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Terms of Use

Welcome to the Patch Terms of Use. You might think of this as the “fine print” for our Web site, as it lets you know where we stand on a number of important issues. While you may be tempted to skim over some of this stuff—indeed, there is still a bit of “legalese” involved—we hope you’ll read it through. We’ll do our best to help you understand everything so you can feel good about contributing to your local Patch.

Our Terms of Use

Patch is a Web site, but it in the grand scheme of things, it’s a service (called the “Service” hereafter) designed to make your life better. The Service is operated by Patch Media Corporation; instead of repeating that name over and over, it may be shortened to “Patch,” “we” or “our.” By using the Service, you are agreeing to be bound by these Terms of Use.

We ask that you read these Terms of Use carefully before registering or using the Service. If you do not accept these Terms of Use, we promise not to get mad. But in that case, you may not use the Service.

Just like your local community, Patch is growing and changing every day, and thus the Terms of Use are subject to change by Patch at any time. However, we’ll always let you know when the latest update occurred—just check the “Effective Date” on the bottom of this page. If you keep using the Service afterward, we assume that you have accepted the new Terms of Use.

Use of the Service

You may use this Service solely for personal and non-commercial purposes. That is to say: You can’t use the Service to make a living unless you enter into a separate agreement with us that says you can.

Keep in mind that all applicable laws, rules and regulations and any agreements or terms with third parties to which you are subject still apply. If you want to use the Service in any other manner, you are required to obtain a separate agreement between you and Patch or our prior written consent.

In order to comprehensively cover your community, the Service contains information on businesses, establishments, public services and other third parties, as well as news, feature stories, images, video, audio and other materials. The Service may provide you with other ways to access and use such information and materials—for instance, we give you the option to receive our emails and bookmark our items in other social networking services. Although we try our best to ensure everything passes muster, Patch makes no guarantee that such information is accurate and your use of the information we provide is at your own risk. If you think something looks fishy, please let us know. You agree that you will not hold Patch liable for any inaccurate, incomplete, outdated or missing information on the Service.

Registration

We want everyone to enjoy Patch, so you may use the Service without registration (i.e., signing up with a name, email address and password). However, in order to access some aspects of the Service, you will need to register for an account. Your account is for your sole, personal use. You may not allow others to use your account and you may not assign or otherwise transfer your account to any other person or entity. (If another person or entity wants an account, they can easily sign up themselves.) We ask that the e-mail address you provide when you register be a valid e-mail address for you. We encourage, but do not require, that the user name you provide be your real name. You are responsible for the security of your password and will be solely liable for any use or unauthorized use under such password. Therefore, if you share a computer with others, don’t allow your Internet browser to automatically save your password. Also, don’t write your password on a Post-It note and leave it on your desk for all to see.

Your License to Patch

Patch is built to let you do fun things such as share and upload photos, videos, text, and other information (all of which we call "Content"). When you do this, you own that Content. However (and here comes some legalese), you hereby grant Patch a perpetual license to use, redact, republish, copy, perform and distribute your Content and screen name, including any intellectual property contained therein, in any medium now known or hereinafter developed without payment or compensation to you and without seeking any further approval from you. We may further use your name, likeness, publicly accessible biographical data and any other information in connection with such use of the Content. You acknowledge that our use of your Content may include licensing such Content to third parties and/or using such Content for advertising purposes. In no event shall we be required to seek your approval or provide you with any compensation in connection with such uses. You acknowledge that nothing contained within your Content would require us to seek permission of a third party in order to use the Content as described in these Terms of Use. All that may sound like a lot, but these rights are primarily designed to give us legal protection—we're not looking to go into the “you business” (as they say in Hollywood).

Acceptable Use

While we encourage people to be honest and post what’s on their mind, communities thrive when people care about each other, and as such, Patch expects all of its users to be respectful of others. This means that whether you are being complimentary or critical, whether you are agreeing or disagreeing with the subject of an article or another user’s comment, you should act in a civil manner and refrain from personal attacks – after all, these are your neighbors.

Patch is under no obligation to enforce the Patch Terms of Use on your behalf or based on a claim by you that another user has violated it. While we encourage you to let us know if you believe that another user has violated these terms of use or has engaged in other unacceptable behavior, by reporting it to support@patch.com, Patch will make the sole determination as to whether Content is acceptable for the Service. (Someone has to be in charge, right?) Because Patch provides a platform for wide-ranging commentary – both positive and negative – by members of local communities, you should keep in mind that, even if you disagree with or object to a comment or review, Patch typically does not remove comments or reviews in response to requests from users. Patch’s role is not to arbitrate disagreements between community members and local businesses, or among community members. And (for the lawyers out there) the law doesn’t require us to perform that role in order to keep offering what we think is a valuable community service: providing a platform for community discussion, debate and expression of opinions on the topics at hand.

By using the Service, you agree that you will not hold Patch responsible or liable for any Content from other users that you access on the Service.

You are solely responsible for the Content that you post on the Service or transmit to other users. Without limitation, you agree that you will not post or transmit to other users anything that contains Content that:

  • is defamatory, abusive, obscene, profane or offensive;
  • infringes or violates another party's intellectual property rights (such as music, videos, photos or other materials for which you do not have written authority from the owner of such materials to post on the Service);
  • violates any party’s right of publicity or right of privacy;
  • is threatening, harassing or that promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual;
  • promotes or encourages violence;
  • is inaccurate, false or misleading in any way;
  • is illegal or promotes any illegal activities;
  • promotes illegal or unauthorized copying of another person's copyrighted work or links to them or providing information to circumvent security measures;
  • contains “masked” profanity (e.g., F@&#)
  • contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or
  • contains any advertising, promotional materials, "junk mail," "spam," "chain letters," "pyramid schemes," or any other form of solicitation.

Instead of trying to memorize all that, you might boil it down to three main principles: “Keep it clean,” “Don’t try to trick people,” and “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Easy, right?

We do our best to keep tabs on what is posted on the site, however Patch is under no obligation to screen or monitor Content, but may review Content from time to time at its sole discretion to determine compliance with the Patch Terms of Use. Patch will make all determinations as to what Content is appropriate at its sole discretion. We may include, edit or remove any Content at any time without notice.

Variety is the spice of digital life, so understand that when using the Service, you will be exposed to Content from a variety of sources and that Patch is not responsible for the accuracy, usefulness, safety, or intellectual property rights of or relating to such Content. And just like when you visit any Internet site, by using Patch you acknowledge that you may be exposed to Content that is inaccurate, offensive, indecent or objectionable. If you object to this possibility, you should not use the Service.

In keeping with our “Don’t trick anyone” request, you may not use spiders, robots, data mining techniques or other automated devices or programs to catalog, download or otherwise reproduce, store or distribute content available on the Service. Further, you may not use any such automated means to manipulate the Service or attempt to exceed the limited authorization and access granted to you under these Terms of Use. You may not resell use of, or access to, the Service to any third party.

Classifieds

As much as we love a good haggle, we stay out of transactions in our classifieds. Transactions are solely between buyers and sellers, and Patch does not review or confirm classifieds. You agree that any dispute between you (as the buyer or seller of any item) and another party with whom you interact as a result of the Classifieds does not involve Patch, and you hereby release Patch from any claims and agree to indemnify Patch from any claims based on your acts or omissions. So play nice and leave us out of your transactions.

Some categories of classifieds require a fee, as specified when you place the classified. Fees are non-refundable -- sorry.

Many laws and regulations in various jurisdictions regulate the types of goods and services bought, sold, or exchanged in those jurisdictions, as well as the manner in which they are bought, sold, or exchanged. If you post a classified on Patch, you are responsible for complying with such laws and regulations. And you wouldn’t want to be a law-breaker, now, would you?

Because we care, below for your convenience is a partial list of prohibited items:

  • Obscene material or pornography.
  • Offer or solicitation of illegal prostitution.
  • Weapons, explosives, fireworks, and related items.
  • Controlled substances or illegal drugs, substances and items used to manufacture controlled substances, and drug paraphernalia.
  • Prescription drugs and medical devices.
  • Blood, bodily fluids, or body parts.
  • Restricted or regulated plants and insects.
  • Pesticides or other hazardous substances.
  • Illegal telecommunications equipment.
  • Stolen property, or property with serial number removed or altered; burglary tools.
  • False identification cards, items with police insignia, citizenship documents, or birth certificates.
  • Counterfeit currency, coins and stamps, tickets, as well as equipment designed to make them.
  • Material that infringes copyright.
  • Bulk email or mailing lists that contain names, addresses, phone numbers, or other personal identifying information

If you see a classified that violates these Terms or any applicable law, please contact support@patch.com.

And remember, folks: you can never be too careful with your money. Watch out for scams. Take these basic safety precautions:

  • Meet the seller/buyer in person
  • Meet them in a public place or bring a friend
  • Examine the item before you buy
  • Keep the payment simple; prefer cash
  • Limit personal information
  • If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is
Termination of Access

We want to keep Patch a safe and friendly place, so in addition to any right or remedy that may be available to us under these Terms of Use or applicable law, we may suspend, limit or terminate your account, or all or a portion of your access to the Service, at any time with or without notice and with or without cause. In addition, we may refer any information on illegal activities, including your identity, to the proper authorities. Including the police and/or your parents.

Privacy

The privacy of your personally identifiable information is very important to us. For more details on what information we collect and how we use it, please read our Privacy Policy.

Links

In order to provide you with as much relevant information as possible, the Service may contain links to other web sites not maintained by us. The links may include listings that provide you with further information, or links that have been included in materials uploaded to the Service by a party other than Patch. Be aware when you leave our Service and read the terms and conditions and privacy statements of each and every web site you visit, even if they are not as charming as ours. We are not responsible for the practices or the content of such other web sites or services. Despite any links that might exist on the Service, we do not endorse and are not affiliated with such third parties.

Our Proprietary Rights

We work hard on our materials and (surprise) require that you don’t steal them. Patch or its licensors are the exclusive owners of all copy, software, graphics, designs and all copyrights, trademarks and other intellectual property or proprietary rights contained on or used in connection with the Service. Except as set forth herein, you agree not to copy, distribute, modify or make derivative works of any materials without the prior written consent of the owner of such materials. All rights not granted under these Terms of Use are reserved by Patch. If you want to use something but think it might belong to us, please ask before taking it.

No Warranties

Ah yes, lawyers will definitely love this section: THE SERVICE, INCLUDING ALL CONTENT MADE AVAILABLE ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE SERVICE, IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WE MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND WHATSOEVER FOR THE CONTENT ON THE SERVICE. FURTHER, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMISSIBLE BY LAW, WE DISCLAIM ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, NON-INFRINGEMENT, TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. WE DO NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTIONS CONTAINED IN THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS OR CONTENT CONTAINED THEREIN WILL BE COMPLETELY SECURE, UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE SERVICE OR THE SERVER THAT MAKES IT AVAILABLE IS FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS. WE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE USE OF THE SERVICE, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE CONTENT AND ANY ERRORS CONTAINED THEREIN PROVIDED BY THIRD PARTIES. IN NO EVENT WILL WE BE LIABLE UNDER ANY THEORY OF TORT, CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER LEGAL OR EQUITABLE THEORY FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR OTHER CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, LOST PROFITS, LOST DATA, LOST OPPORTUNITIES, COSTS OF COVER, EXEMPLARY, PUNITIVE, PERSONAL INJURY/WRONGFUL DEATH, EACH OF WHICH IS HEREBY EXCLUDED BY AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

(Sorry to yell at you.)

Back to our inside voice: If any part of these warranty disclaimers or limitations of liability is found to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, or if we are otherwise found to be liable to you in any manner, then our aggregate liability for all claims under such circumstances for liabilities, shall not exceed the lesser of (i) the amount paid by you for your use of the Service during the prior twelve (12) months or (ii) ten dollars ($10).

Indemnity

We made these Terms for a reason. Therefore we can’t be held responsible if you disregard them. You agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Patch, its officers, directors, employees, business partners and agents, from and against any and all claims, damages, obligations, losses, liabilities, costs or debt, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney's fees) arising from: (i) any breach by you of any of these Terms of Use, (ii) your Content, (iii) your use of materials or features available on the Service (except to the extent a claim is based upon infringement of a third party right by materials created by Patch) or (iv) a violation by you of applicable law or any agreement or terms with a third party to which you are subject.

Governing Law

Because the Patch HQ is located in New York, we have to play by New York’s rules. That’s why the laws of the State of New York shall govern these Terms of Use. YOU HEREBY EXPRESSLY CONSENT TO EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION AND VENUE IN THE COURTS LOCATED IN NEW YORK COUNTY, NEW YORK FOR ALL MATTERS ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH THESE TERMS OF USE OR YOUR ACCESS OR USE OF THE SERVICE. Whoa, there we go again with the yelling.

Any claims asserted by you in connection with the Service must be asserted in writing to Patch within one (1) year of the date such claim first arose, or such claim is forever waived by you. Each claim shall be adjudicated individually, and you agree not to combine your claim with the claim of any third party.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") Notice

Materials may be made available via the Service by third parties not within our control. That is to say, we can’t control what other people post. We are under no obligation to scan content used in connection with the Service for the inclusion of illegal or impermissible content. However, we respect the copyright interests of others, and it is our policy not to permit materials known by us to infringe another party’s copyright to remain on the Service.

If you believe any materials on the Service infringe a copyright, you should provide us with written notice that at minimum contains:

  1. A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed;
  2. Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works at a single online site are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works at that site;
  3. 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;
  4. Information reasonably sufficient to permit us to contact the complaining party, such as an address, telephone number, and, if available, an electronic mail address at which the complaining party may be contacted;
  5. A statement that the complaining party has 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
  6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Please let us know about copyright issues by sending all DMCA notices to our designated agent as follows:

Patch Media Corporation
Attn: Copyright Officer
675 Avenue of the Americas, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10010
Email: aolcopyright@aol.com

Severability

We consider our Terms of Use to exist as individual parts of a larger whole. If any part of these Terms of Use are held or declared to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason by any court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be ineffective but shall not affect any other part of these Terms of Use. This means that even if one part of the Terms is judged unsound, the rest still apply.

Waiver; Remedies

One last bit for all the lawyers out there: The failure by us to partially or fully exercise any rights or the waiver of any breach of these Terms of Use by you shall not prevent a subsequent exercise of such right by us or be deemed a waiver by us of any subsequent breach by you of the same or any other term of these Terms of Use. Our rights and remedies under these Terms of Use shall be cumulative, and the exercise of any such right or remedy shall not limit our right to exercise any other right or remedy.

Translation: If you do something that’s prohibited by these Terms of Use but don’t get caught, that doesn’t mean it’s OK, it just means we didn’t catch you. There’s still a perfectly good chance that we will catch you the next time and it won’t be OK.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or comments about our Terms of Use or anything else, you may contact us at support@patch.com.

Effective Date: These Terms of Use were last updated on July 9, 2012.