refers to content featured or displayed through the Website, including without limitation text, data, articles, images, photographs, graphics, software, applications, designs, features, and other materials that are available on the Website or otherwise available through the Service. "Content" also includes Services. "User-Submitted Content" is Content uploaded by our Users.
  7. An "Account" represents your legal relationship with A "User Account" represents an individual User's authorization to log in to and use the Service and serves as a User's identity on
  8. A "Project" is an entity represented by one or more Users that gets listed on the Website in order to use our Crowdmatching fundraising system (see section G) to support their development and maintenance of public goods.

B. Account Terms

Short version: To create a User Account, you must be a human age 13 or over; you must provide a valid email address; and you may not have more than one Account. You alone are responsible for your Account and for keeping it secure.

1. Account Controls

Subject to these Terms, you retain ultimate administrative control over your User Account and the Content within it.

2. Required Information

You must provide a valid email address in order to complete the signup process. Any other information requested, such as your real name, is optional (but some additional information may be needed to engage in certain activities, such as pledging financial support to Projects).

3. Account Requirements

We have a few simple rules for User Accounts on's Service.

4. User Account Security

You are responsible for the security of your Account while you use our Service.

5. Additional Terms

In some situations, third parties' terms may apply to your use of For example, you must connect your account to a payment service in order to donate or to receive donations. Please be aware that while these Terms are our full agreement with you, other parties' terms govern their relationships with you.

C. Acceptable Use

Short version: supports a wide variety of projects from all over the world, bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and interests. We expect everyone to work together in good faith, following these terms and our other community rules. The following Acceptable Use Policy defines some of what content you can post and your conduct on the service.

1. Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Your use of the Website and Service must not violate any applicable laws, including copyright or trademark laws, export control laws, or other laws in your jurisdiction. You are responsible for making sure that your use of the Service is in compliance with laws and any applicable regulations.

2. Content Restrictions

You agree that you will not under any circumstances upload, post, host, or transmit any content that:

3. Conduct Restrictions

We welcome your participation in this community and encourage you to stay civil and constructive in your interactions with others and to make contributions aimed at furthering our mission.

In addition to the restrictions specified here in these Terms, we enforce a more thorough Code of Conduct on our forum and any other community spaces.

While using, you agree that you will not under any circumstances:

  • engage in any other activity that significantly harms our Users.
  • 4. Permission for Security Research

    You must not access's Services in ways that exceed your authorization unless the following conditions are met:

  • You do not undertake such actions with malicious or destructive intent.
  • 4. Services Usage Limits

    You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any portion of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service without's express written permission (noting that the public licensing under which we publish on our software and multimedia publications constitutes such permission, following the terms of the relevant licenses).

    5. Privacy

    Misuse of Users' Personal Information (as defined in the Privacy Policy) is prohibited.

    6. Scraping

    Scraping refers to extracting data from our Website via an automated process, such as a bot or webcrawler. You may scrape the website for the following reasons:

    You may not scrape for spamming purposes, including for the purposes of selling users' personal information.

    7. Excessive Bandwidth Use

    If we determine your bandwidth usage to be significantly excessive in relation to other Users, we reserve the right to take technical measures to reduce your bandwidth consumption and to suspend your Account if necessary.

    Short version:

    You can use, modify, and share most anything from the Website as long as you follow the applicable FLO license requirements (giving credit, keeping terms for others). There's just a few exceptions such as Trademarks.

    Most public writings and images at are free to use and share under CC BY-SA (with attribution credit simply to ""), with the following exceptions and qualifications:

    E. User-Submitted Content

    Short version: Other than Trademarks or unambiguous cases of Fair Use, Content submitted to in public contexts must be compatible with the free/libre/open licensing that we use (CC BY-SA primarily). Users are responsible for submitting within their legal rights and retain any copyrights and moral rights within the free/libre/open license terms. We have the right to remove content as needed.

    As per our mission to grow the commons of free knowledge and free culture, all users contributing to projects are required to grant general permissions to re-distribute and re-use their contributions freely, so long as that use is properly attributed and the same freedom to re-use and re-distribute is granted to any derivative works.

    1. Responsibility for User-Submitted Content

    You may create or upload User-Submitted Content while using the Service. You are solely responsible for the content of, and for any harm resulting from, any User-Submitted Content that you post, upload, link to or otherwise make available via the Service, regardless of the form of that Content. We are not responsible for any public display or misuse of your User-Submitted Content.

    2. May Remove Content

    We do not pre-screen User-Submitted Content, but we have the right (though not the obligation) to refuse or remove any User-Submitted Content that, in our sole discretion, violates any terms or policies.

    3. Ownership of Content, Right to Post, and License Grants

    You agree to only submit Content if you have all necessary legal rights to submit it and follow these requirements:

    1. If you are the sole copyright holder, you agree to apply the following licenses (or a compatible license, specified in writing) to your public submissions:

    Please note that these licenses allow commercial uses of your contributions (as long as such uses are compliant with all other terms of these licenses).

    User Submitted Content in private contexts (such as in forum messages or in restricted categories of the forum) only uses the above licensing if explicitly specified.

    1. If you do not (solely) own any copyrights, you warrant that the Content is available to you and to us under terms compatible with the licenses above (including Content being Public Domain or unambiguously allowable under recognized Fair Use doctrines), and you must follow the terms (such as indicating attribution) per any applicable license of the Content.
    2. For Trademarked Content (such as project logos), you must have legal authority to grant usage and agree to grant permission to display the Trademarks where appropriate in reference to the trademarked project, goods, or services.

    Short version: We follow standard legal procedures in handling copyright infringement allegations and aim to inform everyone of their rights.

    If you believe that Content anywhere on infringes on a copyright you hold, we encourage you to first reach out informally via one of the methods on our contact page.

    To take action under Section 512(c) of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, follow our DMCA Guide and the connected DMCA Takedown Notice Guide. Pursuant to the DMCA, we will terminate, in appropriate circumstances, the Accounts of repeat infringers.

    (Comic) Eunice: "You artists should be grateful for us lawyers. We protect you!" Mimi: "From what?" Eunice: "Lawyers!"

    G. Crowdmatching, Pledging, and Financial Transactions

    Short version: Crowdmatching involves many Patrons agreeing to donate by matching each other. You participate by pledging to various Projects listed at, and we then bill you monthly through a connected payment service. We combine charges to reduce fees. You can remove pledges at any time, but previous donations are non-refundable.

    1. Crowdmatching

    At, we offer a fundraising service called "Crowdmatching". It calculates donation levels using a base amount (denominated in U.S. Dollars) multiplied by the number of Patrons to a Project.

    2. Authorizing a Third-Party Payment Service

    To participate in Crowdmatching, you must connect your Account with an approved third-party payment service, accepting their independent terms. By connecting a payment service, you authorize us to have that service charge you on behalf of Projects to which you Pledge your support.

    3. Pledging

    You can Pledge to support any number of Projects among those listed on the Website.

    By clicking the Pledge button for any specific Project, you:

    4. Billing Schedule; No Refunds

    Donations to Projects are billed on a monthly basis and are non-refundable.

    5. Responsibility for Payment

    You are responsible for all fees, including taxes, associated with your use of the Service. If you do not participate in Crowdmatching, you are not required to provide payment information.

    6. Combined Charges

    In order to reduce third-party payment processing fees, we may combine donations to multiple projects and sometimes multiple months of donations into single charges, processed in arrears.

    7. Budget Limits and Cancelling Pledges

    Your Account includes a setting for a budget limit. If your combined Pledges grow to be higher than your budget limit, Pledges may be suspended (one at a time). You may also manually cancel any Pledges at any time through your Account dashboard on the Website.

    When a Pledge is suspended or cancelled, we will no longer include you in the count of Patrons to that Project and will not bill you for any new donations to that Project. We may still process any outstanding, delayed bills from previous months.

    H. Projects

    Short version: will only include listings for Projects that publish free/libre/open public goods and meet our other specific requirements. Donations through Crowdmatching come directly from patrons via a supported third-party payment service.

    1. Project Requirements

    To register a Project for listing at, you must meet all of our Project Requirements.

    2. Receiving donations

    Once accepted for listing, a Project will be in good standing and able to accept fundraising after connecting the Project with an account at a supported third-party payment service. does not hold or handle any funds for any other Project. We only instruct an independent payment service (through their API) on when and how much to charge Patrons and which Projects should receive the donations.

    3. Project Owners

    Each Project must have at least one User Account designated as an owner. An "owner" of a Project created under these Terms has access to administrative controls for the Project's listing. If you are an owner of a Project under these Terms, we consider you responsible for the actions that are performed on or through that Project.

    4. Project Termination

    In case of any violation of our requirements or community norms, we reserve the right to remove any Project from listing at or to temporarily suspend fundraising for any Project.

    Any Project may request to be unlisted or fully removed at any time.

    When we remove a Project, we will retain historic information for our records.

    I. Volunteers

    Short version: We welcome volunteers to help develop and run the Website as long as they accept some basic responsibilities.

    Volunteers assist with many aspects of our Service, including but not limited to providing technical support, creating Content, performing site administration duties, providing expert advice, research, technical writing, reviewing, categorizing, and other duties as necessary.

    If you volunteer, you agree that:

    J. Cancellation and Termination

    Short version: You may close your Account at any time through an email request. If you do, we'll delete or otherwise anonymize your information as much as we can legally and technically. Also, while we have the right to unilaterally terminate Accounts or refuse service, we will only do so with great care and hope the need never arises.

    1. Account Cancellation

    You can request that We cancel your Account by sending an email to from the same email as the Account (or with adequate proof of Account ownership). Within 30 days of recieving your cancellation request, we will remove all data and Content associated with your Account and cancel any active Pledges, with the following exceptions:

    As specified in our Privacy Policy, you can request a copy of your lawful, non-infringing Account contents. We will make a reasonable effort to provide you with all the personal data we can access and legally provide. Please make such requests prior to or in conjunction with any cancellation request. Once removed, We cannot recover data.

    3. May Terminate

    We have the right to suspend or terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. If we cancel your Account, you may not open a new Account without our explicit permission. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

    4. Survival

    All provisions of this Agreement which, by their nature, should survive termination will survive termination — including, without limitation: ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.

    Short version: We send legal communications to you via electronic methods. We have separate instructions for sending legal communications to us.

    1. Electronic Communication Required

    For contractual purposes, you (1) consent to receive communications from us in an electronic form via the email address you have submitted or via the Service; and (2) agree that all Terms of Service, agreements, notices, disclosures, and other communications that we provide to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that those communications would satisfy if they were on paper. This section does not affect your non-waivable rights.

    In any situation where notice is required by contract or any law or regulation, communications made through email or our community forum will not constitute legal notice to or any of its officers, employees, agents, or representatives. Legal notices must be in writing and served on's legal agent .

    L. Disclaimer of Warranties

    Short version: We provide our service as is, and we make no promises or guarantees about this service. provides the Website and the Service “as is” and “as available,” without warranty of any kind. Without limiting this, we expressly disclaim all warranties, whether express, implied or statutory, regarding the Website and the Service including without limitation any warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, security, accuracy and non-infringement. does not warrant that the Service will meet your requirements; that the Service will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free; that the information provided through the Service is accurate, reliable or correct; that any defects or errors will be corrected; that the Service will be available at any particular time or location; or that the Service is free of viruses or other harmful components. You assume full responsibility and risk of loss resulting from your downloading and/or use of files, information, content or other material obtained from the Service.

    (Comic) Mimi looks scared seeing Eunice carrying an enormous pile of contract forms, cameras, microphones, and weapons (including rockets going off). Eunice says, "What?! I'm just covering my ass!"

    M. Limitation of Liability

    Short version: This section limits our obligations to you. We will not be liable for damages or losses arising from your use or inability to use the service or otherwise arising under this agreement.

    You understand and agree that we will not be liable to you or any third party for any loss of profits, use, goodwill, or data, or for any incidental, indirect, special, consequential or exemplary damages, however arising, that result from:

    Our liability is limited whether or not we have been informed of the possibility of such damages, and even if a remedy set forth in this Agreement is found to have failed of its essential purpose. We will have no liability for any failure or delay due to matters beyond our reasonable control.

    N. Release and Indemnification

    Short version: You are responsible for your use of the service. If you harm someone else or get into a dispute with someone else, we have no legal obligation to get involved (but we may still offer to help if we have the capacity to do so).

    If you have a dispute with one or more Users, you agree to release from any and all claims, demands and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, arising out of or in any way connected with such disputes.

    You agree to indemnify us, defend us, and hold us harmless from and against any and all claims, liabilities, and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of the Website and the Service, including but not limited to your violation of this Agreement, provided that (1) promptly gives you written notice of the claim, demand, suit or proceeding; (2) gives you sole control of the defense and settlement of the claim, demand, suit or proceeding (provided that you may not settle any claim, demand, suit or proceeding unless the settlement unconditionally releases of all liability); and (3) provides to you all reasonable assistance, at your expense.

    O. Changes to These Terms

    Short version: We want our users to be informed of important changes to our terms, but we don't want to bother you every time we fix a typo. While we may modify this agreement at any time, we will notify users of any changes that affect your rights. When feasible, we will also offer a comment period before updates are set.

    We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to amend these Terms of Service at any time and will update these Terms of Service in the event of any such amendments. We will notify our Users of material changes to this Agreement at least 30 days prior to the change taking effect by posting a notice on our Website. For non-material modifications, your continued use of the Website constitutes agreement to our revisions of these Terms of Service. You can view all changes to these Terms in the history view of our git repository.

    We reserve the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Website (or any part of it) with or without notice.

    P. Miscellaneous

    1. Governing Law

    Except to the extent applicable law provides otherwise, this Agreement between you and and any access to or use of the Website or the Service are governed by the federal laws of the United States of America and the laws of the State of Michigan, without regard to conflict of law provisions. You and agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in the City and County of Grosse Point Park, Michigan.

    2. Non-Assignability

    You may not assign or delegate any rights or obligations under the Terms of Service or Privacy Policy without our prior written consent, and any unauthorized assignment and delegation by you is void.

    3. Section Headings, Summaries, and Images

    Throughout this Agreement, each section includes titles and brief summaries of the following terms and conditions. We have also included images of some short comic strips to bring levity and break up the dense legal text. These section titles, brief summaries, and images are not legally binding.

    4. Severability, No Waiver, and Survival

    If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that portion of the Agreement will be construed to reflect the parties’ original intent. The remaining portions will remain in full force and effect. Any failure on the part of to enforce any provision of this Agreement will not be considered a waiver of our right to enforce such provision. Our rights under this Agreement will survive any termination of this Agreement.

    5. Complete Agreement

    These Terms of Service, together with the Privacy Policy, represent the complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between you and us. This Agreement supersedes any proposal or prior agreement oral or written, and any other communications between you and relating to the subject matter of these terms.

    The Terms of Service are made available by us in their entirety under CC BY-SA 4.0 International. These Terms were derived significantly from the May 25, 2018 version of the GitHub Terms of Service (which are public domain via CC0). Some sections were derived from Wikimedia Terms of Use and DreamWidth Terms of Service.

    1. If you prefer different but compatible terms, you may specify that in your forum profile or alongside specific submissions. The main CC BY-SA compatible options are the CC BY license or waiving your copyright via the CC0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.