MacWorld - www.macworld.com


Contract Title MacWorld
Contract Website www.macworld.com
Contract Application Website
Contract Type website
Contract Date 06/01/2012
TOS Website idg.com/terms-of-service-agreement/
Total Rating 63.33

Total Page Count 9

Terms: 3 pages; Privacy: 6 pages


The Right to Privacy 2 out of 5

General Info: Log data, cookie data, shared with 3rd parties for ads.

BAD ASPECTS: Information sharing on p3 seems overly broad. They are part of the IDG publishing network (which is not explained) and also the International Data Group (which sounds like a really bad think in a privacy policy). The law enforcement disclosure is too broad, with terms like 'legal process', which is not a subpoena. When you login with social media, you share all your private data in both directions. They rent their email list, and it also seems they rent your cell phone # and postal address. They do not discuss account recovery and cell phone porting in a proper manner.

GOOD ASPECTS: You can opt-out of cookie based data collection and disable cookies. You may also be able to disable clear gifs and web beacons. Follows the self-regulatory principles for online behavioral ads (aboutads.info) and is a member of the network advertising initiative (networkadvertising.org). Your info is deleted when account is canceled.


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

BAD ASPECTS: The words 'obscene', 'indecent', abusive' are not defined. Can't use forums for commercial purposes (which is not defined) or organized political activity (which again is not defined). They can modify or remove any content, at all, if deemed 'inappropriate'. Can edit all of your letters to your editor.

GOOD ASPECTS: the censorship doesn't apply to those who just read the articles.


The Right to Control My Intellectual Property 3 out of 5

GOOD ASPECTS: Nothing at all mentioned about copyright, so they have apparently have no license whatsoever to use anything you send them, post, etc. If you want any reprints, or want to use an article, they conveniently provide their rights company: The YGS Group. cio@theygsgroup.com FYI, I have used the YGS Group to reprint a Fast Company article once and the prices were reasonable and the service wonderful.
BAD ASPECTS: Nothing at all mentioned about your copyrights, which should be mentioned in some capacity.


The Right to Sue 1 out of 5

Laws of Massachusetts. Venue is also Massachusetts.

BAD ASPECTS: Venue is restricted. If you breach, or any 3rd party claims, you must pay their legal fees. The indemnity clause makes it seem like you have to pay for their legal fees even if YOU are the one filing a lawsuit against them. Recovery limited to $100--not good.

GOOD ASPECTS: You can sue.


The Right to Low-Cost Arbitration 0 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: You can't arbitrate according to the final page, which states that all claims must be handled in Masschusetts' courts.

GOOD ASPECTS: None


The Right to Join a Class Action 5 out of 5

Not waived.


The Right to No Hidden Terms or Fees 3 out of 5

GOOD ASPECTS: Don't seem to be any hidden terms. The agreement is short, at just 3 pages.

BAD ASPECTS: Some parts are unclear.


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

BAD ASPECTS: On page 1, the agreement is the term 'terminable at will' regarding the license they provide to you, so basically that means you have no rights. Anyone can be barred at will, for any reason at all. 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 2 out of 5

BAD ASPECTS: "IDG Consumer & SMB does not warrant that the content of its stories will be error free." So we can't trust anything? Further, they are not liable for virtually anything that happens while you use the service. What is SMB Publications--it doesn't seem to be defined anywhere.

GOOD ASPECTS: The main TOS is just three pages.


Historical Fairness 6.33 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 63.33 out of 100
Additional Note

Emails: webmaster@macworld.com; postermasterhelp@idgcommunications.com NOTE: This TOS is the same as the one for PC World.

Ways to improve

1. Fix law enforcement disclosure provisions.
2. Combine TOS & Privacy Policy into one simple document.
3. What the heck is the international data group and why are you a part of it?
4. What is IDG Publishing?
5. If you are going to use subjective terms like 'obscene', define them objectively.
6. Fix the 'random' way it seems you determine if someone has violated the TOS
7. Fix the copyright section to discuss a user's copyrights.
8. Allow users to sue OR arbitrate, from their home city, with no limit on recovery.
9. Take some responsibility and don't disclaim all claims.
10. Create fair process and a right to be heard.
11. Create a right to appeal and a right to return.
12. Take responsibility for the contents of your stories.
13. 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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