If you’re looking at this site, then by doing so you’re agreeing to certain conditions. Every website has similar conditions in some form or another.
You may as well read this page, so you know the deal.
I’ve done my best to keep it brief and incorporate plain English, but this is a legal document, so please read it as such.
The portions in italics are explanatory only; they are not part of this Terms of Service Agreement.
For the purposes of this document, the following definitions apply:
Blog: the online blog Cometary Tales, including any and all derivative works, and including all subcategories of the blog, and comments made by Users.
Comment: a communication from a Registered User that is submitted for consideration as a commentary on a post entry
Link: an internet connection to another website, provided by the Blog for the convenience of the User
Owner: the holder of the Blog’s copyright, Vanessa MacLaren-Wray, and her successors, heirs, and assigns
Registered User: any User who also registers for the privilege of participating in Comments on the Blog
User: any individual reading this Blog
You: the User, that is: any individual reading this Blog
For example, when the Owner writes in the Blog, and You read any part of it, You become a User of the Blog and the Owner wants you to know that it is Mine, All Mine, and Not Yours, while if you follow a Link to some other url on the interwebs, those writings are probably Not Mine.
You are reading this Blog for your own purposes and of your own free will. You take full responsibility and bear all risks for any actions you undertake based on information or ideas taken from this Blog or from sites for which this Blog provides Links.
For example, if the Blog includes a story about a character who runs for President, any attempt by You, the User, to mount a campaign for the presidency is at your own risk.
2. Copyright Policy
Unless otherwise noted, the legal copyright holder of all material on this Blog (Cometary Tales) is the blog Owner. No others may use it to reprint or publish without the express written consent of the blog Owner or of the duly attributed holder of rights to any material shared or referenced on the Blog.
For example, if you turn in a copy of an essay from this Blog as your science homework, your science teacher should give you an “F” on that assignment.
3. Hold Harmless
The information provided on this Blog is for entertainment and education purposes only. This Blog is not providing medical, legal, or other professional advice. Any uses of the information provided are undertaken entirely at your own risk.
When applying suggestions for educational projects, it is the User’s responsibility not only to attend to safety recommendations included in the instruction sets but also to be aware of and compensate for the capabilities and limitations of the intended audience and to obey all site-specific safety concerns, safety regulations at the location and within your own organization, and all applicable laws.
You agree to hold the Blog and the blog Owner harmless from any and all claims, including attorney’s fees, medical expenses, or damage to any personal or public property, that may occur as a result of Your activities inspired by this Blog. If any participants in such activities, including You, need medical treatment, You agree to be financially responsible for any costs incurred as a result of such treatment. You understand that You, the User, should verify that You or the organization for which You conduct such activities, carry appropriate medical, property, and liability insurance.
For example, if you decide to build model comets with dry ice at a school, and you gather your supplies by stealing dry ice from the supermarket and burn yourself on the dry ice, you have to pay your own doctor bills, and when you go to jail for larceny, the teacher will sue you and not me for the missing hour of science lesson time.
4. Privacy Statement
Personal information you provide will not be used for any purpose other than to contact you about issues concerning your registration or activity on the site. A registration process is provided to reserve the Comment section for interested readers, not spammers and merchants. Your personal information will not be shared with any other parties without Your express request. In the event this Blog includes any advertising or links to any site with advertising and you interact with any of those advertisers, the Blog and its Owner are not responsible for the privacy practices of those advertisers. Nor is the Blog’s Owner responsible for privacy violations by other commenters on the blog.
For example, if your name is Jerry Brown and you register on the blog as JerryBrown and another User deduces that you are the twice-former Governor of California and reports your comments to the Sacramento Bee, that’s your problem. Hi, Jerry! I voted for you! Like my Facebook page, OK?
5. Reserved Rights
The Owner reserves the right to shift the focus of the Blog, to add categories of interest, or to shut down categories or the entire Blog. The Owner also reserves the right to adjust the economic status of the Blog by adding or removing advertising, converting to a paid-membership site, selling the website or some segments of the Blog, or adding or deleting funding solicitations or merchandise offers.
In short: I am allowed to change things as much as I want. For example, when Facebook sees that my site is far more successful than theirs and makes a billion-dollar offer to get me to shut the thing down, I’ll be gone faster than you can click–
6. About Those Links
This Blog may contain links and references to other websites. These are provided for the purpose of allowing Users to more conveniently locate relevant information or to verify sources of data provided. Should any such linked website prefer not to receive visits from readers of this Blog, all that is needed is a simple email request to the Blog Owner to remove the link.
Yes, it’s true. Some people put their information on the Web, but don’t want other people to connect to them any other way than through discovery in a browser search. That is their prerogative. I don’t judge. Removing a link is easy.
7. Advertisers and Sponsors and Connected Sites
This Blog is not responsible for the actions or representations of sites which may be linked to from this one. If a Link from this Blog leads the User to a product or service or information source with which You find fault, You must take up that issue with that other company or website or service provider. This provision applies to Links that are incorporated in Blog posts, as connections to other resources or information, to Links leading to advertisers’ sites, and to Links provided by Sponsors or fund-handling entities.
For example, if you use PayPal to buy a hundred dollars’ worth of ribbon for comet models from a company advertising on the Blog, but the ribbon shop guys use your money for a pub crawl instead, first talk to PayPal and your credit card company. (If something like that actually happened for real, I would halt the ads, because I am that kind of person, but keep in mind that nothing obligates me to do so.)
8. Letters and Comments
You, the User, may communicate with the Owner or contribute Comments to Blog posts. All letters, messages, tweets, e-mails, comments, or other communications will be kept on file at the Owner’s discretion. Only Comments will be considered for publication, unless a message/tweet/email/other communication includes a request to treat that document as a potential Comment.
A Registered User understands that not all Comments submitted will be approved for publication. Comments incorporating profanity, abusive or offensive material, or any content inappropriate for young readers will either be edited for content or withheld from publication entirely. Appropriate Comments will not appear on the active site immediately, due to the time constraints of the Owner. The Owner may cut off commenting at any time or delete comments from the active site. Because blog publication is not necessarily permanent, the Registered User understands that he or she is responsible for keeping copies of his or her own work for future reference. Requests from the Registered User to remove one of his or her own comments from the active site will be honored, but the page owner reserves the right to keep all comments and other communications on file.
The blog Owner will treat any comment as the intellectual property of the registered user who wrote the comment, so that the Registered User can share his or her contributions elsewhere without relinquishing any rights. However, in accepting this agreement, the Registered User expressly grants the blog Owner permission to use any submitted comments in any future publications, print or electronic, derived from the blog.
For example, if your response to the Drake and Josh posting is a comment in which you share a funny story about dressing up as Frank Drake for Halloween, you can publish the same story on your website “Cosplaying Scientists” or your personal memoir, but when I tragically die in a panel-moderating incident, my kids can also use the same story in their top-selling book of 2054, “Scientists and their Fans.”