Terms of Service
Last updated on April 18, 2018. These terms and conditions are effective immediately for those registering accounts and with pre-existing accounts. These terms and conditions (the “Terms”) govern your access to and use of websites and mobile applications that link to or reference these Terms (“Site”). By accessing or using the Site, you are agreeing to these Terms and concluding a legally binding contract with The Equal Rights Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. (“ERC”). Do not access or use the Site if you are unwilling or unable to be bound by the Terms.
“You” and “your” refer to you, as a user of the Site. A “user” is someone who accesses, browses, crawls, scrapes, or in any way uses the Site. “We,” “us,” and “our” refer to the ERC.
“Content” means text, images, photos, audio, video, location data, and all other forms of data or communication. “Your Content” means Content that you submit or transmit to, through, or in connection with the Site, such as ratings, reviews, compliments, invitations, check-ins, messages, and information that you publicly display or displayed in your account profile. “User Content” means Content that users submit or transmit to, through, or in connection with the Site. “ERC Content” means Content that we create and make available in connection with the Site. “Third Party Content” means Content that originates from parties other than ERC or its users, which is made available in connection with the Site. “Site Content” means all of the Content that is made available in connection with the Site, including Your Content, User Content, Third Party Content, and ERC Content.
2. CHANGES TO THE TERMS OF SERVICE
We may modify the Terms from time to time. The most current version of these Terms will be located here. You understand and agree that your access to or use of the Site is governed by the Terms effective at the time of your access to or use of the Site. If we make material changes to these Terms, we will notify you by email or by posting a notice on the Site prior to the effective date of the changes. We will also indicate at the top of this page the date that revisions were last made. You should revisit these Terms on a regular basis as revised versions will be binding on you. Any such modification will be effective upon our posting of new Terms. You understand and agree that your continued access to or use of the Site after the effective date of modifications to the Terms indicates your acceptance of the modifications.
3. USING THE SITE
To access or use the Site, you must be 13 years or older and have the requisite power and authority to enter into these Terms. You may not access or use the Site or if we have previously banned you from the Site or closed your account.
B. Permission to Use the Site
We grant you permission to use the Site subject to the restrictions in these Terms. Your use of the Site is at your own risk, including the risk that you might be exposed to Content that is offensive, indecent, inaccurate, objectionable, or otherwise inappropriate.
C. Site Availability
The Site may be modified, updated, interrupted, suspended or discontinued at any time without notice or liability.
D. User Accounts
You must create an account and provide certain information about yourself in order to use some of the features that are offered through the Site. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your account password. You are also responsible for all activities that occur in connection with your account. You agree to notify us immediately of any unauthorized use of your account. We reserve the right to close your account at any time for any or no reason.
You may not impersonate someone else (e.g., adopt the identity of a celebrity or your next-door neighbor), create or use an account for anyone other than yourself, provide an email address other than your own, or create multiple accounts. If you use a pseudonym, take care to note that others may still be able to identify you if, for example, you include identifying information in your reviews, use the same account information on other sites, or allow other sites to share information about you with the ERC.
A. Responsibility for Your Content
You alone are responsible for Your Content, and once published, it cannot always be withdrawn. You assume all risks associated with Your Content, including anyone’s reliance on its quality, accuracy, or reliability, or any disclosure by you of information in Your Content that makes you personally identifiable. You represent that you own, or have the necessary permissions to use and authorize the use of Your Content as described herein. You may not imply that Your Content is in any way sponsored or endorsed by the ERC.
You may expose yourself to liability if, for example, Your Content contains material that is false, intentionally misleading, or defamatory; violates any third-party right, including any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, moral right, privacy right, right of publicity, or any other intellectual property or proprietary right; contains material that is unlawful, including illegal hate speech or pornography; exploits or otherwise harms minors; or violates or advocates the violation of any law or regulation.
B. Our Right to Use Your Content
We may use Your Content in a number of different ways, including publicly displaying it, reformatting it, incorporating it into advertisements and other works, creating derivative works from it, promoting it, distributing it, and allowing others to do the same in connection with their own websites and media platforms (“Other Media”). As such, you hereby irrevocably grant us world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, assignable, sub-licensable, transferable rights to use Your Content for any purpose. Please note that you also irrevocably grant the users of the Site and any Other Media the right to access Your Content in connection with their use of the Site and any Other Media. Finally, you irrevocably waive, and cause to be waived, against the ERC and its users any claims and assertions of moral rights or attribution with respect to Your Content. By “use” we mean use, copy, publicly perform and display, reproduce, distribute, modify, translate, remove, analyze, and prepare derivative works of Your Content.
As between you and the ERC, you own Your Content. We own the ERC Content, including but not limited to visual interfaces, interactive features, graphics, design, compilation, including, but not limited to, our compilation of User Content and other Site Content, computer code, products, software, aggregate user review ratings, and all other elements and components of the Site excluding Your Content, User Content and Third Party Content. We also own the copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade names, and other intellectual and proprietary rights throughout the world (“IP Rights”) associated with the ERC Content and the Site, which are protected by copyright, trade dress, patent, trademark laws and all other applicable intellectual and proprietary rights and laws. As such, you may not modify, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works or adaptations of, publicly display or in any way exploit any of the ERC Content in whole or in part except as expressly authorized by us. Except as expressly and unambiguously provided herein, we do not grant you any express or implied rights, and all rights in and to the Site and the ERC Content are retained by us.
ERC and its licensees may publicly display advertisements and other information adjacent to or included with Your Content. You are not entitled to any compensation for such advertisements. The manner, mode and extent of such advertising are subject to change without specific notice to you.
User Content (including any that may have been created by users employed or contracted by the ERC) does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the ERC. We reserve the right to remove, screen, edit, or reinstate User Content from time to time at our sole discretion for any reason or no reason, and without notice to you. We have no obligation to retain or provide you with copies of Your Content, nor do we guarantee any confidentiality with respect to Your Content.
5. CONTENT GUIDELINES
ERC allows users to contribute different kinds of content, which may include reviews, photos, videos, events, votes, tips, direct messages, and more. Playing nice isn’t rocket science, but just in case, we’ve put together these general guidelines. Whether a business owner or personal user, you agree to follow the content guidelines listed below.
- Inappropriate content: Threats, harassment, lewdness, hate speech, and other displays of bigotry will not be tolerated.
- Conflicts of interest: Contributions should be unbiased and objective. For example, do not write reviews of your own business or employer, your friends’ or relatives’ business, your peers or competitors in your industry, or businesses in your networking group. Business owners should not ask customers to write reviews.
- Promotional content: Unless you are a business owner submitting information about your own business via the claim your business feature, promotional content is not allowed.
- Relevance: Please make sure your contributions are relevant and appropriate to the forum. For example, reviews should not be about a business’s employment practices, political ideologies, extraordinary circumstances, or other matters that don’t address the core of the consumer experience with respect to accessibility.
- Privacy: Do not publicize other people’s private information. Do not post close-up photos or videos of other patrons without their permission, and please do not post other people’s full names unless you’re referring to service providers who are commonly identified by or commonly share their own full names.
- Intellectual property: Do not take content from other sites or users. Reviews and photos should be taken or owned by the user posting content.
- Demanding payment: Aside from asking for a refund to remedy a bad experience, do not use removing or posting your review as a way to extract payment from a business, regardless of whether you have been a customer.
- Age restriction: You will not use this Site if you are under the age of 13.
- Account limitation: You will have only one user account.
We are under no obligation to enforce the Terms on your behalf against another user. While we encourage you to let us know if you believe another user has violated the Terms, we reserve the right to investigate and take appropriate action at our sole discretion.
A. You agree not to, and will not assist, encourage, or enable others to use the Site to:
i. Violate our Content Guidelines, for example, by writing a fake or defamatory review, trading reviews with other businesses, or compensating someone or being compensated to write or remove a review;
ii. Violate any third party’s rights, including any breach of confidence, copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, moral right, privacy right, right of publicity, or any other intellectual property or proprietary right;
iii. Threaten, stalk, harm, or harass others, or promote bigotry or discrimination;
iv. Promote a business or other venture or event, or otherwise use the Site for commercial purposes, except in connection with a Business Account and as expressly permitted by the ERC;
v. Send bulk emails, surveys, or other mass messaging, whether commercial in nature or not; engage in keyword spamming, or otherwise attempt to manipulate the Site’s search results or any third party website;
vi. Solicit personal information from minors, or submit or transmit pornography; or
vii. Violate any applicable law.
B. You also agree not to, and will not assist, encourage, or enable others to:
i. Violate the Terms;
ii. Modify, adapt, appropriate, reproduce, distribute, translate, create derivative works or adaptations of, publicly display, sell, trade, or in any way exploit the Site or Site Content (other than Your Content), except as expressly authorized by the ERC;
iii. Use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application, or other automated device, process or means to access, retrieve, scrape, or index any portion of the Site or any Site Content;
iv. Reverse engineer any portion of the Site;
v. Remove or modify any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notice that appears on any portion of the Site or on any materials printed or copied from the Site;
vi. Record, process, or mine information about other users;
vii. Access, retrieve, or index any portion of the Site for purposes of constructing or populating a searchable database of business reviews;
vii. Reformat or frame any portion of the Site;
ix. Take any action that imposes, or may impose, in our sole discretion, an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on the ERC’s technology infrastructure or otherwise make excessive traffic demands of the Site;
x. Attempt to gain unauthorized access to the Site, user accounts, computer systems or networks connected to the Site through hacking, password mining, or any other means;
xi. Use the Site or any Site Content to transmit any computer viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, or other items of a destructive nature (collectively, “Viruses”);
xii. Use any device, software or routine that interferes with the proper working of the Site, or otherwise attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Site;
xiii. Use the Site to violate the security of any computer network, crack passwords or security encryption codes; disrupt or interfere with the security of, or otherwise cause harm to, the Site or Site Content; or
xiv. Remove, circumvent, disable, damage or otherwise interfere with any security-related features of the Site, features that prevent or restrict the use or copying of Site Content, or features that enforce limitations on the use of the Site.
The restrictions above only apply to the extent permissible under applicable law. Nevertheless, you agree not to act contrary to them (even if permissible under applicable law) without providing 30 days’ prior written notice to us, together with any information that we may reasonably require to give us an opportunity to provide alternative remedies or otherwise accommodate you at our sole discretion.
7. DISCLAIMERS AND LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY
A. Your use of the Site is at your own discretion and risk.
B. The Site is made available to you with the express understanding that the ERC may not monitor, control, or vet user content.
C. ERC makes no claims or promises about the accuracy, or reliability of the app, its safety or security, or the app’s content. Accordingly, the ERC is not liable to you for any loss or damage that might arise, for example, from the app’s inoperability, unavailability or security vulnerabilities or from your reliance on the quality, accuracy, or reliability of the business listings, ratings, reviews (including their content, order, and display), or metrics found on, used on, or made available through the app.
D. ERC makes no claims or promises with respect to any third party, such as the business or advertisers listed on the Site or the app’s users. The reviews of the app’s users are the users’ personal opinions and do not indicate or assess compliance with standards outlined in The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As such, ERC is not liable for loss or damage that might arise from their actions or omissions, including, for example, if another user or business misuses your content, identity or personal information, or if you have a negative experience with one of the businesses or advertisers listed or featured on the app. Your purchase and use of products or services offered by third parties through the Site is at your own discretion and risk.
E. ERC expressly disclaims all warranties, whether express or implied, including warranties as to the products or services offered by businesses listed on the app, and implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement.
F. Your sole and exclusive right and remedy in case of dissatisfaction with the app, related services, or any other grievance shall be your termination and discontinuation of access to, or use of the app.
G. ERC’s maximum aggregate liability to you for your losses or damages that you suffer in connection with the Site or the Terms and Conditions is limited to $100.
H. ERC disclaims liability for any (i) indirect, special, incidental, punitive, exemplary, reliance, or consequential damages, (ii) loss of profits, (iii) business interruption, (iv) reputational harm, or (v) loss of information or data.
8. THIRD PARTIES
The Site may include links to other websites or applications (each, a “Third Party Site”). We do not control or endorse any Third Party Site. You agree that we are not responsible for the availability or contents of such Third Party Sites. Your use of Third Party Sites is at your own risk. Some of the services made available through the Site may be subject to additional third party or open source licensing terms and disclosures.
You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold the ERC, its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, any related companies, suppliers, licensors and partners, and the officers, directors, employees, agents, and representatives of each of them (collectively, the “ERC Entities“) harmless, including costs, liabilities and legal fees, from any claim or demand made by any third party arising out of or relating to (i) your access to or use of the Site, (ii) your violation of the Terms, (iii) any products or services purchased or obtained by you in connection with the Site, or (iv) the infringement by you, or any third party using your account, of any intellectual property or other right of any person or entity. ERC reserves the right, at your expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter for which you are required to indemnify us and you agree to cooperate with our defense of these claims. You agree not to settle any such matter without the prior written consent of the ERC. ERC will use reasonable efforts to notify you of any such claim, action or proceeding upon becoming aware of it.
10. CHOICE OF LAW AND VENUE
District of Columbia law will govern these Terms, as well as any claim, cause of action or dispute that might arise between you and the ERC (a “Claim”), without regard to conflict of law provisions. For any claim brought by either party, you agree to submit and consent to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction in, and the exclusive venue of, the state and federal courts located within the District of Columbia.
A. You may terminate the Terms at any time by closing your account, discontinuing your use of the Site, and providing the ERC with a notice of termination.
B. We may close your account, suspend your ability to use certain portions of the Site, and/or ban you altogether from the Site for any or no reason, and without notice or liability of any kind. Any such action could prevent you from accessing your account, the Site, Your Content, Site Content, or any other related information.
C.In the event of any termination of these Terms, whether by you or us, Sections 1, 4, 6, 7 – 12 will continue in full force and effect, including our right to use Your Content as detailed in Section 4.
12. GENERAL TERMS
A. We reserve the right to modify, update, or discontinue the Site at our sole discretion, at any time, for any or no reason, and without notice or liability.
B. We may provide you with notices, including those regarding changes to the Terms by email, regular mail, or communications through the Site.
C. Except as otherwise stated in Section 8 above, nothing herein is intended, nor will be deemed, to confer rights or remedies upon any third party.
D. The Terms contain the entire agreement between you and us regarding the use of the Site, and supersede any prior agreement between you and us on such subject matter. The parties acknowledge that no reliance is placed on any representation made but not expressly contained in these Terms.
E. Any failure on the ERC’s part to exercise or enforce any right or provision of the Terms does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. The failure of either party to exercise in any respect any right provided for herein shall not be deemed a waiver of any further rights hereunder.
F. If any provision of the Terms is found to be unenforceable or invalid, then only that provision shall be modified to reflect the parties’ intention or eliminated to the minimum extent necessary so that the Terms shall otherwise remain in full force and effect and enforceable.
G. The Terms, and any rights or obligations hereunder, are not assignable, transferable or sub-licensable by you except with the ERC’s prior written consent, but may be assigned or transferred by us without restriction. Any attempted assignment by you shall violate these Terms and be void.
H. The section titles in the Terms are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.