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Shmoop Terms of Use

As of August 27, 2010

Shmoop University, Inc. Terms of Use

I. Implied Agreement

Welcome to Shmoop! We know...reading the fine print isn't as fun as reading Shmoop's sparkling analysis about "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," but please read through these carefully.

The use of the Shmoop website and all Shmoop products constitute an implied agreement by you (User) with the Terms of Use (Terms) set forth in this document and elsewhere within Shmoop and its directly related domains or products (collectively, "Shmoop" or "Site"). By using Shmoop, User accepts and agrees to be bound by the terms and provisions of these Terms.

From time to time, Shmoop may update or revise these Terms of Use without notice to Users. Users should be advised of this and review these Terms on a regular basis.

In addition, unless explicitly stated otherwise, all new Shmoop and Shmoop-related products, services, tools, enhancements, and modifications to Shmoop are subject to these Terms now and at any time in the future.

II. Shmoop's Services

Shmoop is an online provider of information, resources, guides, tools, and other related content about academic, social, and cultural topics. Shmoop provides features using and relating to its content, including, but not limited to, Shmoop Profiles, Shmoop Writing Lab, and Shmoop Opinions (collectively, all Shmoop content, resources, guides, products, tools, and features are called "Services").

Shmoop Premium Services are services which Users pay a fee to use, including but not limited to Shmoop's Test Prep content (e.g., SAT Prep, PSAT Prep, AP Exam Prep), mobile device applications, electronic books (or "eBooks"), and Teacher's Edition content.

The Shmoop website and all related Shmoop Services are provided by Shmoop University, Inc., a U.S. corporation.

III. User Requirements

To use Shmoop services, User must have an electronic device, an internet connection, and sufficient bandwidth to access and/or download Shmoop content. User is responsible for all costs associated with electronic equipment and internet connectivity. Shmoop is not responsible for any problems, costs, or fees associated with equipment or connectivity.

User understands that the technical processing and transmission of Shmoop Services, including User-generated content, may involve (a) transmissions over various networks; and (b) changes to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices.

IV. Responsibilities of Use

User is wholly responsible for the use of Shmoop Services, including but not limited to communications with other Shmoop users. User acknowledges that all use of Shmoop is subject to applicable federal, state, and local laws.

V. Registration and Access to Shmoop Services

Upon registration or creation of a user account and profile as a Shmoop user, User must provide personal information to Shmoop. User affirms that the personal information provided about User is correct, accurate, and true as of the time of registration or creation of the user profile. User will update personal information on the Shmoop website on a regular basis.

Certain tools, functions, and privileges of using the Shmoop website, as well as changes to User‘s personal Shmoop profile and account, will require an email address and password. User is responsible for safeguarding both the email address and password. User agrees that Shmoop will not be held responsible, in any event, for misuse or unauthorized use of User‘s email address and password.

Shmoop protects personally identifiable information as set forth in Shmoop‘s Privacy Policy ("Privacy Policy"). Before using Shmoop Services, Shmoop encourages Users to review the Privacy Policy, which explains our collection and use of personally identifiable information.

VI. User Conduct and License to Use Shmoop Services

  1. User‘s License to Use Shmoop Services

Shmoop grants User a personal, non-transferable, non-exclusive, revocable license to use Shmoop Services. If User subscribes to one of Shmoop‘s Premium Services, User acknowledges that his or her license to use the premium content, product, or service is granted for a one-year period, after which time the license will expire automatically, with or without notice to the User, except in the case of Shmoop Teacher‘s Edition content. After a one-year period, licenses to Shmoop Teacher's Edition content will renew automatically, with or without notice to the User.

User is prohibited from modifying, transmitting, publishing, participating in transfer of sale, creating derivative works, or in any way exploiting any content, resources, or tools included in Shmoop Services, in whole or in part.

If User subscribes to Shmoop Premium Services, User acknowledges and agrees that User may not share his or her username and password with, or transfer his or her subscription to the Premium Service, to another individual or entity.

User may access copyrighted material for personal use only, unless User obtains express permission in writing from an authorized Shmoop University, Inc. representative, and the copyright owner, to download copyrighted material for other uses. Thus, except as otherwise expressly permitted under copyright law, User may not copy, redistribute, retransmit, publish or commercially exploit accessed material without express permission in writing of Shmoop and the copyright owner.

In the case of any and all permitted copying, redistribution, or publication of copyrighted material, User may not make any changes to, or delete, any trademark legend, copyright notice, author attribution, or other ownership-related symbol. User acknowledges and agrees that no ownership rights are conferred or acquired by User upon download of copyrighted material.

Except as otherwise expressly permitted in these Terms, User may not: (i) remove or alter any trademark, legends, symbols, labels, logos, copyright, or other proprietary notices on the Shmoop Services; or (ii) reverse engineer, decompile, reverse assemble or otherwise attempt to discover any source code, except as otherwise permitted by applicable law.

The Shmoop website and Shmoop-published materials and products constitute the sole interface through which User may access Shmoop Services. User may not use Shmoop Services in any manner that could overburden, disable, damage, or otherwise impair the Shmoop Services (e.g., User may not access Services in an automated manner by use of "spiders", "robots" or otherwise), nor may User use Shmoop Services in any manner that could interfere with any other party's use and enjoyment of the Services. User may not retrieve and store or archive in electronic form, or any other form, any material part of the databases underlying the Shmoop Services.

Shmoop strictly prohibits all commercial and/or unauthorized use of Shmoop Services. User acknowledges and agrees that User may not use or resell Shmoop Services for any commercial purpose, including, but not limited to, sending unsolicited commercial messages.

Shmoop Services remain, at all times, the sole property of Shmoop or its third party licensors. All rights in the Shmoop Services not expressly granted to User by Shmoop under the Terms are retained by Shmoop.

  1. Sole Discretion of Shmoop to Determine Appropriateness of Use

Shmoop has the sole right and discretion to determine whether User is operating within the terms of this agreement and other policies, rules, terms, and conditions. Shmoop has a right to limit or terminate any User‘s access to Shmoop or other Shmoop services at Shmoop‘s discretion, for any reason, at any time, and without warning. In addition, Shmoop has a right to refuse service to any individual or entity at Shmoop‘s discretion, for any reason, at any time, and without warning.

  1. General Practices Regarding Use and Storage

User agrees that Shmoop may establish general practices and limits concerning use of Shmoop Services, including, but not limited to: length of time that discussions, notes (of all types), essay drafts, messages, posts to Shmoop Opinions, and other uploaded or user-generated content will be retained by Shmoop; maximum number of messages, notes, essay drafts, and postings available to User; and the maximum number of times, and duration or length of time, in which Shmoop Services will be available to User.

User agrees that Shmoop has no responsibility or liability for the deletion or failure to store any messages, communications, and user-generated content maintained or transmitted by the Shmoop Services. User acknowledges and accepts that Shmoop retains the right to deactivate or terminate User profiles or accounts at its discretion for reasons including, but not limited to, inactivity or inappropriate activity. User agrees that deactivation or termination of User‘s account includes any or all of the following: (a) removal of access to all or part of the offerings within Shmoop or Shmoop Services; (b) deletion of User‘s password and all related information, files, and content associated with or inside of User‘s account (or any part thereof); and (c) barring of further use of all or part of the Shmoop Services. User further acknowledges and accepts that Shmoop retains the right to modify or alter these practices from time to time.

  1. User-Generated Content (UGC)

Shmoop allows Users to post messages, comments, questions, and discussions, and otherwise make available information generated by the User (collectively, user-generated content or "UGC"). Users may only submit UGC that has been created by User himself or herself, or that User has permission to submit and does not violate copyright, trademark, or any other rights of third parties.

Shmoop is not responsible for, nor does it claim ownership of, any UGC that any User posts to the website through Shmoop Opinions, forums, message boards, blogs, or other features, or for any events resulting from UGC to the Site. However, by submitting UGC to Shmoop Services, User grants Shmoop, its subsidiaries, affiliates, successors, and assigns an irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free, fully-paid, non-exclusive, and sub-licensable license to use, copy, display, distribute, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display the UGC (in whole or in part) and to incorporate the UGC into other works in any format or medium now or later known.

User may NOT upload, post, submit, email, transmit, or otherwise make available UGC that:

(i)                is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another‘s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically, or otherwise objectionable;

(ii)              contains falsehoods or misrepresentations that could damage Shmoop, its affiliates, or any third party;

(iii)            harms minors in any way;

(iv)            impersonates any person or identity, including, but not limited to, a Shmoop official, discussion leader, moderator, guide, or host; or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent User‘s affiliation with a person or entity, including but not limited to the use of identities or headers which misrepresent the original source;

(v)              contains advertisements, solicitations of business, or spam, junk mail, chain letters, pyramid schemes, or other form of solicitation;

(vi)            contains any content which infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, or other proprietary rights of any party;

(vii)          contains any content that User has no right to make available under any law or contractual or fiduciary relationship (such as proprietary and confidential information made available or known to User under a nondisclosure agreement or employment relationship);

(viii)        spreads or transmits, or could spread or transmit, any worms, viruses or other harmful, disruptive, or destructive files, code, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy, or limit the functionality or usability of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment;

(ix)            collects or stores personal information about others or otherwise invade their privacy;

(x)              harasses, "stalks", or becomes a nuisance to others;

(xi)            intentionally or unintentionally violates any applicable local, state, national, or international law; and/or

(xii)          violates Shmoop‘s Terms of Use or Privacy Policy in any manner.


Furthermore, User agrees not to use any Shmoop Services (through UGC or any other use or method whatsoever), to engage in any of the behaviors in sections D.(i)—D.(xii) above.

User acknowledges that Shmoop is not responsible for pre-screening UGC, and from time to time, inappropriate content may appear on the Site before Shmoop is able to remove it. User acknowledges that Shmoop has a right (but not an obligation) to pre-screen, refuse, or remove any posts on any subject any time, for any reason, at Shmoop‘s sole discretion and without warning.

User agrees that User must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of any UGC, including reliance on the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of such UGC. In this regard, User acknowledges that User may not rely on any UGC created by Shmoop or submitted to Shmoop, including but not limited to, information in Shmoop Opinions, Shmoop Profiles, Shmoop Writing Lab, and all other tools, features, or elements of Shmoop and Shmoop Services. User agrees that following any links or references posted as UGC on the Shmoop website is done at User‘s own risk and that Shmoop is not responsible for other sites which are linked from the Shmoop website.

  1. User Feedback and Contributions

Shmoop appreciates User feedback on and ideas regarding Shmoop and Shmoop Services. User agrees that any feedback or suggestions, ideas, documents, and/or proposals (collectively, "Contributions") that User submits to Shmoop do not contain confidential information. Furthermore, User acknowledges and agrees that: (i) Shmoop is under no obligation of confidentiality, express or implied, with respect to Contributions; (ii) Shmoop shall be entitled to use or disclose, at Shmoop‘s sole discretion, such Contributions for any purpose, using any method or media worldwide; (iii) Shmoop may have something similar to the Contributions already in development or under consideration; (iv) Contributions immediately become the property of Shmoop without any obligation of Shmoop to User; and (v) User is not entitled to any compensation or reimbursement of any kind from Shmoop under any circumstances.

  1. Plagiarism

Shmoop will provide its content to websites and services that will track whether User has plagiarized any Shmoop content. Shmoop takes plagiarism extremely seriously and has a right to terminate use and to take legal action against any User who plagiarizes from the Site. Plagiarism is a serious offense and directly opposes the purpose of Shmoop, which is to assist in educating Users, and to promote a deep, rigorous, and enjoyable learning experience on topics covered by Shmoop. Shmoop content was not created to be a short-cut or opportunity to avoid class assignments, but rather as a supportive companion in the learning process.

  1. Citing Shmoop

User must cite Shmoop if he or she uses the Site as a source for a paper, class project, publication, or any other use. The proper citation format for citing Shmoop is, by default, the citation convention appropriate for all websites. More detailed information on citing Shmoop can be found here.

VII. Modificationsto Services

Shmoop reserves the right, at any time, and for any reason, from time to time, to modify, suspend, or discontinue, temporarily or permanently, the Shmoop Services (or any part thereof) with or without notice. User acknowledges and agrees that Shmoop is not liable to User or any third party for such suspension, modification, or discontinuance.

VIII. Advertisers or Third Party Vendors

Shmoop Services or web pages may include advertisements. User‘s correspondence or business dealings with, or participation in the promotions of, advertisers or third party vendors found on or through Shmoop Services, including payment and delivery of related goods or products, and any other terms, conditions, warranties, or representations associated with such dealings, are solely between User and such advertiser or third party vendor. User‘s questions, complaints, or claims must be directed to the advertiser or third party vendor. User agrees that Shmoop shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any sort incurred as the result of any such dealings or as a result of the presence of advertisers, third party vendors, or product reviews in Shmoop Services.

IX. Links and Co-Branding

Shmoop Services may provide, or third parties may provide, links to other internet websites. In addition, in some cases, co-branded services that are jointly provided by Shmoop and selected companies will contain Shmoop branding, but might not be hosted by Shmoop. Because Shmoop cannot control those sites, User acknowledges and agrees that Shmoop bears no responsibility for the availability of such external or co-branded sites, and does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from such sites.

User agrees that User cannot attribute to Shmoop any views, perspectives, opinions, or information on such sites. User further acknowledges and agrees that Shmoop shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by, or in connection with, use of or reliance on any such content, goods, or products available on or through any such linked site. User should review the terms of use of such linked sites to determine which company‘s Terms of Use govern such sites.

Any individual, party, or entity that links to Shmoop Services must comply with all applicable laws and the following provisions. A site that links to Shmoop Services:

(i)                may link to, but not replicate, any of Shmoop‘s content without express written permission from an authorized member of Shmoop;

(ii)              should not create a browser or border environment around any of Shmoop‘s content;

(iii)            should not imply that Shmoop is endorsing such site or its products or services;

(iv)            should not misrepresent its relationship with Shmoop or any Shmoop Service;

(v)              should not use any Shmoop trademarks, logos, or trade names without express written permission from an authorized member of Shmoop; and

(vi)            should not contain content that is reasonably considered profane, vulgar, lewd, derogatory, libelous, harassing, torturous, threatening, or otherwise unlawful.


X. Warranty Disclaimer

Users of all Shmoop services, including Shmoop Premium Services, understands that User engages with Shmoop "as-is", without warranties or refunds of any kind, at User‘s own risk. User acknowledges that Shmoop cannot guarantee that the content on the Shmoop Site is free of viruses, trap doors, and other electronic menaces. User understands that Shmoop does not guarantee the validity of any promotional or advertising material on Shmoop. User acknowledges that Shmoop does not guarantee that any material on the Shmoop Site is free of errors, misrepresentations, inaccuracies, or gaps in content, and Shmoop is not responsible for any omissions or inaccuracies. User understands that Shmoop does not guarantee the usefulness or timeliness of its content, services, tools, resources, or user-generated postings. User further understands that content on the Shmoop Site does not necessarily reflect the views of Shmoop University, Inc., and that Shmoop does not necessarily endorse messages from advertisers. User acknowledges and agrees that views and opinions expressed by advertisers are solely those of advertisers, and not necessarily those of Shmoop.

Shmoop expressly disclaims all warranties, express and implied, including but not limited to:

o     Warranties that Shmoop products, software, or services, or level of quality of Shmoop‘s products, software, or services, will satisfy User‘s requirements or meet User‘s expectations;

o     Warranties on the accuracy, reliability, legality, or completeness of the information within Shmoop or Shmoop Services;

o     Warranties of title or warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement;

o     Warranties that any errors in the service will be corrected;

o     Warranties on the timeliness of download;

o     Warranties on continuous, uninterrupted, secure, timely, useful, adequate, suitable, or error-free service on Shmoop or any other service of Shmoop University, Inc.; and

o     No information, oral or written, given to User by Shmoop University, Inc., shall be construed as a warranty not included here

As a result of the above, User agrees to exercise discretion, caution, and common sense when using Shmoop and Shmoop Services.

User agrees and acknowledges that User should not use Shmoop or Shmoop Services for emergency purposes or to seek or provide diagnosis or treatment of medical, psychological, or other problems or difficulties, or as a substitute for professional psychological, medical, legal, tax, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. User further acknowledges that the entire risk for use of Shmoop Services is borne by User.

XI. Limitation of Liability

In using Shmoop services, User agrees that Shmoop does not, in any event, endorse, and is not liable for, any misconduct, malfeasance, illegal activity, threatening activity, harassing activity, or any other harm against User by other users or third parties, including copyright infringements, arising from the use of our Site. None of the licensors, contributors, sponsors, administrators, or anyone else associated with Shmoop or Shmoop Services in any way whatsoever can be responsible for the appearance of any inaccurate information contained in or linked from the Shmoop Services.

Furthermore, User acknowledges and agrees that any damage caused to User‘s computer system as a result of using Shmoop or downloading material from Shmoop is wholly at User‘s own risk and User‘s responsibility.

To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event will Shmoop, or Shmoop‘s suppliers and licensors, be liable for any indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or punitive damages arising out of the use of, or inability to use or access, Shmoop Services, including, without limitation, work disruptions, incomplete work, damages for loss of goodwill, computer failure or malfunction, or any and all other personal or commercial damages or losses, even if advised of the possibility thereof, and regardless of the legal or equitable theory (contract, tort, breach of warranty or otherwise) upon which the claim is based. Neither Shmoop nor Shmoop‘s suppliers or licensors are responsible for any liability arising out of the Shmoop Services and/or any material linked through the services. Under no circumstances will Shmoop‘s, or Shmoop‘s suppliers‘ or licensors‘, direct liability arising out of use of the Services exceed the greater of (i) the amount User paid Shmoop for such use or (ii) $10.00. Some jurisdictions do not permit some of the above limitations of liability, and therefore this may not apply to you.

XII. Copyright and Ownership

Shmoop University, Inc. is the sole owner of Shmoop content presented on the Shmoop website and other Shmoop products, with the exception of: (a) links, documents, or UGC cited as belonging to another source; (b) links, documents, images that are in the public domain; and (c) any and all other content that is within the public domain. Use of Shmoop content without citation is by default considered to be plagiarism, an offense taken extremely seriously.

XIII. Permission for Use or Distribution of Shmoop Material

Shmoop, Shmoop.com, Shmoop Profiles, Shmoop Essay Lab, Shmoop Opinions, and other Shmoop names, labels, trademarks, and logos are trademarks of Shmoop University, Inc. Without Shmoop‘s written prior permission, User agrees not to display, or use in any manner, the marks of Shmoop. Reproduction, copying, distribution, promotion, or marketing with Shmoop materials, content, resources, or tools is strictly forbidden without express written prior permission from Shmoop University, Inc.

The trademarks not owned on behalf of Shmoop and that are displayed within Shmoop Services are the registered or unregistered marks of their respective owners. No rights are granted by Shmoop to use such marks, whether by implication, estoppel, or otherwise.

XIV. Indemnification

User agrees to indemnify and hold Shmoop, its subsidiaries and affiliates, and their respective officers, directors, employees, and agents harmless from and against any and all liability, losses, claims, demands, damages, or costs of any kind, including reasonable attorneys‘ fees and litigation costs, arising from: (i) User‘s UGC or other content that User posts, transmits, submits, writes, emails, uploads, shares, or otherwise makes available through Shmoop Services; (ii) User‘s use of, or reliance on, Shmoop Services; (iii) User‘s electronic or other connection to the Shmoop Services; (iv) User‘s violation of the Terms of Use; or (v) User‘s violation of any rights of any other party.

XV. Governing Law

The governing law in all Shmoop-related adjudications is California state law, without regard to its conflict of law provisions. In any legal proceeding between User and Shmoop, including, but not limited to, any and all claims or disputes (regardless of theory) arising out of or relating to Shmoop, use of Shmoop Services, or Shmoop‘s Terms, User agrees to arbitration with Shmoop in northern California.

Shmoop makes no guarantees that its Services or other Shmoop material is appropriate for other locations. For those Users using Shmoop outside of the U.S., User is responsible for complying with any local laws in User‘s jurisdiction that might impact User‘s right to use the Services. User represents that User has complied with any regulations or registration procedures required by applicable law to make the Shmoop Terms of Use enforceable. Use of Shmoop in areas in which such use is illegal is prohibited.

XVI. Severability

If any provision in these Terms of Use is held unenforceable or illegal by an adjudicatory body of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be modified to the extent necessary to render it enforceable without altering its intent, or severed from the Terms should no modification be possible, and the other provisions of the Terms shall remain in full force and effect.

XVII. Headings

The headings in these Terms of Use are applied for reference and convenience only, and shall have no meaning or substantive impact on the interpretation of the Terms of Use.

XVIII. Entire Agreement

These Terms of Use supersede all prior discussions, writings and agreements and constitute the entire agreement between User and Shmoop.

XIX. Contact Information

If you have questions about these Terms of Use, please contact us at:

Shmoop University, Inc.

P.O. Box 0935

Los Altos, CA 94023-0935

(650) 488-7778 main

(650) 644-3384 fax