Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Terms of Service

Our agreement with our community of users. Please consider actually reading it!

Critical Commons Terms of Service

Please note that these terms of service were written by lawyers for lawyers. However, we at Critical Commons strongly encourage you, as educated members of the public, to read and understand these terms of service and to decide whether you are actually comfortable with agreeing to them.

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.

If you're not a lawyer and you're still reading, that's a good sign. We can tell you that, at this point, we have no intention of revising the Terms of Service, and it is only a matter of practicality that we cannot promise to notify you personally if anything changes. In this case, however, we will certainly make any necessary changes known in the blog section of the site, which is devoted to discussing ongoing issues in fair use among communities of users.

2. Critical Commons Website

A. These Terms of Service apply to all users of the Critical Commons Website, including instructors who are also contributors of video content, commentaries, lectures, playlists, fair use guidelines, and other materials or services on the Website.

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, you may register for Advanced User status with Critical Commons, using your institutional website for authentication of your academic status.

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

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

D. In order to access some of the features of the Website, including uploading content and downloading video clips, you will have to create a Critical Commons account. 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.

E. 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.

This is actually a pretty important part of our agreement with our community of users. We want to be able to trust our Advanced Users to assure the quality and legitimacy of materials on the site (i.e., to make sure that commentaries are substantive and genuinely relevant to their linked clips) and not to have to spend all our time checking on flagged content.

4. General Use of the Website - Permission and Restrictions

A. You may access the Critical Commons Website to view video, textual, and audio materials posted within a curricular 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.

5. User Submissions and Conduct

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

B. 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).

6. 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.

7. 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 Common's designated Copyright Agent to receive notifications of claimed infringement is: Steve Anderson 746 West Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90089 213-743-1933 For clarity, only DMCA notices should go to the Copyright Agent. You acknowledge that if you fail to comply with all of the requirements of this Section 7, your DMCA notice may not be valid.

This is all boilerplate DMCA stuff that we have to include here and which we hope will not turn out to be how we spend all our time. We promise to do our best to respect the rights of everyone to protect and/or share their ideas and we sincerely hope that everyone who visits will act thoughtfully and in good faith. Ultimately, we hope this site will contribute to both the richness of our media culture and the level of discussion surrounding copyright and fair use.

8. Counter-Notice

If you believe that your User Submission that was removed (or to which access was disabled):

(a) is not infringing, or

(b) that you have the authorization from:

(1) the copyright owner,

(2) the copyright owner's agent, or

(3) pursuant to the law,

to post and use the content in your User Submission, you may send a counter-notice which MUST contain the following information to the Critical Commons Copyright Agent:

(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.

n keeping with the terms of the DMCA, removal of content that is allegedly infringing from the site is open to contestation and, 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. Users who are concerned about having materials removed from the site are encouraged to contribute to the composition of best practices guidelines that may help shape the basis on which their community exercises the protections offered by fair use.