[arch-dev-public] AUR ToS: Brainstorming

Jerome Leclanche jerome at leclan.ch
Sat Mar 25 04:45:27 UTC 2017

[IANAL, the following is not legal advice]

On Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 9:03 PM, Lukas Fleischer
<lfleischer at archlinux.org> wrote:
> Let us start with the ToS:
> * Introduction saying that using the service means accepting the terms.
> * Liability clause, say that users are responsible for uploaded content.
> * Forbid to upload unlawful, harmful or copyrighted content.
> * Explicitly forbid illegal software copies and malware.
> * Licensing of things uploaded to the AUR.
> * Notes on what happens when the ToS are changed.
> * Notes on what happens when the AUR is shut down.
> Things that should be covered in the Privacy Statement:
> * What kind of personal information we collect and where it is stored.
> * How the information is used.
> * Notes on what happens when there are changes to the Privacy Statement.

A privacy policy and terms of service should definitely be separate.
The privacy policy should be an informational document for users and
visitors, which details just like you said what personal information
is collected, what tracking information is collected, IP addresses,
server logs, etc; how long that information is retained, whether it's
shared with anyone (directly or indirectly as part of some third party
web service usage...), and so on.
The privacy policy is not a document users generally need to *agree
to* as it's informational only, but it is safe to have a clause in the
TOS requiring users to say they have read and understood the privacy

To add to the terms of service:

1. A DMCA policy. It's already policy afaik that copyrighted assets
cannot be distributed on the AUR. I invite you to set up
dmca at archlinux.org and enact a policy similar to this one:
It doesn't *have* to be part of the terms of service (users don't need
to agree to it), it can be a separate document, but it often is and I
highly recommend taking care of that at the same time regardless while
you're taking care of legal documents, as it's bound to come up at
some point.

2. Ensure that any user input (including comments, package metadata
etc) is covered under the TOS. TOS documents generally have very broad
wording which cover essentially everything the user can put into a
site, so that you don't have to change the terms every time a new
feature is added to the AUR.

3. Ensure that there are usage limits for the API, crawling the site,
etc. Clearly state that users can be banned if they are found to be
acting maliciously or abusively.

4. Ensure volunteer staff, trusted users etc are not liable for the
actions of users. The TOS should protect Arch Linux and all its
volunteers and/or paid staff.

> Am I missing anything? It would be awesome to have some volunteer
> writing a first draft of these two documents. Preferably somebody who is
> a native speaker and has *some* experience with this kind of legal
> stuff. If nobody else steps up, I will give it a try myself even though
> I have neither of these two requirements/skills. It might also be
> helpful to look for some (public domain) templates of sentences we might
> reuse.

I can't afford the time to write one, but I can volunteer some to review drafts.
Starting from an existing document is a good idea - I highly recommend the
Auttomatic Terms of Service: https://en.wordpress.com/tos/
They are CC-BY-SA, very reasonable and apply quite nicely to Arch.
Strike the sections that don't apply, rewrite the ones that do.

Additionally, I HIGHLY recommend this to be a general document that
applies not just to the AUR but to the Arch Linux web properties. You
can have users only agree to it when using the AUR if you wish, but
it's very useful to have a single policy and not deal with a dozen
different ones. I would recommend enacting them for the arch forums as
well, FWIW.

> As mentioned in the other thread, we should also agree on whether we
> want the final terms be checked by a lawyer.

YES. Get the document reviewed by a lawyer, 100%. This is a document
that should/will legally protect Arch and the people involved in Arch.
Make sure it's good.

> Regards,
> Lukas
> [1] https://lists.archlinux.org/pipermail/arch-dev-public/2017-March/028726.html

J. Leclanche

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