Microsoft and VFI Service Agreement Last Updated: April 22, 2016
Thank you for choosing Microsoft and Voices for Innovation (VFI)!
Acceptance of Terms
Personal and Non-Commercial Use Limitation
VFI Member Account, Password, and Security
You Are Responsible for Your VFI Account
No Unlawful or Prohibited Use
Use of VFI Services
When You May Use the VFI Service
How You May Use the VFI Service
How You May Not Use the VFI Service
Materials Provided to VFI or Posted at Any VFI Web Site
Notice Specific to Documents Available on This Web Site
We Make No Warranty
Changes to the Service; If We Cancel Membership
Notices You Send to Us
Notices We Send to You; Consent Regarding Electronic Information
Links to Third Party Sites
Copyright and Trademark Notices
Acceptance of Terms
Personal and Non-Commercial-Use Limitation
Unless otherwise specified, Microsoft and VFI is for your personal and non-commercial use. You may not modify copy, distribute, transmit, display, perform, reproduce, publish, license, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any information, software, products or services obtained from the VFI.
VFI Member Account, Password, and Security
Microsoft and VFI requires you to open an account where you must complete the registration process by providing us with current, complete and accurate information as prompted by the applicable registration form. You also will choose a password and a user name. You are entirely responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your password and account. Furthermore, you are entirely responsible for any and all activities that occur under your account. You agree to notify Microsoft and VFI immediately of any unauthorized use of your account or any other breach of security. Microsoft and VFI will not be liable for any loss that you may incur as a result of someone else using your password or account, either with or without your knowledge. However, you could be held liable for losses incurred by Microsoft and VFI or another party due to someone else using your account or password. You may not use anyone else’s account at any time, without the permission of the account holder.
You Are Responsible For Your VFI Account
Only you may use your VFI account. For some parts of the service, we may notify you that you may set up additional member accounts that are dependent on your account (an “associated account”). You are responsible for all activity that takes place with your service account or an associated account. You may not authorize any third party to access and/or use the service on your behalf.
No Unlawful or Prohibited Use
As a condition of your use of the VFI, you will not use it for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these terms, conditions, and notices. You may not use the VFI in any manner that could damage, disable, overburden, or impair any Microsoft server, or the network(s) connected to any Microsoft server, or interfere with any other party’s use and enjoyment of VFI. You may not attempt to gain unauthorized access to any services, other accounts, computer systems or networks connected to any Microsoft server or to any of the Services, through hacking, password mining or any other means. You may not obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information through any means not intentionally made available through the VFI.
Use of VFI Services
The Services may contain e-mail services, bulletin board services, chat areas, news groups, forums, communities, personal web pages, calendars, photo albums, file cabinets and/or other message or communication facilities designed to enable you to communicate with others (each a “Communication Service” and collectively “Communication Services”). You agree to use the Communication Services only to post, send and receive messages and material that are proper and, when applicable, related to the particular Communication Service. By way of example, and not as a limitation, you agree that when using the Communication Services, you will not:
- Use the Communication Services in connection with surveys, contests, pyramid schemes, chain letters, junk email, spamming or any duplicative or unsolicited messages (commercial or otherwise).
- Defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others.
- Publish, post, upload, distribute or disseminate any inappropriate, profane, defamatory, obscene, indecent or unlawful topic, name, material or information.
- Upload, or otherwise make available, files that contain images, photographs, software or other material protected by intellectual property laws, including, by way of example, and not as limitation, copyright or trademark laws (or by rights of privacy or publicity) unless you own or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consent to do the same.
- Use any material or information, including images or photographs, which are made available through the Services in any manner that infringes any copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, or other proprietary right of any party.
- Upload files that contain viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, cancelbots, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another’s computer or property of another.
- Advertise or offer to sell or buy any goods or services for any business purpose, unless such Communication Services specifically allows such messages.
- Download any file posted by another user of a Communication Service that you know, or reasonably should know, cannot be legally reproduced, displayed, performed, and/or distributed in such manner.
- Falsify or delete any copyright management information, such as author attributions, legal or other proper notices or proprietary designations or labels of the origin or source of software or other material contained in a file that is uploaded.
- Restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Communication Services.
- Violate any code of conduct or other guidelines which may be applicable for any particular Communication Service.
- Harvest or otherwise collect information about others, including e-mail addresses.
- Violate any applicable laws or regulations.
- Create a false identity for the purpose of misleading others.
- Use, download or otherwise copy, or provide (whether or not for a fee) to a person or entity any directory of users of the Services or other user or usage information or any portion thereof.
Microsoft and VFI have no obligation to monitor the Communication Services. However, Microsoft and VFI reserves the right to review materials posted to the Communication Services and to remove any materials in its sole discretion. Microsoft and VFI reserve the right to terminate your access to any or all of the Communication Services at any time, without notice, for any reason whatsoever.
Microsoft and VFI reserve the right at all times to disclose any information as Microsoft and VFI deems necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, or to edit, refuse to post or to remove any information or materials, in whole or in part, in Microsoft and VFI’s sole discretion.
Always use caution when giving out any personally identifiable information about yourself or your children in any Communication Services. Microsoft and VFI does not control or endorse the content, messages or information found in any Communication Services and, therefore, Microsoft and VFI specifically disclaims any liability with regard to the Communication Services and any actions resulting from your participation in any Communication Services. Managers and hosts are not authorized Microsoft and VFI spokespersons, and their views do not necessarily reflect those of Microsoft and VFI.
Materials uploaded to the Communication Services may be subject to posted limitations on usage, reproduction and/or dissemination; you are responsible for adhering to such limitations if you download the materials.
You may be able to submit materials for use in connection with the VFI service. Except for material that we license to you, we do not claim ownership of the materials you post or otherwise provide to us related to the service (called a “submission”). However, by posting or otherwise providing your submission, you are granting to the public free permission to:
- Use, copy, distribute, display, publish and modify your submission, each in connection with the service;
- Publish your name in connection with your submission; and
- Grant these permissions to other persons.
This section only applies to legally permissible content and only to the extent that use and publishing of the legally permissible content does not breach the law. We will not pay you for your submission. We may refuse to publish, and may remove your submission from the service at any time. For every submission you make, you must have all rights necessary for you to grant the permissions in this section.
When You May Use VFI Services
You may start using the service as soon as you have finished the sign-up process. No withdrawal right or other “cooling off” period applies to the service and you waive any applicable “cooling off” period, except if the law requires a “cooling off” period despite your waiver and even when a service starts right away.
How You May Use VFI Services
In using the services, you will:
- Obey the law;
- Obey any codes of conduct or other notices we provide;
- Obey the Microsoft and VFI Anti-spam Policy;
- Keep your service account password secret; and
- Promptly notify us if you learn of a security breach related to the service.
How You May Not Use VFI Services
In using the service, you may not:
- Use the service in a way that harms us or our affiliates, resellers, distributors, and/or vendors (collectively, the “Microsoft and VFI parties”), or any customer of a Microsoft and VFI party;
- Engage in, facilitate, or further unlawful conduct;
- Use any portion of the service as a destination linked from any unsolicited bulk messages or unsolicited commercial messages (“spam”);
- Use any unauthorized third party software or service to access the Microsoft and VFI instant messaging network (currently known as the .NET Messenger Service);
- Use any automated process or service to access and/or use the service (such as a BOT, a spider, periodic caching of information stored by Microsoft and VFI, or “meta-searching”);
- Use any unauthorized means to modify or reroute, or attempt to modify or reroute, the service;
- Damage, disable, overburden, or impair the service (or the network(s) connected to the service) or interfere with anyone’s use and enjoyment of the service; or
- Resell or redistribute the service, or any part of the service.
You can find a list of authorized third-party software at http://messenger.msn.com/Help/Authorized.aspx.
Materials Provided to VFI or Posted On Any VFI Website
Microsoft and VFI does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to VFI (including feedback and suggestions) or post, upload, input or submit to any Services or its associated services for review by the general public, or by the members of any public or private community, (each a “Submission” and collectively “Submissions”). However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting (“Posting”) your Submission you are granting Microsoft and VFI, its affiliated companies and necessary sublicenses permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft and VFI Services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission; to publish your name in connection with your Submission; and the right to sublicense such rights to any supplier of the Services.
No compensation will be paid with respect to the use of your Submission, as provided herein. Microsoft and VFI is under no obligation to post or use any Submission you may provide and Microsoft and VFI may remove any Submission at any time in its sole discretion.
Notice Specific to Documents Available on This Website
Permission to use Documents (such as white papers, press releases, datasheets and FAQs) from the VFI is granted, provided that (1) the below copyright notice appears in all copies and that both the copyright notice and this permission notice appear, (2) use of such Documents from the Services is for informational and non-commercial or personal use only and will not be copied or posted on any network computer or broadcast in any media, and (3) no modifications of any Documents are made. Accredited educational institutions, such as K-12, universities, private/public colleges, and state community colleges, may download and reproduce the Documents for distribution in the classroom. Distribution outside the classroom requires express written permission. Use for any other purpose is expressly prohibited by law, and may result in severe civil and criminal penalties. Violators will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible.
Documents specified above do not include the design or layout of the VFI Web site or any other Microsoft and VFI owned, operated, licensed or controlled site. Elements of Microsoft and VFI Web sites are protected by trade dress, trademark, unfair competition, and other laws and may not be copied or imitated in whole or in part. No logo, graphic, sound or image from any Microsoft and VFI Web site may be copied or retransmitted unless expressly permitted by Microsoft and VFI.
MICROSOFT AND VFI AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE DOCUMENTS AND RELATED GRAPHICS PUBLISHED AS PART OF THE SERVICES FOR ANY PURPOSE. ALL SUCH DOCUMENTS AND RELATED GRAPHICS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. MICROSOFT AND VFI AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH REGARD TO THIS INFORMATION, INCLUDING ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT AND VFI AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM THE SERVICES.
THE DOCUMENTS AND RELATED GRAPHICS PUBLISHED ON THE SERVICES COULD INCLUDE TECHNICAL INACCURACIES OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. MICROSOFT AND VFI AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES IN THE PRODUCT(S) AND/OR THE PROGRAM(S) DESCRIBED HEREIN AT ANY TIME.
We may use technology or other means to protect the VFI service, protect our customers, or stop you from breaching this contract. These means may include, for example, filtering to stop spam or increase security. These means may hinder or break your use of the service.
If you receive software from us as part of the VFI service, your use of that software is under the terms of the license that is presented to you for acceptance for that software. If there is no license presented to you, or unless otherwise stated in this contract, then we grant you the right to use the software only for the authorized use of the service on that number of computers stated in your service offer. We reserve all other rights to the software.
We may automatically check your version of the software. We may automatically download upgrades to the software to your computer to update, enhance and further develop the service.
Unless we notify you otherwise, your license to use the software will end on the date your service ends, and you must promptly uninstall the software. We may disable the software after the date the service ends.
You will not disassemble, decompile, or reverse engineer any software included in the service, except and only to the extent that the law expressly permits this activity.
The software is subject to United States export laws and regulations. You must comply with all domestic and international export laws and regulations that apply to the software. These laws include restrictions on destinations, end users and end use. For additional information, see http://www.Microsoft.com/exporting (available in English only).
We Make No Warranty
We provide the VFI service “as-is,” “with all faults” and “as available.” We do not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of information available from the VFI service. The Microsoft and VFI parties give no express warranties, guarantees or conditions. You may have additional consumer rights under your local laws that this contract cannot change. We exclude any implied warranties including those of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, workmanlike effort and non-infringement.
You can recover from the Microsoft and VFI parties only direct damages up to an amount equal to your service fee for one month. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect, incidental or punitive damages.
This limitation applies to anything related to:
- The service,
- Content (including code) on third party Internet sites, third party programs or third party conduct,
- Viruses or other disabling features that affect your access to or use of the service,
- Incompatibility between the service and other services, software and hardware,
- Delays or failures you may have in initiating, conducting or completing any transmissions or transactions in connection with the service in an accurate or timely manner, and
- Claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, guarantee or condition, strict liability, negligence, or other tort.
It also applies even if:
- This remedy does not fully compensate you for any losses, or fails of its essential purpose; or
- Microsoft and VFI knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages.
Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. They also may not apply to you because your province or country may not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages.
Changes to the Service; If We Cancel Membership
We may change the service or delete features at any time and for any reason. We may cancel or suspend your VFI membership at any time. Our cancellation or suspension may be without cause and/or without notice. Upon cancellation, your right to use the service stops right away. Once the membership is cancelled or suspended, any data you have stored on your page may not be retrieved later.
Notices You Send to Us
You may notify us as stated in the customer support or “help” area for the VFI. We also accept e-mail notices.
Notices and Procedure For Making Claims of Copyright Infringement
Under Title 17, United States Code, Section 512(c)(2), notifications of claimed copyright infringement should be sent to service provider’s designated agent. ALL INQUIRIES NOT RELEVANT TO THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE WILL RECEIVE NO RESPONSE.
Notices We Send to You; Consent Regarding Electronic Information
This agreement is in electronic form. We have promised to send you certain information in connection with VFI and have the right to send you certain additional information. There may be other information regarding the VFI that the law requires us to send you. We may send you this information in electronic form. You have the right to withdraw this consent, but if you do, we may cancel membership. We may provide required information to you:
- By e-mail at the e-mail address you specified when you signed up for your service;
- By access to a Microsoft and VFI web site that will be designated in an e-mail notice sent to you at the time the information is available; or
- By access to a Microsoft and VFI web site that will be generally designated in advance for this purpose.
Notices provided to you via e-mail will be deemed given and received on the transmission date of the e-mail. As long as you can access and use the service, you have the necessary software and hardware to receive these notices. If you do not consent to receive any notices electronically, you must stop using the service.
Links to Third-Party Sites
THE LINKS IN the VFI WILL LET YOU LEAVE MICROSOFT AND VFI’S SITE. THE LINKED SITES ARE NOT UNDER THE CONTROL OF MICROSOFT AND VFI AND MICROSOFT AND VFI IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENTS OF ANY LINKED SITE OR ANY LINK CONTAINED IN A LINKED SITE, OR ANY CHANGES OR UPDATES TO SUCH SITES. MICROSOFT AND VFI IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WEBCASTING OR ANY OTHER FORM OF TRANSMISSION RECEIVED FROM ANY LINKED SITE. MICROSOFT AND VFI IS PROVIDING THESE LINKS TO YOU ONLY AS A CONVENIENCE, AND THE INCLUSION OF ANY LINK DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY MICROSOFT AND VFI OF THE SITE.
Please respect the rights of artists and creators. Content such as music, photos and video may be protected by copyright. People appearing in content may have a right to control use of their image. You may not share other people’s content unless you own the rights or have permission from the owner.
© 2016 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
The following is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, contact a lawyer.
What is copyright?
Copyright law protects original works, such as websites, books, music, paintings, photos and video. A work is “original” if it contains some elements you created and did not borrow from others. Typically, when you create an original work, you own the copyright. As the copyright owner, you can control how others use your work. For example, if you write a movie script, you have the right to, and can prevent others from, copying your script, sharing it with others (“distributing it”), making a movie or book from your script (a “derivative work”), or publicly performing your script as a play or movie. You also have the ability to sell or give away these rights. In other words, you could sell the right to make a movie based on your script to a movie studio.
If you use someone else’s copyrighted materials without permission, that use generally violates the copyright owner’s exclusive rights, and is copyright infringement. So if you create a new work and include parts of other people’s works in it (such as an existing photo, lengthy quotes from a book or a loop from a song), you must own or have permission to use the elements you borrow. For example, if your script is based on an existing popular series, you should obtain permission to use the elements you borrow from the series.
Copyright law is different from the law of personal property. If you buy a physical object, such as a movie on DVD, you own the physical object. You do not, however, obtain ownership of the “copyrights” (the rights to make copies, distribute, make derivatives and publicly perform or display) in the content of the movie. The fact that you have obtained physical possession of a DVD does not automatically grant you the right to copy or share it.
If you make your own movie, it may include many copyrighted works in it. So, if you decide to make a movie based on your script, you must either create all elements of it on your own, or have permission to use the elements you borrow. Especially keep in mind that photos or artwork hanging on the walls of your sets and music on the soundtrack (even if you own the CD or MP3) may be copyrighted. You should not include copyrighted works such as these in your movie without authorization.
A few other things to keep in mind are:
- Just because a work does not include a copyright notice (e.g., © 2016 Microsoft Corporation) does not mean the work is in the public domain. Copyright notices are generally not required for works to be protected by copyright.
Isn’t it in the public domain?
Just because a work is freely available, does not mean it is in the “public domain.” Copyright is for a limited term; it does not last forever. In the copyright context, “public domain” means the copyright term has expired. Once a work is in the public domain, it may be freely used without permission from the copyright owner.
Determining the term of copyright can be complex, particularly because copyright laws vary from country to country. Also, even if the copyright on a work has expired, you should be careful about how you use a public domain work. For example, a book may be in the public domain, but it might not be ok to scan the book cover to cover and post it on the internet. This is because the particular version of the book may contain new copyrightable material that is not in the public domain, such as cover art or footnotes.
What about fair use?
In limited situations, you can use copyrighted works without permission from the copyright holder. It can be difficult to figure out whether use of copyrighted works without permission is legal, though, because the laws in this area are often vague and vary from country to country.
The copyright law in the United States has a doctrine called “fair use”. Fair use provides a defense to copyright infringement in some circumstances. For example, fair use allows documentary filmmakers to use very short clips of copyrighted movies, music and news footage without permission from the copyright owner. Fair use is a difficult concept because determining whether something is a fair use involves weighing four factors. Unfortunately, weighing the fair use factors rarely results in a clear-cut answer.
Rather than applying a fair use test, many other countries have specific exceptions to copyright infringement. The number and type of exceptions vary by country, but they frequently allow copyrighted materials to be used without permission from the copyright holder for activities such as nonprofit research, teaching, news reporting, or private study.
If you incorrectly decide that something is a fair use or falls into an exception to copyright infringement, you could be held criminally and civilly liable and have to pay damages. We suggest you talk to a lawyer if you have questions regarding fair uses of copyrighted works.
What happens if you upload copyrighted materials to one of our websites without permission?
By law, we are required to take down videos, music, photographs or other content you upload onto a website hosted by the Microsoft Corporation if we learn that it infringes someone else’s copyright. If you believe that we have mistakenly taken down content you uploaded that you own or have permission to upload, you can also let us know that. Finally, if you upload infringing content repeatedly, we will terminate your account and you could face criminal and civil penalties. So please, respect other people’s copyrights.
What if my stuff is on a Microsoft and VFI website without my permission?
If you believe that anything on a website hosted by Microsoft and VFI infringes your copyright, let us know. Just provide us with the information requested here and we will see that your copyrighted works are taken down.
I want to share my content, but…
Many of our websites and services allow you to share content you create, such as video, music and photographs. Though there is no way for us to ensure that your content will not be misused when you share it online, you may consider making it available under a Creative Commons License.
Creative Commons licenses are a simple way for you to let people know what uses they can make of your creative works and under what conditions. Creative Commons licenses are customizable based on your preferences and are automatically generated through the use of an online form. The form includes questions such as whether your work may be used only for non-commercial purposes and whether the work may be modified. As such, a variety of licenses are possible. For example, an “attribution only” license allows others to make any use of your work as long as they indicate that you are the copyright holder.
Creative Commons is continually developing new licenses tailored to needs identified by creative people like you. To learn more about Creative Commons, or to prepare a Creative Commons license, visit their website (http://creativecommons.org/).
What if I don’t want my website crawled?
Microsoft and VFI search services (MSN Search and Windows Live Search) follow the Robots Exclusion Standards. This means that you can control which pages Microsoft and VFI search engines index and how often Microsoft and VFI bots access your website. To learn how to do so, or for more information regarding Microsoft and VFI’s webcrawling and site indexing practices, please visit http://search.msn.com/docs/siteowner.aspx.
Trademark information is available at http://www.Microsoft.com/library/toolbar/3.0/trademarks/en-us.mspx.
Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.
Send your questions to the appropriate contact as listed below:
- Microsoft and VFI Web properties, contact homepage@Microsoft.com
- MSN Web properties, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hotmail, contact email@example.com; for spam/privacy issues, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Piracy questions can be routed to piracy@Microsoft.com or by calling 1-800-R-U-LEGIT.