Terms of Service
We (the folks at Automattic) run a blog and web site hosting service called WordPress.com and would love for you to use it. Our basic service is free, and we offer paid upgrades for advanced features such as domain hosting and extra storage. Our service is designed to give you as much control and ownership over what goes on your site as possible and encourage you to express yourself freely. However, be responsible in what you publish. In particular, make sure that none of the prohibited items listed below appear on your site or get linked to from your site (things like spam, viruses, or hate content).
You can check our page on types of blogs to get a sense of the types of sites that are welcome on our service (or not!).
If you find a WordPress.com site that you believe violates our terms of service, please visit our dispute resolution & reporting page.
(Note, we’ve decided to make the below Terms of Service available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license, which means you’re more than welcome to steal it and repurpose it for your own use, just make sure to replace references to us with ones to you, and if you don’t mind we’d appreciate a link to WordPress.com somewhere on your site. We spent a lot of money and time on the below, and other people shouldn’t need to do the same.)
Terms of Service:
Please read this Agreement carefully before accessing or using the Website. By accessing or using any part of the web site, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this agreement. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you may not access the Website or use any services. If these terms and conditions are considered an offer by Automattic, acceptance is expressly limited to these terms. The Website is available only to individuals who are at least 13 years old.
- Your WordPress.com Account and Site. If you create a blog on the Website, you are responsible for maintaining the security of your account and blog, and you are fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account and any other actions taken in connection with the blog. You must not describe or assign keywords to your blog in a misleading or unlawful manner, including in a manner intended to trade on the name or reputation of others, and Automattic may change or remove any description or keyword that it considers inappropriate or unlawful, or otherwise likely to cause Automattic liability. You must immediately notify Automattic of any unauthorized uses of your blog, your account or any other breaches of security. Automattic will not be liable for any acts or omissions by You, including any damages of any kind incurred as a result of such acts or omissions.
- Responsibility of Contributors. If you operate a blog, comment on a blog, post material to the Website, post links on the Website, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available by means of the Website (any such material, “Content”), You are entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that Content. That is the case regardless of whether the Content in question constitutes text, graphics, an audio file, or computer software. By making Content available, you represent and warrant that:
- the downloading, copying and use of the Content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party;
- if your employer has rights to intellectual property you create, you have either (i) received permission from your employer to post or make available the Content, including but not limited to any software, or (ii) secured from your employer a waiver as to all rights in or to the Content;
- you have fully complied with any third-party licenses relating to the Content, and have done all things necessary to successfully pass through to end users any required terms;
- the Content does not contain or install any viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses or other harmful or destructive content;
- the Content is not spam, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);
- the Content is not pornographic, does not contain threats or incite violence, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party;
- your blog is not getting advertised via unwanted electronic messages such as spam links on newsgroups, email lists, other blogs and web sites, and similar unsolicited promotional methods;
- your blog is not presented in a manner that misleads your readers into thinking that you are another person or company; and
- you have, in the case of Content that includes computer code, accurately categorized and/or described the type, nature, uses and effects of the materials, whether requested to do so by Automattic or otherwise.
By submitting Content to Automattic for inclusion on your Website, you grant Automattic a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog. This license allows Automattic to make publicly-posted content available to third parties selected by Automattic (through the Automattic Firehose, for example) so that these third parties can analyze and distribute (but not publicly display) your content through their services.
You also give other WordPress.com users permission to share your Content on other WordPress.com sites and add their own Content to it (aka to reblog your Content), so long as they use only a portion of your post and they give you credit as the original author by linking back to your site (the Reblogging function on WordPress.com does this automatically!).
If you delete Content, Automattic will use reasonable efforts to remove it from the Website, but you acknowledge that caching or references to the Content may not be made immediately unavailable.
Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, Automattic has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Automattic’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in Automattic’s reasonable opinion, violates any Automattic policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in Automattic’s sole discretion. Automattic will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.
- Payment and Renewal.
- General Terms.
Optional paid services such as extra storage, or domain purchases are available on the Website (any such services, an “Upgrade”). By selecting an Upgrade you agree to pay Automattic the monthly or annual subscription fees indicated for that service. Payments will be charged on a pre-pay basis on the day you sign up for an Upgrade and will cover the use of that service for a monthly or annual subscription period as indicated. Upgrade fees are not refundable.
- Automatic Renewal.
Unless you notify Automattic before the end of the applicable subscription period that you want to cancel an Upgrade, your Upgrade subscription will automatically renew and you authorize us to collect the then-applicable annual or monthly subscription fee for such Upgrade (as well as any taxes) using any credit card or other payment mechanism we have on record for you. Upgrades can be canceled at any time in the Upgrades section of your site’s dashboard.
- General Terms.
- VIP Services.
- Hosting, Support Services. VIP Hosting/Support and VIP Support services are provided by Automattic under the terms and conditions for each such service, which are located at vip.wordpress.com/hosting-tos and vip.wordpress.com/support-tos, respectively. By signing up for a VIP Hosting/Support or VIP Support services account, you agree to abide by such terms and conditions.
- Fees; Payment. By signing up for the WordPress.com Firehose you agree to pay Automattic the specified monthly fees in exchange for access to the feeds. Applicable fees will be invoiced starting from the day your access is established and in advance of using such services. Automattic reserves the right to change the payment terms and fees upon thirty (30) days prior written notice to you. Firehose access can be canceled by you at anytime on 30 days written notice to Automattic.
- Permitted Use. You may use the WordPress.com Firehose to develop a product or service that searches, displays, analyzes, retrieves, and views information available on WordPress.com. You may also use the WordPress.com name or logos and other brand elements that Automattic makes available in order to identify the source of the information.
- Restricted Use. You may not use the WordPress.com Firehose to substantially replicate products or services offered by Automattic, including the republication of WordPress.com content or the creation of a separate publishing platform. If Automattic believes, in its sole discretion, that you have violated or attempted to violate these conditions or the spirit of these terms, your ability to use and access the WordPress.com Firehose may be temporarily or permanently revoked, with or without notice.
- Responsibility of Website Visitors. Automattic has not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, posted to the Website, and cannot therefore be responsible for that material’s content, use or effects. By operating the Website, Automattic does not represent or imply that it endorses the material there posted, or that it believes such material to be accurate, useful or non-harmful. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content. The Website may contain content that is offensive, indecent, or otherwise objectionable, as well as content containing technical inaccuracies, typographical mistakes, and other errors. The Website may also contain material that violates the privacy or publicity rights, or infringes the intellectual property and other proprietary rights, of third parties, or the downloading, copying or use of which is subject to additional terms and conditions, stated or unstated. Automattic disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from the use by visitors of the Website, or from any downloading by those visitors of content there posted.
- Content Posted on Other Websites. We have not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, made available through the websites and webpages to which WordPress.com links, and that link to WordPress.com. Automattic does not have any control over those non-WordPress websites and webpages, and is not responsible for their contents or their use. By linking to a non-WordPress website or webpage, Automattic does not represent or imply that it endorses such website or webpage. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content. Automattic disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from your use of non-WordPress websites and webpages.
- Copyright Infringement and DMCA Policy. As Automattic asks others to respect its intellectual property rights, it respects the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that material located on or linked to by WordPress.com violates your copyright, you are encouraged to notify Automattic in accordance with Automattic’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Policy. Automattic will respond to all such notices, including as required or appropriate by removing the infringing material or disabling all links to the infringing material. Automattic will terminate a visitor’s access to and use of the Website if, under appropriate circumstances, the visitor is determined to be a repeat infringer of the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of Automattic or others. In the case of such termination, Automattic will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid to Automattic.
- Intellectual Property. This Agreement does not transfer from Automattic to you any Automattic or third party intellectual property, and all right, title and interest in and to such property will remain (as between the parties) solely with Automattic. Automattic, WordPress, WordPress.com, the WordPress.com logo, and all other trademarks, service marks, graphics and logos used in connection with WordPress.com, or the Website are trademarks or registered trademarks of Automattic or Automattic’s licensors. Other trademarks, service marks, graphics and logos used in connection with the Website may be the trademarks of other third parties. Your use of the Website grants you no right or license to reproduce or otherwise use any Automattic or third-party trademarks.
- Advertisements. Automattic reserves the right to display advertisements on your blog unless you have purchased an Ad-free Upgrade or a VIP Services account.
- Attribution. Automattic reserves the right to display attribution links such as ‘Blog at WordPress.com,’ theme author, and font attribution in your blog footer or toolbar. Footer credits and the WordPress.com toolbar may not be altered or removed regardless of upgrades purchased.
- Friends of WP.com Themes. By activating a partner theme from the Friends of WP.com section of our themes directory, you agree to that partner’s terms of service. You can opt out of their terms of service at any time by de-activating a partner theme.
- Domain Names. If you are registering a domain name, using or transferring a previously registered domain name, you acknowledge and agree that use of the domain name is also subject to the policies of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”), including their Registration Rights and Responsibilities.
- Changes. We are constantly updating our services, and that means sometimes we have to change the legal terms under which our services are offered. If we make changes that are material, we will let you know by posting on one of our blogs, or by sending you an email or other communication before the changes take effect. The notice will designate a reasonable period of time after which the new Terms will take effect. If you disagree with our changes, then you should stop using WordPress.com within the designated notice period. Your continued use of WordPress.com will be subject to the new Terms. However, any dispute that arose before the changes shall be governed by the Terms (including the binding individual arbitration clause) that were in place when the dispute arose.
- Termination. Automattic may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. If you wish to terminate this Agreement or your WordPress.com account (if you have one), you may simply discontinue using the Website. All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability.
- Disclaimer of Warranties. The Website is provided “as is”. Automattic and its suppliers and licensors hereby disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Neither Automattic nor its suppliers and licensors, makes any warranty that the Website will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. If you’re actually reading this, here’s a treat. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, the Website at your own discretion and risk.
- Limitation of Liability. In no event will Automattic, or its suppliers or licensors, be liable with respect to any subject matter of this agreement under any contract, negligence, strict liability or other legal or equitable theory for: (i) any special, incidental or consequential damages; (ii) the cost of procurement for substitute products or services; (iii) for interruption of use or loss or corruption of data; or (iv) for any amounts that exceed the fees paid by you to Automattic under this agreement during the twelve (12) month period prior to the cause of action. Automattic shall have no liability for any failure or delay due to matters beyond their reasonable control. The foregoing shall not apply to the extent prohibited by applicable law.
- Indemnification. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Automattic, its contractors, and its licensors, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of the Website, including but not limited to your violation of this Agreement.
- Translation. These Terms of Service were originally written in English (US). We may translate these Terms into other languages. In the event of a conflict between a translated version of these Terms of Service and the English version, the English version will control.
- Miscellaneous. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between Automattic and you concerning the subject matter hereof, and they may only be modified by a written amendment signed by an authorized executive of Automattic, or by the posting by Automattic of a revised version. Except to the extent applicable law, if any, provides otherwise, this Agreement, any access to or use of the Website will be governed by the laws of the state of California, U.S.A., excluding its conflict of law provisions, and the proper venue for any disputes arising out of or relating to any of the same will be the state and federal courts located in San Francisco County, California. Except for claims for injunctive or equitable relief or claims regarding intellectual property rights (which may be brought in any competent court without the posting of a bond), any dispute arising under this Agreement shall be finally settled in accordance with the Comprehensive Arbitration Rules of the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service, Inc. (“JAMS”) by three arbitrators appointed in accordance with such Rules. The arbitration shall take place in San Francisco, California, in the English language and the arbitral decision may be enforced in any court. The prevailing party in any action or proceeding to enforce this Agreement shall be entitled to costs and attorneys’ fees. If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that part will be construed to reflect the parties’ original intent, and the remaining portions will remain in full force and effect. A waiver by either party of any term or condition of this Agreement or any breach thereof, in any one instance, will not waive such term or condition or any subsequent breach thereof. You may assign your rights under this Agreement to any party that consents to, and agrees to be bound by, its terms and conditions; Automattic may assign its rights under this Agreement without condition. This Agreement will be binding upon and will inure to the benefit of the parties, their successors and permitted assigns.
- July 7, 2009: Added “not pornographic” to paragraph 2 “Responsibility of Contributors”.
- December 18, 2010: Added automatic renewal section to paragraph 3 “Payment and Renewal”.
- February 1, 2011: Clarified procedure regarding termination of repeat infringers in paragraph 7.
- April 27, 2011: Added “Advertisements” paragraph to clarify our ad policy.
- May 17, 2011: Added “Friends of WordPress.com Themes” paragraph.
- September 9, 2011: Added “Domain Names” paragraph.
- October 17, 2011: Added “Firehose” paragraph.
- March 6, 2012: Clarified definition of Website with addition of “Jetpack by WordPress.com”.
- April 6, 2012: Added “Attribution” paragraph to clarify our attribution policy.
- November 12, 2012: Replaced VIP Services terms and conditions with cross references to VIP Hosting/Support and VIP Support services terms and conditions, located at vip.wordpress.com; removed “towards individuals or entities” from prohibition against threats of violence in Section 2.
- June 12, 2013: Edited “Attribution” paragraph to specify that footer credits and the WordPress.com toolbar may not be altered.
- July 3, 2014: Elaborated on licensing with regards to Firehose, clarified our impersonation policy, added reblogging language, and removed our right to unilaterally change the Terms of Service.
- July 15, 2014: Added “Translation” section.
- September 2, 2014: Removed old non-retina Creative Commons graphic, added a link instead. Made this list bullets. Linked ad policy in April 27 changelog bullet.