The Motley Fool's Rules -- Terms & Conditions of Service
Welcome to The Motley Fool! We hope you'll enjoy being a part of our Foolishness -- such as Fool.com, our subscription newsletters and their special websites, our discussion boards, CAPS, and whatever else we come up with (each a “Service,” and collectively, the "Services"). But first things first: By using the Services, you're agreeing to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you don't wish to be bound by what we've written below, you shouldn't register with The Motley Fool, LLC ("The Motley Fool," "The Fool," "we" or "us") or use the Services we provide. We may change these terms at any time, but we will post a notice on this website of any material changes. Your continued use of The Motley Fool and its Services means that you accept any new or modified terms and conditions. So please check back here from time to time.
Some Services, like account aggregation, are works in progress. We reserve the right to change or even eliminate them with no notice, at our sole discretion.
Except as expressly provided in these Terms and Conditions, members may only maintain one active registration with The Motley Fool. In other words, it's one registration per person. The only exception to this rule is if you wish to create more than one CAPS profile, in which case you may have a corresponding number of registrations. Any other use of multiple accounts or aliases on our Services, including attempts to mislead, defraud, confuse or otherwise trick us or our members, is a breach of these Terms and Conditions.
If you subscribe to one of our premium Services, you will be asked to create a password, which you'll need to access the Service. Should you wish to post a message on the discussion boards or comment on an article or a blog, you'll also be required to choose a user name.
As a registered user, you can update your account settings, including your email address, by going to the My Fool tab up top. There, you can also change your password at any time and your user name up to three times in a calendar year. Also, if you forget either your password or user name, you can go to this page for help.
2. Premium Services
When subscribing to a premium Service such as one of our newsletters, you will need to provide us with your name, email address, and billing and shipping addresses, as well as your credit card information. You certify that all information you provide is accurate. You also agree to maintain and update your information as necessary so that it remains accurate and current. In the event that any information you provide is inaccurate or not up-to-date, The Motley Fool reserves the right to cancel your subscription.
Your Service includes emails from the service, which include trades or recommendations, recent actionable investing guidance, Best Buys Now, and other important stock news. There is no opt out choice available for these emails. Of course, you can always opt-out of our marketing emails on the settings page.
Some Services may provide a free trial or introductory offer. If such an offer is provided, only one per household or email address is allowed at any given point in time. In addition, there is a limit of one trial per person and per email address in any given six-month period unless otherwise stated in the offer.
If you don't cancel your subscription within the trial or introductory offer period, we will charge the credit card you provided during the sign-up process. You agree to pay the applicable subscription fee as set forth on this site. The Motley Fool reserves the right to increase a Service's fees or institute new charges upon reasonable notice. Service fees are due in advance. You may cancel your membership at any time and receive a pro-rated refund by contacting Member Support.
From time to time, The Motley Fool offers its premium services through third party vendors. In such cases, the vendor’s refund policy would apply and may differ from the Fool’s standard policy.
Your membership will automatically renew for the quarterly, annual or other subscription period you originally signed up for, until you notify us of your decision to terminate your membership. Accordingly, you agree that your membership fee or subscription will be billed automatically at the beginning of each renewal period at the then-current rate to the credit card you used in your most recent transaction with us.
You cannot transfer your subscription to someone else, except through bequeathment or by a court order. In the event a subscription is transferred, it will continue through the end of its term and can be renewed at the then-current price and conditions. For assistance in this situation, please contact Member Services.
In the event that we terminate a Service, you agree that The Motley Fool may transfer your subscription to another Service of equal or greater value. Of course, you may cancel your membership to the new Service at any time and receive a pro-rated refund.
CAPS is The Motley Fool's service that allows you to make predictions about stocks, see others' predictions, aggregate community opinions, and track their accuracy. By putting together lots of information from a variety of sources, we hope to provide participants with a way to a) have fun and b) learn to make better investment decisions.
You should not assume that the opinions that people express in CAPS are the opinions of The Motley Fool or anything other than the opinions of the individuals expressing them.
When you look at other people's predictions, you should remember that those people may have interests in the stocks that they're making predictions about. For example, some people may hope a company's stock will go up because they own many shares of it; others may hope that it will rise because they (or their sister) work for the company; others may hope that the stock will rise because that will increase their CAPS score and their international prestige. When you review people's predictions (or the stock tips you see on television or hear in the supermarket), you should not assume that the person making a prediction is unbiased or independent. One of the beauties of CAPS, though, is that you can see the performance of people's predictions over time and, we hope, distinguish sound analysis from self-serving nonsense.
Employees of The Motley Fool may have interests in the stocks about which they make predictions. Employees display their positions in their online TMF profiles at Fool.com.
4. Virtual CAPS Players
Along with predictions that people enter into CAPS, we are including predictions that have been publicly announced by prominent individuals and institutions, as if they were participating in CAPS. Those "virtual players" have screen names that begin with "Track," as in "TrackScroogeMcDuck," and are displayed with a "Wall Street" icon / avatar. There are some players with "Track" in their names who are not created or updated by The Motley Fool -- we only maintain virtual players with a "Wall Street" avatar and background. These virtual players represent our editorial interpretation of the publicly announced - and only the publicly announced -- predictions or recommendations of these public figures. They may not be complete or timely -- we can't know when someone changes his or her mind about a prediction -- but that's partly the point, as many pundits make predictions but never follow up on them, leaving the public without the benefit of their most current thinking. The existence of a virtual player should not be taken as an implication that any individual endorses CAPS or approves of the use of the virtual player (although we do hope that those individuals will decide to participate in CAPS in a more formal way!).
5. Intellectual Property
All of the Content on our websites and any Service we provide is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws and is the property of The Motley Fool and/or providers of the content under license. By "Content" we mean any information, mode of expression, or other materials and services found on The Motley Fool. This includes message boards, blogs, CAPS picks, ratings, podcasts, chats, software, our writings, graphics, videos, and any and all other features. You can find out more information on copyright law and the Internet at http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html.
You may make one copy of the Content for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that any material copied remains intact and includes the following notice: "Copyright 1995-2013 [or whatever the current year is]The Motley Fool. All rights reserved." Any other copying, distribution, storing, or transmission of any kind, or any commercial use of our Content, is prohibited without The Fool's prior written permission. That means you may not sell, auction, transfer or barter your subscription or any individual publication. You can make or end your own CAPS picks at any time, but those picks, their scoring history, your scoring history, and data aggregated by CAPS remain the property of The Motley Fool.
You also may not republish, post, transmit or distribute the Content to online bulletin and message boards, blogs, chat rooms, intranets or anywhere else without our consent. You further agree not to create abstracts from or scrape our Content, including CAPS ratings, for use on another website or service (including our own personal forums and blogs). In short, you may not post our Content anywhere else online. Aside from opening yourself up to liability, distributing our premium Services, stock picks and performance data to other sites and forums is unfair to our members who pay good money to receive our Content. So please don't do it.
Please note that notwithstanding the foregoing, when you post content (such as a message-board post or CAPS pitch), you are not somehow surrendering your copyright in your expression, but you are granting us an unlimited license to use it. Specifically, by posting content, you agree that The Motley Fool has an irrevocable, perpetual and worldwide license to use republish, distribute, reproduce, display, communicate to the public, adapt, perform, store, translate, sublicense and promote anything you post on our websites. This includes the rights to syndicate and make derivative works out of your content. If you don't want us to use or republish your content, then please don't post it on our websites. We'll only republish your content in context, and we'll credit you as author (unless we're using small quotations). We won't republish your posts in advertising without your permission. And we promise not to mock you unless it would amuse us.
We also ask that you only upload or include on our Services materials you have the right to use. While we don’t mind if Peter Parker posts photos he’s taken on our blog network, we do ask that he not repost images he’s already sold or licensed to The Daily Bugle.
You agree not to display any of The Motley Fool's trademarks or use them in any manner without our express written permission. You can find the list of our trademarks here.
Some features of our site are patented under U.S. Patent No. 7,813,986 and U.S, Patent No. 7,882,006.
6. Account Aggregation
Some of the Services available involve aggregating your account information from various financial institutions.
If you choose to link an account, you will be asked to identify the applicable financial institutions and enter your log-in credentials with these institutions. By submitting your log-in information, you represent that: (i) you have a valid customer relationship with the financial institution you are linking to; and (ii) you are entitled to submit such information to The Motley Fool for use in this manner.
By using account aggregation services, you expressly authorize The Motley Fool to access the account information maintained by the third parties on your behalf. For purposes of this Agreement and for the sole purpose of providing you with the Services, you grant The Motley Fool a limited power of attorney and appoint The Motley Fool as your attorney-in-fact and agent to access third party sites or servers, retrieve and use your information with the full power and authority to do and perform each and everything necessary in connection with such activities, as fully as you might or could do in person. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT WHEN THE MOTLEY FOOL IS ACCESSING AND RETRIEVING ACCOUNT INFORMATION FROM THE ACCOUNT PROVIDERS' WEBSITES, THE MOTLEY FOOL IS ACTING AS YOUR AGENT, AND NOT ON BEHALF OR AS THE AGENT OF THESE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. You agree that the account providers are entitled to rely on the foregoing authorization, agency, and power of attorney granted by you.
We work with third party service providers to retrieve and access your account information, and cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of the information retrieved by a service provider or from the third party financial institutions where your accounts are held. We assume no responsibility for the timeliness, accuracy, or failure to deliver your account information.
Your third party financial institution log-in credentials are used only to extract the data necessary to provide the Services. The Motley Fool does not have the ability to make any changes to your accounts. We do not store your log-in credentials. For more information on our privacy practices, please see our Privacy Statement.
The Motley Fool champions active and open debate among our members. All we ask is that it's done in a lawful and civil manner -- be it posting on our boards, commenting on blogs or articles, replying to CAPS pitches, or using our system to contact a fellow member in any way. Accordingly, you agree to use The Motley Fool for lawful purposes only. You may not use or allow others to use your Fool membership to:
- Post or transmit any content that is disruptive, uncivil, abusive, vulgar, profane, obscene, hateful, fraudulent, threatening, harassing, defamatory, or which discloses private or personal matters concerning any person;
- Post or transmit any material that you don't have the right to transmit under law (such as copyrights, trade secrets, or securities) or under contractual or fiduciary relationships (such as nondisclosure agreements);
- Post, transmit, or link to sexually explicit material;
- Impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
- Post or transmit any advertising, promotional materials, or other forms of solicitation, including chain letters and pyramid schemes;
- Violate any applicable law or regulation while accessing and using our sites, including, without limitation, the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the national or other securities exchanges (especially and including the rule against making false or misleading statements to manipulate the price of any security);
- Offer, sell, or buy any security;
- Post or transmit any file that contains viruses, corrupted files, "Trojan Horses," or any other contaminating or destructive features that may damage someone's computer;
- Forge headers or manipulate identifiers or other data in order to disguise the origin of any content transmitted through our sites or to manipulate your presence on our sites;
- Use any automated means, including without limitation, agents, robots, scripts, or spiders, to access, monitor, copy or harvest data from any part of our sites;
- Take any action that imposes an unreasonably or disproportionately large load on our infrastructure or disrupts the functioning of our systems or Services; and
- Take any action that damages or disrupts the functioning of our systems or Services.
Unauthorized access of our sites is a breach of these Terms and Conditions and a violation of the law. You agree not to access our sites by any means other than through the interfaces we provide for use in our accessing our sites.
The Motley Fool may at any time, without prior notice and at our sole discretion, remove any post, terminate any membership, remove any individual CAPS picks, delete any CAPS players, remove any CAPS scorecards, or take any action for violating the above (and, if we may say so, sensible) provisions or otherwise taking an action disruptive to a Service. In the event of termination of a premium Service, you will receive a pro-rated refund.
You are responsible for statements made and actions taken through the use of your password, so please maintain the confidentiality of your password. You agree to immediately notify Member Support of any actual or suspected unauthorized use of your username and password. We will not be responsible for any loss to you arising from unauthorized use of your data. For more information on posting, please see our Posting Guidelines.
Now what does all this mean? It means that you agree that under no circumstances will The Motley Fool, its employees, or its agents be liable for direct, indirect, incidental or any other type of damages resulting from your use or downloading of any material on our sites, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages. This includes, but is no way limited to, loss or injury caused in whole or in part by our negligence or by stuff beyond our control in creating or delivering any of our Services.
One of the principal tenets here at the Fool is that the best person to handle your finances is you. By your use of our Services, you're agreeing that you bear responsibility for your own investment research and investment decisions. You also agree that The Motley Fool, its directors, its employees, and its agents will not be liable for any investment decision made or action taken by you and others based on news, information, opinion, or any other material published through our Services. The Fool relies on various sources of information that we believe to be accurate and reliable. There are also literally thousands of contributors here -- most, we believe, with incredibly interesting and insightful information and opinions to share. But we can't and won't take responsibility for, or make any claims or representations about, the accuracy, completeness, or even the truth of every bit of data, information, and opinion provided through our Services. Remember: All information and content provided on or by The Motley Fool is to be used on an "as is, with all faults, we're not perfect" basis.
Obligatory Capitalized Disclaimers of Liability:
NEITHER THE MOTLEY FOOL NOR ANY OF OUR PARTNERS MAKES ANY WARRANTY THAT THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, OR OTHER MATERIAL THAT YOU PURCHASE OR OBTAIN FROM THE USE OF OUR SERVICES WILL MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS OR THAT AND ANY ERRORS WILL BE IMMEDIATELY CORRECTED. NEITHER WE NOR ANY OF OUR PARTNERS MAKES ANY WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, WARRANTIES OF TITLE OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO OUR WEBSITES, ANY CONTENT, OR ANY OF OUR SERVICES, TOOLS, PRODUCTS, OR PROPERTIES. YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT YOU WILL ASSUME THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND THE PERFORMANCE OF OUR SERIVCES AND THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THEIR CONTENT.
SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW EXCLUSION OF IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IN SUCH STATES, OUR LIABLITY AND THAT OF OUR THIRD-PARTY CONTENT PROVIDERS WILL BE LIMITED TO THE GREATEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
That was tiresome, but important.
Federal or state law may require that we notify you of certain events. You hereby acknowledge and consent that such notices will be effective upon our posting them on our websites or sending them to you via email (another reason to please keep your account settings current). If you do not provide us with accurate information, we cannot be held liable if we fail to notify you. You may request that we provide such notices to you in paper format by writing to General Counsel, The Motley Fool, LLC, 2000 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314.
10. Everything Else
If any provision in these Terms and Conditions is found to be invalid, unenforceable, or nonsensical, the remaining provisions will continue in full force and effect. This agreement is and always will be governed by the laws of the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia (except with respect to choice of law).You agree that the proper forum for any claim arising thereunder will be the U.S. Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or the appropriate Virginia court.
Except as otherwise expressly stated in these Terms and Conditions, there are no third party beneficiaries to this agreement.
Please note that certain individual Services may have their own, or additional, terms and conditions. In the event of a conflict, the terms for the individual Service will control with respect to the Service in question. So please be sure to review any additional terms and conditions with respect to any specific Service that you subscribe to or use.
These Terms and Conditions, including those that are incorporated by reference, constitute the entire and only agreement between you and The Motley Fool and govern your use of our sites.