Civil Beat Terms of Service

By signing up with Civil Beat and using the Civil Beat service, you agree to the terms in this terms of service agreement. Civil Beat is a service offered by Peer News LLC so that means you are agreeing to these terms with Peer News LLC. We also have a privacy policy which explains how we collect and use information about you. Please make sure you read our privacy policy because when you use the Civil Beat service, you’re also agreeing to our privacy policy.

Basic Terms

General

  1. You are of legal age to agree to these terms and use our service.
  2. Peer News is not responsible for the content that is posted on the Civil Beat service by its users.
  3. When we talk about the Civil Beat service, we are referring to the Civil Beat site, any Civil Beat mobile sites, and even printed versions of our service. We know, printed might be a bit retro but you never know what the future holds.
  4. We tried to write this so that you can easily understand it. We tried to take out the legal jargon. But if something in this agreement is deemed to be invalid, void or unenforceable, only that part shall be deemed void and it shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the rest of this agreement.
  5. We don’t like disputes. But we’re also realistic enough to know that sometimes disputes happen. If there is a dispute between Peer News and you, the laws of the State of Hawaii will govern this agreement (without regard to principles of conflicts of laws).

Behavior

  1. You are responsible for your own behavior. This means you are responsible for all the content you post using the Civil Beat service and activity that occurs in your account.
  2. You will be civil. You will be respectful and polite. This doesn’t mean you have to fake -- we don’t expect people to agree on everything. We just expect people to be civil. Threatening, harassing, intimidating or abusing others is not what we would call “civil.” So don’t do it.
  3. Before posting any content on the Civil Beat service, you agree that you have the right to post that content (text, images, video, links, ideas, or otherwise) and that the content you post does not violate any applicable laws. Violating the law or another person’s ownership rights is not cool.
  4. You will not use the Civil Beat service for any illegal or unauthorized purposes and you won’t use the Civil Beat service in a way that violates any laws in any jurisdiction(s) that you or Peer News are subject to.
  5. You will neither spam other Civil Beat users nor harvest information about people who use the Civil Beat service. Nobody likes being spammed.
  6. You will not use the Civil Beat service to advertise goods or services or as a means to solicit funds.
  7. You will not use the Civil Beat service to transmit viruses, worms or other yet-to-be-named malicious software that do bad things to computers, software, or the like. That’s not cool.
  8. You will not try to hack into the Civil Beat service or unduly burden our servers or technology. That is also not cool.
  9. You will not circumvent, disable, or otherwise interfere with whatever security-related features of the Civil Beat service we may implement. We implement these security-related features for a reason, not because we have nothing better to do. If you try to get around our security features or disable them, it defeats the original purpose of these security-related features. And we’re not into playing games. We would rather spend our time focusing on our mission to create the new civic square. So please just don’t do it.
  10. You will not scrape (whether in an automated or manual fashion) the Civil Beat site or the content on the site without our express written permission. However, we do grant public search engine operators permission to use automatic devices to copy the Civil Beat content that does not require payment from the Civil Beat site for the sole purpose of creating (and only to the extent necessary to create) a searchable index of Civil Beat content that is available to the public. We do reserve the right to revoke this permission at any time.
  11. Basically, you won’t do anything that is against the law, restricts someone else from using or enjoying the Civil Beat service, or prevents us from providing the Civil Beat service. Just be cool.

Account

  1. PayPal Required. In order to access or use some of the features and/or content of the Civil Beat service, you may be required to be a member of Civil Beat. To make our registration safe and easy, we require all members to have a PayPal account to create your Civil Beat account. We do this for two primary reasons: (1) authentication and (2) payment authorization.
  2. PayPal Sign-In Authentication. Requiring PayPal allows us to quickly create a Civil Beat account for you and you don’t need to remember another username/email and password for yet another website. If you sign out of Civil Beat, just use your PayPal credentials to sign back into Civil Beat. PayPal lets us authenticate that you have the permission to access the account you’re trying to gain access to. Authentication gives us **no** authorization to use your PayPal account (we will talk about authorization in the next paragraph). Also, please read our privacy policy for more information about this, but please know that PayPal **does not give us your password or any of your financial information**.
  3. PayPal Payment Authorization. In order to purchase anything on our website (including a membership), we require you to agree to a PayPal “billing agreement.” This agreement lets us bill your PayPal account when you purchase something from us, without requiring you to go to PayPal. But we only bill you when you tell us to do so (typically, by clicking on a “purchase” button). You can always cancel your PayPal billing agreement from your PayPal account. If you see a “Restore PayPal Account” button on the site, that’s just giving you the opportunity to restore your PayPal billing agreement with us. ** When you cancel your membership, you cancel your PayPal billing agreement and we will no longer have authorization to bill your PayPal account. **
  4. PayPal email. You understand and agree that Peer News will use your PayPal account email to provide the Civil Beat service. For example, we may use it to contact you about your Civil Beat account, to communicate with you about the Civil Beat service, or even send you marketing, business, or product-related emails.
  5. Canceling Your Membership. If you want to cancel your Civil Beat membership, just go to your Civil Beat account and follow the cancellation process in the “membership” section. We tried to keep the cancellation process straightforward and simple. We’ll be sad to see you go, but we don’t want to force you to be a part of Civil Beat if you really don’t want to be here. That wouldn’t be cool. If you ever miss us (who wouldn’t miss us?) and want to make a purchase in the future, click on a pay button.
  6. Separate Accounts. Your Civil Beat and PayPal accounts are separate accounts and you are responsible for maintaining the security of each of these accounts.
  7. If there is a security breach or any unauthorized use of your account, you agree to immediately notify us at support (at) civilbeat (dot) com.

You agree to use the Civil Beat service at your own risk! We provide no warranty as to the functionality, uptime, or content. We hope this won’t be the case but this may mean that the Civil Beat service may not meet your specific requirements, it may be unavailable, it may have errors, it may be inaccurate or unreliable, or any host of other things you might not be happy about -- so you agree that you are using the Civil Beat service “as is!”

Digital Goods & Payments

Overview

  1. The Civil Beat service enables you to access and view a variety of digitized electronic content (e.g., articles, topic pages, beat updates, discussions, etc.) on various devices. This is what we refer to as “Digital Content.” “Free Products” refer to Digital Content that we may make available to you at no charge. “Paid Products” refer to Digital Content that we may make available to you for a fee that is set by us (e.g., via a one-time fee, a subscription fee, or otherwise). Free Products and Paid Products are referred to collectively as a “Product” or “Products.”
  2. We reserve the right to change our Product offering at any time. This includes things such as the content that is available, the price, how long the content is available, etc.

Access & Availability

  1. We grant you a non-exclusive license to access a Product for a certain period of time that is determined by us. For Free Products, we grant you this license when you view the Product. For Paid Products, we grant you this license after you pay the applicable fee for the Paid Product. In all cases, the license is solely for your personal, non-commercial use.
  2. Our intention is that as long as your Civil Beat membership is active, you will have access to Products you have purchased from us. But please know that this desire will be limited by technology, functionality, costs and whatnot, and there is no guarantee that this will always be the case. So we need to reserve the right to change this in the future.
  3. If you ever pay for a Paid Product and that payment is later declined, rejected, or reversed then we reserve the right to revoke the license to the applicable Product. Basically, if we don’t get paid, you won’t be able to access the Product. If this is an honest mistake, we’ll work with you to quickly clear things up so you can enjoy our Products again.

Payments & Subscriptions

  1. We do not offer refunds. We may issue credits from time to time, for whatever reason. If we do issue a credit, each credit is non-refundable, non-transferrable and expires one year from the date issued.
  2. We may terminate your subscription in our sole discretion. If you purchase a Paid Product that is subscription-based, and we terminate your subscription prior to the end of its term, we will give you a prorated refund.
  3. When you renew your membership plan it will be subject to the applicable terms and fees at that time.
  4. Taxes may apply to fees. Peer News is subject to Hawaii’s General Excise Tax (GET) and this means that the Hawaii GET is levied on purchases regardless of where the buyer is located. So if you reside outside of Hawaii and think we’re inappropriately charging you sales tax, please know that Hawaii is a bit different. It charges an excise tax. If you want to read about Hawaii GET in excruciating detail, please see our topic page on the subject.

Peer News Rights (some additional rights we have as owners of the Civil Beat service)

  1. We reserve the right to change, modify, or suspend any part of the Civil Beat service at any time, and we may even completely shut down the Civil Beat service, without notice. If we do add new content, features, tools, or functionality to Civil Beat, they will be subject to these terms of service. You agree that Peer News is not liable for any changes it makes to the service.
  2. We can change these terms of service at any time without notice.
  3. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time. Some examples include things like: refusing to let someone create a Civil Beat account, terminating someone’s existing Civil Beat account, or refusing to let someone use the Civil Beat service just because the sky is blue. Yes, this is a broad right of ours, but it’s our service!
  4. Advertising isn’t a focus of ours. However, we do reserve the right to display advertisements in connection with your content and to use your content for advertising and promotional purposes.
  5. Just because you submit content to us does not mean we are obligated to accept and/or display it on the website.

Who Owns What (what is sometimes known as “copyright”)

  1. We own the website and all the content (except for the content that is provided by our members in [#5] below). You do not acquire any right, title or interest in the Civil Beat website, Civil Beat service, or the Civil Beat content.
  2. In addition, we own all the trademarks, service marks, trade names and trade dress that may appear on Civil Beat.
  3. Because you do not have a right, title or interest in the Civil Beat website, Civil Beat service, or the Civil Beat content, you may not reproduce, distribute, create derivative works based upon, publicly display, publicly publish, transmit or otherwise exploit the Civil Beat content for any purpose without obtaining our prior written consent (or in the case of content provided by a third party, obtaining the consent of the respective content owner).
  4. We claim no intellectual property rights over the content you post using the Civil Beat service. Your profile and all the content you post/upload to Civil Beat are yours. But because Civil Beat is a service that is used by other people, you understand and agree that other people (including people you may not know or may not have explicitly given permission to) may view your content. You also understand and agree that content you upload and/or submit may be subject to discussion or rated by other people. These discussions or ratings may be viewable by the public. If you don’t want this to happen, just don’t upload or submit content -- then people will have nothing to discuss or rate.
  5. As we said above, whatever you post/upload is yours. But when you submit content to us, you give us a fully paid, worldwide, non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, fully sublicensable, and transferable right and license to use, reproduce, distribute, create derivative works based upon, publicly display, and publish your content in connection with our business or to provide the Civil Beat service.

Sometimes, the Civil Beat service will have content that was posted by a third-party or will contain links to a third-party website or source. You understand that it is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy, timeliness, completeness, or usefulness of the content on the Civil Beat service. Don’t blindly believe something just because someone says so -- use judgment and most importantly, use your brain.

We tried to strip out as much of the legal jargon as possible. We like agreements that are easy to understand and not filled with definitions and words we can’t understand. But we also take liability seriously, so we do need to be a bit more formal when it comes to liability. And for some mysterious reason it has to be in capital letters. Here it goes:

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL PEER NEWS LLC OR ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, PARENTS, PARTNERS, SUCCESSORS, AGENTS, DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS, AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, OR THEIR RELATED COMPANIES BE LIABLE FOR INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES (EVEN IF PEER NEWS LLC HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), ARISING OUT OF, RELATING TO, OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE WEBSITE OR THESE TERMS OF USE. YOUR SOLE REMEDY FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE WEBSITE INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE WEBSITE CONTENT IS TO STOP USING THE WEBSITE. SUCH LIMITATION SHALL ALSO APPLY WITH RESPECT TO DAMAGES INCURRED BY REASON OF SERVICES OR PRODUCTS RECEIVED THROUGH OR ADVERTISED IN CONNECTION WITH ANY OF THE WEBSITE OR ANY LINKS ON THE WEBSITE, AS WELL AS BY REASON OF ANY INFORMATION OR ADVICE RECEIVED THROUGH OR ADVERTISED IN CONNECTION WITH ANY OF THE WEBSITE OR ANY LINKS ON THE WEBSITE. SUCH LIMITATION SHALL ALSO APPLY WITH RESPECT TO DAMAGES INCURRED BY REASON OF ANY CONTENT POSTED BY A THIRD-PARTY OR CONDUCT OF A THIRD-PARTY ON THE WEBSITE.

NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED HEREIN, IN NO EVENT SHALL THE CUMULATIVE LIABILITY OF PEER NEWS AND ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, PARENTS, PARTNERS, SUCCESSORS, AGENTS, DISTRIBUTION PARTNERS, AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, AND THEIR RELATED COMPANIES EXCEED THE GREATER OF THE TOTAL PAYMENTS RECEIVED FROM YOU BY PEER NEWS DURING THE PRECEDING TWELVE (12) MONTH PERIOD OR $100. FURTHERMORE, YOU AGREE THAT ANY CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF, RELATING TO, OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH ANY OF THE WEBSITE OR THESE TERMS OF USE MUST COMMENCE WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR AFTER THE CAUSE OF ACTION ACCRUES; OTHERWISE, SUCH CAUSE OF ACTION SHALL BE PERMANENTLY BARRED.