The Observable Terms of Service

Effective date: January 31, 2018

A. Definitions

Short version: We use these basic terms throughout the agreement, and they have specific meanings.

  1. The “Agreement” refers, collectively, to all the terms, conditions, and notices contained or referenced in this document (the “Terms of Service” or the “Terms”) and all other operating rules, policies and procedures that we may publish from time to time on the Website.
  2. The “Service” refers to the applications, software, products, and services provided by Observable.
  3. The “Website” refers to Observable’s website located at observablehq.com, and all content, services, and products provided by Observable at or through the Website. It also refers to Observable-owned subdomains of observablehq.com, such as api.observablehq.com and ancillary websites, such as observableusercontent.com.
  4. “The User,” “You,” and “Your” refer to the individual person, company, or organization that has visited or is using the Website or Service; that accesses or uses any part of the account; or that directs the use of the account in the performance of its functions. A User must be at least 13 years of age.
  5. “Observable,” “We,” and “Us” refer to Observable, Inc., as well as our affiliates, directors, subsidiaries, contractors, licensors, officers, agents, and employees.
  6. “Content” refers to content featured or displayed through the Website, including without limitation text, data, articles, images, photographs, graphics, software, applications, designs, features, and other materials that are available on the Website or otherwise available through the Service. “Content” also includes Services. “User-Generated Content” is Content, written or otherwise, created or uploaded by our Users. “Your Content” is Content that you create or own.

B. Account Terms

Short version: A human must create your account; you must be 13 or over; you must provide a valid email address; and you may not have more than one free account. You alone are responsible for your account and anything that happens while you are signed in to or using your account. You are responsible for keeping your account secure.

1. Required Information

You must log in with a supported identity provider, such as GitHub, linked to a valid email address in order to complete the signup process. Any other information requested, such as your real name, is optional.

2. Account Requirements

We have a few simple rules for accounts on Observable’s Service.

3. User Account Security

You are responsible for keeping your account secure while you use our Service.

C. Acceptable Use

Short version: Observable hosts a wide variety of collaborative notebooks from all over the world, and that collaboration only works when our users are able to work together in good faith. While using the service, you must follow this Acceptable Use Policy, which includes some restrictions on content you can post, conduct on the service, and other limitations. In short, be courteous to each other, and don’t spam.

1. Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Your use of the Website and Service must not violate any applicable laws, including copyright or trademark laws, export control laws, or other laws in your jurisdiction. You are responsible for making sure that your use of the Service is in compliance with laws and any applicable regulations.

2. Content Restrictions

You agree that you will not under any circumstances upload, post, host, or transmit any content that:

3. Conduct Restrictions

While using Observable, you agree that you will not under any circumstances:

4. Services Usage Limits

You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, resell or exploit any portion of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service without Observable’s express written permission.

5. Scraping

Scraping refers to extracting data from our Website via an automated process, such as a bot or webcrawler. You may scrape the website solely for the following reasons:

You may not scrape Observable for spamming purposes, including for the purposes of selling Observable users’ personal information, such as to recruiters, headhunters, and job boards.

All use of Observable data gathered through scraping must comply with the Privacy policy, described in Section D.

6. Data Collection and Privacy

Misuse of Observable Users’ Personal Information is prohibited.

Any person, entity, or service collecting data from Observable must comply with the Privacy policy described in Section D of this Agreement, particularly in regards to the collection of our Users’ Personal Information. If you collect any Observable User’s Personal Information from Observable, you agree that you will only use the Personal Information you gather for the purpose for which our User has authorized it. You agree that you will reasonably secure any Personal Information you have gathered from Observable, and you will respond promptly to complaints, removal requests, and “do not contact” requests from Observable or Observable Users.

7. Excessive Bandwidth Use

If we determine your bandwidth usage to be excessive in relation to other Observable users, we reserve the right to suspend your account or throttle your notebook hosting until you can reduce your bandwidth consumption.

8. User Protection

You agree not to engage in activity that significantly harms our Users. We will resolve disputes in favor of protecting our Users as a whole.

D. Privacy

Short version: We collect your information only with your consent; we only collect the minimum amount of personal information that is necessary to fulfill the purpose of your interaction with us; we don’t sell it to third parties; and we only use it as this Agreement describes.

1. Information Observable Collects

We may collect basic browsing information from all visitors to the Website, including the visitor’s browser type, language preference, referring site, and the date and time of each visitor request. We may also collect potentially personally-identifying information like Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

If you log in to Observable, we may require additional information: a valid email address, name, avatar image, biographical paragraph, and an account name from a supported identity provider.

“User Personal Information” is any information about one of our users which could, alone or together with other information, personally identify him or her. Information such as a user name, an email address, a real name, and a photograph are examples of “User Personal Information.”

User Personal Information does not include aggregated, non-personally identifying information. We may use aggregated, non-personally identifying information to operate, improve, and optimize our website and service.

2. What Information Observable Does Not Collect

We do not intentionally collect sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers, genetic data, health information, or religious information. Although Observable does not request or intentionally collect any sensitive personal information, we realize that you might store this kind of information in your account, such as in a notebook. If you store any sensitive personal information on our servers, you are consenting to our storage of that information on our servers, which are in the United States.

We do not intentionally collect information that is stored in your notebooks or any other free-form content inputs. Information in your notebooks belongs to you, and you are responsible for it.

If your notebook has been published, and is now public, anyone (including Observable employees) may view its contents. If you have included private or sensitive information in your public notebook, such as email addresses, that information may be indexed by search engines or used by third parties. In addition, while we do not generally search for content in your private notebooks, we may scan our servers for certain tokens or security signatures.

3. How We Share the Information We Collect

We do not share, sell, rent, or trade User Personal Information with third parties for their commercial purposes.

We do not disclose User Personal Information outside Observable, except in the situations listed in this section or when compelled to by law.

We do share certain aggregated, non-personally identifying information with others about how our users, collectively, use Observable. For example, we may compile statistics on the usage of open source libraries across Observable. However, we do not sell this information to advertisers or marketers.

We may share User Personal Information with your permission, so we can perform services you have requested.

We may share User Personal Information with a limited number of third-party vendors who process it on our behalf to provide or improve our service, and who have agreed to privacy restrictions similar those in our Terms of Service. Our vendors may perform services such as payment processing, customer support ticketing, network data transmission, and other similar services.

We may share User Personal Information if we are involved in a merger, sale, or acquisition. If any such change of ownership happens, we will notify you on our website or by email before any transfer of your User Personal Information.

4. Public Information on Observable

Much of Observable is public-facing. If your content is public-facing, third parties may access and use it in compliance with our Terms of Service. We do not sell that content; it is yours. However, we do allow third parties, such as internet archives, to compile public-facing Observable information.

Your Personal Information, associated with your content, may be gathered by third parties in these compilations of Observable data. If you do not want your Personal Information to appear in third parties’ compilations of Observable data, please do not make your Personal Information publicly available.

5. Cookies

Observable uses cookies (and similar technologies, like HTML5 localStorage) to keep you logged in, remember your preferences, and provide information for future development of Observable. The cookies Observable sets are essential for the operation of the website, or are used for performance or functionality. By using the Website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your computer or device. If you disable your browser or device’s ability to accept cookies, you will not be able to log in or use the Service.

Certain pages on our site may set other third party cookies. For example, we may embed content, such as videos, from another site that sets a cookie. Or another user’s notebook may embed a third party video. While we try to minimize these third party cookies, we can’t always control what cookies this third party content sets.

E. User-Generated Content

Short version: You own content you create, but you allow us certain rights to it, so that we can display and share the content you post. You still have control over your content, and responsibility for it, and the rights you grant us are limited to those we need to provide the service. We have the right to remove content or close accounts if we need to.

1. Responsibility for User-Generated Content

You may create or upload User-Generated Content while using the Service. You are solely responsible for the content of, and for any harm resulting from, any User-Generated Content that you post, upload, link to or otherwise make available via the Service, regardless of the form of that Content. We are not responsible for any public display or misuse of your User-Generated Content.

2. Observable May Remove Content

We do not pre-screen User-Generated Content, but we have the right (though not the obligation) to refuse or remove any User-Generated Content that, in our sole discretion, violates any Observable terms or policies.

3. Ownership of Content, Right to Post, and License Grants

You retain ownership of and responsibility for Content you create or own (“Your Content”). If you’re posting anything you did not create yourself or do not own the rights to, you agree that you are responsible for any Content you post; that you will only submit Content that you have the right to post; and that you will fully comply with any third party licenses relating to Content you post.

Because you retain ownership of and responsibility for Your Content, we need you to grant us — and other Observable Users — certain legal permissions, listed in Sections E.4 — E.6. These license grants apply to Your Content. If you upload Content that already comes with a license granting Observable the permissions we need to run our Service, no additional license is required. You understand that you will not receive any payment for any of the rights granted in Sections E.4 — E.6. The licenses you grant to us will end when you remove Your Content from our servers, unless other Users have forked it.

4. License Grant to Us

We need the legal right to do things like host Your Content, publish it, and share it. You grant us and our legal successors the right to store, parse, and display Your Content, and make incidental copies as necessary to render the Website and provide the Service. This includes the right to do things like copy it to our database and make backups; show it to you and other users; parse it into a search index or otherwise analyze it on our servers; share it with other users; run it in a notebook environment; and perform it, in case Your Content is something like music or video.

This license does not grant Observable the right to sell Your Content or otherwise distribute or use it outside of our provision of the Service.

5. License Grant to Other Users

Any User-Generated Content you post publicly may be viewed by others. By publishing your notebooks, you agree to allow others to view and “fork” your notebooks (this means that others may make their own copies of Content from your notebooks in notebooks they control).

When you publish a notebook, you grant each User of Observable a nonexclusive, worldwide license to use, display, and perform Your Content through the Observable Service and to reproduce Your Content solely on Observable as permitted through Observable’s functionality (for example, through forking). If you are uploading Content you did not create or own, you are responsible for ensuring that the Content you upload is licensed under terms that grant these permissions to other Observable Users.

6. Moral Rights

You retain all moral rights to Your Content that you upload, publish, or submit to any part of the Service, including the rights of integrity and attribution. However, you waive these rights and agree not to assert them against us, to enable us to reasonably exercise the rights granted in Section E.4, but not otherwise.

To the extent this agreement is not enforceable by applicable law, you grant Observable the rights we need to use Your Content without attribution and to make reasonable adaptations of Your Content as necessary to render the Website and provide the Service.

F. Private Notebooks

Short version: You may have access to private or draft notebooks. We treat the content of private notebooks as confidential, and we only access it for support reasons, with your consent, or if required to for security reasons.

1. Control of Private Notebooks.

Accounts may have private or draft notebooks, which allow the User to restrict access to Content.

2. Confidentiality of Private Notebooks.

Observable considers the contents of private notebooks to be confidential to you. Observable will use commercially reasonable efforts to protect the contents of private notebooks from unauthorized use, access, or disclosure.

3. Access.

Observable employees may only access the content of your private or draft notebooks in the following situations:

4. Exclusions.

If we have reason to believe the contents of a private notebook are in violation of the law or of these Terms, we have the right to access, review, and remove them. Additionally, we may be compelled by law to disclose the contents of your private notebooks.

If you are a copyright owner and you believe that content on Observable violates your copyright, please contact us by emailing support@observablehq.com. There may be legal consequences for sending a false or frivolous takedown notice. Before sending a takedown request, you must consider legal uses such as fair use and licensed uses.

It is the policy of Observable, in appropriate circumstances and in its sole discretion, to disable and/or terminate the accounts of users who repeatedly infringe upon the copyrights or other intellectual property rights of Observable and/or others.

To send a takedown request under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, you must:

  1. Identify the copyrighted work you believe has been infringed.
  2. Identify the material on the Website you allege is infringing the copyrighted work. In common cases, this may simply be a notebook URL.
  3. Explain what the affected user would need to do in order to remedy the infringement.
  4. Provide your contact information, including email address, name, telephone number and physical address.
  5. Provide additional contact information, if you know it, for the alleged infringer.
  6. Include the following statement: “I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above on the infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, or its agent, or the law. I have taken fair use into consideration.”
  7. Also include the following statement: “I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in this notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner, or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”
  8. Include your physical or electronic signature.

Email your takedown notice, including elements 1 through 8 above, to support@observablehq.com.

H. Intellectual Property Notice

Short version: We own the service and all of our content. In order for you to use our content, we give you certain rights to it, but you may only use our content in the way we have allowed.

1. Observable’s Rights to Content

Observable and our licensors, vendors, agents, and/or our content providers retain ownership of all intellectual property rights of any kind related to the Website and Service. We reserve all rights that are not expressly granted to you under this Agreement or by law. The look and feel of the Website and Service is copyright © Observable, Inc. All rights reserved. You may not duplicate, copy, or reuse any portion of the HTML/CSS, Javascript, or visual design elements or concepts without express written permission from Observable.

I. Advertising on Observable

Short version: We do not generally prohibit use of Observable for advertising or promotional notebooks. However, we expect our users to follow certain limitations, so that Observable does not become filled with spam.

1. Observable Notebooks

Observable notebooks are intended to host Content. You may include static images, links, and promotional text in a notebook, but they must be related to the notebook you are hosting on Observable.

2. Spamming and Inappropriate Use of Observable

Advertising Content, like all Content, must not violate the law or these Terms of Use, for example through excessive bulk activity such as spamming. We reserve the right to hide or remove any advertisements that, in our sole discretion, violate any Observable terms or policies.

J. Cancellation and Termination

Short version: You may close your account at any time. If you do, we’ll treat your information responsibly.

1. Account Cancellation

It is your responsibility to properly cancel your account with Observable. You can cancel your account at any time by emailing support@observablehq.com from the email address associated with your account.

2. Upon Cancellation

We will retain and use your information as necessary to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, and enforce our agreements, but barring legal requirements, we will delete your full profile and the Content of your notebooks within 90 days of cancellation or termination (though some information may remain in encrypted backups). This information can not be recovered once your account is cancelled.

We will not delete Content that you have contributed to other Users’ notebooks or that other Users have forked from your notebooks.

3. Observable May Terminate

Observable has the right to suspend or terminate your access to all or any part of the Website at any time, with or without cause, with or without notice, effective immediately. Observable reserves the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.

4. Survival

All provisions of this Agreement which by their nature should survive termination will survive termination, including, without limitation, ownership provisions, warranty disclaimers, indemnity, and limitations of liability.

K. Communications with Observable

Short version: We use email and other electronic means to stay in touch with our users.

1. Electronic Communication Required

For contractual purposes, you (1) consent to receive communications from us in an electronic form via the email address you have submitted or via the Service; and (2) agree that all Terms of Service, agreements, notices, disclosures, and other communications that we provide to you electronically satisfy any legal requirement that those communications would satisfy if they were on paper. This section does not affect your non-waivable rights.

Communications made through email or any electronic messaging system will not constitute legal notice to Observable or any of its officers, employees, agents or representatives in any situation where notice to Observable is required by contract or any law or regulation. Legal notice to Observable must be in writing and served on Observable’s legal agent.

3. No Phone Support

Observable only offers support via email, in-Service communications, and electronic messages. We do not offer telephone support.

L. Disclaimer of Warranties

Short version: We provide our service as is, and we make no promises or guarantees about this service.

Observable provides the Website and the Service “as is” and “as available,” without warranty of any kind. Without limiting this, we expressly disclaim all warranties, whether express, implied or statutory, regarding the Website and the Service including without limitation any warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, security, accuracy and non-infringement.

Observable does not warrant that the Service will meet your requirements; that the Service will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error-free; that the information provided through the Service is accurate, reliable or correct; that any defects or errors will be corrected; that the Service will be available at any particular time or location; or that the Service is free of viruses or other harmful components. You assume full responsibility and risk of loss resulting from your downloading and/or use of files, information, content or other material obtained from the Service.

M. Limitation of Liability

Short version: We will not be liable for damages or losses arising from your use or inability to use the Service or otherwise arising under this agreement.

You understand and agree that we will not be liable to you or any third party for any loss of profits, use, goodwill, or data, or for any incidental, indirect, special, consequential or exemplary damages, however arising, that result from

Our liability is limited whether or not we have been informed of the possibility of such damages, and even if a remedy set forth in this Agreement is found to have failed of its essential purpose. We will have no liability for any failure or delay due to matters beyond our reasonable control.

N. Release and Indemnification

Short version: You are responsible for your use of the service. If you harm someone else or get into a dispute with someone else, we will not be involved.

If you have a dispute with one or more Users, you agree to release Observable from any and all claims, demands and damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown, arising out of or in any way connected with such disputes.

You agree to indemnify us, defend us, and hold us harmless from and against any and all claims, liabilities, and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of the Website and the Service, including but not limited to your violation of this Agreement. Observable will (1) promptly give you written notice of the claim, demand, suit or proceeding; (2) give you sole control of the defense and settlement of the claim, demand, suit or proceeding (provided that you may not settle any claim, demand, suit or proceeding unless the settlement unconditionally releases Observable of all liability); and (3) provide to you all reasonable assistance, at your expense.

O. Changes to These Terms

Short version: As Observable grows and continues to add features, we may update these Terms of Service. When a material change is made, we’ll post notice of the update on the Website.

We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to amend these Terms of Service at any time and will update these Terms of Service in the event of any such amendments. Such modifications and additional terms and conditions will be effective immediately and incorporated into this Agreement. Your continued use of the Website constitutes agreement to our revisions of these Terms of Service.

When a material change to the Terms of Service is made, we will post a notice of the update on the Website.

We reserve the right at any time and from time to time to modify or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Website (or any part of it) with or without notice.

P. Miscellaneous

1. Governing Law

Except to the extent applicable law provides otherwise, this Agreement between you and Observable and any access to or use of the Website or the Service are governed by the federal laws of the United States of America and the laws of the State of California, without regard to conflict of law provisions. You and Observable agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in the City and County of San Francisco, California.

2. Non-Assignability

Observable may assign or delegate these Terms of Service, in whole or in part, to any person or entity at any time with or without your consent, including the license grant in Section E.4. You may not assign or delegate any rights or obligations under the Terms of Service without our prior written consent, and any unauthorized assignment and delegation by you is void.

3. Section Headings and Summaries

Throughout this Agreement, each section includes titles and brief summaries of the following terms and conditions. These section titles and brief summaries are not legally binding.

4. Severability, No Waiver, and Survival

If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, that portion of the Agreement will be construed to reflect the parties’ original intent. The remaining portions will remain in full force and effect. Any failure on the part of Observable to enforce any provision of this Agreement will not be considered a waiver of our right to enforce such provision. Our rights under this Agreement will survive any termination of this Agreement.

5. Amendments; Complete Agreement

This Agreement may only be modified by a written amendment signed by an authorized representative of Observable, or by the posting by Observable of a revised version in accordance with Section O. Changes to These Terms. These Terms of Service represent the complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between you and us. This Agreement supersedes any proposal or prior agreement oral or written, and any other communications between you and Observable relating to the subject matter of these terms including any confidentiality or nondisclosure agreements.

6. Questions

Questions about the Terms of Service? Contact us at support@observablehq.com.

7. Thanks

These Terms of Service are adapted from GitHub’s freely-licensed Terms of Service, Privacy Statement and DMCA Takedown Policy. Thanks, GitHub!

© 2019 Observable, Inc.