- Posted by Johanna on January 8, 2010 at 11:38 am
- Category: Digital and Webcomics
Since announcing they were becoming a pay site earlier this week, Webcomics.com has made a couple more significant updates.
First, the previous forum is now archived and available for reading (or copying, if someone who contributed before the paywall went up wants to save their words elsewhere). You must be a site member to contribute, though.
More significantly, the site has posted their Terms of Service. Some people asked, after the lockdown announcement, just what they were getting for their $30 yearly subscription fee. What was the site promising, and what was their recourse if something happened and the site quit updating or they weren’t satisfied with the content? Is there a refund policy?
Unfortunately, the TOS doesn’t seem to answer those questions. Instead, it mostly talks about what the user’s responsibilities are. You’re responsible for the security of your account and what’s posted from it, including:
If you post a comment, you are entirely responsible for the content of, and any harm resulting from, that content.
I’ve never seen that “harm resulting” clause before. Makes me think about people getting their feelings hurt and overreacting. Which makes me wonder something else: If someone known to have disagreed with the Webcomics.com hosts and maintainers virulently in the past wanted to subscribe, would the site accept their payment, or do they retain the right to “refuse service”? Wait, they covered that one:
Webcomics.com has the right (though not the obligation) to, in Webcomics.com’s sole discretion (i) refuse or remove any content that, in Webcomics.com’s reasonable opinion, violates any Webcomics.com 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 Webcomics.com’s sole discretion. Webcomics.com will provide a prorated (based on unused months) refund of the annual subscription fee paid if (ii) occurs.
So if they don’t like you, they can boot you, but they owe you money back. I didn’t see any other information on refunds or renewals. (Which at least means they’re not planning to auto-renew your subscription, which is a good thing.) They do have a termination clause that reads:
Webcomics.com may terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice. If you wish to terminate this Agreement or your Webcomics.com account (if you have one), you may simply discontinue using the Website.
Which may need to be updated so it doesn’t conflict with the statement above and covers the new monetary situation. In general, though, this strikes me as a typical website TOS, in which they are not actually responsible for keeping the site up or what’s posted by users or much of anything. It’s all about you not being able to sue them for any reason.