The Contributoria website (the "Contributoria Site") is operated by Contributoria, a trading division of the Guardian Media Group PLC whose registered office is at PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP.
These Terms and Conditions govern your use of the Contributoria Site, your membership with Contributoria ("we" or "us") and the submission and commissioning of articles for publication. Please read them carefully as they affect your rights and liabilities under the law. If you do not agree to these Terms and Conditions, please do not register for or use the Contributoria Site. If you have any questions on the Terms and Conditions or any other queries or complaints, please contact us by emailing the user support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Use of the Contributoria Site
The Contributoria Site is provided to you for your personal use subject to these Terms and Conditions. By using the Contributoria Site you agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
We may update these Terms and Conditions from time to time for legal or regulatory reasons or to allow the proper operation of the Contributoria Site. Any material changes will be notified to you via the e-mail address provided by you on registration or via a suitable announcement on the Contributoria Site. The changes will apply to the use of the Contributoria Site after we have given notice. If you do not wish to accept the new Terms and Conditions you should not continue to use the Contributoria Site. If you continue to use the Contributoria Site after the date on which the change comes into effect, your use of the Contributoria Site indicates your agreement to be bound by the new Terms and Conditions.
3.1 Membership Registration
3.1.1 To participate in the Contributoria community, you are required to register as a member.
3.1.2 To register as a member on the Contributoria Site you must be over eighteen years of age.
3.1.3 You must ensure that the details provided by you on registration or at any time are correct and complete.
3.1.4 You must inform us immediately of any changes to the information that you provided when registering by updating your personal details in order that we can communicate with you effectively.
3.1.5 We reserve the right to accept or refuse membership in our discretion. Your membership contract with us will be concluded once you receive email confirmation of your Contributoria membership.
3.1.6 Once you receive email confirmation of your Contributoria membership, you expressly agree that the service will immediately commence at that point.
3.1.7 You may not transfer or assign your membership which is personal to you.
3.2 Password and Security
3.2.1 When you register to use the Contributoria Site you will be asked to create a password. In order to prevent fraud, you must keep this password confidential and must not disclose it or share it with anyone. If you know or suspect that someone else knows your password you should notify us by contacting email@example.com immediately.
3.2.2 If we have reason to believe that there is likely to be a breach of security or misuse of the Contributoria Site, we may require you to change your password or we may suspend your account.
3.3 Membership Fees
3.3.1 The membership fee will become payable on registration and monthly thereafter subject to the provisions of this clause 3.
3.3.2 Your membership will renew automatically each month, unless you notify us that you want to cancel. You understand your membership will automatically renew and you authorise us (without further notice to you) to collect the then-applicable monthly membership fee using any payment card or other payment method we have on record for you.
3.3.3 If all credit cards we have on file for you are declined for payment of your membership fee, you have 30 days to provide us a new credit card or your membership will be cancelled.
3.3.4 You can cancel your membership at any time by informing us in writing at at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cancel your membership at any time within the first month (and provided that no use has been made of the Contributoria Site) we will repay your membership fee. Thereafter you may cancel at any time provided that we shall not be required to repay to you the membership fee paid for the month in which you cancel (and on the basis that there will be no refund of your membership fee).
3.3.5 In addition to the above, you also have a legal right to cancel your membership within 14 days without giving any reason, even where you have used the Contributoria Site. This cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day of the conclusion of your membership contract as referred to in paragraph 3.1.5 above. To exercise this right to cancel, you must inform us (using the contact details set out in these terms and conditions) of your decision to cancel by a clear statement (e.g. a letter sent by post or email). You can also electronically fill in and submit the cancellation form on our website here: [URL]. If you use this option, we will communicate to you an acknowledgment or receipt of your cancellation on a durable medium (e.g. by email) without delay. To meet this cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired.
3.3.6 If you cancel your membership within the 14 day cancellation period as described in paragraph 3.3.5 above and you have made no use of the Contributoria Site, we will refund your membership fee in full as described in paragraph 3.3.4 above. If you have made any use of the Contributoria Site during the cancellation period, we will refund you a pro rata amount of the membership fee for the unused period of your membership. In this case, we will make the refund without undue delay and not later than 14 days after the day on which we are informed about your decision to cancel your membership. We will issue the refund using the same means of payment as you used for the initial transaction, unless you have expressly agreed otherwise; in any event, you will not incur any fees as a result of the refund.
3.4 Contributoria's Right to Suspend or Cancel Your Membership
3.4.1 We may suspend or cancel your membership immediately at our reasonable discretion or if you breach:
(a) any of your obligations under these Terms and Condition;
(b) or act other than in accordance with the Contributoria Community Guidelines.
3.4.2 The suspension or cancellation of your membership and your right to use the Contributoria Site shall not affect either party's statutory rights or liabilities
4. Intellectual property
4.1 The content of the Contributoria Site is protected by copyright, trade marks, database right and other intellectual property rights.
4.2 You (as a Contributoria member) may copy, distribute, transmit and adapt articles published on the Contributoria Site subject to:
(a) such use being non commercial Use;
(b) attributing such use of the article as follows: "This article has been published first on contributoria.com"
(c) unless otherwise stated on the relevant article, such use otherwise being fully governed and in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 licence which can be accessed via http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/legalcode; and
(d) ensuring all third party rights within all images, diagrams, photographs or other illustrative material, not owned by the author are cleared independently and appropriately and any Contributoria trade marks or logos are removed from the article before further publication.
5. Your use of the Contributoria Site
5.1 You may not use the Contributoria Site for any of the following purposes:
(a) disseminating any unlawful, harassing, libellous, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene, or otherwise objectionable material or otherwise breaching any laws;
(b) transmitting material that encourages conduct that constitutes a criminal offence, results in civil liability or otherwise breaches any applicable laws, regulations or code of practice;
(c) interfering with any other person's use or enjoyment of the Contributoria Site; or
(d) making, transmitting or storing electronic copies of materials protected by copyright without the permission of the owner.
5.2 You will be responsible for our losses and costs resulting from your breach of this clause 5.
6. Community Standards and Guidelines
6.1 Contributoria actively encourages participation by the Contributoria community (both writers and readers) including commenting, debating and providing insight and knowledge during the writing process.
6.2 Our aim is to ensure this platform is inclusive and safe, and that the Contributoria Site provides a healthy, active, supportive, productive and interesting place for people to collaborate on journalism projects.
6.3 Contributoria reserves the right to take steps or implement measures which we hope will benefit the whole community of the Contributoria community participants. Moderation procedures may include removing user comments and suspending or terminating membership.
6.4 Members must adhere to the Contributoria Community Guidelines.
7. Terms Applicable to Writers
7.1 Submission of Proposals
7.1.1 Each edition of Contributoria is published monthly. Proposals for articles ("Proposals") should be submitted in the month before the publication date of each edition (the "Proposal Period").
7.1.2 Guidelines for writers creating Proposals can be found at: http://www.contributoria.com/guidelines. We recommend that you read these guidelines carefully before you submit Proposals for consideration by the Contributoria community.
7.1.3 When submitting a Proposal, you should also specify the fee you wish to receive as payment if the Proposal is published and all and any associated costs and expenses to be incurred with the writing and researching of the Proposal (the "Fee"). No other payment, other than the Fee will be paid for any Commissioned Contribution and therefore it is important to take care to include all costs when specifying the amount you wish to receive for the Commissioned Contribution.
7.1.4 All Proposals must be in compliance with the Contributoria Community Guidelines. We reserve the right to reject any proposal that is not in compliance with the Contributoria Community Guidelines.
7.1.5 Once approved, the Proposal will be released to the Contributoria community for consideration for funding.
7.2 Allocation of Points
7.2.1 The Contributoria community allocates ‘points’ to each Proposal during the Proposal Period.
7.2.2 The value of a Point is calculated by Contributoria based on the available funds in the Contributoria membership pool plus additional funding provided through other means, including, but not limited to, a share of sponsorship revenues and content licensing fees. The points value will change from month to month (depending on the above factors) and will be published on the Contributoria Site each month.
7.2.3 An article requires a specified number of points to be published. The required number of points will change from month to month but will be published on the Contributoria Site each month. Each writer will be allocated a number of points on registering as a member. Proposals that receive the full number of points from the Contributoria members at the close of the Proposal Period required for publication of a Proposal for that month will, subject to the provisions of Clause 7.2.4 be accepted for funding and publication ("Commissioned Contributions").
7.2.4 Contributoria may, in its discretion, cap the number of articles that will be funded. In the event of a cap, only a limited number of proposals will become Commissioned Contributions (irrespective of whether the Contributoria community has approved the Proposal for funding).
7.2.5 Contributors will be notified by Contributoria via email if a Proposal has been successfully commissioned for publication.
7.3 Rejected Commissions
7.3.1 Contributoria reserves the right to reject Commissioned Contributions for publication on the Contributoria Site where such Commissioned Contribution does not comply with the Contributoria Community Guidelines.
7.3.2 If a Commissioned Contribution is rejected you will be notified promptly via email to ensure that writers have the chance to offer rejected Commissioned Contribution elsewhere.
7.3.3 The decision of the Contributoria editors in relation to whether to put forward a Proposal for consideration by the Contributoria Community or whether to publish a Commissioned Contribution on the Contributoria Site will be final.
7.4.1 Contributoria shall pay the Fee in full within 30 days of the first date of publication of the Commissioned Contribution on the Contributoria Site.
7.4.2 No payment shall be made where a Commissioned Contribution is rejected for publication because it fails substantially to adhere to the Proposal or is a material breach of the Contributoria Community Guidelines.
7.5.1 When a proposal becomes a Commissioned Contribution, a new draft space on the Contributoria Site will be provided for writing and sharing the Commissioned Contribution with members.
7.5.2 Members will have access to read and comment on Commissioned Contributions published in the draft space. Writers are encouraged to ask questions and invite participation on drafts.
7.5.3 Commenters are not considered co-authors of an article and so will not be entitled to be credited on the article (or otherwise be the beneficiary of any intellectual property rights, including, without limitation, moral rights).
7.5.4 Commenting is encouraged at the Proposal stage and also while a writer is writing Commissioned Contributions subject to clause 6.
7.6 Grant of licence
7.6.1 Writers will retain the copyright and all other rights in and to the Proposal and the Commissioned Contribution subject to the provisions of this clause 7.6.
7.6.2 Writers grant Contributoria an unconditional, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual worldwide licence to use, publish and/or transmit the Proposal and the Commissioned Contribution on the Contributoria site and to authorise selected third parties to use, publish and/or transmit Commissioned Contributions provided that such third parties adhere to the provisions of clause 4.2
7.6.3 Writers acknowledge and agree that Contributoria members may copy, distribute, transmit and adapt articles published on the Contributoria Site subject to the provisions of clause 4.2.
7.7 Ethical Standards
7.7.1 Writers are expected to observe the highest ethical standards in writing for Contributoria. You shall be expected to abide by the Contributoria Community Guidelines. Writers must co-operate fully in the event of a complaint about their Contribution(s).
7.7.2 Writers must inform Contributoria of any actual or potential conflict of interest arising from any Proposal.
7.8.1 In your capacity as a writer, you, warrant and undertake that:
(a) the Proposal and the Commissioned Contribution are original and will not infringe the copyright of any third party or any other rights of whatsoever nature;
(b) that the Proposal and the Commissioned Contribution will not be defamatory or breach any duty of confidence owed by you and will not contain any material that is obscene, blasphemous or racially inflammatory; and
(c) all rights in and to the Proposal and the Commissioned Contribution are wholly owned by you free from charge, lien or other encumbrance.
7.9 Status of Writers as Independent Contractors
7.9.1 No association, agency, joint venture, partnership or employer-employee relationship between you and Contributoria is created or implied by virtue of you submitting Proposals for consideration or by publication of Commissioned Contributions or imposing any liability attributable to such a relationship upon either party.
7.9.2 You will remain an independent contractor at all times.
7.9.3 You confirm for the purposes of the Taxes Acts, or such other appropriate legislation, that you are a self-employed person in business in your own right and you shall be responsible for all tax liabilities arising in respect of the payment of the Fee, and shall yourself account to the appropriate authorities for all tax, National Insurance or similar contributions payable in respect of the Fee.
7.9.4 In the event that Contributoria, or any of its holding, subsidiary, associated or group companies ("Group") becomes liable to account to HM Revenue & Customs or any other taxing authority anywhere in the world for any income tax, employee national insurance or any other deduction or withholding required to be made by law (including any interest and/or penalties thereon) arising in respect of payments made or to be made to you, you undertake and agree to indemnify and hold harmless Contributoria, and/or the Group against such tax and national insurance and shall, at the written request of Contributoria immediately pay Contributoria an amount equal to any tax and national insurance paid or payable by Contributoria or any other Group company to HM Revenue & Customs or any other taxing authority. Contributoria shall be entitled to set off an amount equal to any tax and national insurance or any other deduction or withholding paid by Contributoria or another Group company to HM Revenue & Customs or any other taxing authority against any monies otherwise payable to you.
8. Availability of the Contributoria Site
8.1 Although we aim to offer you the best service possible, we make no promise that the services at the Contributoria Site will meet your requirements. We cannot guarantee that the service will be fault-free. If a fault occurs in the service you should report it to email@example.com and we will attempt to correct the fault as soon as we reasonably can.
8.2 Your access to the Contributoria Site may be occasionally restricted to allow for repairs, maintenance or the introduction of new facilities or services. We will attempt to restore the service as soon as we reasonably can.
9. The Company's liability
9.1 The Contributoria Site provides content from other Internet sites or resources and while we try to ensure that material included on the Contributoria Site is correct, reputable and of high quality, we do not make any warranties or guarantees in relation to that content. If you inform us of any inaccuracies in the material on the Site we will attempt to correct the inaccuracies as soon as we reasonably can.
9.2 If we are in breach of these Terms & Conditions, we will only be responsible for any losses that you suffer as a result to the extent that they are a foreseeable consequence to both of us at the time you make the relevant order. Our liability shall not in any event include business losses such as lost data, lost profits or business interruption.
9.3 This clause 9 shall not limit or affect our liability resulting from any products sold through the Contributoria Site being found to be unsafe or if something we do negligently causes death or personal injury.
10. Advertising and Sponsorship
10.1 The Contributoria Site contains advertising. Advertisers and sponsors are responsible for ensuring that material submitted for inclusion on the Contributoria Site complies with relevant laws and codes. We will not be responsible to you for any error or inaccuracy in advertising and sponsorship material.
12. Applicable Law
12.1 These terms and conditions will be subject to the laws of England and Wales. We will try to solve any disagreements quickly and efficiently. If you are not happy with the way we deal with any disagreement and you want to take court proceedings, you must do so within the United Kingdom.
13. International Use
13.1 We make no promise that materials on the Contributoria Site are appropriate or available for use in locations outside the United Kingdom, and accessing the Contributoria Site from territories where its contents are illegal or unlawful is prohibited. If you choose to access this site from locations outside the United Kingdom, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.
14.1 You may not transfer any of your rights under these Terms and Conditions to any other person. We may transfer our rights under these Terms and Conditions to another business where we reasonably believe your rights will not be affected.
14.2 If you breach these Terms and Conditions and we choose to ignore this, we will still be entitled to use its rights and remedies at a later date or in any other situation where you breach the Terms and Conditions.
14.3 We shall not be responsible for any breach of these Terms and Conditions caused by circumstances beyond our reasonable control.
These terms were first published in April 2014. Changes to these terms shall be notified below.
Update: 1 July, 2014