Terms of Service

(last updated: 10/24/2018)

Hello, and welcome to STORYSHOP! We hope that you enjoy our website, application, and related services. Please know that your use of STORYSHOP is subject to your agreement to these Terms of Service (“Terms”) and to our Privacy Policy [http://www.fictionvortex.com/privacy-policy]. Please read them carefully. (If you had personal Terms of Service, I would read them carefully, I swear!)

Depending on how you engage with STORYSHOP – whether as a reader, writer, StoryVerse™ Head, StoryVerse™ Owner, or paid contributor – there may be Terms specific to you. In some cases, such as royalty distribution, we may ask you to agree to an additional separate agreement with FICTION VORTEX (“Separate Agreement”).

Please note that children using STORYSHOP are protected by our compliance with various regulations that govern best practices for securing privacy for children using websites.

Finally, please also note that disputes arising under these Terms may be resolved only through individual binding arbitration, as described in Section 18.

  1. Who Are The Parties

STORYSHOP consists of web applications, desktop software, and mobile applications that function together as a reading, writing, and publishing platform. (see splash pages: http://fictionvortex.com/reader and http://storyshop.io).

It is owned by FICTION VORTEX, a corporation organized under the laws of Idaho and located at 1224 1st Street, Suite 302, Nampa, ID 83651.

“You” are you. And you’re awesome!

  1. Changes to These Terms

These Terms are subject to change by FICTION VORTEX in its sole discretion at any time. When changes are made, FICTION VORTEX will make a new copy of the Terms available via STORYSHOP. If you use STORYSHOP after the amended Terms have been posted, you will be deemed to have agreed to the amended Terms.

If we make a significant change, we’ll notify you and, where required, seek your consent.

  1. Acceptable Use

3.1 As a condition of use, you agree not to use (and not to cause or permit any third party to use) STORYSHOP for any purpose that is prohibited by the Terms or by applicable law.

3.2 You agree that you will, at all times, provide true, accurate, current, authorized, and complete information when submitting information or materials on STORYSHOP. If any false, inaccurate, untrue, unauthorized or incomplete information is submitted by you, FICTION VORTEX reserves the right to terminate your access to and use of STORYSHOP.

3.3 You agree that you will not impersonate any other person or entity, whether actual or fictitious, when using STORYSHOP. Nor will you use or access any portion of STORYSHOP for which your use or access is not authorized.

3.4 You agree that you will not use STORYSHOP to upload, transmit, or otherwise make available any information that:

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

(b) you do not have a right to make available under any law or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as, but not limited to, inside information, proprietary and confidential information learned or disclosed as part of employment relationships or under nondisclosure agreements);

(c) infringes any patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights of any party;

(d) constitutes unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation; or

(e) contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment.

3.5 For writers, you agree to our CONTENT POLICY found here http://www.fictionvortex.com/content-policy, which is hereby incorporated by reference into these Terms.


  1. Termination of Use

FICTION VORTEX reserves the right to immediately terminate your access to or use of STORYSHOP, and to block future access or use if you fail to comply with any provision of these Terms.

  1. Content Ownership (this is mondo important stuff)

All content on STORYSHOP belongs to the creator of that content, and no licenses or rights are granted, unless expressly granted in these Terms or in a Separate Agreement.

STORYSHOP and FICTION VORTEX acquire NO RIGHTS to any content created on or uploaded to STORYSHOP’s writing tools UNLESS you also consent to publish that content to the STORYSHOP Reader app [see section 6] OR grant STORYSHOP and FICTION VORTEX rights via a Separate Agreement

You understand and agree that you (and not FICTION VORTEX) are entirely responsible for all information, data, and/or other content that you write, upload, transmit, or otherwise make available through STORYSHOP. You also understand and agree that other users of STORYSHOP (and not FICTION VORTEX) are similarly responsible for all information, data, and/or other content that they write, upload, transmit, or otherwise make available through STORYSHOP.

You understand and agree that FICTION VORTEX has no obligation to pre-screen content that you or other parties write, upload, transmit, or otherwise make available through STORYSHOP, although FICTION VORTEX reserves the right in its sole discretion to pre-screen, refuse, or remove any such content, and shall have the right to remove any such content that violates these Terms or is otherwise objectionable. By agreeing to these Terms, you hereby provide your irrevocable consent to such monitoring.

  1. Publication Rights (this is pretty important too!)

When you allow FICTION VORTEX and STORYSHOP to publish your content to the StoryShop Reader app– by hitting “Publish,” Submit,” or similar button– you agree that they may display that content on STORYSHOP’s Reader application and corresponding website .

When Publishing content to the STORYSHOP Reader app in this manner, you are granting FICTION VORTEX and STORYSHOP exclusive rights to the online-streaming, interactive version of the content for a term of five [5] years. This prohibition includes but is not limited to personal blogs, online serial publishing platforms, and websites (e.g. Wattpad, Radish, Tapas.io, Serial Box).

Remember, you can always remove or edit your content on STORYSHOP.

  1. Fanfiction and Derivative Works (all of this is important!)

Here at STORYSHOP, we love fanfiction. We invite you to read and fall in love with our stories and Storyverses™, and, if you like, to write your own stories based on those characters and settings. Plus, because we think great fanfiction should be celebrated, we allow writers to publish and, in some cases, receive royalties from their fanfiction.

That said, by using STORYSHOP you understand and agree that writing STORYSHOP fanfiction (or “derivative works”) does not give you ownership or rights over that content, except as expressly stated in these Terms or in a Separate Agreement.

Therefore, STORYSHOP has established the following rules for fanfiction based on STORYSHOP content, which you must agree to and abide by:

  • You waive any and all rights to ownership of or payment for fanfiction you write, except those expressly provided for through a Separate Agreement for rights and royalty sharing.
  • When writing fanfiction, you must follow STORYSHOP’s Content Policy [http://www.fictionvortex.com/content-policy].
  • You must allow others on STORYSHOP to write fanfiction based on the content you publish on or through STORYSHOP (though you will keep the rights to it, unless you enter into a Separate Agreement).
  • You must not publish or cause to be published fancfiction (in any form) based on STORYSHOP content on or through any publishing platform, website, or other medium whatsoever other than STORYSHOP.
  1. Storyverses™ and Shared Intellectual Property

STORYSHOP offers Pro and Business-level writers the ability to create their own StoryVerses™, manage teams of collaborators, and, in some cases, receive royalties. To help you, STORYSHOP provides tools and Separate Agreement templates that may let you:

  • Monetize your content
  • Collect royalties
  • Invite contributors
  • Set roles for editors, authors, and StoryVerse™ Heads
  • Distribute rights for intellectual property
  • Apportion shares of royalties from collaborative work
  • And more!

When signing a Separate Agreement, be sure to read it carefully, as those terms will control on issues such as rights to ownership of or payment for collaborative content.

FICTION VORTEX is not responsible for settling, overseeing, mediating, or otherwise reconciling disputes among writers that may arise from Separate Agreements, unless expressly stated to the contrary in the Separate Agreement. Nor will FICTION VORTEX honor any side agreements between users on STORYSHOP that have not been entered into through the STORYSHOP application, website, or platform.

  1. No General Grant of License

9.1 You understand and agree that STORYSHOP is protected by copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents or other proprietary rights, and that these worldwide rights are valid and protected in all forms, media and technologies now existing or hereafter developed. Unless expressly stated herein, nothing in these Terms shall be construed as conferring any license to FICTION VORTEX’s intellectual property rights, whether by estoppel, implication, or otherwise.

9.2 You are granted a personal, revocable, limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to access and use STORYSHOP conditioned on your continued acceptance of, and compliance with, these Terms.

9.3 Except as otherwise stated in these Terms or in a Separate Agreement with FICTION VORTEX, you may not modify, translate, create derivative works of, copy, distribute, market, display, remove or alter any proprietary notices or labels from, lease, sell, sublicense, clone, transfer, decompile, reverse engineer, or incorporate into any information retrieval system (electronic or mechanical), STORYSHOP or any information therein, or any portion thereof.

9.4 If you are using STORYSHOP’s writing tools, you may copy, download, or export your own work. However, you may not download, copy, export, or embed any other work on STORYSHOP for any purpose other than personal use.

  1. Click-through Agreements

Before using or accessing certain tools, features, or areas of STORYSHOP you may be asked to accept additional terms and conditions by clicking a button marked “I Accept,” “I Agree,” “Okay,” or other words or actions that similarly acknowledge your consent or acceptance. This may take the form of a Click-through Agreement.

For example, such additional agreements may include, but are not limited to:

  • Agreements regarding derivative rights
  • Agreements regarding royalties for collaborative works
  • Agreements regarding distribution of digital, ebook content through a third party aggregator
  • Agreements regarding access to and use of a marketplace for designers, editors, and other freelance individuals

To the extent there is a conflict between these Terms and any Click-through Agreement or Separate Agreement for the activity in which you choose to participate, the Click-through Agreement or Separate Agreement will govern.

  1. Usernames, Passwords, and Subscriptions

11.1 Certain tools, features, areas, and content of STORYSHOP are available only with a registered username and password. If you register with a unique username and password, please note that this information is personal to you and you may not allow any third party to use it under any circumstances.

11.2 You are responsible for taking reasonable steps to maintain the confidentiality of your username and password.  You agree to promptly notify FICTION VORTEX of any unauthorized use of your username, password or other account information, or of any other breach of security that you become aware of involving your account.

11.3 FICTION VORTEX is not liable for any harm caused by or related to the theft, misappropriation, disclosure, or unauthorized use of your username and password.

11.4. From time to time we may offer expanded access to tools, features, areas, content, or other benefits that may require additional accurate, complete, and current information as well as payment. You agree to only and accurately represent yourself, not anyone else, and you hereby authorize us to verify that the information you provide is accurate. If you are signing up on behalf of another person as the parent or guardian for free use or paid subscription benefits you must also include your personal information so we can adequately identify your child(ren) who are participating with your authorization.

  1. Privacy Policy

For information about FICTION VORTEX’s collection, use, processing and protection of your personal information, please review FICTION VORTEX’s Privacy Policy found at http://www.fictionvortex.com/privacy-policy, which is hereby incorporated by reference into these Terms.

  1. Third-Party Websites, Services, and Content

STORYSHOP may feature or link to materials, information, products, and services provided by third parties (“third party content”). Any such third party content made available by third parties to visitors to and users of STORYSHOP is that of the respective third party and not of FICTION VORTEX. FICTION VORTEX makes no representation with respect to, nor does it guarantee or endorse, the quality, non-infringement, accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or reliability of such third party content. FICTION VORTEX does not endorse or approve of any such third party content or such third parties. If you decide to access linked third party websites, you do so at your own risk.

  1. Transfer and Data Processing

By accessing or using STORYSHOP, you consent to the processing, transfer and storage of information about you in and to the United States and other countries. If you use or access STORYSHOP outside of the United States, you do so at your own risk and are responsible for compliance with the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction as well as these Terms.

In some instances, users outside of the U.S., such as E.U.-residents, will have additional rights when they use STORYSHOP. You can learn more about these rights in our Privacy Policy at http://www.fictionvortex.com/privacy-policy.

  1. Disclaimers

15.1 YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT ANY AND ALL INFORMATION ON AND SERVICES PROVIDED BY STORYSHOP ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE.” 

15.2 FICTION VORTEX AND ITS PARTNERS, AFFILIATES, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS (“FICTION VORTEX PARTIES”) DISCLAIM ALL CONDITIONS, REPRESENTATIONS, AND WARRANTIES NOT EXPRESSLY SET OUT IN THESE TERMS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED TERMS, WARRANTIES, OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.

  1. Limitation of Liability and Release

16.1 FICTION VORTEX will not be liable to you under any theory of liability—whether based in contract, tort, negligence, strict liability, warranty, or otherwise—for any indirect, consequential, exemplary, incidental, punitive or special damages or lost profits, even if FICTION VORTEX has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

16.2 The total liability of FICTION VORTEX for any claim arising out of or relating to these Terms or our Services, regardless of the form of the action, is limited to $1 USD or the cost of the personal payment you made that is related to your claim, whichever is greater. The limitations set forth in this section will not limit or exclude liability for the gross negligence, fraud or intentional misconduct of FICTION VORTEX or for any other matters in which liability cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law. Additionally, some jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you.

16.3 To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, you release FICTION VORTEX from responsibility, liability, claims, demands, and/or damages (actual and consequential) of every kind and nature, known and unknown (including, but not limited to, claims of negligence), arising out of or related to disputes between users and the acts or omissions of third parties. You expressly waive any rights you may have under California Civil Code § 1542 as well as any other statute or common law principles that would otherwise limit the coverage of this release to include only those claims which you may know or suspect to exist in your favor at the time of agreeing to this release.

  1. Indemnification

To the fullest extent permitted by law, you shall defend, indemnify, and hold harmless FICTION VORTEX from and against all claims arising from or in any way related to your use of STORYSHOP, or a violation by you of these Terms, including any liability or expense, losses, damages (actual and consequential), suits, judgments, litigation costs and attorneys’ fees. FICTION VORTEX will provide prompt written notice of any such claims, but failure to provide such notice will not release you from any of your obligations, except to the extent that you are actually prejudiced by such failure, and will not relieve you from any other liability that you may have to FICTION VORTEX.

  1. Dispute Resolution

We want to know if you have a problem with STORYSHOP, so please contact our Customer Support team via [email protected] if you have any concerns with respect to the operation of application or related services. If, after speaking with us, you conclude that we have not satisfied your concern and that you wish to pursue legal action, you agree that your claim must be resolved by the processes set forth in these Terms.

If you initiate any claim against FICTION VORTEX in any other manner, you shall be in violation of these Terms and you agree that FICTION VORTEX shall be entitled to have such action dismissed or otherwise terminated and you agree to reimburse FICTION VORTEX for its reasonable costs incurred in defending against such improperly initiated claim.

Notice of Formal Claims

You agree that prior to initiating any legal proceedings against FICTION VORTEX, you will send us a notice to our attorneys via [email protected] and state that you are providing a “Notice of Dispute” along with the nature of your claim. Upon receipt of a Notice of Dispute, you and we shall attempt to resolve the dispute through informal negotiation within sixty (60) days from the date the Notice of Dispute is sent. If the dispute remains unresolved, either you or we may initiate formal proceedings according to these Terms.

Arbitration of Claims

Please read the following section carefully because it requires you to arbitrate certain disputes and claims with FICTION VORTEX and limits the manner in which you can seek relief from us.

18.1 Except for small claims disputes in which you or FICTION VORTEX seek to bring an individual action in small claims court located in the county of your billing address or disputes in FICTION VORTEX seeks injunctive or other equitable relief for the alleged unlawful use of intellectual property, you and FICTION VORTEX waive your rights to a jury trial and to have any dispute arising out of or related to these Terms or STORYSHOP resolved in court. Instead, you understand and agree that any claim or dispute arising out of or relating to your access to or use of STORYSHOP shall be referred to and finally determined by binding and confidential arbitration in accordance with this section 18 of these Terms (except as otherwise provided herein).

18.2 Arbitration under this section shall be subject to the Federal Arbitration Act and not to any state arbitration law. The arbitration shall be conducted before one commercial arbitrator with substantial experience in resolving commercial contract disputes from the American Arbitration Association (“AAA“). Unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties in writing, or modified by these Terms, the arbitration will be governed by the AAA’s Commercial Arbitration Rules. For more information on AAA, its Rules and Procedures, and how to file an arbitration claim, you may call the AAA at 800-778-7879 or visit the AAA website at www.adr.org/consumer.

18.3 Notwithstanding the foregoing, FICTION VORTEX may seek injunctive or other equitable relief to protect its intellectual property rights in any court of competent jurisdiction.

18.4 You and FICTION VORTEX agree that any dispute arising out of or related to these Terms or STORYSHOP is personal to you and FICTION VORTEX and that any dispute will be resolved solely through individual arbitration and will not be brought as a class arbitration, class action, or any other type of representative proceeding. Any claim or controversy as to the enforceability of this provision’s restriction on your right to participate in or pursue a class action or classwide arbitration shall be brought only in the state or federal courts located in Boise, Idaho.

18.5 In the arbitration, each side shall pay its own attorneys’ fees and expenses. If there is a statutory provision that requires the prevailing party to be paid its fees and expenses, then in such instance, the fees and costs awarded shall be determined by applicable law. In the event that you are able to demonstrate that the costs of arbitration will be prohibitive as compared to costs of litigation, FICTION VORTEX will pay as much of your filing and hearing fees in connection with the arbitration as the arbitrator deems necessary to prevent the arbitration from being cost-prohibitive as compared to the cost of litigation. FICTION VORTEX also reserves the right in its sole and exclusive discretion to assume responsibility for all of the costs of the arbitration.

18.6 The arbitrator shall recognize, respect, and honor all claims of privilege and privacy recognized by applicable law. The arbitration shall be confidential, and neither you nor FICTION VORTEX may disclose the existence, content, or results of any arbitration, except as may be required by law or for the purposes of enforcement of the arbitration award. The arbitrator shall not be bound by rulings in prior arbitrations involving different STORYSHOP users, but is bound by rulings in prior arbitrations involving the same user to the extent required by applicable law.

18.7 The arbitral proceedings, and all pleadings and written evidence will be in the English language. Any written evidence originally in a language other than English will be submitted in English translation accompanied by the original or true copy thereof. The English language version will control.

18.8 If the value of the relief sought is $10,000 USD or less, either of us may elect to have the arbitration conducted by telephone or based solely on written submissions, which election shall be binding on us subject to the arbitrator’s discretion to require an in-person hearing.

18.9 If any part of this arbitration provision is deemed to be unenforceable, illegal, or otherwise invalid, then the balance of this arbitration provision shall remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with its terms as if the unenforceable, illegal, or otherwise invalid provision were not contained herein.


  1. Choice of Law

These Terms are governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Idaho and the laws of the United States, without giving effect to any conflict of law principles.


  1. Waiver

The failure of FICTION VORTEX to exercise or enforce any right or provision in these Terms shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision or of any other right or provision.

  1. Severability

If any provision of these Terms is held to be unenforceable, illegal, or otherwise invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, or for any reason, the other provisions of these Terms will remain enforceable, and the unenforceable, illegal, or otherwise invalid provision will be enforced to the fullest allowable extent of the law.

  1. Survival

Those provisions of these Terms that, by their nature, should survive the termination of these Terms shall survive such termination.

  1. Miscellaneous

These Terms, together with any revisions by FICTION VORTEX, additional terms incorporated by FICTION VORTEX by reference, and any Click-through Agreement or Separate Agreement, constitute the entire agreement between you and FICTION VORTEX relating to STORYSHOP and its use by you, and supersede any previous written or oral communications.

The section titles in these Terms are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.

Except as otherwise provided herein, these Terms are intended solely for the benefit of the parties and are not intended to confer third party beneficiary rights upon any other person or entity.

  1. Claims of Copyright Infringement

Notices of claimed copyright infringement and counter notices must be sent to the following email address:

[email protected]

These notices must include the required information in accordance with the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”). We are only able to accept notices in the languages into which these Terms are made available by us.

RETURNS

——-

For the most part, you are hosed. We deal in digital content, and you can’t really give it back. But in the case that we start selling actually artifacts, etc., continue reading.
Our policy lasts 30 days. If 30 days have gone by since your purchase, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.

To be eligible for a return, your item must be unused and in the same condition that you received it. It must also be in the original packaging.

Several types of goods are exempt from being returned. Perishable goods such as food, flowers, newspapers or magazines cannot be returned. We also do not accept products that are intimate or sanitary goods, hazardous materials, or flammable liquids or gases.

Additional non-returnable items:
Gift cards
Downloadable software products
Some health and personal care items

To complete your return, we require a receipt or proof of purchase.

Please do not send your purchase back to the manufacturer.

There are certain situations where only partial refunds are granted: (if applicable)
Book with obvious signs of use
CD, DVD, VHS tape, software, video game, cassette tape, or vinyl record that has been opened.
Any item not in its original condition, is damaged or missing parts for reasons not due to our error.
Any item that is returned more than 30 days after delivery

Refunds (if applicable)
Once your return is received and inspected, we will send you an email to notify you that we have received your returned item. We will also notify you of the approval or rejection of your refund.
If you are approved, then your refund will be processed, and a credit will automatically be applied to your credit card or original method of payment, within a certain amount of days.

Late or missing refunds (if applicable)
If you haven’t received a refund yet, first check your bank account again.
Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted.
Next contact your bank. There is often some processing time before a refund is posted.
If you’ve done all of this and you still have not received your refund yet, please contact us at [email protected]

Sale items (if applicable)
Only regular priced items may be refunded, unfortunately sale items cannot be refunded.

Exchanges (if applicable)
We only replace items if they are defective or damaged. If you need to exchange it for the same item, send us an email at [email protected] and send your item to: 502 Buffalo Grass Ave Caldwell Idaho United States 83607.

Gifts
If the item was marked as a gift when purchased and shipped directly to you, you’ll receive a gift credit for the value of your return. Once the returned item is received, a gift certificate will be mailed to you.

If the item wasn’t marked as a gift when purchased, or the gift giver had the order shipped to themselves to give to you later, we will send a refund to the gift giver and he will find out about your return.

Shipping
To return your product, you should mail your product to: 502 Buffalo Grass Ave Caldwell Idaho United States 83607.

You will be responsible for paying for your own shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are non-refundable. If you receive a refund, the cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

Depending on where you live, the time it may take for your exchanged product to reach you, may vary.

If you are shipping an item over $75, you should consider using a trackable shipping service or purchasing shipping insurance. We don’t guarantee that we will receive your returned item.