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Qilin ([personal profile] qilin) wrote in [site community profile] dw_biz2009-07-27 09:24 pm
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TOS Update #2


We have some really difficult topics to work through today, so I hope you bear with me, and discuss the issues that concern you in the comments.

Harassment Occurring on Other Sites

Sometimes, harassment issues between two Dreamwidth users aren't taking place on Dreamwidth itself, but outside of it on other sites. Unfortunately, we cannot take action on this for a variety of reasons. For one, we can't actually affect content or behavior or other sites. For another, we don't have the same tools on other sites as we do here, making such a policy very easy to game. The TOS policies do not have any clauses for such actions taken outside of Dreamwidth.

Dissemination of Locked Content

As strange as it may seem, there actually isn't anything in the TOS against this, either.

There's this clause:

IX. No Resale of Services

You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell, or exploit any portion of the Website, use of the Website, or access to the Website.

But it's not about spreading around locked posts; it has to do with charging people to access their journals or redistributing the site's trademarks. All other relevant clauses in the TOS have to do with things that members do on the Dreamwidth website.

It's a very tricky issue fraught with feelings of violation but not many solutions. Like all content you give other people access to, such as emails or letters, the person can turn around and abuse the privilege by redistribution. But, unless it's happening on the Dreamwidth site, there's not much we can do about it.

TOS Team Response Times

Our goal is for a response within 24 hours. All members of the team have jobs or kids or other responsibilities that can interfere with immediate responses. What's more, many cases at this point are new situations that don't have routines or precedents set yet. They require us to talk to each other and confer on a course of action and policy. This can take time.

Staying in Appropriate Channels

The TOS section of the Support boards is the main place to make your case; you should open up a support ticket for your needs. We are notified when a new TOS support request is made. You can also email abuse@dreamwidth.org--this will automatically create a ticket in the TOS section of Support, which makes it a good choice if you're having trouble accessing the site itself.

Please do not personally message [staff profile] mark or [staff profile] denise about your case--they are aware of it, so emailing them personally does not help. Keeping your request in the right place makes sure that we have the appropriate logging and tracking for it, as well as allowing your issue to be looked at by whoever is currently available.

Paid Account Refunds

The TOS says that "Payments to Dreamwidth Studios, for account services or for any other purpose, are refundable or transferable solely at Dreamwidth's discretion." There's a lot of factors that go into that decision; for instance, the length of time from payment (as PayPal will penalize refunds given after a certain period of time) or how much of the service people have been using. For instance, seed accounts are now well past the point where we can refund them without penalties. It's possible that we will instead offer alternatives to a refund, such as transferring the paid account status to another account.

If you don't trust giving us money over the long term but would still like the benefits of a paid account, we do have shorter term periods of paid time available in segments as small as 1 month, and six month premium paid account periods. They can cost slightly more, to make up for the greater proportion of the PayPal fee to the payment, but we don't make more money off of them.

Suspending OpenID accounts

We've had a couple people request that we suspend their OpenID accounts for various reasons--we haven't because we want this instead to be a technical ability (as far as I am aware, called "permascreened") instead of something done through hackish procedures like suspending OpenID accounts.

Keeping an eye on policy changes

Unfortunately, it looks like [syndicated profile] dw_tos_feed isn't working right now--the Mercurial software uses an encoding that gives our syndication system errors. However, you are still able to watch it with another RSS reader; some browsers even have RSS feed reading capabilities built in, like Firefox's live bookmarks. I also would like to point out there is a feed for privacy policy changes.

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