Fast Company - www.fastcompany.com


Contract Title Fast Company
Contract Website www.fastcompany.com
Contract Application Website & apps for their magazine
Contract Type website with app
Contract Date 12/13/2007
TOS Website fastcompany.com/terms-and-conditions
Total Rating 56.67

Total Page Count 12

Terms: 7 pages; Privacy: 5 pages. But with no carriage returns in the TOS, it's probably actually 11 - 12 pages.


The Right to Privacy 2 out of 5

General Info: Cookies; clear gifs.

GOOD ASPECTS: You only give up personal info if you sign up. This is obvious to most people, but it's good that they let non tech-savvy people know this. They are part of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI). They share the full list of companies that may target you will advertising (p4) but this hasn't been updated in who knows? Not everyone at Fast Company can access your data, i.e. only those with a need to know (p4), which is not something I have seen in other privacy policies. Good job!

BAD ASPECTS: Appears not to have been updated in ten years? Bad law enforcement release policy: just because release to law enforcement isn't prohibited by law doesn't mean it SHOULD be released. Sometimes you may leave the Fast Company site unknowingly (because there is still a Fast Company logo) and become subject to other sites' TOS agreements. Not very clearly written. "Inc. Communities" are not defined. There is a missing company name on page 3: "Error! Contact not defined." 3rd party information sharing. They do not discuss account recovery and cell phone porting in a proper manner.


The Right to Equal, Fair, & Reasonable Expression 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Can kick you off for any reason. Definitions of 'obscene', 'intimidating', 'vulgar', 'profane', 'hateful', etc. are missing, and thus totally arbitrary. Can't use platform for commercial activity or sales, i.e. can't post a helpful message that also promotes your business? Unclear.

GOOD ASPECTS: This is only an issue if you join their communities. I gave them 1 point instead of 0 because this type of censorship won't affect you unless you sign up.


The Right to Control My Intellectual Property 2 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Not only is there a non-exclusive license that is worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, and royalty free, but it's also sub-licensable THROUGH MULTIPLE TIERS (not good, because you have no control). It's very unclear what their IP investigation procedures are, to determine if you did in fact violate someone's copyright.

GOOD ASPECTS: You keep copyright. But see above.


The Right to Sue 0 out of 5

Laws of New York. Venue is state and federal courts in New York, NY.

BAD ASPECTS: Your recovery is greatly limited. No direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential, or exemplary damages. They are not responsible for negligence of any kind.

GOOD ASPECTS: You can sue. But sue for what? Apparently you can't recover anything. Maybe compensatory damages, but for what? Your subscription? Venue is unfair.


The Right to Low-Cost Arbitration 1 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: You can't arbitrate at all.

GOOD ASPECTS: There is a required negotiation provision prior to filing any lawsuit, which is good. But again, what's the use of filing a lawsuit if you've contracted away all of your rights so you can't recover any damages?


The Right to Join a Class Action 3 out of 5

GOOD ASPECTS: Not specifically waived.

BAD ASPECTS: With such limitations on recovery, it's questionable a class action lawsuit would ever get started in the first place.


The Right to No Hidden Terms or Fees 2 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Due to the carriage return issues (see below), it's hard to read, so hard to know if you've read everything. Hard to navigate. If account is hacked, you're responsible for all damages resulting.

GOOD ASPECTS: Doesn't appear to be any hidden fees.


The Right to Fair Process & To Be Heard 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: Can kick you off for any reason, at their discretion. the list on pages 2 & 3 of reasons you can be kicked off is meaningless because you can be kicked off for any reason. You can also be kicked off for inactivity, and this is not clear unless you read the TOS. No due process. No warning process. No opportunity to correct. No defense period. No fair and impartial decision-making process.

GOOD ASPECTS: None


The Right to Appeal & The Right to Return 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: No appeal process. No second chance/right to return.

GOOD ASPECTS: None


The Right to Reasonable Terms 0 out of 5

Right now, as of 5/20/18, if you visit their terms of service, there are ZERO carriage returns. It is all one huge 7-page blog of a TOS, which would probably be 11 pages if they actually used carriage returns. If they would just add carriage returns, they could earn an extra point. The reason for the rest of the loss of points is just the general unfairness of this agreement. Oh, and like so many magazines and newspapers, they fully disclaim any requirement that they report news accurately. Unbelievable. If you live in California, Missouri, Delaware, or Pennsylvania, you are specifically waiving laws designed to protect you. There is no clear email address in the terms of service--very hard to find.


Historical Fairness 5.67 out of 10
Historical User Ratings 10.0 out of 10
Historical Lack of Lawsuits or Arbitrations 10.0 out of 10
Public Placement of TOS Fairness Score & Link 20.0 out of 20
Total Rating 56.67 out of 100
Additional Note

Emails: copyright@mvpub.com; legal@mvpub.com Their TOS hasn't been updated in over ten years. It's unclear the date of the privacy policy. In both cases, needs an update!

Ways to improve

1. Fix the carriage returns and let us know. We'll give you an immediate extra point and you don't have to revise your TOS.
2. Add the date of the Privacy Policy. Better yet, combine with the TOS.
3. Fix the info in the Privacy Policy
4. Update the TOS--it's been ten years.
5. Do not sublicense without restrictions. Not cool.
6. Allow full lawsuits and arbitration in a user's home city, and do not limit the recovery in any way.
7. Create fair process and a right to be heard.
8. Create a right to appeal and a right to return.
9. State in your TOS that you report accurate news. You can't have in your TOS a total disclaimer stating that nothing need be accurate! Show some journalistic integrity and stand behind what you report!
10. Add your TOS rating and link to your TOS page as outlined in our guidelines. You currently are being given all 20 points.

Review Status Completed

First Name Rating Comment

Reviewed by the following attorneys and/or law students:


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