Terms of Service
Statement of Rights and Responsibilities
This statement of the terms of service of The Book is derived from principles of the public sphere, covered in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, the American Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Golden Rule, and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as the works of Virginia Woolf, Friedrich Nietzsche, Booker T. Washington, Emily Dickinson, Karl Marx, Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Paine, Mary Shelley, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, the Marquis de Sade, John Milton, Michel de Montaigne, Erasmus, Francis Bacon, Martin Luther, Thomas Aquinas, Maimonides, Hypatia, Augustine, Aristotle, and Plato, among other pursuant documents not exclusive of other acts and agreements past, present, and future. In using The Book, either by creating works in the form of The Book (writing) or by deriving information and/or pleasure from other works in said form (reading), you do not necessarily subscribe to the the principles set forth in these aforementioned documents. But they protect your rights and suggest your responsibilities just the same.
What takes place in the exchange between your brain and the contents of The Book is your exclusive private concern. The Book will never download the contents of your brain, either whole or in part.
II. Intellectual Property
A. The Book often contains ideas and information created by others. The continued appearance of such ideas and information depends on the recognition of a limited property right enjoyed by creators of said ideas and information. But recognizing that the terms of service also require access to ideas and information and the ability to repurpose them in the creation of new works, the creator’s monopoly right shall be understood to be limited and circumscribed.
B. In order to facilitate exchange of ideas and information, The Book claims no license, exclusive or non-exclusive, to thoughts and experiences of the user (“reader”). When you experience ideas and information contained in The Book, said experiences remain your exclusive property, to be transferred, transformed, repurposed, or forgotten subject only to limits recognized by fellow users as described in part II.A, above.
The Book has no account registration procedure. No credit card, social security number, passport, diploma, blood type, vision test, or waiver of rights shall be required to use The Book. This provision is subject to perversions of politics, religion, and market forces beyond the control of The Book.
IV. Use of The Book
The Book is a work of art and a product of craft, and as such is open to any use or repurposing imaginable by readers, writers, and other users, who may scribble in, decorate, deface, gloss, footnote, illustrate, carve, stack, shelve, hide, beg, borrow, or steal as deemed appropriate, subject only to the expectations of fellow users and political, religious, or market forces, which as mentioned in III above are beyond the control of The Book.
V. Special Provisions
A. The Book will not place ads in your brain, nor seek to control placement of such ads by others.
B. The Book cannot reject users for any reason.
C. The Book will not stop providing its services if you violate the spirit or letter of this agreement, or otherwise place in jeopardy The Book or the Public Sphere in which it operates. But the ultimate consequences of said violation, as well as aforementioned perversions political, religious, or economic, may render said services of The Book useless.
Matthew Battles is @mbattles on Twitter. He blogs about the future of the book at library ad infinitum and at Hilobrow.com, where “The Book: Terms of Service” first appeared. He is a frequent contributor to the BN Review.