This would seem to state that the add banner and promotional materials will be placed where required by the acceptable use policy; this has historically included the ***advertisement*** banner, but could be read to include any and all promotional matierals.TOS wrote:2. Agreement -- COMIC GENESIS agrees to give the submitting CARTOONIST free webhosting and promotion. CARTOONIST agrees to place COMIC GENESIS' ad banners and promotional materials on CARTOONIST'S website in apropriate and proper locations. CARTOONIST also agrees to follow COMIC GENESIS' Acceptible Use Policy.
This expressly states that the site design copyright is owned and controlled by the cartoonist and specifically does not give CG the right to alter the site design.TOS wrote:1. Copyrights -- The CARTOONIST's material (the characters, site design, and strips of the CARTOONIST's cartoons/comic strips) is the intellectual property of the CARTOONIST who retains ownership of the Copyrights and Trademarks on such items.
Therefore - is the automatic inclusion of the alert banner, which alters the site design without prior permission of the cartoonist, legal? I don't think so... here is why:
This states clearly that any notice or communication that needs to be provided to us regarding the TOS will be done via personal contact or United States Postal mail. This would include, "We have decided to make the ***keenspace_alert*** tag required - please add it." Note that having StrRedWolf contact us via forum is not considered personal contact.TOS wrote:7. Notices -- Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, notices or other communications required or permitted by this agreement or by law to be given to either party shall be in writing and shall be deemed given when personally delivered to the party to whom it is directed, or, in lieu of such personal service, when deposited in the United States mail, first-class postage prepaid, addressed to the party shown near its signature below, or to such change of address noticed in the manner provided in this section.
I ran this by my uncle, who is a lawyer in Missouri, and he agreed - CG appears to be illegally altering the copywritten site layout of the websites it is hosting by automatically adding the tag.
However, if you want to fight it, there is this clause:
Which basically means the cartoonist gets to pick the mediator, both sides agree to split the costs, and if the mediator cannot resolve the dispute, then it goes to the California Arbitration Act, which I don't know a thing about.TOS wrote:5. Mediation/Arbitration -- The parties agree to mediate through an independent mediator selected by CARTOONIST any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to this Agreement, or the breach thereof, the costs of mediation to be shared equally. If mediation does not resolve the entire controversy or claim, then the remainder shall be resolved by arbitration under the provisions of the California Arbitration Act, section 1280 et. seq. of the California Code of Civil Procedure, or any successor statute.
My suggestion to anyone who does not want the alert automatically added would be to contact the Better Business Bureau and file a complaint and request mediation - they will do so for free.
I won't be... it's a small banner; I'm not disturbed by it. But I'm very, very uncomfortable with Chris just wanting it, and having it done. Granted he is truely all powerful within keenspot. But Keenspot is a company that has to follow the rules same as any other.