Humanities Commons Terms of Use

As of 5 November 2020, the Terms of Use and Privacy Statement have been revised to reflect MSU’s operation of the network and to standardize the use of terms such as “Users” for individual account holders and “Participating Organizations” for organizational members.

Additionally, the Terms of Use have been updated to indicate that the default Creative Commons license for user-contributed content is CC BY, as well as to include information about restrictions on re-use of proprietary Participating Organization content; and the Guidelines for Use have been updated to specify that Commons accounts are intended for use by individual users.

These terms together with the Privacy Statement and the Guidelines for Use constitute the Terms of Use (herein “Terms”) between you (“you,” “your” or “User”) and Michigan State University (“our,” “we,” “us,” or “MSU”) governing your use of the Commons (the “Commons” or the “Network”, also referred to as “we” and “us”), a community network hosted by MSU and sponsored by a collective of participating organizations and institutions (“Participating Organizations” or “Organizations”; individually, “Organization”).

Please read these Terms carefully because your use of the Network, including but not limited to your use of blogs, forums, groups, shared files, publications, and other services provided anywhere on the Network, including the Commons hub and the Participating Organizations’ sites is covered by these Terms. Participating Organizations may have additional and/or different terms of use for their members.  In the event of conflict between these Terms and those of any Participating Organization, these Terms shall govern your use of the Network.  If you do not agree to these Terms, you are not authorized to use the Network. By using the Network, you confirm you have read, understand, and agree to these Terms. We may change these Terms by posting an updated version on our Network. The updated Terms will be effective immediately upon posting. If we decide that it is appropriate, we may provide additional notice of more significant changes. By continuing to use our Network after we post updated Terms, you agree to be bound by the updated Terms. Please check these Terms regularly so that you are aware of any changes.

The Commons is provided as a service for scholars, students, and practitioners in academic fields, as well as for other interested readers. The Commons, as well as its connected services, is intended to allow Users of the Network to connect with one another and share their work, thoughts, and ideas, and it is therefore dedicated to free expression in a collaborative, collegial environment. The Commons and the Participating Organizations also host several publications on the Network that are intended for scholarly and pedagogical use.

We respect the intellectual property rights of the authors of the content on the Network, and we exercise only the rights necessary to facilitate the dissemination of that content. We also support the use of open-source software and the widespread dissemination and use of online materials consistent with the intellectual property and other rights of Users who post material and applicable law. We hope that your experience on the Commons will be enjoyable and productive.

Accounts; Account Security

User accounts on the Commons are open to anyone whether or not you are affiliated with a university. Accounts of Users who came to be Users through a relationship or good standing in, or otherwise have privileges in one or more Participating Organizations (such Users herein referred to as “Organizations’ Members”) will also be able to use those Organizations’ services on the Network, including accessing restricted areas of the Network, including areas where the Organizations’ Members may post content to sites, groups, the Commons Open Repository Exchange (“CORE”), and other shared spaces on the Network. A User whose membership in a Participating Organization has lapsed may be denied posting or editing privileges on the Organization’s sites until their account is brought up to date. Please note that only Organizations’ Members may post on restricted areas of the Network but much of the content on the Network (including much of the content that you post and your account profile) will be made available to the general public. Please review the Commons’ Privacy Statement for more details.

If you create an account, you are responsible for maintaining the security of your account. You may not transfer your account or otherwise do anything to give another person access to it. You are responsible for all activities that occur under your account and any other actions taken in connection with the account. You must take reasonable steps to guard the security of your account, including by keeping the username and password for your account confidential. You represent and warrant that all information you provide in connection with your account is accurate and complete. If you learn that anyone has accessed or attempted to access your account or if any of your account information has changed, please contact hello@hcommons.org.

Rights and Responsibilities Related to Network Content

The Network includes both User Content (as defined below) and Organization Content (collectively, “Network Content”). We respect intellectual property rights and expect Users of our Network to do so as well. Network Content is protected by United States and international copyright laws. Users are permitted to use the User Content and Organization Content as described below.

User Content

The Network allows Users who have registered for an account to share content on the Network, including publishing or commenting on a blog, posting material or links, submitting a question, submitting resources for teaching and learning, sharing the User’s profile information and images, and otherwise making material available on the Network (collectively, “User Content”).

If you provide any User Content, you are solely and entirely responsible for that User Content. You warrant and represent that: (i) you own, have acquired, or claim under the principle of fair use all the rights necessary to submit the User Content that you provide to the Network, including all the rights necessary for the Commons or the relevant Organization to reproduce, distribute, publicly display and perform, and otherwise make available the User Content on the Network; (ii) your User Content does not and will not violate these Terms or any third party’s copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, right to privacy or publicity, or any other proprietary, personal, or other right of any kind; (iii) you are under no obligation that would in any way interfere with or prohibit your disclosure or use of the User Content you provide; and (iv) your User Content contains no material or information furnished to you in confidence or with the understanding that it would not be disclosed or published.

If you create a site or group on the Commons, that space is still subject to the policies and guidelines that govern the Network as a whole, and you as owner/moderator of your User Content are responsible for complying with relevant policies, including policies related to visitors’ personal data.

License to MSU

By posting User Content on the Network, you grant MSU  a nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide license to use the User Content in accordance with these Terms on the Network, in all formats in which the Network is available, until you remove or delete it, which use includes but is not limited to reproducing, distributing, transmitting, publicly displaying and performing, and incorporating the User Content into a collective work. Whenever possible, we will credit you as the author of the User Content you provide, and, by posting User Content on the Network, you grant MSU the right to use your name (as provided in your user profile) for that attribution. If you delete your User Content, cached versions of or references to the User Content may not be made unavailable. Some User Content, such as files uploaded to CORE, may not be removed or deleted. Please contact us at hello@hcommons.org for assistance.

Our display of User Content does not mean that MSU  endorses or adopts it. We have no obligation to display or use any User Content in any way or to prescreen, monitor, modify, supplement, or delete User Content, but we may do so at any time without notice. We are not responsible for any failure or delay in removing User Content that does not comply with these Terms. We reserve the right to restrict you from submitting new User Content or from otherwise participating in the Network’s interactive features for any reason, including repeated submissions of User Content that does not comply with these Terms.

Use of Your User Content by Other Network Users

When you create User Content on the Network, we give you the option to make that User Content available under your choice of Creative Commons license (“CC License”), which allows others to use the User Content in accordance with the license you choose. Because most of the User Content on the Network may be viewed by a User in the general public, selecting a CC License will make that User Content available generally, not just to Users within Participating Organizations.

The default choice if no CC License is selected is that your User Content will be available under CC BY terms. Where you have the option to make choices regarding CC Licenses on the Network, we provide links to the Creative Commons website, where the details of each license and the procedures for implementing them are explained. You are solely responsible for complying with all requirements for using a CC License and for enforcing any CC License you choose. For information regarding all CC Licenses, see http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses.

Use of Your User Content by Third-Party Services

From time to time, we may enter into an agreement with a third-party service provider (“Service Provider”) to enhance the Commons experience or extend its reach. Such agreements may include the provision of metadata about your User Content to aggregating or indexing services (such as SHARE) or the ability for you to integrate external information into your profile (such as ORCID). We will make reasonable efforts to notify you of such agreements. Your use of the Network indicates your acceptance of such arrangements.

Release

You irrevocably release (on behalf of yourself and your successors, heirs, family members, and executors) MSU (and its trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, and affiliates) from any claim of any nature that you have or may ever have (based on any cause of action, including rights of publicity or privacy, trademark, copyright, libel, or defamation) arising out of MSU’s use, as described in these Terms, of (i) User Content you provide or (ii) your name or likeness in connection with your User Content. If you are a California resident, you waive California Civil Code, section 1542, which says, “A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor.” If you reside in any other jurisdiction that places similar restrictions on a general release, you waive those restrictions to the maximum extent permissible under the applicable law.

Organization Content

In addition to User Content, the Network includes content owned by the Participating Organizations and their licensors (“Organization Content”). Organization Content on the Network may be used:

  1. as indicated by the CC License associated with the particular Organization Content;
  2. If no CC License is associated, you may access the Organization Content on a personal computer or mobile device and may
    • Print any portion of the Network for personal or classroom use.
    • Display the Network or portions of it on a screen or monitor for the purpose of face-to-face classroom instruction.
    • Display the Network or portions of it on a screen or monitor in a library for the purpose of face-to-face reference assistance.
    • Download resources that are specifically made available for download.

You must not remove or modify any copyright, trademark, or other notice on any Organization Content that you print or download.

If you wish to use Organization Content in a manner other than permitted above, you may seek permission to reprint or license Organization Content by sending your request to the relevant Organization at the address listed on its contact page.

Guidelines for Use

To ensure that the Commons will be a cordial and civil community, MSU has established Guidelines for Use for all users. Please read them carefully, because they are a part of these Terms, and your violation of the Guidelines may result in our terminating your access to the Network. In addition, we grant you access to the Network on the condition that you not undertake any of the following actions in connection with your access to the Network:

  1. Restrict or inhibit any other person from using the Network;
  2. Transmit any software or other materials that contain any virus, worm, time bomb, Trojan horse, or other harmful or disruptive component or otherwise interfere with or disrupt the operation of the Network or servers hosting or connected to the Network;
  3. Use the Network for any unlawful purpose or otherwise violate any applicable laws, rules, or regulations in connection with your use of the Network;
  4. Transmit (a) any content or information that is unlawful, fraudulent, threatening, harassing, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, or otherwise objectionable or that infringes on our or any third party’s intellectual property or other rights; (b) any material, nonpublic information (about companies or otherwise) without the authorization to do so; or (c) any spam, advertisements, solicitations, chain letters, or other unsolicited commercial communication (except as otherwise expressly permitted by us in writing);
  5. Modify, adapt, sublicense, translate, sell, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or deface any portion of the Network;
  6. Remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary rights notices contained in the Network;
  7. Use any robot, spider, site search/retrieval application, or other manual or automatic device or process to retrieve, index, “data mine,” or in any way reproduce or circumvent the navigational structure or presentation of the Network, the Network Content, or User Content. This limitation is not intended to restrict legitimate scholarly surveys of User Content or Network usage;
  8. Harvest or collect information about Network visitors without their unambiguous and informed consent; or
  9. “Frame” or “mirror” any part of the Network without our prior written authorization.

Unauthorized Use of Network or Network Content

If a User engages in a use of the Network or posts content to the Network that is not permitted, MSU reserves the right to bar that User’s access to the Network permanently. You agree to indemnify MSU and its trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, and affiliates against all liabilities, losses, damages, and costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) that MSU may incur because of your violation of these Terms.

Reporting Violations or Concerns

If you have reason to believe that any User Content or activity on the Network violates these Terms or is illegal or inappropriate or to report any other abusive behavior in connection with the Network, please contact us by e-mail at hello@hcommons.org or write to Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director, The Commons, Michigan State University, 479 West Circle Drive, East Lansing MI 48824.

If you believe that material located on the Network violates your copyright, you may notify us in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) procedures described below. For more information about intellectual property, the DMCA, and legal issues related to social networks such as the Commons, see the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Web site at http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/IP.

If you believe that any material posted on the Network infringes your copyright, you may request the removal of those materials from the Network in accordance with the DMCA. A notice of infringing material that complies with the 17 USC, section 512(c)(3), of the DMCA (“Notice”) must be sent to the agent we have designated with the Copyright Office: Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director, The Commons, Michigan State University, 479 West Circle Drive, East Lansing MI 48824.

DMCA Notice

To better understand procedures for addressing instances of copyright infringement, please see the information here: https://tech.msu.edu/about/guidelines-policies/procedures-copyright-infringement/

If you believe your copyrighted material is being infringed, please file a complaint through the following link: http://contact.cl.msu.edu/dmca.php

Links to Third-Party Web Sites

Our Network may contain links to Web sites controlled by third parties (“Third-Party Web Sites”), whether provided by us or by Users. We are not responsible for Third-Party Web Sites or their content or activities. Your use of Third-Party Web Sites is governed by those sites’ terms of use and privacy policies. We make no representations or warranties whatsoever about the nature of Third-Party Web Sites. By providing links to Third-Party Web Sites, we do not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information, services, or products available at these sites, nor does a link indicate any association with or endorsement by the linked site.

Trademark Rights

“The Commons” and all related trademarks, service marks, trade names, logos, and other indicia of source (collectively, the “MSU Marks”) are the property of MSU, and MSU reserves all rights in the MSU Marks. You may not use the MSU Marks in any manner without MSU’s written authorization. Additionally, you may not use the MSU Marks in connection with any product, service, opinion, cause, activity, or political candidate or in any manner that is likely to cause confusion among users about whether we are the source, sponsor, or endorser of a product, service, opinion, cause, activity, or political candidate.

In addition, the name, trademarks, service marks, indicia and/or logos of a Participating Organization (“Participating Organization Marks”) may appear on the Network.  Each Participating Organization owns or controls rights in its Participating Organization Marks.  Your use of Participating Organization Marks is subject to the terms and conditions imposed by such Participating Organization.

Termination

These Terms apply to you as long as you use the Network or until terminated by MSU in accordance with this Section.

We may terminate these Terms and your access to the Network at any time, at our sole discretion, without notice if we believe that you have violated these Terms or for other reasons that we determine in good faith are necessary or appropriate, including if we suspect you are using or attempting to use the Network in any way that violates these Terms or any applicable laws or regulations. You acknowledge that upon any termination of your account, we have the right, but not the obligation, to remove or discard your User Content.

You may terminate these Terms by closing your account and ceasing to use the Network. If you wish to delete your account, please contact hello@hcommons.org; see also the Privacy Statement at paragraph 6.e about closing your account.

All provisions of these Terms that by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including provisions relating to warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.

Indemnity

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless MSU, its contractors, licensors, and licensees and their respective trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, and affiliates (“Indemnified Parties”) against any and all liabilities, losses, damages, and costs (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating to (a) your use of the Network or breach of these Terms; (b) any allegation that any materials that you submit to us or transmit to the Network infringe or otherwise violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret, or other intellectual property or other rights of any third party; or (c) your activities in connection with the Network or any services related to the Network. Any Indemnified Party may, at its expense, assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter for which that Indemnified Party is entitled to indemnification, and you agree to provide it with whatever cooperation it reasonably requests.

No Warranties and Disclaimer of Liability

USER CONTENT, INCLUDING BLOGS, COMMENTS, FORUM POSTS, AND MATERIAL ADDED TO THE NETWORK’S REPOSITORY, ARE THE VIEWS AND OPINIONS OF THEIR AUTHORS AND THEY ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR USER CONTENT. MSU CANNOT VERIFY OR GUARANTEE THAT THE INFORMATION PRESENTED ON THE NETWORK, INCLUDING USER CONTENT, IS ACCURATE OR COMPLETE, AND WE WILL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY HARM OR DAMAGES ARISING FROM ANY CONTENT POSTED ON THE NETWORK OR YOUR USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE OR ACCESS THE NETWORK. THE NETWORK IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE” BASIS.

MSU MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY, OPERATION, OR ADMINISTRATION OF THE NETWORK OR ANY NETWORK CONTENT. TO THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, MSU SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ALL SUCH WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE (EVEN IF THAT PURPOSE HAS BEEN DISCLOSED). MSU RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY, SUSPEND, OR DISCONTINUE THE NETWORK, WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE, AT ANY TIME AND WITHOUT ANY LIABILITY TO NETWORK USERS.

ALTHOUGH WE INTEND TO TAKE REASONABLE STEPS TO PREVENT THE INTRODUCTION OF VIRUSES, WORMS, TROJAN HORSES, OR OTHER MALICIOUS CODE TO THE NETWORK, MSU DOES NOT GUARANTEE OR WARRANT THAT THE NETWORK, OR SERVICES OR MATERIALS THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NETWORK, ARE FREE FROM SUCH DESTRUCTIVE FEATURES. MSU IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES OR HARM ATTRIBUTABLE TO SUCH FEATURES. IF YOU USE THE NETWORK OR NETWORK CONTENT, YOU DO SO SOLELY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

MSU AND ITS TRUSTEES, DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, AND AFFILIATES ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM OF ANY NATURE WHATSOEVER BASED ON LOSS OR INJURY BECAUSE OF ERRORS, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS, OR INACCURACIES IN THE NETWORK OR ANY SERVICES OR MATERIALS AVAILABLE THROUGH IT, INCLUDING LOSS OR INJURY THAT RESULTS FROM YOUR BREACH OF ANY PROVISION OF THESE TERMS.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL MSU OR ITS TRUSTEES, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES (INCLUDING LOST REVENUES OR PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS, OR LOSS OF DATA) ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THESE TERMS OR YOUR USE OF THE NETWORK OR MATERIALS OR SERVICES AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NETWORK, REGARDLESS OF THE THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), CONTRACT, OR ANY OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY.  UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL MSU’S TOTAL AGGREGATE LIABILITY UNDER THESE TERMS OR IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR USE OF THE NETWORK OR NETWORK CONTENT EXCEED $100.

MSU MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES ABOUT THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, TIMELINESS, RELIABILITY, OR NONINFRINGEMENT OF ANY CONTENT ON THE NETWORK. MSU DOES NOT WARRANT THAT ALL THE MATERIAL ON THE NETWORK IS CORRECT OR COMPLETE, AND MSU RESERVES THE RIGHT, WITHOUT INCURRING ANY LIABILITY UNDER ANY THEORY, TO CORRECT ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS ON THE NETWORK.

General

Entire Agreement. These Terms, which include the Privacy Statement and Guidelines for Use, constitute the complete agreement between you, as a User, and MSU regarding your use of the Network and supersede any prior (oral or written) understandings or agreements regarding its subject matter.

Governing Law; Venue. Any dispute arising under or related to these Terms or your use of or access to the Network is governed by the laws of the State of Michigan. You irrevocably agree: (i) to bring any claim or dispute relating to your use of the Network and these Terms exclusively in the state and federal courts located in the State of Michigan, (ii) to submit to the personal jurisdiction of those courts, and (iii) to waive any objection based on an inconvenient forum or other reasons regarding the jurisdiction or venue of those courts.

Severability; Assignment; Including. If a court of competent jurisdiction determines that any provision of these Terms is unenforceable for any reason, then that provision will be revised to the extent necessary to make it enforceable and reflect the intent of these Terms, or, if that is not possible, it will be deleted and the remaining provisions will be enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law (unless doing so would deprive either party of a material benefit of these Terms). You may not assign or delegate your rights or privileges under these Terms, and any attempt to do so is null and void. The word “including” in these Terms is illustrative and means “including, but not limited to.”

If you have questions or comments about these Terms of Service, including the Privacy Statement, please direct them to Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director, The Commons (kfitz@hcommons.org).