Terms of Service

These are the current terms of service. See other versions in the Changelog.

Documentcloud.org is an online service provided by Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. (“DocumentCloud”) that allows you to upload, analyze, annotate, publish, and view documents. By using documentcloud.org and any other functionality or services offered by DocumentCloud (collectively, the “Services”), you agree to be bound by these terms set forth below (the “Agreement”). If you are using the Services on behalf of an organization, please note that you are making an agreement on behalf of that organization, and ensuring that any users you add to the Services understand and adhere to the terms of this Agreement. If you do not agree with the terms of this Agreement, please do not register for an account or use the Services.

1. Privacy

DocumentCloud respects your privacy. Please read our Privacy Policy, which describes how we collect, use, and store information through the Services. By using the Services, you consent to the use of any information that you provide or we otherwise collect from you in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

2. User Account

2.1 Personal Information: To access certain parts of the Services, you will need to register and create an account with DocumentCloud. When you register, we will ask you to provide certain personal information, such as your name, email, and organization. Please see DocumentCloud’s Privacy Policy for our data retention and usage policies.

2.2 No Impersonation: When signing up, you agree not to create an account on behalf of someone other than yourself, and agree to use your real name and email address. Administrative users may create accounts for others in their organization, so long as they provide the user’s real name and email address for each account. Organizations may create one shared account for organization-wide document publishing using an appropriate name identifying the organization, such as "XYZ Co. Documents." In addition, organizations may create one machine account for automation or API use with an appropriate name, such as "XYZ Co. API User." We may terminate your account in our sole discretion if we believe it was created using misleading or fraudulent information. If DocumentCloud has previously banned or revoked your account at any time, you may not register for another account.

2.3 Access to your Account by Others: If you set up an account with DocumentCloud, you are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your username and password. You may not share, transfer or authorize others to use or access your account without prior written approval from DocumentCloud. Any attempt to do so will be considered a violation of this Agreement. You are solely responsible for all usage or activity on your account including, but not limited to, use of the account by any other person, with or without authorization.

2.4 Security: If you have reason to believe that your account is no longer secure (for example, in the event of a loss, theft, or unauthorized disclosure of your password), you should promptly secure your account by using the appropriate update mechanism on the Services, if available, and notify us.

2.5 Account Termination: DocumentCloud has the right (but not the obligation) to limit, suspend, terminate, modify, or delete your account and to limit your access to the Services or portions thereof at our discretion, with or without notice to you, at any time. DocumentCloud may ban your entire organization from the Services in the case of serious violations of this Agreement. If you would like to delete or temporarily disable your account, please contact us.

3. Acceptable Use

Your use of the Services is subject to the following restrictions and obligations:

  1. You may not attempt to gain access to another user’s account.
  2. You may not sell, rent, or otherwise offer the Services to others without DocumentCloud’s prior written consent.
  3. You may not use the Services in any way that is unlawful, fraudulent, deceptive, defamatory, obscene, or otherwise harmful. This restriction includes, but is not limited to, uploading content that violates any applicable laws, statutes, or regulations, that infringes or violates any other person’s or entity’s rights, or that DocumentCloud, in its sole discretion, finds to be obscene or defamatory.
  4. You may not use the Services in any way that violates the proprietary rights of any other person. This restriction includes publishing or otherwise making public materials that you do not have the legal right to digitally reproduce.
  5. You must exercise sound editorial judgment in determining the authenticity of materials you publish. You agree to immediately remove documents whose authenticity or veracity you are not confident of.
  6. You may not upload materials that contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third-party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third-party sites.
  7. You are responsible for not violating the privacy of others. Please properly redact any sensitive personally identifying information before publishing any content. Failure to do so may result in the removal of your content or termination of your account.
  8. You may not mislead other users as to the source of any material that you have uploaded.
  9. You may not attempt to gain access to unpublished materials stored by users other than yourself.
  10. You may not attempt to gain access to any private content stored on the Services, including, but not limited to, private documents and annotations.
  11. You may access published documents for your information and personal use solely as intended through the functionality of the Services and as permitted under this Agreement. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit another user’s content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of DocumentCloud and the respective owners of the content.
  12. You agree to comply with all applicable laws, including, but not limited to, any privacy laws as well as DocumentCloud’s policies when you use our Services.
  13. You may not use the Services in any way that interferes with the operation of the Services or impacts or harasses any other user, host, or network, or circumvents any of DocumentCloud’s security protections.

4. Use of Services by Children

Generally, the Services are intended for use by adults. By setting up an account with DocumentCloud, you represent that you are over the age of 18. If you are interested in using the Services with individuals under the age of 18, or if you are the parent or guardian of a child under the age of 18 who wishes to use DocumentCloud, please contact us.

5. User Content and Licensing

5.1 Contributing User Content: Some portions of the Services provide you with the ability to upload, analyze, redact, annotate, and publicly publish (each an act of “Contributing”) documents or other content, files, or media (“User Content”). You have the ability to control the access level of your User Content. When you choose to make your User Content public, it becomes publicly available for search and viewing on the Internet. You are solely responsible for your User Content. You represent and warrant that you have all the rights necessary to Contribute your User Content and to grant the rights granted by you to DocumentCloud pursuant to this Agreement.

5.2 License to User Content: By Contributing User Content, you grant DocumentCloud a perpetual, irrevocable, world-wide, non-exclusive, fully paid-up, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, enhance, transmit, distribute, publicly perform, and display the User Content as necessary for DocumentCloud to deliver the Services.

6. Open Source and Intellectual Property Rights

6.1 Intellectual Property of DocumentCloud: DocumentCloud and its licensors own and retain all rights, title, and interest in and to the Services, including any intellectual property contained therein. DocumentCloud and its licensors also own and retain all rights, title and interest in and to the look and feel of the Services, as well as any trademarks, marks, and logos identifying DocumentCloud (collectively, “Marks”). You must seek permission from DocumentCloud if you wish to use the Services or Marks in a way that is not outlined in this Agreement. Except for rights explicitly granted under this Agreement, you are not granted any rights in and to any intellectual property of DocumentCloud.

6.2 Embeddable Assets: The Services enable you to embed your User Content into your or a third-party’s website using DocumentCloud’s embeddable assets or API. DocumentCloud hereby grants you a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid-up, limited, revocable license to use DocumentCloud’s embeddable assets or API solely as necessary for you to embed your User Content on another website. If you use DocumentCloud’s embeddable assets or API on another website, you may not modify, build upon, or block any portion or functionality of the document viewer. You also agree to comply with the terms and guidelines for the API, the terms of which are incorporated by reference to this Agreement.

6.3 Open Source: DocumentCloud extracts useful components of the software as standalone open source projects and makes parts of its code available. Please see https://www.documentcloud.org/opensource for more information.

7. Removal of Content and Takedown Requests

7.1 Removal of User Content and Redactions by You: When you delete uploaded User Content, we delete all originals and any other materials generated in relation to that content (e.g., thumbnails, processed text files, metadata). When you redact information from User Content, we erase all data related to the redacted information, create a new redacted document, and delete the original document.

7.2 Copyright Takedown Requests: DocumentCloud respects the intellectual property of others, and we ask you to do the same. DocumentCloud may, in appropriate circumstances and at its discretion, suspend or terminate the access of and take other action against users who infringe the copyrights of others. If you believe that your work is accessible on DocumentCloud in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, you may notify DocumentCloud by providing the following information (as required by the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. sec. 512) to our copyright agent identified below:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site;
  3. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit DocumentCloud to locate the material;
  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit DocumentCloud to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted;
  5. A statement that the complaining party has a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Copyright Agent:
Mark Horvit
Investigative Reporters and Editors
141 Neff Annex
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
mhorvit@ire.org

7.3 Counter-Notice Process: If you receive notification that your User Content has been removed from the Services and you believe the removed User Content does not violate any third-party rights, or you have authorization from the rights-holder or the rights-holder’s authorized agent to use the material in question, you may appeal the removal by sending an email or written notice to DocumentCloud’s designated agent with the following information:

  1. Your physical or electronic signature.
  2. Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled, and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
  3. A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good-faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.
  4. Your name, address, and telephone number, and a signed statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of state and federal courts in Columbia, Boon County, Missouri, and that you will accept service of process from the party who made the initial infringement claim (or their authorized agent) if they choose to pursue legal action.

Copyright Agent:
Mark Horvit
Investigative Reporters and Editors
141 Neff Annex
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211
mhorvit@ire.org

8. Third-Party Services

8.1 Links to Third Party Services: Certain functions of the Services may allow you to link to or provide you access to functions, content, sites, or services operated by third parties, such as other users’ websites (collectively, "Third-Party Services"). Those Third-Party Services are subject to the terms and conditions and privacy policies of the third parties that provide them, and DocumentCloud is not responsible for the privacy practices, content, or functionality of the Third-Party Services. You are solely responsible for reading and complying with any licenses, restrictions, privacy policies or other terms and conditions that govern the use of any Third-Party Services you choose to access, visit, or link to through your use of the Services, and are solely liable for any violations of those terms and conditions that arise out of or relate to your use of Third-Party Services.

9. Changes to the Agreement

9.1 Changes to the Agreement: DocumentCloud may change the terms of the Agreement from time to time and will post any changes to this page, so you should check back often to ensure that you are aware of the terms that govern your use of the Services. The date of the most recent revisions will appear at the bottom of this page. Continued use of the Services by you will constitute your acceptance of any changes to or revisions of the Agreement.

9.2 Material Changes: In the event of a material change to the Agreement, DocumentCloud will notify users 30 days before the revised Agreement goes into effect. DocumentCloud will determine what constitutes a material change in the Agreement, in good faith and using common sense and reasonable judgment.

9.3 Additional Terms: In addition to the terms contained in this Agreement, additional terms may apply to your use of specific functionality or services offered by DocumentCloud, such as our API (“Additional Terms”). Those Additional Terms are also available on our website and should be reviewed before using the specific services. Any conflict between any Additional Terms and this Agreement will be resolved in favor of the Additional Terms.

10. Indemnification

You agree to indemnify and hold harmless DocumentCloud and its affiliates, employees, agents, representatives, and third-party service providers against any and all claims and liabilities (including attorneys' fees) arising out of or related to your breach of this Agreement or your use of the Services.

11. Disclaimers

IMPORTANT: DocumentCloud provides the Services and all included User Content “AS IS," without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied. DocumentCloud, its affiliates, and its third-party service providers expressly disclaim any and all warranties, including warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. DocumentCloud cannot guarantee the connection speed between you and the Services. DocumentCloud cannot guarantee that access to the Services will be uninterrupted or that there will be no failures, errors, omissions, or loss of transmitted information. DocumentCloud cannot guarantee that no viruses will be transmitted through the services.

12. Limitation of Liability

IMPORTANT: Under no circumstances will DocumentCloud, its affiliates, or its third-party service providers be liable to you for any direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental loss of data, profits, business, economic or financial advantage, goodwill, or any other intangible loss (“Loss”) as a result of your use of the Services. You cannot hold DocumentCloud liable for any Loss caused by connection speed or technical interruptions. DocumentCloud is not liable for Loss caused by the conduct or content of any third party on the Services. DocumentCloud is under no obligation to provide compensation for any losses or results that may occur due to your failure to comply with this Agreement or terms of a third party; repeated violations of third-party rights; actual or suspected illegal or improper use of our Services; offensive materials or conduct; or technical reasons

13. Jurisdiction

DocumentCloud offers the Services from facilities in the United States. DocumentCloud makes no representations that the Services are appropriate or available for use in other locations. You are responsible for complying with local law if you access the Services from outside the United States.

14. Choice of Law and Venue

You agree that this Agreement, for all purposes, shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Missouri applicable to contracts to be wholly performed therein, without regard to its conflict of laws provisions, and any action based on, relating to, or alleging a breach of this Agreement must be brought in a state or federal court in Columbia, Boone County, Missouri. In addition, both parties agree to submit to the exclusive personal jurisdiction and venue of such courts.

15. Choice of Language

If DocumentCloud provides you with a translation of the English language version of this Agreement, the Privacy Policy, or any other policy, then you agree that the translation is provided for informational purposes only and does not modify the English language version. In the event of a conflict between a translation and the English version, the English version will govern.

16. No Waiver

No waiver of any term of this Agreement shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or any other term. DocumentCloud's failure to assert any right or provision under this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

17. Severability

Each provision of this Agreement is severable from the entire Agreement. If any provision of this Agreement is or becomes invalid, illegal or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect.

18. Entire Agreement

This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes all previous agreements relating to the use of the Services.

Effective Date: May 25, 2016