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To add commentaries to media, please register for a BASIC USER account. These accounts are processed automatically and you can begin commenting immediately. Educators may apply for ADVANCED USER status based on their institutional afiliation. Once approved by site administrators, ADVANCED USERS may upload and download media for classroom instruction. Non-institutionally affiliated applicants for Advanced User status should should get in touch via the Contact form.

Terms of Service

Critical Commons Terms of Service

Hi! You are now reading Critical Commons’ Terms of Service, meaning the contract between you and Critical Commons when you use the Critical Commons’ site, and its services. You should read this carefully before you use Critical Commons.

1. Your Acceptance

By using and/or visiting this website (referred to collectively, including all content and functionality available through the domain name, as the "Critical Commons Website", or "Website"), you (otherwise defined as “User” or “Users”) signify your agreement to (1) these terms and conditions (the "Terms of Service"), If you do not agree to any of these terms, please do not use the Critical Commons Website.

Critical Commons may, in its sole discretion, modify or revise these Terms of Service and policies at any time, and you agree to be bound by such modifications or revisions. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to confer any third-party rights or benefits. You are responsible for reviewing and become familiar with any modifications to these Terms of Services. Modifications are effective when posted, and your use of the Services following any such posted modification constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions of these Terms of Services.

2. Critical Commons Website

A. These Terms of Service apply to all users of the Critical Commons Website, including instructors who contribute content. “Content” includes the commentaries, lectures, playlists, fair use guidelines, graphics, images, music, video, audiovisual combinations, and other materials you may view on, access through, or contribute to the Service.

B. The Critical Commons Website may contain links to third party websites that are not owned or controlled by Critical Commons. Critical Commons has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party websites. In addition, Critical Commons will not and cannot censor or edit the content of any third-party site. By using the Website, you expressly relieve Critical Commons from any and all liability arising from your use of any third-party website.

3. Critical Commons Accounts

A. If you are an educator or an individual with another legitimately transformative need to upload and download media to/from the Critical Commons server, you may register for Advanced User status using your institutional website and e-mail address for authentication. Advanced User accounts are approved at the sole discretion of Critical Commons administrators.

B. If you are logged in as an Advanced User, you may upload transformative Content to Critical Commons, including text, audio, images, and video clips.

C. In addition, Advanced Users are allowed to download transformative Content from the Critical Commons website, including text, audio, images, and video materials.

D. If you wish to only add commentary to media, you may register for a Basic User account. These accounts are processed automatically and you can begin commenting immediately.

E. When creating either a Basic or Advanced User account, you must provide accurate and complete information. You are solely responsible for the activity that occurs on your account, and you must keep your account password secure. You must notify Critical Commons administration immediately of any breach of security or unauthorized use of your account.

F. Although Critical Commons will not be liable for your losses caused by any unauthorized use of your account, you may be liable for the losses of Critical Commons or others due to such unauthorized use.

4. General Use of the Website - Permission and Restrictions

A. You may access the Critical Commons Website to view and embed video, textual, image and audio materials posted within a transformative context without the need of an account.

B. You agree not to alter or modify any part of the Website or use unauthorized technology such as third party video extractors or account hacking devices, to download or extract the content on the Website.

C. You may not use any part of the website, including user submitted content, for any purpose beyond the stated license for content in question.

D. You are only permitted to use the materials found on the Critical Commons website in the furtherance of academic or otherwise transformative endeavors covered under fair use, including planning, instruction, and research.

E. If you use the embedding feature on the Critical Commons website, you may not modify, build upon, or block any portion or functionality of the embedding code provided, including but not limited to links backs to the Critical Commons website.

F. In your use of the Website, you will comply with all applicable federal and state laws.

G. Critical Commons reserves the right to discontinue any aspect of the Service at any time.

5. User Submissions and Conduct

A. As a Critical Commons Advanced User, you may submit video, audio, image, and textual content (“User Submitted Content”) for use by the Critical Commons community.

B. You shall be solely responsible for your own User Submitted Content and the consequences of submitting and publishing your Content on the Website. You affirm, represent, and warrant that you have a good faith belief that the Content you are uploading is either permissible under the Fair Use doctrine found in § 107 of the Copyright Act, or is your own, or you have the necessary licenses, rights, consent, and permission to publish.

C. Content submitted to the Website may be removed at any time if it is flagged by the community to be removed, and if it is determined that the content was not submitted for purposes consistent with the goals of Critical Commons (as determined by the Critical Commons community and administration),currently found at

6. Your Use of Content

A. The trademarks, service marks, and logos (“Marks”) on the Service, are owned by or licensed to Critical Commons, subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under the law.

B. Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Website and as permitted under these Terms of Service.

C. You agree not to circumvent, disable, or otherwise interfere with security-related features of the Website.

D. You understand that when using the Service, you will be exposed to Content from a variety of sources, and that Critical Commons is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such Content. You further understand and acknowledge that you may be exposed to Content that is inaccurate, offensive, indecent, or objectionable, and you agree to waive, and hereby do waive, any legal or equitable rights or remedies you have or may have against Critical Commons with respect thereto, and, to the extent permitted by applicable law, agree to indemnify and hold harmless Critical Commons, its owners, operators, affiliates, licensors, and licensees to the fullest extent allowed by law regarding all matters related to your use of the Service.

7. Account Termination Policy

A. Critical Commons will terminate a User's account if, under appropriate circumstances, they are determined to have misrepresented the basis for their Advanced User status or if they repeatedly submit content determined to be inappropriate for this Website.

B. Critical Commons reserves the right to terminate a User's account or access to its Website if the user violates the Terms of Use listed here.

8. Digital Millennium Copyright Act

If you are a copyright owner or an agent thereof and believe that any User Submission or other content infringes upon your copyrights, you may submit a notification pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") by providing our Copyright Agent with the following information in writing (see 17 U.S.C 512(c)(3) for further detail):

(a) A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;

(b) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site;

(c) Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled and information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider to locate the material;

(d) Information reasonably sufficient to permit the service provider (Critical Commons) to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail;

(e) A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and

(f) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Critical Commons’ designated Copyright Agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement is:

Steve Anderson
USC School of Cinematic Arts
3470 McClintock Ave. SCI 101
Los Angeles, CA, 90089-2211

For clarity, only DMCA notices should go to the Copyright Agent. Any other feedback, comments, requests for technical support, and other communications should be directed to the Critical Commons site manager through You acknowledge that if you fail to comply with all of the requirements of the DMCA, your DMCA notice may not be valid.

8. Counter-Notice

If you believe the User Submitted Content that was removed or disabled was not infringing, you have consent to use, or your use of the Content is permissible under the fair use doctrine, you may file a counter-notification with Critical Commons by providing the following information to the Designated Agent at the address below.

(a) Your physical or electronic signature;

(b) Identification of the content that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the content appeared before it was removed or disabled;

(c) A statement that you have a good faith belief that the content was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or a misidentification of the content; or

(d) A statement that you believe your use of the content within the context of the Critical Commons website constitutes a use that is protected as fair under Section 107 of the Copyright Act; and

(e) Your name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address, a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the federal court in Los Angeles, California, and a statement that you will accept service of process from the person who provided notification of the alleged infringement.

As per the DMCA, if a counter-notice is received by the Copyright Agent, Critical Commons may send a copy of the counter-notice to the original complaining party informing them that Critical Commons will restore the removed content in 10 business days.Unless the copyright owner files an action seeking a court order against Critical Commons or the user which filed the counter-notice, Critical Commons will have the discretion to restore the user submitted content in 10 to 14 business days or more after receipt of the counter.

In keeping with the terms of the DMCA, removal of content that is allegedly infringing from the site is open to contestation. Generally speaking, we believe that the context established by Critical Commons to promote the use of media for education constitutes a strong basis for protection under fair use and we welcome discussions of these issues with site users and copyright holders alike.

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