Documentation - Glossary

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Glossary

Glossary of Relegence term used in Relegence API descriptions and Technical overview.

Tags

Refers to all types of Relegence tags including Subjects & Entities. Tags describe an article’s contents are meant to be used for content analysis & retrieval.

  • Relegence tags describe an article by its direct content (Entities mentioned, Subjects discussed) and relative content (clustering with additional articles to Story).
  • Each tag has a unique ID enabling direct reference to tags and disambiguation between tags with similar names.
  • Unlike manual tags that appear on many O&O articles, Relegence tags are standardised and are not meant for SEO purposes. However, end-products can use Relegence tags to display multiple SEO driven strings.

Taxonomy

A catalog of roughly 1,000 Subjects & 2 million Entities curated by Relegence to describe contents news articles. For common taxonomy tag IDs see Autocomplete Demo.

Subjects

A set of broad interest areas stored and arranged by Relegence in a hierarchy.

  • Subjects describe and represent what an article is about (in contrast to who the article is intended for) -- its main topical areas or themes -- from an overall perspective.
  • Subjects are not just "mentions" (like entities) but rather are topical areas that are discussed in the text. Most articles typically have at least 3-5 subjects but depending on text articles may be tagged to any number of subjects.
  • Subjects are arranged in a hierarchical structure with 11 top-level categories and multiple lower levels of increasing granularity. For example, "Business and Finance" (top level) can be drilled down to more specific subjects such as "Personal Finance" => "Personal Debt" => "Credit Cards".
  • The taxonomy was designed and developed according to content areas covered by the different AOL brands -- as opposed to a dump of random subjects from Wikipedia or Freebase. While originally developed for AOL content, the taxonomy can also be used to tag any news-related or blog content from third party content providers.
  • Subject tags are mapped to the AB Quality Assurance Guidelines Taxonomy.
  • Subject tagging is done using machine learning algorithms, Wikification, source analysis and classification rules. To learn about the mechanism of subjects tagging see Relegence Tech Overview.
  • To see a demo of articles tagged to subjects see demo.

Subject Score

Score assigned to a subject tag based on its relevance to an article's content (0-1).

Entities

A set of named things Relegence follows and tracks relations between.

  • Entities are what we call "named things", that is things that actually exist and have been named as opposed to subjects, which are conceptual categories.
  • There are about 2 million entities currently in the Taxonomy.
  • Each entity has a unique ID.
  • Entities include people (e.g. Beyonce), locations (Brooklyn), companies (Apple), events (The Oscars), movies (Gone Girl) and more. All entities have at least one entity type. See Node Types.
  • Entities usually have a ‘Disambiguator’ string describing their type or a trait that distinguishes it from other entities with a similar name. See Dismabiguation.
  • Entities are mapped to Freebase IDs when possible.
  • Entities are added and updated regularly as they become important in the news. Relegence uses sources such as Wikipedia, Tribune Media Services, CrunchBase & more.
  • Entities are extracted using text-matching algorithms. To learn about entity tagging mechanism see Relegence Tech Overview.
  • A demo displaying articles tagged to entities is expected to be available soon.

Entity Score

Score assigned to an entity tag based on its relevance to an article's content (0-1).

Disambiguation

The ability to distinguish between separate entities, specifically between those whose name can be shared with multiple entities.

  • Relegence entities have unique IDs identifying them in the world. Multiple entities with the same name (e.g. Jack Johnson - the music artist, the hockey player and businessman) have different IDS.
  • A ‘Disambiguator’ string is added to most entities in the taxonomy to assist human viewers in understanding what entity is referred to by the name. Disambiguator string is not standard and is meant for user readability only.
  • Relegence algorithms identify a specific entity (e.g. the correct Jack Johnson) mentioned in the article, not only an entity’s string name.
  • Relegence algorithms are also able to detect a name mentioned in an article is not an entity from the Relegence taxonomy (e.g. a random sports fan identifying as Jack Johnson). In such a case no entity tag will appear for the name.
  • Disambiguation algorithms use contextual indicators and ontology relationships as part of the decision making.
  • Note that though the Disambiguator string is informative it is essentially different from Node Type & should not be used as a typing mechanism. It is not standardised, not hierarchical and is not guaranteed to exist for every entity. Multiple entities from the same type that go by the same name (e.g. remakes of the same movie) will have Disambiguator strings essentially different than their type (e.g. the movie release year).

Node Types

A standardised hierarchical set of descriptors used to describe an entity’s role in the world.

  • Every taxonomy tag (entity, subject) is assigned at least one node type.
  • An entity might have multiple types, e.g. Madonna is both a Movie Person (Actress in Dick Tracy) and a Music Person (Singer of Ray Of Light).
  • An entity typed to a subtype (e.g. City) is automatically considered of the parent type (e.g. Location).
  • There are entities for which a specific type is not set and thus get only the generic type ‘Tag’. These include entities of types not covered in the maintained set such as theories & methods. It also includes entities to which a true (maintained) type was not identified correctly.
  • All subjects are of tag type ‘Subject’.
  • A demo displaying all available node types & their hierarchy is expected to be available soon.

Ontology (Relations)

An interconnective graph structure of all Relegence taxonomy tags, including entities and subjects.

  • All Relegence taxonomy tags can be connected. An actor (e.g. Brad Pitt) can be related to a movie (e.g. Fight Club), to family members (e.g. Angelina Jolie) and to other entities they are related to (where they live, the company they work for, their competitors and so on). They can also be associated with subjects they are related to (e.g. Movies, Celebrities). Subjects can be related to one another too (e.g. Entertainment & Music).
  • Some relations have a name (e.g. PlaysForTeam) but these are not maintained in a hierarchy and are not standardised.
  • This data is used internally to improve the quality of our tagging.
  • Ontological relationships have been ingested from Wikipedia, dbPedia, Freebase, MusicBrainz, MoviePhone, Tribune Media, AOL Autos, and Crunchbase. Relationships are also researched and added manually by Relegence editorial team.

Article

A piece of textual content published by a news provider.

  • Relegence crawls news sources and extracts their articles including textual content, metadata such as title, author, publish date, publisher’s location, language (as inferred from text), and media (images and videos).
  • Metadata is considered part of the article, however only textual content is used for tagging.
  • Relegence ingests articles and tags them according to entities, subjects and stories identified.

Snippet

The first few sentences of an article's first paragraph.

  • This is useful for displaying a short descriptive teaser to an article.
  • Though Relegence has a ‘summarizer’ service it was shown that the first paragraph of an article is on average better performing than all known summary algorithms.

Language

The language in which the article is written.

  • When more than one language is used in an article the main one is detected.
  • Currently we cover over 25 languages including English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese & more.
  • In cases where the website itself indicates a wrong language our technology can automatically correct to the right one.
  • Taxonomy tagging is currently available only on English Language articles.
  • Stories are clustered in each language separately (e.g. the ‘iPhone 6 release’ will get 2 non-connected story IDs for articles in English & in Spanish).

Documentation - Tagger API

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Relegence Tagger API

Description

The Relegence Tagger API automatically supplements articles with contextual tags including entities and subjects.

Intention

Relegence Tagger provides publishers, and content providers the ability to turn unstructured text into meaningful data.

  • The tagger can be used for such features as automated tagging (for navigation or SEO purposes), contextual targeting, microformats addition & more.
  • In combination with other services it can be used to enrich articles with data, provide related content, recirculation (such as interlinking) & more.

Input

  • Article Body and Title and/or URL.

Results

  • Text Extraction (only when body & title not provided): Body, Title & web article metadata (including publish date, author, media links, and publisher location)
  • Language detection (note: only English language articles can be analyzed for entities & subjects).
  • Entities - list of extracted entities mentioned in text, each with unique ID, official name, entity type, highlighting (all mentions in text), relevancy score, FreeBase ID and disambiguation (short descriptive) string.
  • Subjects - list of inferred subjects with unique ID, name, relevancy score and ‘most granular’ indicator. Subjects can be displayed within their hierarchical structure of the taxonomy.

REST API Endpoints

Production http://api.relegence.com/tagger/2.0
Staging http://stage.api.relegence.aol.com/tagger/2.0

API Access Key

All Relegence Services require an API Access Key token in the header.
Your API Access key can be requested from Relegence Authorization.

Example:

apikey=J0tIQRLMeDFGKLheHartbMcsVsN2GS
    

Request Format

Parameters

Form parameters require Article Body and Title and/or URL. It is advised to use Body and Title content whenever possible. Supplying these texts circumvent the need to extract content from the web page and by that improve performance and increase accuracy.

! Note: Calling by URL without article text might take a few extra seconds in processing for accessing the web page content.

Parameter Type Description Required
title String Title of the article to tag X
body String Body of the article to tag X
url String URL of the article to tag X

! Note: Either a url or a title and body combination are required.

! Note: title and body can be either in plain text or HTML.

! Note: url must be uri-argument encoded.

Post Example:

title=Obama To Propose Tax Hikes On Wealthy, Breaks For Middle Class
body=During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama will lay out a plan to extend tax credits to the middle class by hiking taxes on wealthier Americans and big banks, according to senior administration officials. Under the plan, the capital gains tax for couples with income over $500,000 per year would be raised from its current level of 23.8 percent up to 28. The plan would also strip a tax break, known as a "step-up," that allows heirs to avoid capital gains taxes on large inheritances. In addition, the plan would institute a new tax on the biggest financial institutions, basing the fee on liabilities in order to discourage risky borrowing. The administration says the fee would hit the roughly 100 banks that have assets of $50 billion or more. The president's plan would use revenues from those tax code changes to finance credits aimed at the middle class, officials said. That includes extending the earned income tax credits to families without children, which would benefit an estimated 13 million low-income workers, while also tripling the maximum tax credits for child care in low- and middle-income homes. "This proposal is probably the most impactful way we can address the manifest unfairness in our tax system," an administration official said. The tax hikes on capital gains would run into heavy opposition from Republicans in the GOP-controlled Congress. Other elements of the president's plan, however, have enjoyed some degree of bipartisan support. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) has proposed a similar tax on big banks, and many Republicans favor the idea of broadening the earned income tax credit. According to officials, the capital gains tax reforms would impact "almost exclusively" the top 1 percent of earners, carving out the majority of middle-income families from the hikes. In addition to the tax credits, the president's proposals will also include a plan to give more workers access to retirement accounts. Employers with at least 10 workers who don't currently offer their employees a 401(k) would have to enroll them in what's known as an automatic IRA, a plan that Obama has included in previous budgets he's proposed. Bucking tradition, the White House has been laying out such proposals in advance of the president's speech, rather than surprising viewers with the policy measures on Tuesday. The president has already laid out a proposal to make some community college free and to extend paid leave to more people, including federal workers. Officials said they have been viewing the past two weeks as an opportunity to begin making the president's case for how to improve the economy for the middle class. "It's a clearer way for the president to present his vision," said one official.
url=http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/17/obama-sotu-taxes_n_6493144.html

Bash Script Example:

 #!/bin/bash
        Title=$(echo ”Obama To Propose Tax Hikes On Wealthy, Breaks For Middle Class”)
        Body=$(echo ”During his State of the Union address on Tuesday, president Barack Obama...”)
        Apikey=$(echo “J0tIQRLMeDFGKLheHartbMcsVsN2GS”)
        URL=$(echo "http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/17/obama-sotu-taxes_n_6493144.html")
        curl -X POST -d "body=$Body&title=$Title&url=$URL" "http://api.relegence.com/tagger?apikey=$Apikey"
    

Response Format

Tagger API response results include:

  • Text Extraction (only when body & title not provided): Body, Title & web article metadata (including publish date, author, media links, and publisher location)
  • Language detection (note: only English language articles can be analyzed for entities & subjects).
  • Entities - list of extracted entities mentioned in text, each with unique ID, official name, entity type, highlighting (all mentions in text), relevancy score, FreeBase ID and disambiguation (short descriptive) string.
  • Subjects - list of inferred subjects with unique ID, name, relevancy score and ‘most granular’ indicator. Subjects can be displayed within their hierarchical structure of the taxonomy.

Result Fields

Field Type Description
extractedData Extracted Data Article Content including text, url and media
tags Tags Entities and Subjects identified in the text
inferredData Inferred Data Metadata inferred from text

Where Extracted Data includes:

Field Type Description
title String Title of article
body String Body of article
snippet String Few sentences of article's first paragraph
Url String Url of article (as provided by caller)
canonicalUrl String Unique Url (as provided on html metadata)
images List[Images] Images extracted from article including URL, height and width
videos List[Videos] Videos extracted from article including URL, height and width

Where Tags includes:

Field Type Description
subjects List[Subject] Title of article
entities List[Entity] Title of article

Where Entity includes:

Field Type Description
name String Entity official name
id Integer Relegence unique tag identifier
nodeTypes List[NodeType] List of types which describe the entity including name and type id, eg SportsPerson, MovieWork, CarModel, etc.
disambiguator String Assists in readability of entity and Disambiguating between tag of similar names
freebaseMID String Freebase MID
score Integer Relegence unique tag identifier
instances List[Instance] List of appearances of entity in the text including field (Body or Title), offset and length in characters.

Where Subject includes:

Field Type Description
name String Entity official name
id Integer Relegence unique identifier
disambiguator String Assists in readability by Disambiguating between tags of similar names
score Integer Relegence unique identifier
mostGranular Boolean Indicator stating if subject was directly identified in article

Where Inferred Data includes:

Field Type Description
language String Body of article

JSON Response Example:

{
  "result": {
    "tags": {
      "entities": [
        {
          "name": "George Osborne",
          "score": 1,
          "disambiguator": "Politics Person",
          "id": 3595963,
          "instances": [
            {
              "field": "Title",
              "offset": 13,
              "length": 14
            },
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 11,
              "length": 14
            }
          ],
          "nodeTypes": [
            {
              "name": "Other",
              "id": 48
            },
            {
              "name": "politicsPerson",
              "id": 53
            }
          ],
          "freebaseMID": "m.026nlt",
          "inHeadline": true
        },
        {
          "name": "United Kingdom",
          "score": 0.8516,
          "disambiguator": "Country",
          "id": 3697974,
          "instances": [
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 41,
              "length": 2
            },
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 422,
              "length": 2
            },
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 579,
              "length": 2
            },
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 2736,
              "length": 2
            },
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 3945,
              "length": 2
            },
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 4088,
              "length": 2
            }
          ],
          "nodeTypes": [
            {
              "name": "country",
              "id": 31
            },
            {
              "name": "Other",
              "id": 48
            }
          ],
          "freebaseMID": "m.07ssc",
          "inHeadline": false
        },
        {
          "name": "The Andrew Marr Show",
          "score": 0.7308,
          "disambiguator": "Television",
          "id": 3784403,
          "instances": [
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 311,
              "length": 16
            }
          ],
          "nodeTypes": [
            {
              "name": "TVWork",
              "id": 45
            },
            {
              "name": "Other",
              "id": 48
            }
          ],
          "freebaseMID": "m.08ytsv",
          "inHeadline": false
        },
        {
          "name": "John McDonnell",
          "score": 0.6648,
          "disambiguator": "Politics Person(MP)",
          "id": 3591463,
          "instances": [
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 513,
              "length": 14
            },
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 2677,
              "length": 14
            }
          ],
          "nodeTypes": [
            {
              "name": "Other",
              "id": 48
            },
            {
              "name": "politicsPerson",
              "id": 53
            }
          ],
          "freebaseMID": "m.025mw9",
          "inHeadline": false
        },
        {
          "name": "Pre-Budget Report",
          "score": 0.6099,
          "disambiguator": "",
          "id": 3765174,
          "instances": [
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 3658,
              "length": 16
            }
          ],
          "nodeTypes": [
            {
              "name": "Other",
              "id": 48
            }
          ],
          "freebaseMID": "m.08fxqh",
          "inHeadline": false
        },
        {
          "name": "Home Office",
          "score": 0.5549,
          "disambiguator": "Government Agency",
          "id": 3568965,
          "instances": [
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 3426,
              "length": 11
            }
          ],
          "nodeTypes": [
            {
              "name": "Other",
              "id": 48
            },
            {
              "name": "politicsGroup",
              "id": 135
            }
          ],
          "freebaseMID": "m.01gx10",
          "inHeadline": false
        },
        {
          "name": "1922 Committee",
          "score": 0.5549,
          "disambiguator": "",
          "id": 3589026,
          "instances": [
            {
              "field": "Body",
              "offset": 2039,
              "length": 17
            }
          ],
          "nodeTypes": [
            {
              "name": "Other",
              "id": 48
            }
          ],
          "freebaseMID": "m.01z96f",
          "inHeadline": false
        }
      ],
      "subjects": [
        {
          "name": "International News",
          "score": 1,
          "disambiguator": "News and Politics",
          "id": 980522,
          "mostGranular": true
        },
        {
          "name": "Business and Finance",
          "score": 1,
          "disambiguator": "Subject",
          "id": 981284,
          "mostGranular": true
        },
        {
          "name": "News",
          "score": 1,
          "disambiguator": "News and Politics",
          "id": 981523,
          "mostGranular": false
        },
        {
          "name": "News and Politics",
          "score": 1,
          "disambiguator": "Subject",
          "id": 981525,
          "mostGranular": false
        },
        {
          "name": "Politics",
          "score": 0.9,
          "disambiguator": "News and Politics",
          "id": 982065,
          "mostGranular": true
        },
        {
          "name": "Law, Government and Politics",
          "score": 0.9,
          "disambiguator": "News and Politics",
          "id": 6378649,
          "mostGranular": false
        }
      ],
      "categories": [
        {
          "name": "Finance",
          "id": 142
        },
        {
          "name": "World",
          "id": 147
        }
      ]
    },
    "inferredData": {
      "language": "en"
    },
    "extractedData": {
      "body": "Chancellor George Osborne has warned the UK has to \"act now rather than pay later\" ahead of next week's Budget, with further spending cuts planned. \nHe said the cuts would be \"equivalent to 50p in every £100\" of public spending by 2020, which was \"not a huge amount in the scheme of things\". \nHe told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that the world was \"more uncertain\" than at any time since the financial crisis. \nHe said the UK needed to live within its means to withstand economic shocks. \nLabour shadow chancellor John McDonnell called for more long-term investment to enable the UK economy to \"withstand the global headwinds\". \nMr Osborne warned of cuts to come in his upcoming Budget on 16 March in a BBC interview last month. \nSpeaking on the Marr Show, Mr Osborne said the world was now \"a more difficult and dangerous place\" and warned about the state of the global economy. \nWhile Britain was better placed to cope with economic shocks compared with 2008, it was \"not immune to what's going on\", he said. \n\"My message in this Budget is that the world is a more uncertain place than at any time since the financial crisis and we need to act now so we don't pay later,\" he said. \n\"That is why I need to find additional savings equivalent to 50p in every £100 the government spends by the end of the decade, because we've got to live within our means to stay secure. \n\"That's the way we make Britain fit for the future.\" \nThe chancellor - whose Budget on Wednesday will be his eighth - said he thought the savings were achievable, but he would not be drawn on where the axe would fall. \nHe said the government's plan had enabled it to invest in \"the public's priorities\", such as the NHS, science and education, infrastructure and defence, \"while at the same time not spending more than the country can afford\". \nMr Osborne added that he wanted to boost productivity, improve Britain's schools and infrastructure and make taxes \"more competitive\". \nThe chancellor declined to be drawn on whether fuel duty would be increased - something Tory backbenchers are urging him against. \nImage copyright PA \nBut he added: \"On fuel duty, we had a manifesto commitment there and we have pencilled in fuel duty plans going forward but what I would say is, every time we can have our economy more competitive, we do.\" \nMr Osborne also rejected claims that the most vulnerable people would be hit in the Budget through cuts to disability benefits known as Personal Independence Payments (PIP). \nHe said the government was \"increasing spending on disabled people\", but added that it was right to make sure the system was being \"properly managed\". \nAlso on Marr, Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell called for more long-term investment in the UK economy, specifically in skills, infrastructure and new technology. \nHe said the chancellor had reduced investment to 1.4% of GDP which was \"unacceptable\", saying the OECD has said the figure should be at least 3%. \n\"What I want to do is to make sure we invest in the long term and then we can withstand the global headwinds,\" he added. \nHe said prosperity needed to be \"shared by all\", saying the government's economic policies had created an \"unequal\" society. \n'Little wriggle room' \nThe chancellor has promised to get the books into surplus by 2020. \nIn his November Autumn Statement, he watered down planned £4.4bn cuts to tax credits and eased back on planned spending cuts to the Home Office and other departments. He was able to do this owing to a combination of better tax receipts and lower interest payments on debt. \nBBC political correspondent Eleanor Garnier said: \"Only four months ago, when he made the Autumn Statement, Mr Osborne had sounded upbeat about the country's finances. \n\"But now, with the size of the British economy much smaller than had been expected, it seems the chancellor has not left himself much wriggle room.\" \nIn his Marr interview, Mr Osborne also warned against the UK leaving the EU, saying it \"would create an economic shock\" that would \"cost jobs\" and \"damage living standards\". \nLeave campaigners say the UK could strike favourable trade deals with the EU after exit, arguing that Britain's future if better off outside. \nMeanwhile, Mr McDonnell said he and the Labour shadow cabinet would be \"on the stomp\" campaigning for a remain vote amid criticism Labour has been quiet in the campaign. \n",
      "publishDate": "2016-03-13 00:00:00",
      "snippet": "Chancellor George Osborne says there will be further cuts to public spending in his Budget, equivalent to 50p in every £100.",
      "title": "Budget 2016: George Osborne warns of cuts of 50p per £100",
      "url": "http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35796861",
      "canonicalUrl": "http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35796861",
      "images": [
        {
          "description": null,
          "height": 576,
          "media_credit": "",
          "media_meduim": "image",
          "url": "http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/1024/media/images/80667000/jpg/_80667917_025655140.jpg",
          "width": 1024
        }
      ],
      "videos": []
    },
    "publisherId": -1
  },
  "request": "tag"
}
    

Terms of Service

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Summary of the AOL Terms of Service

The AOL Terms of Service (TOS):


THIS TOS CONTAINS A BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSE AND A CLASS ACTION WAIVER.
 
All disputes between you and AOL will be resolved by binding arbitration.  You thus give up your right to litigate disputes with us in court (except for matters that may be taken to small claims court).  Disputes will be decided by a neutral arbitrator and not a judge or jury.
 
You are entitled to a fair hearing, but arbitration procedures are simpler and more limited than court proceedings.  Arbitrator decisions are as enforceable as any court order and are subject to very limited review by a court.
 
PLEASE REVIEW THE TOS SECTION ENTITLED “HOW TO RESOLVE A DISPUTE WITH US” and see our FAQs for more information.

 

To Use Our Services, You:
 

  • Must be at least 13 years old (with some limited exceptions)
  • May need to register with us to access and use some of our services and websites
  • Must not initiate or participate in any activities on our services that are illegal, harmful, or interfere with anyone's use of our services, including the sending of e-mail or instant messaging spam

If You Post Content On a Service, You:
 

  • May post content that you create or have been given permission to post by the owner, is legal, and doesn't violate the TOS
  • Are responsible for content that you post to our services and assume all risks of posting personal information online
  • Continue to own the content but grant AOL Inc. a license to use and distribute your content

The Content On AOL Services Is:
 

  • Owned by us or our suppliers and may only be used as we specify
  • For general information, discussion, and entertainment purposes only and we make no representations or guarantees about the truth, accuracy, or quality of any content

If You Subscribe to One Of Our Paid Services, You:
 

  • Must provide us with accurate billing information, which we will keep on file
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  • Acknowledge that surcharges may apply to some services, all charges are nonrefundable, and we may change any of our paid services at any time
  • Are responsible for all fees necessary to access our services, including Internet access and text messaging fees and other wireless carrier charges
  • May cancel a paid service by calling, sending a fax, or mailing a letter to us 

You Also Agree That We:
 

  • Can change or end our services at any time without notice
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DISCLAIMER:This summary of the TOS is not a contract. It is simply a handy reference for understanding the full TOS which can be found at  http://legal.aol.com/terms-of-service/full-terms/.


 

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Terms of Service


 

About This Terms of Service

The AOL Terms of Service (TOS) consists of these terms, the AOL Privacy Policy, the Community Guidelines, and any supplemental terms provided to you for any of the products, services, software, websites, and other goods and services offered, owned, or operated by AOL Inc. (collectively “Services”). It is a contract in electronic form between you (“you,” “your,” and “yourself”) and AOL Inc. and its parents, successors, subsidiaries, affiliates, and family of brands (“AOL,” “we,” “us,” and “our”).

By using the Services or registering with us, you are agreeing to the TOS and may use our Services as long as you comply with the TOS.

 

NOTICE OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT

THIS TOS CONTAINS A BINDING ARBITRATION CLAUSE AND A CLASS ACTION WAIVER.

All disputes between you and AOL will be resolved by binding arbitration.  You thus give up your right to litigate disputes with us in court (except for matters that may be taken to small claims court).  Disputes will be decided by a neutral arbitrator and not a judge or jury.

You are entitled to a fair hearing, but arbitration procedures are simpler and more limited than court proceedings.  Arbitrator decisions are as enforceable as any court order and are subject to very limited review by a court.

PLEASE REVIEW THE SECTION ENTITLED “HOW TO RESOLVE A DISPUTE WITH US” and see our FAQs for more information.


Registering a Username and Keeping Your Account Active

You will need a username to use some Services. A username is a unique identifier selected or supplied by you or provided by us and is used to identify you on our Services.
To register a username and create an account, you must be a United States resident and at least 13 years of age unless the Service expressly indicates otherwise. You must give us true and accurate information about yourself and keep that information up to date.

You may be able to use an e-mail address or other online identifier provided to you by someone other than us as a username. You are responsible for maintaining security and control over any e-mail address or online identifier provided to us as a username. If you fail to maintain security or control over such an e-mail address or other online identifier, you are responsible for any consequences and may lose access to your personal information and any data stored on our Services. Also, we are not responsible for the release or loss of any information that is identified with that address or identifier.

Your username and account may be terminated if you do not sign on to a Service with your username at least once every 90 days. If you are registered for fee-based or term-specific Services, we will not terminate your username or account unless they are subject to being terminated for some other reason. In addition, an individual Service may require you to sign in and use the Service periodically to remain active on that Service. If you fail to remain active on a specific Service, we may deactivate your access and use of that Service.

After we terminate or deactivate your account for inactivity or any other reason, we have no obligation to retain, store, or provide you with any data, information, e-mail, or other content that you uploaded, stored, transferred, sent, mailed, received, forwarded, posted or otherwise provide to us (collectively “posted” or “post”) on the Services and may allow another user to register and use the username. We also have no obligation to remove any public data, content, or other information that you posted on a Service or to reactivate your account.

Using Our Services

To use our Services, you must:
  1. Comply with applicable laws and regulations and not participate in, facilitate, or further illegal activities;
  2. Immediately notify us if you learn of a security breach or other illegal activity on the Services;
  3. Protect your username and password;
  4. Not post content that contains explicit or graphic descriptions or accounts of sexual acts or is threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, fraudulent, invasive of another’s privacy, or tortious;
  5. Not engage in an activity that is harmful to us or our customers, advertisers, affiliates, vendors, or anyone else;
  6. Not use any automated process to access or use the Services or any process, whether automated or manual, to capture data or content from any Service for any reason; and
  7. Not use any Service or any process to damage, disable, impair, or otherwise attack our Services or the networks connected to the Services.

To prevent violations and enforce this TOS and remediate any violations, we can take any technical, legal, and other actions that we deem, in our sole discretion, necessary and appropriate without notice to you.

You are responsible for obtaining at your own expense all equipment and services needed to access our Services. If you are accessing our Services by a mobile device, your wireless carrier may charge you fees for data, text messaging, and other wireless access or communications services. We do not guarantee that our mobile Services can be accessed through all wireless devices or service plans or are available in all geographical locations.

If you elect to store authentication information, such as a username and password, where others may access it, we are not responsible for any loss of personal data or other consequences if someone other than you uses that information to access our services. If you lose a device, such as a laptop, desktop, or smartphone, or a device is stolen containing your username and password, it is up to you to take all the steps necessary to protect yourself.

Our Services
When providing you with our Services, we may display advertising within them and you agree to accept the advertising on whatever devices, including a wireless phone, you are using to access our Services.

We may, in our sole discretion, change any aspect of a Service or discontinue a Service without notice.

The Services are based in the United States. They are not designed or customized for any other country. You may use them only if they comply with the laws of the country from which you are accessing our Services.

Posting Content on Our Services
You can post content to a Service only if (a) you created and own the rights to the content or you have the owner’s express permission to post the content; and (b) the content does not infringe any other person’s or entity’s rights (including the copyrights, trademarks, or privacy rights) or violate any applicable laws, this TOS, our Community Guidelines, or any other posted policies. We can remove content for any reason.

You are responsible for any content you post to our Services and the consequences of sharing or publishing such content with others or the general public. This includes, for example, any personal information, such as your home address, the home address of others, or your current location. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF SHARING OR POSTING ANY PERSONAL OR OTHER INFORMATION ON OUR SERVICES.

You may not post content intended to provide professional advice, including the provision of medical treatment, legal advice, or investment advice. You may not post content to solicit, recommend, endorse, or offer to buy or sell any securities or other financial instruments, tout stocks, or recommend that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for you or any specific person.  You may not post content containing advertisements or other commercial solicitations without our prior permission.

Except as otherwise provided in this TOS, you or the owner of any content that you post to our Services retain ownership of all rights, title, and interests in that content. However, by posting content on a Service, you grant us and our assigns, agents, and licensees the irrevocable, royalty free, perpetual, worldwide right and license to use, reproduce, modify, display, remix, perform, distribute, redistribute, adapt, promote, create derivative works, and syndicate this content in any medium and through any form of technology or distribution. We own all rights, title, and interests in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by us using or incorporating your content (but not your original content).

When you use a Service that allows users to share, transform, readapt, modify, or combine user content with other content, you grant us and our users an irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty free, perpetual, worldwide right and license to use, reproduce, modify, display, remix, perform, distribute, redistribute, adapt, promote, create derivative works, and syndicate your content in any medium and through any form of technology or distribution and to permit any derivative works to be licensed under these same license terms.

Copyright and trademark owners can report alleged violations by following the instructions for reporting claims of copyright and trademark infringement.

Using Our Content and Trademarks
Some content on our Services is created and supplied by us or by a vendor, and we or our vendor own all rights, title, and interests in that content and in any compilation, collective work or derivative work created by us using or incorporating this content.

The Services and the content provided on the Services are protected by copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret, international treaties, laws, and other proprietary rights, and also may have security components that protect digital information. You agree that you will not take any action to interfere with anyone’s rights in their content and you will not attempt to circumvent any mechanisms for preventing the unauthorized reproduction or distribution of content.

You may be given the opportunity to download certain content such as music and photos. You may do so only to the extent authorized for that particular content. You may not use the content in a manner that exceeds the rights granted for your use of the content nor may you copy or distribute the content or create a derivative work unless you are authorized to do so. For more information and instructions for requesting permission to use content owned by AOL. See Requesting Permission to Use Copyrighted Materials.

The content provided on the Services, including content posted by users, is for general information, discussion and entertainment purposes only. We make no representations or guarantees about any aspect of the content on the Services and do not endorse any opinions expressed by any users. ALL CONTENT IS POSTED "AS IS" AND YOUR USE OR RELIANCE ON ANY CONTENT IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. WE HAVE NO LIABILITY TO YOU FOR THE CONSEQUENCES OF USING OR RELYING ON ANY CONTENT.

You may not use any of our trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. See the AOL Trademark List for more information.

Use of any RSS feeds provided by AOL (including The Huffington Post and/or any other AOL property) is subject to these terms of use.  If you choose to use an AOL RSS feed, you are only permitted to display the content that is provided in the feed, without modification, and with attribution to the source AOL website, and you must link to the full article on the source AOL web site.  You may not incorporate advertising into any AOL RSS feed.  You may not remove our attribution or links back, or otherwise modify our feed content.  AOL reserves the right to discontinue any RSS feeds at any time and to require anyone to cease use of an AOL RSS feed at any time for any reason. 

No Spam
You may not use or allow others to use your username on a Service or otherwise attempt access to the Services to e-mail, instant message, voice mail, fax, or chat in order to send spam (e-mail), spim (instant messages), or any other unsolicited bulk communication. You may not access the Services to harvest or collect any information about our users for any purpose without our express written authorization. You may not create multiple usernames for sending unsolicited bulk communications or posting advertising or other notice on any Service. Any violation of these provisions may result in immediate termination of your account and legal action.

Fee-Based Services and Billing
We may offer fee-based Services. Our provision of those fee-based Services will be governed by the terms you agree to when you register for the fee-based Service and any terms in this TOS not inconsistent with those terms.

If you register for a fee-based Service, you must designate a payment method and provide us with accurate billing and payment information. All billing information, including payment method, must be kept up to date.

We will bill you for all fee-based Services through the payment method that is associated with any of your fee-based Services. You agree to pay us for all charges incurred under your account, including all applicable taxes, fees, and surcharges. You authorize and direct us to charge your designated payment method for these charges or, if your designated payment method fails, to charge any other payment method you have on file with us. Further, you authorize and direct us to retain information about the payment method(s) associated with your account. If we do not receive payment from your designated payment method or any other payment method on file, you agree to pay all amounts due upon demand by us.

We may charge for fee-based Services in advance and on a daily, monthly, yearly, lump sum, or other basis. We may, in our sole discretion, post charges to your payment method individually or aggregate charges for some or all of your fee-based Services with us.

Every time you use a fee-based Service, you reaffirm that (a) we are authorized to charge your designated payment method; (b) we may submit charges incurred under your account for payment; and (c) you will be responsible for such charges, even if your account is canceled by you or terminated by us.

Surcharges apply if you use certain payment methods, such as payment from your checking or savings account, or telephone bill.

Any trial promotion for a fee-based Service (such as free trial time for a paid Internet access service) must be used within the specified time of the trial. You must cancel your account before the end of the trial period to avoid being charged a subscription fee. However, even during any free trial or other promotion, you will still be responsible for any purchases and surcharges incurred using your account and any sub- or linked-accounts. We reserve the right to limit you to one free trial or promotion of a fee-based Service and to prohibit the combining of free trials, promotions, and other offers.

You can get information about billing or determine the status of your bill and the amounts of any surcharges for the Internet connectivity Service at http://help.aol.com. You can also contact a customer service representative at 1-800-827-6364.

All charges are nonrefundable unless provided otherwise in the terms you agree to when you register for a fee-based Service.

We, in our sole discretion, may change or discontinue any or all aspects of a fee-based Service without notice, including access to support services, content and other products or services ancillary to the fee-based Service.

We may change our fees and billing methods at any time. We will provide you with notice of any change in your pricing at least thirty (30) days in advance. If you disagree with any proposed change, your sole remedy is to cancel your fee-based Service before the price change takes effect. Your continued use of or subscription to the Service after the price change takes effect constitutes your agreement to pay the new price for the Service. We will not refund any charges if you choose to cancel your account for this reason.

After 30 days from the date of any unpaid charges, your fee-based Service will be deemed delinquent and we may terminate or suspend your account and fee-based Service for nonpayment. We reserve the right to assess an additional 1.5 percent late charge (or the highest amount allowed by law, whichever is lower) per month if your payment is more than 30 days past due and to use any lawful means to collect any unpaid charges. You are liable for any fees, including attorney and collection fees, incurred by us in our efforts to collect any remaining balances from you.

You are responsible for all charges incurred under your account, including applicable taxes, fees, surcharges, and purchases made by you or anyone you allow to use your account (including your children, family, friends, or any other person with implied, actual, or apparent authority) or anyone who gains access to your account as a result of your failure to safeguard your username, password, or other authentication credentials or information.

You must notify us about any billing problems or discrepancies within 90 days after they first appear on your billing method statement. If you do not bring them to our attention within 90 days, you agree that you waive your right to dispute such problems or discrepancies.

If you are using our fee-based dial-up Internet connectivity Service, you are responsible for any telephone charges you may incur to access the Internet. The use of a dial-up Internet connectivity number is the same as making a telephone call to that number and may result in additional charges on your telephone bill depending on your location and calling plan. The locations and area codes listed in connection with these numbers are not necessarily indicative of whether a call will be local or toll free for you. You should select dial-up Internet connectivity numbers carefully. Please call your local phone company to ensure that the dial-up number(s) you select are in the local calling area. This is especially important if there have been changes in area code designations, in your telephone service providers, or in your calling plan.

You agree that we may charge you and you will pay to use certain “toll free” telephone numbers (“Long Distance Access Numbers,” e.g., telephone numbers that begin with 800, 866, 877, 888, and other area codes that the telephone carriers may make available in the future) (“surcharge”) to access the Internet using one of our Services. Telephone carriers may or may not charge for using these Long Distance Access Numbers. Information on the amount of this surcharge and on available dial-up phone numbers is located at http://access.web.aol.com. You can incur long-distance or toll charges or surcharges for using a Long Distance Access Number even during a free trial.

You may cancel or we may terminate a fee-based Service at any time. You can cancel a fee-based Internet connectivity Service by calling, sending a fax, or mailing a letter to our Customer Service Department. Cancellation will take effect within 3 business days of receipt of your request. Complete information on our cancellation procedures for our fee-based Internet connectivity Service is available at http://cancel.aol.com/. We will send you written confirmation of the cancellation of a fee-based Internet connectivity Service. If you cancel near the end of your billing period and are inadvertently charged for the next period’s fee, call us to have the charges reversed. If you subscribe to a fee-based Service other than Internet connectivity Service, you should consult the specific cancellation policies and procedures for those Services. If your fee-based Service is canceled or terminated, any data you have stored on such Services may not be retrievable later.

In the event that your fee-based Service is terminated or canceled, no online time or other credits will be credited to you or can be converted to cash or other form of reimbursement.

Software License
We grant you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable, limited license to install our software on any computer or device from which you wish to access our Services and to use the software to connect to and use our Services. We may provide automatic upgrades of our software and technology to improve your experience, although these upgrades may not be consistent across all platforms and devices. You agree to accept and to take no action to interfere with such automatic upgrades and related services.

You may not copy our software except to install it on your computer or other devices. You may not sell the software or incorporate it (or any portion of it) into another product. You may not reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble the software or otherwise attempt to derive the source code (except where expressly permitted by law) or the communications protocol for accessing our Services.

You may not modify, adapt or create derivative works from the software or remove proprietary notices in the software.

Our software is a "commercial item," as that term is defined in 48 C.F.R. 2.101, consisting of "commercial computer software" and "commercial computer software documentation," as such terms are used in 48 C.F.R. 12.212. Consistent with 48 C.F.R. 12.212 and 48 C.F.R. 227.7202-1 through 227.7202-4, all U.S. Government end users acquire the software with only those rights set forth herein.

Exporting of Content or Software
Your use of the Services must comply with all applicable import and export control laws and regulations of the United States and other countries and you must not transfer, by electronic transmission or otherwise, any content, data, or software subject to restrictions under such laws to a national destination, person, or entity or for an end-use prohibited under those laws without first obtaining and complying with government authorization. You must not upload any data or software to our Services that cannot be exported without prior written government authorization and notification, including, but not limited to, certain types of encryption software. The assurances and commitments contained in this section shall survive termination of this TOS.

Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitations on Remedies and Liability
WE SUPPLY OUR SERVICES “AS IS,” “WITH ALL FAULTS,” AND “AS AVAILABLE.” WE DO NOT WARRANT OR GUARANTEE THAT ANY INFORMATION AVAILABLE USING OUR SERVICES IS ACCURATE OR RELIABLE OR YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, SECURE, OR FREE FROM ERROR. WE, OUR SUPPLIERS, AND AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTORS GIVE NO EXPRESS WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES NOR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WORKMANLIKE EFFORT, AND NON-INFRINGMENT.

YOUR ONLY REMEDY FOR ANY DEFECTIVE SOFTWARE IS REPLACEMENT OF THE SOFTWARE. IN ANY OTHER DISPUTE WITH US, YOUR ONLY REMEDY IS TO STOP USING YOUR ACCOUNT AND CANCEL ANY FEE-BASED SERVICES. IN NO EVENT WILL OUR LIABILITY TO YOU EXCEED THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF SERVICE FEES PAID DURING A ONE-MONTH PERIOD.

WE, OUR SUPPLIERS, AND AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTORS ARE NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES.

SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW US TO LIMIT OUR LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES OR EXCLUDE CERTAIN WARRANTIES. IN THOSE STATES, AOL’S LIABILITY AND WARRANTIES ARE LIMITED TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

How to Resolve a Dispute with Us
We offer the following process to help you resolve a complaint or dispute that you may have with us.  Please read this section carefully.

Our customer support department, which you can reach at 1-800-827-6364, can help you resolve many of your concerns.  If our customer support team is unable to resolve your complaint, you agree to take the following steps to resolve any dispute you may have with us.

Step 1. Notice of Legal Dispute
You must first try to resolve any formal complaint or dispute with us through our Notice of Legal Dispute process. You begin by submitting a “Notice of Legal Dispute” by U.S. Mail to:

AOL Inc.
Attention: Notice of Legal Dispute
Dept. 5771
PO Box 65101
Sterling, VA 20165-8806

A “Notice of Legal Dispute” is a written form in which you provide your name, address, contact information, your AOL username, the facts regarding your Dispute, and the relief you are requesting from us.  You can get a Notice of Legal Dispute form by clicking here.  

You and we will attempt to resolve any Dispute through informal negotiation within sixty (60) days from the date the Notice of Legal Dispute is received by a party. After sixty (60) days, you or we may initiate arbitration as described below.

You agree that the term “Dispute” in this TOS will have the broadest meaning possible. It applies to any dispute, action, or other controversy between you and us concerning the Services (including their price) or this TOS, whether in contract, warranty, tort, laws or regulation. The term also applies to any dispute over the validity, enforceability or scope of this arbitration provision.

Step 2: Arbitration
If your Dispute is not resolved to your satisfaction within 60 days from when we received your Notice of Legal Dispute, you and we agree to arbitrate all Disputes between us. As we explain below, you and we may also have the right to bring an individual action before a small claims court for certain claims.  You agree that arbitration or a small claims action will be your sole and exclusive remedy to resolve any dispute with us.

The Federal Arbitration Act applies to this TOS. By agreeing to arbitrate, you are giving up the right to litigate (or participate in as a party or class member) any and all Disputes (except small claims) in court before a judge or jury. Instead, a neutral arbitrator will resolve all Disputes. To read more about arbitration, visit www.adr.org

The American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”) will conduct any arbitration under its Commercial Arbitration Rules. If you are an individual and use the services for personal or household use, the AAA’s Consumer Arbitration Rules will apply. You may begin arbitration with us by completing a Demand for Arbitration form, available by clicking here. The completed form(s) should be returned directly to the AAA.  The AAA will assign someone to manage your case. You will be contacted with instructions for continuing the arbitration process. Be sure to keep a copy of everything you send to the administrator of your arbitration or us.

Costs
If your claim in arbitration is $75,000 or less, we will pay your filing fee, as well as other filing, AAA and arbitrator’s fees and expenses.  For all other arbitrations you initiate, the AAA rules will govern payment of filing fees and the AAA’s and arbitrator’s fees and expenses.  Information about filing fees for commercial arbitrations can be found in Section L-3 of AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules. If we, instead of you, initiate arbitration, we will pay all filing, AAA, and arbitrator’s fees and expenses. You may initiate arbitration only in your county of residence or in Loudoun County, Virginia. The AAA rules will determine whether the arbitration will take place through written submissions by you and us, by telephone, or in person. 

We will not seek to recover from you our attorney’s fees or expenses in any arbitration. Fees and expenses are not counted in determining how much a Dispute involves.

Please be advised that if an arbitrator finds that the arbitration was frivolous or brought for an improper purpose, then we will seek to recover from you our AAA arbitrator’s fees and expenses, and/or your filing fees that we paid.

Incentive
We offer the following incentive for users who arbitrate any Dispute with us for any claim that is under $10,000. If you reject our last written proposal to resolve your claim before an arbitrator was appointed (the “Proposal”), and the arbitrator awards you more than the amount of our Proposal, we will: (i) pay you the greater of the award or $1,000; (ii) pay twice your reasonable attorney’s fees, if any; and (iii) reimburse any expenses (including expert witness fees and costs) that your attorney reasonably accrues for investigating, preparing, and pursuing your claim in arbitration. 

Small Claims Option
You may also litigate any Dispute in small claims court in your county of residence or Loudoun County, Virginia, USA, if the Dispute meets all requirements to be heard in the small claims court. However, if you initiate a small claims case, you are responsible for all court costs and you are not entitled to the incentives we offer to you above for arbitration.

You Waive Any Class Action Claim
Any proceedings to resolve or litigate any dispute in any forum will be conducted solely on an individual basis. Class arbitrations, class actions, private attorney general actions, consolidation of your Dispute with other arbitrations, or any other proceeding in which either party acts or proposes to act in a representative capacity are not permitted and are waived by you, and an arbitrator will have no jurisdiction to hear such claims.

If a court finds that the class action waiver in this section is unenforceable as to all or some parts of a Dispute, then the class action waiver will not apply to those parts. Instead, those parts will be severed and proceed in a court of law, with the remaining parts proceeding in arbitration. If any other provision of this Dispute resolution section is found to be illegal or unenforceable, that provision will be severed with the remainder of this section remaining in full force and effect.

Additional Terms
You agree that the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia govern this contract and any claim or Dispute that you may have against us, without regard to Virginia’s conflict of laws rules. The United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods shall have no applicability.

Unless you and we agree otherwise, in the event that the Agreement to arbitrate above is found not to apply to you or to a particular claim or Dispute as a result of a decision by the arbitrator or a court order, you agree that any Disputes or claims that you may have against us reside in and will be resolved by a state or federal court located in Arlington County, Fairfax County, the City of Alexandria, or Loudoun County, Virginia and you agree and submit to the exercise of personal jurisdiction of such courts for the purpose of litigating any such claim or action.

PLEASE NOTE THAT BY AGREEING TO THESE TERMS OF SERVICE, YOU ARE:  (1) WAIVING CLAIMS THAT YOU MIGHT OTHERWISE HAVE AGAINST US BASED ON THE LAWS OF OTHER JURISDICTIONS, INCLUDING YOUR OWN; (2) IRREVOCABLY CONSENTING TO THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF, AND VENUE IN, STATE OR FEDERAL COURTS IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA OVER ANY DISPUTES OR CLAIMS YOU HAVE WITH US; AND (3) SUBMITTING YOURSELF TO THE PERSONAL JURISDICTION OF COURTS LOCATED IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA FOR THE PURPOSE OF RESOLVING ANY SUCH DISPUTES OR CLAIMS.

Claims or Disputes must be filed within one year.
To the extent permitted by law, any claim or Dispute under this TOS must be filed within one year in small claims court, an arbitration proceeding or in court, as applicable. The one-year period begins on the date when a Notice of Legal Dispute is filed with us.  You agree you are permanently barred to bring a claim for your Dispute if you do not file your claim within one year.

General Legal Terms
This TOS along with any supplemental terms for some Services constitutes the whole legal agreement between you and AOL and replaces any prior agreements between you and AOL.
We may modify this TOS from time to time. If you do not agree to the changes, stop using our Services (and remember to cancel any fee-based services) before the changes take effect. Your continued use of or subscription to a Service after the effective date of any changes means that you agree to the changes.

If a court of law finds that any provision of this TOS is invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions will continue to be valid and enforceable.

We may assign this contract at any time without notice to you. You may not assign this contract to anyone else.

Registrations, agreements, and terms presented by us electronically to you have the same effect as one in writing and are legally enforceable as a signed writing. You also consent to receive all communications regarding our Services electronically from us.

When you sign up for Services and provide us with your telephone number or mobile phone number, you agree that we may contact you from time-to-time about the Services.

YOU GIVE US CONSENT TO USE AUTODIALED AND PRERECORDED MESSAGES TO CONTACT YOU AT THE NUMBER YOU PROVIDE TO US.

We may use the phone number that you provide to us when you open your account, when you add a telephone number to your account information, when you provide it to one of our employees or customer support, or by contacting us from your number. If you provide us with a mobile number, you consent to receive SMS or text messages at that number. You may stop further text messaging by simply texting “STOP” per the instructions we provide to you. Standard telephone minute and text charges may apply if we contact you.

We will not share your phone number with non-affiliated third parties for their purposes without your consent, but we may share your phone number with our service providers, such as billing or collection companies, who may contact you using auto-dialed or prerecorded message calls or text messages.

The delivery of any communication from us is effective when sent by us, regardless of when you receive or read the communication. In addition, we are not responsible for communications that do not reach you if you have not provided us with your current contact information. If you decided not to receive notices from us electronically, we may cancel your account and terminate access to the Services.

We may be required by law to release information to a third party about your account, including the content of e-mail. Except as prohibited by law, we will send you notice if we plan to comply with a civil subpoena related to your account. You agree to hold us harmless for the release of any information related to your account in connection with a civil subpoena including, but not limited to, any claims that you did not receive notice of the civil subpoena from us.

Last Updated
9-15-2014

Privacy Policy

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AOL Privacy Policy

Last updated: September 15, 2014

At AOL, it's our mission to provide users with rich, interactive online experiences. From Pulitzer-Prize winning journalism on the Huffington Post, to the latest technology news on TechCrunch, to up-to-the-minute traffic information on MapQuest, our websites, apps, and other services and software are designed to keep you informed, entertained and delighted. We also operate some of the industry's best-known advertising services, including Adap.tv and Advertising.com.

We're always working to make our services even better. One of the ways we do that is by analyzing information we collect and receive about users in order to figure out what they might be interested in. This helps us develop more engaging content and provide more effective advertising, which enables us to keep most of our services free.

This Privacy Policy describes how we handle the information we collect and receive about users. There are three things you should keep in mind as you read it:
  • First, the Privacy Policy applies to AOL services that link to or refer to this Privacy Policy. These services include websites, mobile apps, other online services and anything else that links to or refers to this policy. To keep things simple, we refer to all these services as our "Services."
  • Second, the Privacy Policy applies no matter what computer or device you use to access our Services.
  • Third, we may provide additional information about the privacy practices of some of our Services. Although this Privacy Policy applies to all AOL services that refer or link to it, you should read the additional information, too. Some of this information is linked from various places in the Privacy Policy, and some is available through the individual Services that you use.
We've done our best to keep this Privacy Policy short and simple, but if you have any questions about it, we hope you'll let us know.

Information We Collect and Receive

We collect and receive information about users in a few different ways:
  • Information you give us. You can give us information directly. For example:
    • When you sign up for an AOL account you may give us information such as your name, zip code, and date of birth;
    • When you purchase one of our paid services, you give us your billing information, which may include your credit card data;
    • When you use Moviefone, you can give us your zip code so that we can tell you where and when movies are playing;
    • When you post comments in response to a story or video on any of our Services, we-and other users-receive that information; and
    • When you use the "My Portfolios" feature on DailyFinance, you can give us information about your investments so that we can provide you with up-to-the-second market news and commentary relevant to your holdings. (Your use of AOL financial features is subject to additional privacy terms.)
    • When you otherwise contact us or provide us information directly.
  • Information we collect or receive when you use our Services. We also collect or receive information when you use our Services. We collect some of this information using cookies, web beacons, and other technologies. Depending on how you access and use our Services, we may receive:
    • Log information. This is information we automatically collect and store when you use our Services or other companies' websites and apps in the AOL Advertising Network. It may include, for example:
      • Information about your interactions with the websites, apps, and other services you use, the content you view, the search queries you submit, and information in cookies and similar technologies;
      • Information about how you access those websites, apps, and other services, your browser or operating system, your Internet Protocol ("IP") address, and the website you visited before visiting our Services.
    • Device information. This is information we automatically collect and store about the device you use when you access our Services or the services in the AOL Advertising Network. (Note that by "device," we mean anything you use to access our Services. For more information about our privacy practices in connection with mobile devices, please review the Supplemental Mobile Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.) Device information includes, for example:
      • The type of device you're using (e.g., an iPhone);
      • Certain device identifiers which may be unique to your device; and
      • Your Internet service provider.
    • Location information. This information can include, for example, your device's GPS signal and information about nearby WiFi networks and cell towers. We get this information when you use location-enabled services like MapQuest, which can give you driving directions based on your current location.
    • Other information. Please note that AOL may use information about your use of certain AOL communication tools (for example, AOL Mail and AOL Instant Messenger); however, when you use AOL communication tools, AOL does not read your private online communications without your consent.
  • Information from third-party sources. We may receive additional information about you that is publicly or commercially available and combine that with the information we have collected or received about you in other ways. Also, we receive information about you when you choose to connect with social networking services while using our Services. Learn more about how that works here.
Additionally, when you use AOL software (such as the AOL desktop software, AOL toolbars, or AIM), we may collect information about other software on your device for the limited purposes of providing the service you are using and improving the security of our services.

How We Use the Information We Collect and Receive

We use the information we collect and receive for the following general purposes:
  • To provide our Services. We use the information we collect and receive to provide you with the Services you use or request. For example:
    • If you request local movie show times from Moviefone, we might use your location information to provide you with times at nearby theaters;
    • If you sign up to receive the daily headlines from Huffington Post, we'll use your email address to deliver them to you; and
    • If you ask us to remember your login information for AOL Services, we'll use information stored in cookies when you return to those websites.
  • To improve our Services. We also use the information we collect and receive to provide content and advertising that people are likely to find relevant and engaging. For example:
    • If we notice that Huffington Post users in general prefer national political commentary, we might put that content in a special place on the website or in the app;
    • If we notice that a user is searching for sports cars on AOL Autos, we might show the user an ad for a sports car on AOL.com or on other sites in the AOL Advertising Network; and
    • If we receive information from users that a Service isn't working properly, we may use that information to address any problem.
  • To provide effective advertising. Many of our Services are supported by advertising, and some of our Services provide advertising on our websites and apps, and on third-party websites and apps. We use the information we collect and receive to make the advertising we provide more effective. Some of the ways we do this are:
    • Showing you ads based on your online activities, such as the websites and applications you use, the content you view, and the searches you submit on those applications
    • Limiting the number of times you see the same ad; and
    • Measuring the effectiveness of the ads we serve.
Learn more about advertising and privacy on our Services.

How We Share the Information We Collect and Receive

We don't rent or sell personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes. But we may share certain information we collect or receive with third parties to provide products and services you have requested, when we have your consent, or as described in this Privacy Policy.
We may share information with:
  • Affiliates. The information one AOL affiliate receives can be shared among other AOL affiliates.
  • Business partners. We may share non-personally identifiable information with select business partners, who may use the information for a variety of purposes, including to provide you with relevant advertising.
  • Other parties in response to legal process or when necessary to protect our Services. We may disclose your information-including the contents of your communications with other parties-to other parties, such as when we have a good faith belief that:
    • It is necessary to respond to lawful governmental requests or legal process (for example, a court order, search warrant, or subpoena);
    • The information is relevant to a crime that has been or is being committed;
    • An emergency exists that poses a threat to your safety or the safety of another person; or
    • It is necessary to protect the rights or property of AOL.
  • Other parties in connection with certain business transactions. In the event that the ownership of AOL Inc. or an affiliate or their assets changes as a result of a merger, acquisition, sale of assets, or in the unlikely event of a bankruptcy, your information may be transferred to another company. If we believe a transfer results in a material change in the use of the information we've collected or received about you, you will be given the opportunity to opt out of the transfer.
Companies that Provide Services to AOL

Companies that provide services to us or act on our behalf may have access to information about you. These companies are limited in their ability to use information they receive in the course of providing services to us.

Third Parties that Provide Content, Advertising Services, or Functionality on Our Services

Some of the content, advertising, and functionality on our Services may be provided by third parties that are not affiliated with us. Such third parties include:
  • Advertising providers, which help us and our advertising customers provide ads that are tailored to users' interests and understand how users respond to those ads;
  • Audience-measurement companies, which help us measure the overall usage of our Services and compare that usage to other online services; and
  • Social networking services (like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google ) that enable you to login to certain of our Services and to share things you find on our Services with your social network.
These and other third parties may collect or receive information about your use of our Services, including through the use of cookies, web beacons and other technologies, and this information may be collected over time and combined with information collected on different websites and online services.

Note that some of these companies participate in industry-developed programs designed to provide consumers with choices about whether to receive targeted ads. To learn more, please visit the websites of the Network Advertising Initiative and the Digital Advertising Alliance. For more information about privacy and advertising on our Services, please visit Advertising, Analytics and Privacy.

If you choose to connect with a social networking service, such as Facebook, we may share information with that service, and that service may share information about you with us. We may use the information for the reasons explained in this Privacy Policy, but the main reason we use it is to make your experience on our Services more personal and social. For example, we might show you what content is popular among your connections on the social networking service or give you a glimpse of what your friends are saying about that content.

It's important to remember that we don't control the privacy practices of these (or any other) third-party services. So we encourage you to read the privacy policies of the services before connecting to them.

"Do Not Track" Signals

Some web browsers may transmit "do not track" signals to the websites and other online services with which the browser communicates. There is no standard that governs what, if anything, websites should do when they receive these signals. AOL currently does not take action in response to these signals. If and when a standard for responding is established, we may revisit its policy on responding to these signals.

Choices

You have a number of choices about how we handle your information:
  • If you're a registered AOL user, you can access your registration information and any billing or shipping information and edit this information by visiting "My Account."
  • If you're a registered AOL user, you can visit AOL Marketing Preferences to review your marketing preferences and make choices about how your information may be used to provide marketing offers to you. Note that these preferences do not apply to communications that are directly related to your registration with AOL or the fulfillment of a specific transaction you have requested (for example, a service advisory from AOL or an acknowledgment of a purchase order).
  • Visit our Advertising, Analytics and Privacy page to learn more about your choices related to use of your information for online advertising. You can also opt out of receiving targeted ads from AOL by visiting the Digital Advertising Alliance's consumer choice page and selecting AOL Advertising.
  • Some of our Services (AOL Search and Netscape ISP, for example) may also offer you the ability to manage and control information collected or used when you use these services.
  • If you're using a mobile device, please visit our Mobile Device Choices page for information about the choices we provide to mobile users.
Our Commitment to Security

Although no one can guarantee the security of the information collected and received, we do employ a number of safeguards intended to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access or disclosure of this information. Examples of the types of safeguards we may provide (depending on the circumstances) include:
  • Storing the data you provide in controlled facilities;
  • Using HTTPS encryption when you authenticate (i.e., log into one of our Services), which helps prevent unauthorized access to your login credentials;
  • Limiting access to personal information to employees who need that access to perform their jobs; and
  • Providing company-wide training on privacy and data security.

Children's Privacy

Our Services are intended for a general audience. We do not knowingly collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under the age of 13 without prior parental consent, except as permitted by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. If you are a parent who consents to the collection of personal information from your child, you agree that your child may use all of our Services and that we may collect, use, and disclose your child's personal information consistent with this Privacy Policy.

If you have questions concerning our information practices with respect to children, or if you would like to review, have deleted, or stop the further collection of your child's personal information, you may contact us:

By mail:
AOL Children's Online Privacy
ATT: H2A:C05
22000 AOL Way
Dulles, VA 20166-9302

By phone: (888) 206-6088

By email

International users

AOL is based in the United States, and, regardless of where you use our Services or otherwise provide information to us, the information may be transferred to and maintained on servers located in the U.S. Please note that any information we obtain about you will be stored in accordance with U.S. privacy laws, regulations, and standards, which may not be equivalent to the laws in your country of residence. By using our Services or by providing us with your information, you consent to this collection, transfer, storage, and processing of information to and in the U.S.

AOL Inc. complies with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland.  AOL has certified that it adheres to the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles of notice, choice, onward transfer, security, data integrity, access, and enforcement.  To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view AOL’s certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.


How to Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns about this Privacy Policy or about AOL's privacy practices in general, please send us an email.

Changes to This Privacy Policy and Additional Information

We may update this Privacy Policy from time to time, and so you should review this Policy periodically. If there are significant changes to AOL's information practices, you will be provided with appropriate online notice.