This User Agreement, which includes our Privacy Policy, governs your use of our ConsumersUnion.org web site (the “Site”). For purposes of our User Agreement, the Site includes all of the Consumers Union advocacy campaign web sites accessible from our Site except for Consumer Reports WebWatch and Greener Choices, which are governed by the ConsumerReports.org User Agreement. Please read this User Agreement carefully, because by using our Site, you agree to be bound by and comply with its terms.

We may update this User Agreement from time to time by posting the modified User Agreement on this page, or, if we determine that it’s appropriate, we may post a notice of the change on our home page. By continuing to use our Site after the modified User Agreement becomes effective, you agree to the modified terms.

Site Content

Our Site and all content, including without limitation, all text, images, photographs, graphics, logos, software, audio and video clips, databases and other materials (collectively, the “Site Content”) are owned by or licensed to CU and are protected by United States and international copyright laws and other intellectual property laws.

CU grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited right to access, use, and display our Site and to download or print Site Content for personal, non-commercial purposes only. If you download or print files, images, or any other Site Content, you may not alter the Site Content, or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices displayed on the Site Content.

You may not download, display, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, or in any way exploit the Site and the Site Content for any commercial use without CU’s prior written permission.

Notice of Copyright Infringement

We intend that all Site Content respect the copyright and other proprietary rights of third parties. When visitors post content on our Site, we are unable to monitor the copyright ownership of all posted content. If at any time you believe that any of our Site Content infringes your copyrighted material, then you may request the content be removed from our Site in accordance with the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 512(c)(3) and procedures described below.

You must send a notice that complies with the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §512(c)(3) (“Notice”) to the agent we have designated with the Copyright Office:

Consumers Union of United States, Inc.
101 Truman Avenue
Yonkers, New York 10703-1057
Attn: Wendy Wintman

To comply with the Copyright Act, your Notice must be in writing and must include:

  • A physical or electronic signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
  • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works;
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material;
  • Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact you, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which you may be contacted;
  • A statement that you have a good-faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  • When we receive a Notice that complies with the Copyright Act, we will remove the identified material promptly. We will promptly take reasonable steps to inform the user who posted the allegedly infringing material (the “alleged infringer”) of the Notice and subsequent removal.

The alleged infringer may then provide us with a counter-notice (“Counter-Notice) that the initial infringement notice was erroneous. Such Counter-Notice must be in writing and must include:

  • A physical or electronic signature of the alleged infringer;
  • Identification of the material removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled;
  • A statement under penalty of perjury that the alleged infringer has a good-faith belief that the material was removed or access to it disabled as a result of error;
  • The alleged infringer’s name, address, and telephone number; and
  • A statement of consent to jurisdiction in federal district court and that the alleged infringer consents to service of process from the complaining party or its agent.
  • Upon receipt of a Counter-Notice, we will notify you of the Counter-Notice and restore the material within 10 to 14 business days of receipt of the Counter-Notice unless you inform us that you have filed an action seeking a court order to restrain the allegedly infringing party from engaging in infringing activity relating to the material on our Site.

Please note: the contact information of our Designated Agent is intended specifically for the receipt of notices of claimed infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, 17 U.S.C. §512. It is not intended for general inquiries or permission requests concerning use of our Site Content. If you have general inquiries, please email us at webmaster@consumersunion.org.

Trademarks

CONSUMERS UNION®, CONSUMER REPORTS® and related marks are owned by CU. Our Site may also contain the trademarks and service marks of third parties; you may use third-party marks only as the applicable third party permits.

Except as set forth below, you agree not to use any trademarks, service marks, names, logos, or other identifiers of CU or its employees, licensors, independent contractors, providers and affiliates (collectively, “Affiliates”) without the prior written permission of CU or the relevant Affiliate. In addition, you may not use our trademarks:

  • in, as, or as part of, your own trademarks or those of any third parties;
  • to identify products or services that are not those of CU;
  • in a manner likely to cause confusion among users about whether we are the source, sponsor or endorser, or are otherwise connected with your own activities, products and services or those of third parties; or
  • in any manner inconsistent with Consumers Union’s No Commercial Use Policy.
  • If you operate a blog and wish to aid our advocacy campaign efforts by linking to our web site from your blog, then we grant you a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable license to use the trademarks posted in the Blogger Toolkit section of our Site, solely in connection with your non-commercial, informational efforts to alert consumers to the availability of content on our Site and to otherwise further our shared public education and policy goals. Links to our Site should open in a new browser window. We reserve the right to terminate this license at any time if we discover that you have used our trademarks in a commercial manner or to imply an endorsement of you or your web site or if you have otherwise violated any of the terms of this User Agreement.

No-Commercial Use Policy

You agree to use our Site only in a noncommercial manner and in compliance with CU’s No-Commercial Use Policy copied below. You specifically agree not to post, transmit or otherwise distribute to the Site any material containing any solicitation of funds, advertising or solicitation for goods or services. We encourage you to report any apparent violation to us. Write to Consumers Union, Dept. WJW, 101 Truman Ave., Yonkers, NY 10703-1057.

CONSUMERS UNION NO-COMMERCIAL USE POLICY

Published information from Consumers Union, including our Ratings and Reports, is intended solely for the benefit of our subscribers and other consumers, in order to help them make informed choices and decisions about consumer products, services, and other consumer matters. Such information may not be used by others in advertising or to promote a company’s products or services. In addition, this policy precludes any commercial use of any of Consumers Union’s published information in any form, or of the names of Consumers Union®, Consumer Reports®, or any other of Consumers Union’s publications or services, without our express written permission.

User Feedback, Stories & Interactive Forums; License

CU may make available to users of the Site email notices, newsletters, chat rooms, message boards, bulletin board services, or other interactive communication facilities by means of the Site where you can express your views, read and respond to the views of other Site users and post content (such facilities collectively referred to as the “Forums”).

You are solely responsible for the content of any transmissions you make to the Site or any materials you add to the Site, including to any Forum (the “Communications”). CU and its Affiliates do not endorse or accept any Communication as their own or representative of their views.

Except as otherwise set forth in this User Agreement, by transmitting any public Communication to the Site, you grant CU an irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, unrestricted, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, reproduce, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, modify, edit, create derivative works from, incorporate into one or more compilations and reproduce and distribute such compilations, and otherwise exploit such Communications, in all media now known or later developed. You warrant that you have the right to grant these rights to CU and that you will not post any content that infringes or violates any proprietary, privacy or publicity, or other rights of any party or that violates any law. You hereby waive all rights generally known as “moral rights” in your Communications to the extent they can be waived, under any existing or future law of any jurisdiction.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, in certain areas of our Site, such as our Share Your Story feature, we invite you to share your personal experiences about important issues facing consumers so that we can learn more about the issues, and better inform federal and state policymakers, fellow consumers and consumer groups, and the media in generating additional support for consumers. In the areas of our Site where you share your story and personal information about yourself, we provide you with the opportunity to tell us how you wish us to treat your information, for example, we ask permission in certain Forums to publish your story and the personal information you provide with it. The terms applicable to those Forums and the preferences you indicate govern CU’s use of those specific Communications.

Communicating on or to the Site

CU cannot review all Communications made on or through the Site. CU reserves the right, but has no obligation, to monitor Forums and in our discretion, to edit or remove any content (or portions of it) that we deem inappropriate, offensive or contrary to any CU policy, or that violates this User Agreement.

To help CU maintain a safe and civil environment, you agree not to post any Communication on our Site that:

  • is for commercial purposes or otherwise advertises or solicits for the sale of goods or services;
  • constitutes or contains “affiliate marketing,” “link referral code,” “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or unsolicited commercial advertisement, or contains any form of advertising or solicitation that includes links to commercial services or web sites;
  • advertises any illegal services or the sale of any items the sale of which is prohibited or restricted by applicable law;
  • employs misleading email addresses, or forged headers or otherwise manipulated identifiers in order to disguise the origin of the Communication;
  • that makes any commercial, advertising, marketing or other similar use of any Site Content or Consumers Union’s name or materials without Consumers Union’s express prior written consent;
  • is obscene, indecent, pornographic, profane, sexually explicit, threatening, or abusive;
  • is false, deceptive, misleading, deceitful, misinformative, or constitutes “bait and switch”;
  • slanders, libels, defames, disparages, or otherwise violates the legal rights of any third party;
  • infringes or violates the intellectual property rights (including copyright, patent and trademark rights), contract rights, trade secrets, privacy or publicity rights or any other rights of any third party;
  • violates any applicable laws, rules, or regulations;
  • contains software viruses or any other malicious code designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment, that disrupts the normal flow of dialogue with an excessive number of messages (flooding attack), or that otherwise negatively affects other users’ ability to submit comments;
  • impersonates another person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Consumers Union employee, or falsely states or otherwise misrepresents your affiliation with a person or entity or that collects or uses any information about Site visitors.

In addition, you agree not to:

  • contact anyone who has asked not to be contacted;
  • “stalk” or otherwise harass anyone;
  • collect personal data about other Site users for commercial or unlawful purposes;
  • use automated means, including spiders, robots, crawlers, data mining tools, or the like to download data from our Site, provided that an exception is made for internet search engines (e.g. Google) and non-commercial public archives (e.g. archive.org) that comply with our robots.txt file;
  • repeatedly post the same or similar Communications or otherwise impose an unreasonable or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure; or
  • attempt to gain unauthorized access to Consumers Union’s computer systems or engage in any activity that disrupts, diminishes the quality of, interferes with the performance of, or impairs the functionality of our Site.
  • Information Provided

You acknowledge that any reliance upon any advice, opinion, statement, or other information displayed or distributed through our Site is at your sole risk. CU reserves the right, in its sole discretion and without notice, to correct any errors or omissions in any portion of our Site. You acknowledge and agree that CU is not responsible for any materials posted by users of our Site.

Age Restrictions

You represent and warrant to CU that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you possess the legal right and ability to enter into this User Agreement and to use our Site in accordance with this User Agreement.

Indemnification

You hereby agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless CU and its Affiliates from and against any and all liability and costs incurred by CU or our Affiliates in connection with any claim arising out of any breach or alleged breach of any of your representations, warranties or obligations set forth in this User Agreement. You shall cooperate as fully as reasonably required in the defense of any claim. CU reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you and you shall not in any event settle any matter without the written consent of CU.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES

EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY SET FORTH HEREIN, OUR SITE (INCLUDING ALL SITE CONTENT, SOFTWARE, AND INFORMATION MADE AVAILABLE THEREON OR ACCESSED BY MEANS THEREOF) ARE PROVIDED AS-IS AND AS-AVAILABLE, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF TITLE OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE (WHETHER OR NOT THAT PURPOSE HAS BEEN DISCLOSED), TITLE, COMPATABILITY, SECURITY, ACCURACY, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY LAW, CU AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTIES AND SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE USE OF OUR SITE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NEGLIGENCE BY CU. CU DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTIONS CONTAINED IN OUR SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, THAT OUR SITE WILL MEET ANY PARTICULAR CRITERIA OF PERFORMANCE OR QUALITY, OR THAT OUR SITE, INCLUDING THE SERVER(S) ON WHICH OUR SITE IS OPERATED, ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

USE OF OUR SITE IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. YOU ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY AND RISK OF LOSS RESULTING FROM YOUR DOWNLOADING AND/OR USE OF FILES, INFORMATION, COMMUNICATIONS, SITE CONTENT OR OTHER MATERIAL (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION SOFTWARE) ACCESSED THROUGH OR OBTAINED BY MEANS OF OUR SITE.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL CU OR ITS AFFILIATES, OR THEIR RESPECTIVE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS, OR ANY THIRD-PARTY PROVIDER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS OR NETWORK SERVICES, SITE SOFTWARE OR SITE CONTENT FOR CU OR ITS AFFILIATES, BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DAMAGES FOR PERSONAL INJURY AND/OR DEATH, LOST REVENUES OR PROFITS, LOSS OF BUSINESS OR LOSS OF DATA) THAT ARE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY RELATED TO YOUR USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THIS SITE EVEN IF CU, ITS AFFILIATES, OR THEIR PROVIDERS OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS OR NETWORK SERVICES, SITE CONTENT OR SOFTWARE HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH LIABILITY IS BASED IN TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), CONTRACT OR ANY OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

Termination

We reserve the right to terminate our Site and this User Agreement for any reason. CU also reserves the right to restrict, suspend or terminate your access to the Site in whole or in part at any time without notice if we discover that you have violated this User Agreement. Your license of rights to CU under Section 5 and the Disclaimer of Warranties, Limitation of Liability, Indemnification and General Provisions Sections of this User Agreement survive such termination.

General Provisions

This User Agreement, which includes our Privacy Policy, constitutes the entire agreement between you and CU with respect to our Site and supersedes all prior agreements between you and CU. Failure by CU to enforce any provision of this User Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. This Agreement is governed by the laws of the State of New York applicable to contracts made and performed there without regard to its conflicts of law principles. You irrevocably agree to bring any claim or dispute relating to your use of our Site and this User Agreement exclusively in the state and federal courts located in the State and County of New York, and you waive any jurisdictional, venue or inconvenient forum objections to such courts. If any provision of this Agreement is deemed unlawful, void or for any reason or unenforceable, then that provision is considered severed and will not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

Links to Other Sites

Our Site may contain links and pointers to other sites on the Internet which may be maintained by third parties. Such links do not constitute an endorsement by CU or its Affiliates of any third-party site or any materials contained therein. CU and its Affiliates do not control, and are not responsible for, the availability, accuracy, privacy policy, or currency of such third-party sites or any information, content, products or services accessible from such third-party sites.

© 2008 Consumers Union of United States, Inc.

First posted on May 23, 2008