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deviantART, Google, etc’s TOS

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Everyone is panicking over TOS-es right now as they find a new home as Tumblr gets flushed down the toilet. I don’t like those random TOS breakdowns because the analysis is always wrong. 

Anyway this is what people pay me to do and I will now do it for $0 because I’m tired of everyone spreading misinformation. This post is not a substitute for legal advice etc. Reblogs are appreciated because I literally see TOS nonsense on my dash every day. 

Any more experienced copyright lawyers please feel free to weigh in - it’s part of my field yes, but my wheelhouse is more film production COT rather than derivative works.

Google Drive (TOS)

  • Google doesn’t have rights to do whatever they want to files you upload to Google Drive
  • Their TOSes are annoyingly broad in drafting but essentially boilerplate clauses that they need to host your work, use google translate on it, make it searchable etc. They cannot steal your fanfic. They cannot modify your art and use it for whatever.
  • Your work MAY be threatened (that is, deleted) thanks to FOSTA/SESTA, which imo is a clown provision signed by a clown that sent safe harbour down the toilet. This and this has more information (I’ve skimmed but not perused both), but the tl;dr is: similar to Tumblr, there was a ham-fisted attempt to protect victims of sex trafficking and all it really did was make cloud based services start deleting user files whether relevant or not. 

deviantART (Submission Policy) (TOS)

AO3 (TOS)

  • Yum. I like this one. Easy to read and clearly explained for most people with basic reading comprehension. Section G - What We Do With Content will tell you everything you need to know.
  • Basically, they have the same clauses about you granting AO3 a license to modify/etc your work, but they take the trouble to explain to you exactly what that means, and how they use it to improve accessibility etc. 
  • No history of content purges as far as I know. Explicit content is allowed with limits eg. no child porn. 

Wordpress (TOS)

  • Same deal - you’re looking for 1. Wordpress - Responsibility of Contributors, with the exact same thing as everybody else. They also do a decent job of explaining what they use the license for (though once again, it’s standard), albeit not as beautifully as AO3. 
  • However, images of sexual acts (including fanart) are against TOS.
  • I found no history of content purges.

Dreamwidth (TOS)

  • Same old standard licensing clause, again doesn’t let them steal your stuff.
  • Incredibly…open content policies…you can basically do whatever you want so long as you don’t break laws or commit fraud it seems? If I’m wrong, feel free to correct.

Hope this helps. Feel free to force me to read and explain any other site TOS documents. Again, more experienced copyright lawyers, feel free to correct me if I clowned up somewhere.

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