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This site is the personal page of Anthony J. Witkowski III. I am a recent graduate of Northeastern Law and the two projects are the result of two classes, Internet Law & Information Security Law, in the Fall Quarter of 2017. Please visit the About page for more recent work.

8. Craigslist.org

"This doesn't look like the house from the ad..."

Craigslist

Craigslist is deserving of high marks for the clarity and brevity of their Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. All together, in 12 point font with 1.5 line spacing, the agreements are only 3.5 pages long. Within the agreements there are provisions limiting liability to $100 or what you paid to Craigslist, which may be nothing, indemnification for Craigslist from any claims arising from your use, an agreement not to participate in class actions, and clear indication that your data is being shared, although only in anonymized form.

Representations, Warranties, & Limits on Liability

 

DISCLAIMER. MANY JURISDICTIONS HAVE LAWS PROTECTING CONSUMERS AND OTHER CONTRACT PARTIES, LIMITING THEIR ABILITY TO WAIVE CERTAIN RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES. WE RESPECT SUCH LAWS; NOTHING HEREIN SHALL WAIVE RIGHTS OR RESPONSIBILITIES THAT CANNOT BE WAIVED.

To the extent permitted by law, (1) we make no promise as to CL, its completeness, accuracy, availability, timeliness, propriety, security or reliability; (2) your access and use are at your own risk, and CL is provided "AS IS" and "AS AVAILABLE"; (3) we are not liable for any harm resulting from (a) user content; (b) user conduct, e.g. illegal conduct; (c) your CL use; or (d) our representations; (4) WE AND OUR OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES ("CL ENTITIES"), DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES & CONDITIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NON-INFRINGEMENT; (5) CL ENTITIES ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, OR ANY LOSS (E.G. OF PROFIT, REVENUE, DATA, OR GOODWILL); (6) IN NO EVENT SHALL OUR TOTAL LIABILITY EXCEED $100 OR WHAT YOU PAID US IN THE PAST YEAR.

Indemnification

 

The indemnification provisions are under the heading "Claims" which also details that California courts will have jurisdiction. The section reads as follows:

"CLAIMS. You agree (1) any claim, cause of action or dispute ("Claim") arising out of or related to the TOU or your CL use is governed by California ("CA") law regardless of your location or any conflict or choice of law principle; (2) Claims must be resolved exclusively by state or federal court in San Francisco, CA (except we may seek injunctive remedy anywhere); (3) to submit to personal jurisdiction of said courts; (4) any Claim must be filed by 1 year after it arose or be forever barred; (5) not to bring or take part in a class action against CL Entities; (6) (except government agencies) to indemnify CL Entities for any damage, loss, and expense (e.g. legal fees) arising from claims related to your CL use; (7) you are liable for TOU breaches by affiliates (e.g. marketers) paid by you, directly or indirectly (e.g. through an affiliate network); and (8) to pay us for breaching or inducing others to breach the "USE" section, not as a penalty, but as a reasonable estimate of our damages (actual damages are often hard to calculate): $0.10 per server request, $1 per post, email, flag, or account created, $1 per item of PI collected, and $1000 per software distribution, capped at $25,000 per day."

Key Definitions

The agreement lacks a definitions section, but it is important to highlight that unauthorized access is defined in the agreement as unlicensed access. Craigslist says "If you are 18 or older, we grant you a limited, revocable, nonexclusive, nonassignable, nonsublicensable license to access CL in compliance with the TOU." This could potentially be used to justify a claim against a minor for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act if the minor was accessing Craigslist. 

Sharing Agreements

 

  • "4. Circumstances in which we may disclose user data:

    • to vendors and service providers (e.g. payment processors) working on our behalf.

    • to respond to subpoenas, search warrants, court orders, or other legal process.

    • to protect our rights, property, or safety, or that of users of CL or the general public.

    • with your consent (e.g. if you authorize us to share data with other users).

    • in connection with a merger, bankruptcy, or sale/transfer of assets.

    • in aggregate/summary form, where it cannot reasonably be used to identify you."