ANALYSING WORDPRESS<br />AN ANALYSIS of WORDPRESS’ TERMS OF SERVICE CONTRACT<br />Stevie Modern<br />
Wordpress.com’s Term of Use<br />Who is Wordpress?<br />Where Terms of Use Apply<br />What are the Terms?<br />Permitted C...
Who is Wordpress?<br />Wordpress.com is a blog and website hosting service. [1]<br />Wordpress’ basic services are free, [...
Operates from San Francisco, Ca.,
CEO Toni Schneider, [4]
Contributes its ‘Terms of Service’ and ‘Privacy Policy’ under a Creative Commons ‘Share Alike’ License. [5]</li></li></ul>...
What are the Terms?<br />That you read and understand the terms as they apply.<br />That you are over 13 years of age.<br ...
1) Permitted Content a. (Blog Type)<br />
1) Permitted Content b. (Posts)<br />
Automattic;  relies on ‘self-censorship’ and ‘complaints’ fromWordpress community to enforce conditions. (See Section 2 be...
2) Division of Responsibility<br />
2) Division of Responsibility<br />As can be seen, in the role of a vendor, control lies with Automattic which offers litt...
3) Ownership<br />Posting to Wordpress.com;<br />Does not confer any ownership rights of Automattic Inc.<br />to the user....
4) Privacy<br />Automattic Inc.;<br />“Don’t ask users for personal information unless truly needed”. (‘Privacy Policy’ 20...
4) Privacy<br />Language that Automattic  ‘don’t’ rather than ‘wont infringe’ access to personal information set expectati...
5) Disputes<br />All legal disputes adjudicated in San Francisco (Ca. US) in English.<br />All access governed by Californ...
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Attached is a Power Point Slide Presentation of the Wordpress.com Terms of Service Agreement.

'Analysing Wordpress' by Stevie Modern

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Net 303 a.2 modern

  1. 1. ANALYSING WORDPRESS<br />AN ANALYSIS of WORDPRESS’ TERMS OF SERVICE CONTRACT<br />Stevie Modern<br />
  2. 2. Wordpress.com’s Term of Use<br />Who is Wordpress?<br />Where Terms of Use Apply<br />What are the Terms?<br />Permitted Content<br />Division of Responsibility<br />Privacy<br />Ownership<br />Disputes<br />Endnotes<br />References<br />
  3. 3. Who is Wordpress?<br />Wordpress.com is a blog and website hosting service. [1]<br />Wordpress’ basic services are free, [2] under the terms of conditions as outlined below.[3]<br />Owned by Automattic Inc. (Automattic); <br /><ul><li>Contributes Wordpress, a content management software for use on Wordpress.com,
  4. 4. Operates from San Francisco, Ca.,
  5. 5. CEO Toni Schneider, [4]
  6. 6. Contributes its ‘Terms of Service’ and ‘Privacy Policy’ under a Creative Commons ‘Share Alike’ License. [5]</li></li></ul><li>Where Terms of Use Apply <br />All use, content, services and products available at or through the website.<br />Includes Automattic’s ‘Privacy Policy’ (2011) and any procedures posted by Automattic on the WordPress.com site. [6]<br />
  7. 7. What are the Terms?<br />That you read and understand the terms as they apply.<br />That you are over 13 years of age.<br />That you agree to all conditions specified below.“If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of the agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any [of its] services” (‘Terms Of Use’ 2011)<br />
  8. 8. 1) Permitted Content a. (Blog Type)<br />
  9. 9. 1) Permitted Content b. (Posts)<br />
  10. 10. Automattic; relies on ‘self-censorship’ and ‘complaints’ fromWordpress community to enforce conditions. (See Section 2 below. ‘Division of Responsibility’) Searched but not monitored, [12] Automattic;<br />Reserves right to refuse/remove content.<br />Disclaims responsibility of content, for offensive material, legal infringement, resulting harm. [13]<br />Reserves right to terminate or deny access “for any reason”.<br />Despite its hosting in US, does not extend free speech protection to overseas users- pragmatically legal.<br />Posting content on an ‘appliance’ Content Management site like Wordpress.com, users effectively renting services upfront cede ultimate content control and content existence to the vendor, Automattic. (Zittrain, 2009, par.4)<br />1) Permitted Content<br />
  11. 11. 2) Division of Responsibility<br />
  12. 12. 2) Division of Responsibility<br />As can be seen, in the role of a vendor, control lies with Automattic which offers little (if any) legal ‘consideration’ to the user. (Zittrain 2009, Toedt III 2010)<br />
  13. 13. 3) Ownership<br />Posting to Wordpress.com;<br />Does not confer any ownership rights of Automattic Inc.<br />to the user.<br />Confers ownership rights of space given to, and ultimate uses of, content posted from user to Autommatic Inc.<br />
  14. 14. 4) Privacy<br />Automattic Inc.;<br />“Don’t ask users for personal information unless truly needed”. (‘Privacy Policy’ 2011)<br />Don’t share personal information with anyone except to comply with the law, develop products, or protect rights.<br />Don’t store personal information on servers unless required for on-going operation of services.<br />Use simple user controls for what is visible to the public, seen by search engines, kept private, and permanently deleted. [18]<br />
  15. 15. 4) Privacy<br />Language that Automattic ‘don’t’ rather than ‘wont infringe’ access to personal information set expectations for user of permanent conditions. <br />“[E]xcept to… develop our products” is ambiguous, leaves flexibility for Automattic to trade privacy for future commercial incentive.<br />Wordpress.com would (at present) gain high grade for privacy protection under Goettke and Christiana’s 2007 study given clear visibility of privacy settings link, ease of privacy change, marked default privacy settings and protected search/browse capability. (Pt III par.1) <br />IP addresses are visible to Automatticfor comments to posts, and used to comply with legal authorities’ requests. (‘Privacy Policy’ 2011)<br />
  16. 16. 5) Disputes<br />All legal disputes adjudicated in San Francisco (Ca. US) in English.<br />All access governed by California State law (US). [19]<br />As highlighted in ‘Law and Borders’ the spread of Internet services and content crosses jurisdictional boundaries.<br />Complicates legal requirements users through Wordpress.com must comply with- both Ca. State Law re: transmission and copyright and users’ own regarding posting of content. (Johnson & Post 1996; see also Villeneuve 2006 par.4) <br />
  17. 17. Endnotes<br />[1] ‘Terms of Service’ (2011 p.1)<br />[2] Domain hosting services and extra storage capacity attract an upfront, non-refundable and automatic subscription fee. (‘Terms of Use’ p.1 par.1, p.2 par.4, p. 3 par.2-5)<br />[3] “Acceptance without modification of all the terms and conditions contained herein and all other operating rules, policies and procedures” regularly updated. (‘Terms of Use’ p1.par.4)<br />[4] ‘About Us’ (2011) <br />[5] ‘Share Alike’ “means you are welcome to …repurpose for own use”, with attribution to WordPress.com. (‘Terms of Use’ 2011; ‘Privacy Policy’ 2011)<br />[6] ‘Terms of Service’ (2011 p.1 par.4-5)<br />[7] Including paid and sponsored host content (’Advertising’ 2011)<br />[8] “Blogs that take content from other blogs and re-publish it without permission” (‘Types of Blogs’, 2011)<br />[9] “Blogs that promote pirated copies of ebooks, software packages, music, movies, games, etc.” (‘Types of Blogs’, 2011)<br />[10] ‘Terms of Use’ (2011, Sept.9, p.1, par.2)<br />[11] ‘Terms of Use’ (2011, Sept. 9, p.1. par. 2, p.3 par.2-4) A thorough distinction between ‘searched’ and ‘monitored’, please see Lessig, L. (1998).<br />[12] ‘Terms of Use’ (2011, p.3, par.5)<br />[13] ‘Terms of Use’ (2011 p.5 par. 1)<br />[14] Some exceptions do apply to paid VIP Hosting Service members.<br />[15] ‘Terms of Use’ (2011 p.5 par.3)<br />[16] ‘Terms Of Use’ (2011 p.4 par. 3)<br />[17] ‘Terms Of Use’ (2011 p.4 par. 4)<br />[18] ‘Privacy Policy’ (2011)<br />[19] ‘Terms of Use’ (2011, p.5)<br />
  18. 18. References<br />About Us (2011) Automattic. Retrieved September 16, 2011 from http://automattic.com/about/<br />Advertising (2011) WordPress.comRetrieved September 16, 2011 from http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/<br />Goettke, R., & Christiana, J. (2007). Privacy and Online Social Networking Websites. Computer Science 199r: Special Topics in Computer Science Computation and Society: Privacy and Technology. http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/cs199r/fp/RichJoe.pdf<br />Johnson, D., & Post, D. (1996). Law And Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace. Stanford Law Review, 1367. http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/is02/readings/johnson-post.html<br />Lessig, L. (1998). The Architecture of Privacy. [Draft Lecture] Presented March, 1998 at Taiwan Net ’98 Conference. Retrieved September 9, 2011 from http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/works/lessig/architecture_priv.pdf<br />Privacy Policy (2011) WordPress.comRetrieved September 16, 2011 from http://automattic.com/privacy/<br />Terms of Service (2011, September 9) WordPress.com Retrieved September 13, 2011 from http://www.en.wordpress.com/tos<br />Toedt III, D.C. (2010, May 3) Using WordPress.com’s terms of service for your own Web site might strip away much of your legal protection. On Technology Law. Retrieved September 15, 2011 from http://www.ontechnologylaw.com/using-wordpress-coms-terms-of-service-for-your-own-web-site-might-strip-away-much-of-your-legal-protection/<br />Types of Blogs (2011) WordPress.comRetrieved September 16, 2011 from http://en.wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/<br />Zittrain, J. (2009) ‘Lost in the Cloud’ The New York Times, 19 July, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/opinion/20zittrain.html?tntemail1=y&_r=2&emc=tnt&pagewanted=all<br />
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