TERMS OF SERVICE: Last modified January 26, 2020
Welcome to OurStoriesAreUs®! Thank you for using our Services. These Terms and Conditions (the “Terms”) set forth our mutual agreement as to your rights and responsibilities when you use the OurStoriesAreUs websites, services, and mobile apps that link to these Terms (the “Services“). By using any of the Services you are agreeing to these Terms. You are also agreeing to comply with the OurStoriesAreUs Community Rules, which are incorporated herein by reference. Please read these documents carefully – they contain important information about your rights and your responsibilities when you use the Services.
Your privacy is very important to us. Our Privacy Statement sets forth important information on how we collect, process, use and share your data and is incorporated by reference herein. Please read the Privacy Statement carefully. In particular, you should be aware that we do not share your information with employers, insurance providers, or third-party marketers without your consent, nor with law enforcement unless compelled by valid legal process.
Important Things for You to Understand When You Use Our Products or Services
- You always maintain ownership of your data, but we need the ability to use your data for the purposes set out in our Privacy Statement.
- As we are constantly striving to improve the Services we provide, your data may be used to enhance our existing user experience or to develop new products and services. Unless expressly stated otherwise, each new feature that we add to the Services will also be subject to these Terms.
Our Services are very diverse, so sometimes additional or separate terms may apply. Any additional terms will be specified with the relevant Services, and those additional terms become a part of your agreement with us if you use those Services. Separate terms may also apply to special offers or promotions, and if the rules of a promotion or special offer conflict with these Terms, those special terms will prevail. We are constantly changing and improving our Services, and thus we may add or remove functionality or features from the Services and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether. If you have any questions about these Terms or our Services, please contact us.
- Eligibility to Use the Services
Users of the Services may include free trial guests, paid subscribers, and people who are invited by paid subscribers, referred to as Passive Users. To protect your OurStoriesAreUs account, please keep your password confidential. You must provide accurate, complete and current registration information when you register. The Services are intended for adults in the countries where they are being offered.
Other Services: While our other Services are intended for adults, if you are between the ages of 13 and 18, you may use the other Services with your parent’s or guardian’s permission.
- Your Use of the Services
Requirements for Using the Services: In exchange for your access to the Services, you agree:
- To comply with the COMMUNITY RULES;
- To comply with all applicable laws;
- Not to resell the Services or to resell, reproduce or publish any content or information found on the Services, except as explicitly described in these Terms;
- Not to circumvent, disable or otherwise interfere with security-related features of the Services or features that prevent or restrict use or copying of any content or enforce limitations on use of the Services or the content therein, including with bots, crawlers, spiders, data miners, scraping or other automatic access tools;
- You are responsible for all usage and activity on the Services made via your account; and
- You will contact us if you suspect your account has been breached or used without your authorization.
- Renewals and Cancellations for OurStoriesAreUs Services
Your subscription(s) to the Services gives you the ability to use all features and functions while your account is active and limited ability (read only) when inactive.
- Content Used in the Services
OurStoriesAreUs Content: The Services contain photos, documents, records, indexes of content, and other content that are owned by or are licensed to OurStoriesAreUs. We refer to this content as “OurStoriesAreUs Content.” All OurStoriesAreUs Content is owned by or licensed to us and may be used only in accordance with these Terms. You may use the OurStoriesAreUs Content only as necessary for your personal use of the Services.
With respect to OurStoriesAreUs Content, you agree:
- To keep all copyright and other proprietary notices on any OurStoriesAreUs Content you download or print; and
- Not to distribute, republish, or sell significant portions of any OurStoriesAreUs Content.
Public Domain Content: Some OurStoriesAreUs Content may be in the public domain, and yet also subject to restrictions on reuse. We refer to OurStoriesAreUs Content in the public domain as “Public Domain Content.” You are free to use a small portion of individual photos and documents that are Public Domain Content, but you must obtain our written permission to use more than a small portion of these collections. If you have any questions about your use of Public Domain Content, please contact us.
Personal Information and User Provided Content: When you use the Services, you provide us with different types of information. For an explanation of Personal Information and a description of the types of Personal Information you may provide to us, see our Privacy Statement You may ask us to delete your Personal Information as explained in our Privacy Statement. In addition, you may provide us with information that is not considered Personal Information, such as a picture of a tombstone or a story about a relative. In these Terms, we refer to this type of information as “User Provided Content.”
With respect to User Provided Content, you agree that:
- You are solely responsible for your User Provided Content;
- You represent and warrant that you have all the necessary rights to upload or post your User Provided Content and that your User Provided Content complies with the OurStoriesAreUs Community Rules;
- You will provide OurStoriesAreUs, upon our request, with any documentation necessary to evidence your compliance with these Terms; and
- Any User Provided Content that you have made public or shared (e.g. by including such User Provided Content in a public OurStoriesAreUs family tree, as part of your public profile in one of the Services or in a public posting on one of our Services) may be used by other users as part of, or in conjunction with, the Services. We will not be required to remove any information or User Provided Content that you have made public or has otherwise been shared from the family trees or public profiles of other users.
OurStoriesAreUs has no responsibility or liability related to User Provided Content. While we do not routinely monitor User Provided Content that is uploaded or posted to the Services, we do reserve the right to do so and to use automated tools that monitor User Provided Content for violations of these Terms, including, the OurStoriesAreUs Community Rules. We reserve the right, but do not have the obligation, to remove or disable access to any User Provided Content that we believe violates these Terms, including the OurStoriesAreUs Community Rules.
If you have concerns that User Provided Content posted by other users may infringe your rights, contain illegal material, or violate these Terms please mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also sensitive to the copyright and other intellectual property rights of others.
Additional User Information. You may voluntarily choose to provide additional information about yourself or your family to OurStoriesAreUs in response to our email surveys, or through the Services (“Additional User Information”). Additional User Information does not include account, profile, payment, or usage details necessary to provide the Services, or any User Provided Content. You may have the option to share your Additional User Information with other users. Any sharing of Additional User Information with third parties is governed by our Privacy Statement.
Ownership of Personal Information, Additional User Information and User Provided Content: You own your Personal Information, Additional User Information, and User Provided Content, but we need certain rights from you to use that information and content. By using the Services, you grant us the right to collect, host, transfer, process, analyze, communicate and store your Personal Information and Additional User Information in order to (a) provide the Services to you and other users, (b) for the purposes described in these Terms and our Privacy Statement, (c) to help our Users discover more about their family histories, and (d) for any other purpose to which you expressly agree, such as sharing with others. Also, by submitting User Provided Content through any of the Services, you grant OurStoriesAreUs a sublicensable, worldwide, royalty-free license to host, store, copy, publish, distribute, provide access to, create derivative works of, and otherwise use such User Provided Content to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. This includes the right for OurStoriesAreUs to copy, display, and index your User Provided Content. OurStoriesAreUs will own the indexes it creates. We will also have the right to continue to use your User Provided Content, even if you stop using the Services, but only as necessary for us to provide and improve the Services.
Copyright and Trademark Notice: Each of the Services is protected by copyright as a collective work or compilation, pursuant to U.S. copyright laws, international conventions, and other copyright laws. The trademarks, service marks and logos contained in the Services are owned by or licensed to us. We and our licensors retain title, ownership and all other rights and interests in and to all OurStoriesAreUs Content in the Services.
5. Termination or Suspension of Your Account
We may limit, terminate, or suspend your access to the Services without a refund if you breach or act inconsistently with the letter or spirit of these Terms or, the OurStoriesAreUs Community Rules. In such a case, you will not be entitled to a refund of subscription fees.
6. Modifications to these Terms
We have the right to modify these Terms or any additional terms that apply to a Service at any time, including to reflect changes to the law or changes to our Services. We will notify you of any material changes by posting information through the Services or via email. Such material changes will not apply retroactively and will become effective thirty days after they are posted, except that changes addressing new functions in the Services or changes made for legal reasons will be effective immediately. Except as explicitly provided herein, your continued use of the Services after a change to the Terms will mean you accept the changes. If any changes are unacceptable to you, you may stop using the Services and, if applicable, cancel your subscription.
While we hope you enjoy using our Services, there are things we don’t promise about our Services.
Except as expressly set out in these Terms, we provide the Services and the OurStoriesAreUs Content to you on an “AS-IS” basis. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we disclaim all warranties express or implied, including the implied warranties of non-infringement, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. We do not make any promises (a) about the OurStoriesAreUs Content, (b) about the specific functionality of the Services, (c) about the quality, accuracy, reliability, or availability of the OurStoriesAreUs Content or Services, or (d) that the OurStoriesAreUs Content or Services will be free from viruses or other harmful components.
8. Limit of Liability
We limit our liability to the fullest extent allowed by law. We will not be liable for any unintentional damage, any actual, incidental, or consequential damage, or for any loss or claim of any kind. Some jurisdictions do not allow us to have a broad limit on our liability. If you live in one of those jurisdictions, some of these limitations may not apply to you. If you are dissatisfied with any portion of the Services or with any statement in these Terms, your sole remedy is to stop using the Services and, if you are using any of our subscription Services, cancel your subscription. Our total liability in any matter related to the Services or these Terms is limited to the aggregate amount you paid us during the 12-month period preceding the event giving rise to the liability.
9. Your Indemnity
You agree that you will indemnify and hold OurStoriesAreUs, our employees, and our agents harmless from any claims, damages, or other expenses (including attorney’s fees) that result from your use of the Services and (a) your violation of these Terms or other documents incorporated herein by reference; (b) your violation of another person’s rights; or (c) any claim related to your User Provided Content, including a claim that your User Provided Content caused damage to another person. This indemnification obligation will continue after you stop using the Services. In addition, you release OurStoriesAreUs from all claims, demands, actions, or suits in connection with your User Provided Content, including any liability related to our use or non-use of your User Provided Content, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss.
10. Services Offered by Other Companies
We may offer you the opportunity to purchase services from companies other than OurStoriesAreUs. Use of those services will be subject to the terms and conditions of the companies offering the services. Please read those terms carefully. We have no responsibility related to any such third-party services.
11. Controlling Law
If you access the Services on our websites in the United States, the laws of the State of Illinois and as applicable, those of the United States of America, govern these Terms and the use of the Services. All claims not subject to arbitration and brought in the United States will be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the State of Illinois.
12. Dispute Resolution, Arbitration and Class Action Waiver
PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY. IT AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING YOUR RIGHT TO FILE A LAWSUIT IN COURT.
We work hard to keep our customers satisfied. If a dispute arises between you and OurStoriesAreUs, our goal is to provide a cost-effective means of quickly resolving the dispute. If you have any concern or dispute about the Services, you agree to first try to resolve the dispute informally by contacting us.
For U.S. Customers:
You and OurStoriesAreUs agree that these Terms affect interstate commerce and that the Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of these arbitration provisions.
If any dispute between us is not resolved within 30 days after contacting us, then you and OurStoriesAreUs agree that we will resolve it through final and binding arbitration, with the following three exceptions:
- You may assert your dispute, if it qualifies, in small claims court.
- Both you and OurStoriesAreUs may bring a suit in court in the state of Illinois only for a claim of infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights. In this case, we both waive any right to a jury trial.
- If it qualifies, you may bring a claim to the attention of a relevant federal, state, or local agency that may seek relief against us on your behalf.
If you have a subscription and you terminate for our breach after providing us with a 30-day cure period during which we are unable to cure, we will refund any pre-paid fees on a pro-rated basis to you.
Arbitration Rules: Arbitration will be conducted by JAMS in accordance with the JAMS Streamlined Arbitration Procedure Rules for claims that do not exceed $250,000 and the JAMS Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures for claims exceeding $250,000 in effect at the time the arbitration is initiated, excluding any rules or procedures governing or permitting class actions. The arbitrator, and not any federal, state, or local court or agency, shall have exclusive authority to resolve all disputes arising out of or relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, or formation of these Terms or the Privacy Statement, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of these Terms or Privacy Statement is void or voidable, whether a claim is subject to arbitration, or the question of waiver by litigation conduct. The arbitrator shall be empowered to grant whatever relief would be available in a court under law or in equity. The arbitrator’s award shall be written and shall be binding on the parties and may be entered as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Fees: You will be required to pay $250 to initiate an arbitration against us. If the arbitrator finds the arbitration to be non-frivolous, OurStoriesAreUs will pay all other fees invoiced by JAMS, including filing fees and arbitrator and hearing expenses. You are responsible for your own attorneys’ fees unless the arbitration rules and/or applicable law provide otherwise.
No Class Actions: You and OurStoriesAreUs each agree that each party may only resolve disputes with the other on an individual basis and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action. If any court or arbitrator determines that the class action waiver set forth in this paragraph is void or unenforceable for any reason or that an arbitration can proceed on a class basis, then the arbitration provisions set forth above shall be deemed null and void in their entirety and the parties shall be deemed to have not agreed to arbitrate disputes.
Changes to This Section: OurStoriesAreUs will provide thirty (30) days’ notice of any changes affecting the substance of this section by posting notice of modifications to the Terms on the Services, sending you a message, or otherwise notifying you when you are logged into your account. Amendments will become effective thirty (30) days after they are posted on the Services or sent to you.
Changes to this section will otherwise apply prospectively only to claims arising after the thirtieth (30th) day. If a court or arbitrator decides that this subsection on “Changes to This Section” is not enforceable or valid, then this subsection shall be severed from the section entitled “Arbitration and Class Action Waiver,” and the court or arbitrator shall apply the first Arbitration and Class Action Waiver section in existence after you began using the Services.
Survival: This Arbitration and Class Action Waiver section shall survive any termination of your account or the Services.
Entire Agreement: These Terms, including all rules, guidelines, and other documents incorporated herein by reference, state the entire agreement between you and OurStoriesAreUs regarding your use of the Services and supersede any prior agreements we may have relating to the Services.
Notification of Changes to the Services: OurStoriesAreUs may contact you within the Services, via email or physical mail to inform you of changes to the Services or these Terms. You agree that contact in any of these ways will satisfy any legal communication requirements, including that communication be in writing.
Feedback: If you submit feedback or suggestions about OurStoriesAreUs or our Services, we may use your feedback or suggestions for any purpose without any obligation to you.
Assignment: We reserve the right to assign or transfer our rights and obligations under this Agreement. These terms are personal to you and, as a result, you may not, without the written consent of OurStoriesAreUs, assign or transfer any of your rights and obligations under this Agreement. There shall be no third-party beneficiaries to this Agreement.
If OurStoriesAreUs is Acquired: If OurStoriesAreUs or its businesses are acquired or transferred to another entity (in whole or part and including in connection with bankruptcy or similar proceedings), OurStoriesAreUs has the right to share your Personal Information, User Provided Content and Additional User Information with that entity. These Terms will continue to apply to the Services until you receive notification of changes to the Terms or Services.
Severability: Except as explicitly provided herein, the unenforceability of any section or clause in these Terms will not affect the enforceability of the remaining Terms. We may replace any unenforceable section or clause with a similar one that is enforceable.
No Waiver: Our failure to enforce any provision of these Terms is not a waiver of our rights under that provision.