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Advice: Terms of Service (Critique)

Hello, I'd like to have my Terms of Service contract looked over. I want to make sure it's clear, easy to read and well organized so I have a few questions for you guys if this is alright.

  • Are my terms fair ?

  • Are they easy to read and understand ?

  • Does any part of it contradict it self ?

  • Do I need to rewrite or organize any parts of it ?

  • Any thing else I should know ?

I really appreciate any one who goes over this and gives me proper advice. I want a fair and easy to read TOS. I'm worried I could have missed something important so I need extra pairs of eyes to go over this. I've seen other artists do this before so I hope this is ok to do. I just need some advice is all. Thanks again and feel free to tear it apart if you have to.

Also does any one know of a better site to host them on or is Google Docs just fine ? I'll be updating it as I'm given advice by the way.

Edit: Thank you every one for the great advice. I didn't even realize my TOS was such a mess. I'm going to be completely rewriting, Making an F-list for adult work, and making a seperate TOS for Crafts/Fursuits. I'm so thankful i've had you guys check it out for me. My replys may be delayed since i'm without a laptop right now, but as soon as i've redone the entire thing i'll have another update up here so every one can look over the new one. I can't thank you guys and this whole community enough.

Edit 2: I've completely rewritten my TOS ! It's a lot shorter and to the point. I'd like some further critique on it as well. The link should be the same but just in case it's https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S5Wb6ZL7XzJ5ac_oWtzF0lUYu1PparX9vRN76XqQRXc/edit?pref=2&pli=1#

After reading Kayla-La's TOS I added a few snippits from their TOS into mine for the sole fact i didn't know how to word it any better than they had. .I also fixed a lot of the wording in mine to look a lot more professional. I'm not sure if credit is needed for that sort of thing ? But I wanted to put that out there just in case. Thank you for the ones who suggested that to me.

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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 13th, 2016 09:20 pm (UTC)
I think part of it is repetitious. In your don'ts, you have both grudge wank art and hate art when they are pretty much the same thing, same with lolicon/pedophilia.

Also not sure about the ethics of retaining a deposit if someone requests a refund, especially if you plan to resell it. I don't know if you work in just art or if you also work in fursuits (where it's common, if the artist sends the work that's been done + materials).
Feb. 15th, 2016 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank you, I knew it seemed off some how. I'm going to completely re haul it tonight. I'll make a separate TOS for fursuits to as well. If i have them together it seems way too confusing like you said.
Feb. 13th, 2016 10:27 pm (UTC)
Artist's rights section: I do believe a singular, personal print of their piece supplied by you counts as a good and is covered under right of first sale. You can't keep people from selling it.

The overall tone is kind of aggressive, and there a large number of redundancies that bloat your ToS rather than stream lining it. We're being told not to rush you nor send pornographic images to you more than once. Then you have a section completely dedicated to wait times.

I suggest going through this carefully and trimming it and toning it down.

Such as your shipping section can be made into:

Clients are responsible for all shipping costs. All shipments will be sent with insurance and tracking when available. Please be aware of tracking limitations with international orders.

- All orders are shipped USPS either by flat rate or by weight, whichever is advantageous for the client.

- Please be aware of your country's customs charges.

Also, please specify what the deposit is for especially since you do both artwork AND fursuits. In fact, I'd suggest a separate ToS for each.
Feb. 15th, 2016 02:38 am (UTC)
By no resale I meant they couldn't put it on shirts or sell prints of it. I need to completely reword that. Thank you for all the advice to. I'm going to redo the entire TOS
Feb. 14th, 2016 03:54 am (UTC)
Echoing what's already been said, the overall tone is somewhat aggressive, and the overall length could be trimmed down significantly. While I can't find anything that outright contradicts itself, there is a lot of repitition that can be removed. Frankly, if I just wanted to commission you for something small like an icon, I'd find it very intimidating to read through this much text.

Going through your TOS section by section...
-Comments like 'snail mail is far too unreliable' and 'items will be properly packed' etc. are unnecessary and just add to the length of the TOS. I'd go through and remove any points that are subjective or adding to already existing points, and add in something that says clients should contact you if they have any concerns or questions.
-I'd rephrase the client rights to specify exactly what rights the client has (e.g. 'the client may use/upload the resized watermarked file for personal non-commercial use only' 'the client may not redistribute the artwork'), and likewise for yourself (e.g. 'the artist retains all rights to the finished artwork and preperatory works, including the right to display online, use for self-promotion, and make and sell prints and/or merchandise' etc.)
-The 'adult commission rules' section could be totally removed, as could the 'before you commission me' section. I think the 'wait time' section could be condensed and added to the 'general' section.
-I'd make a section about communication, for things like how often it's appropriate to contact you, what you are/aren't okay with being sent (e.g. vulgar slang, verbal/sexual harassment, etc.), the consequences for inappropriate communication, etc.
-The points about chargebacks should be placed under your 'refunds' section. I'd also put info about cancellations in the same section, to make it a 'refund/cancellation policy' section.
-Personally, I'd revamp the 'changes' section to say 'changes at the fault of the artist (e.g. missed details from references) are free of charge. All other changes may incur a fee at the artist's discretion.'
-Your will/won't draw section is very long. I think it could certainly be condensed, or you could make an f-list for commissions?

There are a few points here that I'd consider unfair and would personally make me not want to commission an artist, such as the point celestinaketzia mentioned (not being allowed to resell the physical copy of a print), and your wait time section stating that updates will be given via journal rather than email.
Feb. 15th, 2016 02:40 am (UTC)
Thank you for being honest. I'm going to completely redo the TOS section by section to make it less angry sounding and a lot more clear. Also an F-list for commissions sounds like a grand idea actually. I'll have to set that up tonight. Thank you so much.

As for the resale. I meant like selling it on shirts and stuff. I need to be more clear and I need to rethink my wait times to and how I write it down. It's too clunky.
Feb. 15th, 2016 03:46 am (UTC)
Well, you can definitely put a clause that says something like 'the client may not sell or profit from the commissioned artwork beyond the resale of a physical original artwork or physical original print'!

For your wait times, just something that mentions that you work slowly will do (and maybe something like 'the commissioner will be informed of any delays'?). I'm chronically ill myself and it occasionally affects my work, but I agree with ramthedragon -- the customer doesn't need to know the reason behind a longer wait time or delay.

If you're having trouble with the wording, I'd say look up some veteran commission artists' TOS for reference? Artists that come to mind are wolf-nymph and kayla-la @ FA.
Feb. 18th, 2016 08:44 am (UTC)
I've completely rewritten it as of this comment. That's some solid advice though and I added a clause for that. I also added the work slowly part and left out all that uneeded information. If it still needs work though I will be looking at Wolf-Nymph's and Kayla-la's TOSs for sure.

I'll probably go back and update it again when I have more computer time.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 15th, 2016 02:41 am (UTC)
You know what you're completely right. I don't know why I never thought about this sort of thing. I'm going to take your advice to and not spend any thing until the work is completed. That will only lead to bigger trouble. I'm going to start doing that as well. That may even push me to finish quicker to so there's less wait times between completion.
Feb. 14th, 2016 03:56 pm (UTC)
Here's my two cents in the matter.

-The language doesn't feel very professional and it's very redundant.

-I personally don't think the tone is aggressive, but the way it's written makes it seem that way. It's also pretty confusing and there are some typos as well, maybe read it over again and fix the sentence structures.

-I don't like the concept of a non refundable deposit for artwork, what if the commissioner wants a refund and you haven't began working on the picture? Do they still lose a percentage of their money? (Unless this only applies to fursuits, in which case you should do a separate ToS for that because it makes the whole thing very confusing)

-The part of "What you should know before commissioning me" should go all the way to the top of the ToS, this is the things people need to know BEFORE commissioning you, so if they see something they don't like it should be BEFORE the rules/shipping/refunds/etc

-The bit about waiting times wouldn't make a person want to commission you since it paints you as someone who is unreliable, the bit about your tablet and your health should be taken out of the ToS, it's really none of the customer's business. Instead when you say you work slowly that is enough info for anyone willing to buy things from you. Always let your commissioners know personally if art will be delayed.

Overall I agree with people saying you should trim and reorganize your ToS a little, and I suggest making sure it's not as confusing an has a bit of a more professional tone to it.
Feb. 15th, 2016 02:43 am (UTC)
I'm going to completely redo the refund/deposit thing. That only applies to fursuits if i've ordered materials so i'm going to just put that on a separate thing of its own. It's way to confusing in it's current state.

Thank you for the advice and the waiting times and health stuff should be taken out yeah. I'm going to just put that I work at a slow pace instead of all that unneeded information. Thank you so much for the advice.
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 20th, 2016 04:33 am (UTC)
That would actually be pretty easy to do now that I think about it. I'll have to add that in. It should be doable via a mailing list I believe.
Feb. 20th, 2016 05:21 am (UTC)
What you can do, since you use Trello (I think), is you can let clients know to subscribe to their card. Whenever you move a Trello card from one column to another the user following it will be automatically emailed. You can have a section titled "announcement" or "emergency" etc and just write your note in the column.
Feb. 19th, 2016 11:42 pm (UTC)
Your ToS looks a lot better! It's straight to the point, well worded, and I don't see anything wrong this time around.
Feb. 20th, 2016 04:33 am (UTC)
Thank you c: I couldn't have done it with out every one's help. I'm so proud of my new TOS as well. I plan to write my Fursuit one like this as well. It even makes me feel more professional.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )


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