Terms of Service

The long version:

Most T&Cs are very boring and so are ours, and a long read they are too. We have a condensed version here, which our users can also generate for themselves.

That said we have taken the time to draft, adpat, adapt, correct spelling mistakes and revise them at intervals since we first started.

Not quite a full-time paid post, but almost.

In short

We (the folks at Sustaining Dunbar) run a blog and web site hosting service called OurLocality.Org and would love you to use it.

Our basic service is free, and we also offer paid upgrades for advanced features such as domain hosting and extra storage. Our service is designed to give you as much control and ownership over what goes on your site as practical in a shared environment and to encourage you to express yourself freely.

In return, you will be responsible in what you publish. In particular, make sure that none of the prohibited items listed below appear on your site or get linked to from your site (you know, things like spam, viruses, or hate, bullying and harassment, racism and discrimination of whatever sort and similar content but also hidden adverts, affiliate schemes, pay to blog etc etc).

You can check the sorts of blogs to get a sense of the types of sites that are welcome and not welcome on our service. If you find an OurLocality site that you believe violates our terms of service, please check our complaints page.

(Note, WordPress made it’s Terms of Service available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license, which means that any similarity between their terms and ours is not fortuitous but deliberate and is gratefully acknowledged).

Terms of Service:

The following terms and conditions govern all use of the OurLocality.org website and all content, services and products available at or through the website. The Website is owned and operated by Sustaining Dunbar. (“Sustaining Dunbar”). The Website is offered subject to your acceptance without modification of all of the terms and conditions contained herein and all other operating rules, policies (including, without limitation, Sustaining Dunbar’s Privacy Policy) and procedures that may be published from time to time on this Site by Sustaining Dunbar (collectively, the “Agreement”).

Please read this Agreement carefully before accessing or using the Website services. By accessing or using any part of the website, you agree to become bound by the terms and conditions of this agreement. If you do not agree to all the terms and conditions of this agreement, then you should not access the Website or use any services, but also not got out without a responsible adult. If these terms and conditions are considered an offer by Sustaining Dunbar, acceptance is expressly limited to these terms. The Website is available only to individuals who are at least 18 years old (this was 13 and has been updated to 18 on 4-8-2022).

  1. Your OurLocality Account and Site. If you create a blog on the Website, you are responsible for maintaining the security of your account and blog (e.g passwords), and you are fully responsible for all activities that occur under the account and any other actions taken in connection with the blog. You must not describe or assign keywords to your blog in a misleading or unlawful manner, including in a manner intended to trade on the name or reputation of others, and Sustaining Dunbar may change or remove any description or keyword that it considers inappropriate or unlawful, or otherwise likely to cause Sustaining Dunbar liability. You must immediately notify Sustaining Dunbar of any unauthorized uses of your blog, your account or any other breaches of security. Sustaining Dunbar will not be liable for any acts or omissions by You, including any damages of any kind incurred as a result of such acts or omissions.
  2. Responsibility of Contributors. If you operate a blog or blogs, comment on a blog, post material to the Website, post links on the Website, or otherwise make (or allow any third party to make) material available by means of the Website (any such material, “Content”), You are entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that Content. That is the case regardless of whether the Content in question constitutes text, graphics, an audio file, or computer software. By making Content available, you represent and warrant that:
    • the downloading, copying and use of the Content will not infringe the proprietary rights, including but not limited to the copyright, patent, trademark or trade secret rights, of any third party;
    • if your employer has rights to intellectual property you create, you have either (i) received permission from your employer to post or make available the Content, including but not limited to any software, or (ii) secured from your employer a waiver as to all rights in or to the Content;
    • you have fully complied with any third-party licenses relating to the Content, and have done all things necessary to successfully pass through to end users any required terms;
    • the Content does not contain or install any viruses, worms, malware, Trojan horses or other harmful or destructive content;
    • the Content is not spam, plagiarised or duplicated, is not machine- or randomly-generated, and does not contain unethical or unwanted commercial content designed to drive traffic to third party sites or boost the search engine rankings of third party sites, or to further unlawful acts (such as phishing) or mislead recipients as to the source of the material (such as spoofing);
    • the Content is not pornographic, does not contain threats or incite violence towards individuals or entities, and does not violate the privacy or publicity rights of any third party;
    • your blog is not getting advertised via unwanted electronic messages such as spam links on newsgroups, email lists, other blogs and web sites, and similar unsolicited promotional methods;
    • your blog is not named in a manner that misleads your readers into thinking that you are another person or company. For example, your blog’s URL or name is not the name of a person other than yourself or company other than your own; and
    • you have, in the case of Content that includes computer code, accurately categorized and/or described the type, nature, uses and effects of the materials, whether requested to do so by Sustaining Dunbar or otherwise.By submitting Content to OurLocality for inclusion on your Website, you grant Sustaining Dunbar a world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your blog. If you delete Content, Sustaining Dunbar will use reasonable efforts to remove it from the Website, but you acknowledge that caching or references to the Content may not be made immediately unavailable.Without limiting any of those representations or warranties, Sustaining Dunbar has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Sustaining Dunbar’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in Sustaining Dunbar’s reasonable opinion, violates any Sustaining Dunbar policy or is in any way harmful or objectionable, or (ii) terminate or deny access to and use of the Website to any individual or entity for any reason, in Sustaining Dunbar’s sole discretion. Sustaining Dunbar will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid.
  3. Fees and Payment. Optional premium paid services such as extra storage, domain purchases are available on the Website. By selecting a premium service you agree to pay Sustaining Dunbar the monthly or annual subscription fees indicated for that service. Payments will be charged on the day you sign up for a premium service and will cover the use of that service for a monthly or annual period as indicated. Premium service fees are not refundable.
  4. Other Services.
    • Fees; Payment. By signing up for Other Services account you agree to pay Sustaining Dunbar the setup fees and monthly hosting fees. Applicable fees will be invoiced starting from the day your Services are established and in advance of using such services. Sustaining Dunbar reserves the right to change the payment terms and fees upon thirty (30) days prior written notice to you. Services can be canceled by you at anytime on 30 days written notice to Sustaining Dunbar.
    • Support. Services include access to priority email support. “Email support” means the ability to make requests for technical support assistance by email at any time (with reasonable efforts by Sustaining Dunbar to respond within one business day) concerning the use of said Services.
  5. Responsibility of Website Visitors. Sustaining Dunbar has not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, posted to the Website, and cannot therefore be responsible for that material’s content, use or effects. By operating the Website, Sustaining Dunbar does not represent or imply that it endorses the material there posted, or that it believes such material to be accurate, useful or non-harmful. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content. The Website may contain content that you regard as offensive, indecent, or otherwise objectionable, as well as content containing technical inaccuracies, typographical mistakes, and other errors. The Website may also contain material that violates the privacy or publicity rights, or infringes the intellectual property and other proprietary rights, of third parties, or the downloading, copying or use of which is subject to additional terms and conditions, stated or unstated. Sustaining Dunbar disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from the use by visitors of the Website, or from any downloading by those visitors of content there posted. Sustaining Dunbar has strict policies to remove such content, if it becomes aware of it.
  6. Content Posted on Other Websites. We have not reviewed, and cannot review, all of the material, including computer software, made available through the websites and webpages to which OurLocality links, and that link to OurLocality. Sustaining Dunbar does not have any control over those non-OurLocality websites and webpages, and is not responsible for their contents or their use. By linking to a non-OurLocality website or webpage, Sustaining Dunbar does not represent or imply that it endorses such website or webpage. You are responsible for taking precautions as necessary to protect yourself and your computer systems from viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other harmful or destructive content. Sustaining Dunbar disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from your use of non-OurLocality websites and webpages.
  7. Copyright Infringement. As Sustaining Dunbar asks others to respect its intellectual property rights, it respects the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe that material located on or linked to by OurLocality violates your copyright, you are encouraged to notify Sustaining Dunbar. Sustaining Dunbar will respond to all such notices, including as required or appropriate by removing the infringing material or disabling all links to the infringing material. In the case of a visitor who may infringe or repeatedly infringes the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of Sustaining Dunbar or others, Sustaining Dunbar may, in its discretion, terminate or deny access to and use of the Website. In the case of such termination, Sustaining Dunbar will have no obligation to provide a refund of any amounts previously paid to Sustaining Dunbar.
  8. Intellectual Property. This Agreement does not transfer from Sustaining Dunbar to you any Sustaining Dunbar or third party intellectual property, and all right, title and interest in and to such property will remain (as between the parties) solely with Sustaining Dunbar. Sustaining Dunbar, OurLocality, OurLocality.org, the OurLocality logo, and all other trademarks, service marks, graphics and logos used in connection with OurLocality, or the Website are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sustaining Dunbar or Sustaining Dunbar’s licensors. Other trademarks, service marks, graphics and logos used in connection with the Website may be the trademarks of other third parties. Your use of the Website grants you no right or license to reproduce or otherwise use any Sustaining Dunbar or third-party trademarks.
  9. Changes. Sustaining Dunbar reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify or replace any part of this Agreement. It is your responsibility to check this Agreement periodically for changes. Your continued use of or access to the Website following the posting of any changes to this Agreement constitutes acceptance of those changes. Sustaining Dunbar may also, in the future, offer new services and/or features through the Website (including, the release of new tools and resources). Such new features and/or services shall be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement. 
  10. Termination. Sustaining Dunbar may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. If you wish to terminate this Agreement or your OurLocality account (if you have one), you may simply discontinue using the Website. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if you have an account, such account can only be terminated by Sustaining Dunbar if you materially breach this Agreement and fail to cure such breach within thirty (30) days from Sustaining Dunbar’s notice to you thereof; provided that, Sustaining Dunbar can terminate the Website immediately as part of a general shut down of our service. All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination shall survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity and limitations of liability. 
  11. Disclaimer of Warranties. The Website is provided “as is”. Sustaining Dunbar and its suppliers and licensors hereby disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Neither Sustaining Dunbar nor its suppliers and licensors, makes any warranty that the Website will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. If you’re actually reading this, here’s a treat. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, the Website at your own discretion and risk.
  12. Limitation of Liability. In no event will Sustaining Dunbar, or its suppliers or licensors, be liable with respect to any subject matter of this agreement under any contract, negligence, strict liability or other legal or equitable theory for: (i) any special, incidental or consequential damages; (ii) the cost of procurement or substitute products or services; (iii) for interruption of use or loss or corruption of data; or (iv) for any amounts that exceed the fees paid by you to Sustaining Dunbar under this agreement during the twelve (12) month period prior to the cause of action. Sustaining Dunbar shall have no liability for any failure or delay due to matters beyond their reasonable control. The foregoing shall not apply to the extent prohibited by applicable law.
  13. General Representation and Warranty. You represent and warrant that (i) your use of the Website will be in strict accordance with the Sustaining Dunbar Privacy Policy, with this Agreement and with all applicable laws and regulations (including without limitation any local laws or regulations in your country, state, city, or other governmental area, regarding online conduct and acceptable content, and including all applicable laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from the United States or the country in which you reside) and (ii) your use of the Website will not infringe or misappropriate the intellectual property rights of any third party.
  14. Indemnification. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Sustaining Dunbar, its contractors, and its licensors, and their respective directors, officers, employees and agents from and against any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of the Website, including but not limited to your violation of this Agreement.
  15. Miscellaneous. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between Sustaining Dunbar and you concerning the subject matter hereof, and they may only be modified by a written amendment signed by an authorized executive of Sustaining Dunbar, or by the posting by Sustaining Dunbar of a revised version. Except to the extent applicable law, if any, provides otherwise, this Agreement, any access to or use of the Website will be governed by the laws of Scotland.  The prevailing party in any action or proceeding to enforce this Agreement shall be entitled to costs and legal fees. If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that part will be construed to reflect the parties’ original intent, and the remaining portions will remain in full force and effect. A waiver by either party of any term or condition of this Agreement or any breach thereof, in any one instance, will not waive such term or condition or any subsequent breach thereof. You may assign your rights under this Agreement to any party that consents to, and agrees to be bound by, its terms and conditions; Sustaining Dunbar may assign its rights under this Agreement without condition. This Agreement will be binding upon and will inure to the benefit of the parties, their successors and permitted assigns.

The cookie question – Services that may be used by our us and our websites involve a lot of technology

Our hosting permits a range of services to be integrated into a website, which inevitably means that the websites in question will share some information. In the case of the major providers, this will include cookies that may track user behaviour, permit the tracker to follow a user journey across multiple platforms and devices. If you are also logged into one of those services, the information garnered by them will be more useful to their commercial operation. You have been warned, beware what you integrate.

Each website we host has a range of tools to provide informed consent about what is tracked and we hope to add to the toolkit over time, to increase your privacy. We cannot be sure that your data is not being monetised and have so far relied on informed consent. If you use any social media or video streaming channel you have given up any chance of keeping your data private.

The following is not exhaustive of the types of data that might be shared.

Social media integrations. We permit interoperation with the social media corporations like meta, (the nice people who run facebook, instagram and whatsapp), and twitter – all purveyors of social discord and anxiety and sometimes the ability to find a lost dog or a peregrine falcon. If you use these tools our website owners are encouraged to be open with their users and declare it e.g. that they have a facebook page and that meta is following them, if they like, follow or share or engage (e.g. scroll, hover, click). These providers use the information to create complex user profiles for the advertising clients, who have made them among the richest on the planet. If you can display a twitter feed in your page or show a facebook like button, there is a chance that you are sharing potentially personal information with that party.

Server Analytics. The web works using substantially open protocols, so a webserver just like any electronic device gathers information about all the activities that take place, which will include potentially indentifiable personal information e.g. an IP address, the pages visited by that IP address, links clicked (e.g. a mailto link). This information is not shared with other users or any commercial organisations, other than our hosting partners, and it is then only used for monitoring, troubleshooting and security evaluation purposes.

III party analytics integrations. We have enabled a number of tools such as Google Analytics and Jetpack (an Automattic company which runs WordPress.com) for our use community. These services offer very powerful tools to enable sophisticated analyses of user usage and help our website owners to discover patterns in their website’s use.

We offer tools to users to allow them an opt out.

Links. Self evidently a link to another website is for information, not an endorsement or carte blanche for the website at the other end to do what it wills. So if you have a linking policy, inform your users that you are not endorsing the other website or taking responsibility for the veracity of information it may or may not contain.

Automations. We also use a number of tools that lighten our work, and are aware that some others also do. Services such as IFTTT which push content or pull content require the website to approve a connection, by creating a secure by revokable connection. Such services, where they are provided at no cost to the user, will inevtably gather information about user use. A link to an article pushed to twitter, e.g. will be attributable and available to the website owner, IFTT and twitter.

Cloud storage. We all use it to some extent and people who use our platform may use such services to collect personal information, for example Google forms, collect information and store it in a cloud based document on a Drive Workspace account. You may want to store a photo repository in Dropbox or similar. You should add details of your practices that could be exposed to your own website privacy policies.

We offer some basic tools to help you build policies and provide informed consent.

Here’s our list

Important functionality that may or may not track (and certainly makes us no money):

We have limited (i.e. grudgingly added) integrations with twitter and facebook, enabled by the third party service IFTTT – which no doubt has an interest in what we sporadically publish. The stats suggest that very few have any interest (in the feeds). We have a facebook page, just, and a twitter feed , which is increasingly poorly attended. If you are interact with such services you do so at your own risk. At some point we may withdraw these integrations. We do not offer social login. Guess why. We do use Google recaptcha (the invisible one) to limit fraudulaent logins. We necessarily have to add each new website that joins to the “allow list”. Data is gathered which helps reduce false positives. We monitor it when a user (website owner) reports a problem.

Social media business models are fishy
Google is an expert in making sense of rubbish

We supplement a limited Google Analytics stats gathering GA (slowingly withdrawing though) with Jetpack stats, the service run by Automattic, which is behind WordPress.com and is a major sponsor of WordPress.org. Some of our users have deployed GA or we have on their behalf, again these are candidates for withdrawal as few people are nerdy enough to understand the figures or make sense of what they say.

Related to this we do use the Gravatar service, which creates a universal avatar that works across platforms and is tied to your email address. If you have a gravatar you can turn yours off.

If you were to install Ghostery on your browser and visit one of our websites, you will quite likely see the Jetpack tracker, but only if enabled. Your browser can be set to not track and ghostery will block automatically untoward requests by such services, which you can then selectively enable.

We don’t put all our eggs in one basket
More automation = more beer time

On some of our pages you can contact us via Crisp a Messenger service. Hardly anyone does, however if you do, that conversation is recorded in their systems and ours. We recommend you use email to stay in touch.

Our website defences are managed inter alia by Wordfence, which detects unusual activities and feeds back to them inappropriate requests (spammers, denials of service and illegal login attempts, attempts to find security holes and so on). We use Google Recaptcha for login security, the silent version, which will block you if you make unusual repeated requests to login (say that a book rests on the return key of the keyboard, that might well simulate what the service deems a robot attack!).

We also also use third party mapping services, such as Mapbox, Google Maps and Openstreetmap. Any of the services that you use will be covered by the respective T&Cs of the mapping providers. We recommend that if you ever see the “allow” or “block” location, to select block!

Some templates employ Google Fonts and in some cases we have enabled an Adobe font. Although both companies will deny that any information is used for tracking or gathering personal information, technically it may help them (but we think only in a small way commercially, as most of our websites are not commercially orientated).

More zootomation = more beer time
More beeromation = more lazy time

We use Google Workspace for our email services, so mail from the server (e.g. for a sign up form) will use the mail servers at Google to alert us. A copy of sign ups is held transiently on the server, in our sign up software, and in our email systems. When you signed up, past users were automatically added the support forum and to the main ourlocality blog as subscribers (and hence the ability to comment on posts). Very few pages have enabled comments and these are usually set to close within 1 day by default to help stop spam. Which we are getting better at. Indeed we discourage the use of forms, that store info on our servers – we have found that most people don’t bother to look at the website version, potentially unnecessarily exposing their clients and customers (a managed risk, a risk we manage well, but a risk all the same).

As a website owner & admin, you will have reasonable control over how you use the privacy settings, third party services. E.g. we recommend that you do not use social things that potentially infringe privacy: for instance “like” buttons, or share this or share that, which all potentially track your users; restrict or turn off gravatar services if they are not used, decouple Google Analytics unless you are an avid statistical nerd and inform us or ask us if we manage an account on your behalf.

Restricting access to third party services will not degrade your experience as a user or website manager, but it may even make your life easier (you know that trite expression “take back control”?).

and that is it for now, more later.