Terms and Conditions

THE BOOK

Terms of Service


Statement of Rights and Responsibilities


This statement of the terms of service of The Book is derived from principles of the public sphere, covered in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, the American Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Golden Rule, and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as the works of Virginia Woolf, Friedrich Nietzsche, Booker T. Washington, Emily Dickinson, Karl Marx, Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Paine, Mary Shelley, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, the Marquis de Sade, John Milton, Michel de Montaigne, Erasmus, Francis Bacon, Martin Luther, Thomas Aquinas, Maimonides, Hypatia, Augustine, Aristotle, and Plato, among other pursuant documents not exclusive of other acts and agreements past, present, and future. In using The Book, either by creating works in the form of The Book (writing) or by deriving information and/or pleasure from other works in said form (reading), you do not necessarily subscribe to the the principles set forth in these aforementioned documents. But they protect your rights and suggest your responsibilities just the same.

 

I. Privacy
    What takes place in the exchange between your brain and the contents of The Book is your exclusive private concern. The Book will never download the contents of your brain, either whole or in part.

 

II. Intellectual Property
    A. The Book often contains ideas and information created by others. The continued appearance of such ideas and information depends on the recognition of a limited property right enjoyed by creators of said ideas and information. But recognizing that the terms of service also require access to ideas and information and the ability to repurpose them in the creation of new works, the creator's monopoly right shall be understood to be limited and circumscribed.

 

    B. In order to facilitate exchange of ideas and information, The Book claims no license, exclusive or non-exclusive, to thoughts and experiences of the user ("reader"). When you experience ideas and information contained in The Book, said experiences remain your exclusive property, to be transferred, transformed, repurposed, or forgotten subject only to limits recognized by fellow users as described in part II.A, above.

 

III. Registration
    The Book has no account registration procedure. No credit card, social security number, passport, diploma, blood type, vision test, or waiver of rights shall be required to use The Book. This provision is subject to perversions of politics, religion, and market forces beyond the control of The Book.

 

IV. Use of The Book
    The Book is a work of art and a product of craft, and as such is open to any use or repurposing imaginable by readers, writers, and other users, who may scribble in, decorate, deface, gloss, footnote, illustrate, carve, stack, shelve, hide, beg, borrow, or steal as deemed appropriate, subject only to the expectations of fellow users and political, religious, or market forces, which as mentioned in III above are beyond the control of The Book.

 

V. Special Provisions
    A. The Book will not place ads in your brain, nor seek to control placement of such ads by others.

 

    B. The Book cannot reject users for any reason.

 

    C. The Book will not stop providing its services if you violate the spirit or letter of this agreement, or otherwise place in jeopardy The Book or the Public Sphere in which it operates. But the ultimate consequences of said violation, as well as aforementioned perversions political, religious, or economic, may render said services of The Book useless.

 

Click here if you agree to the terms of The Book.

 

Click here if you do not agree. Life is nasty, brutish, and short.

 

-MATTHEW BATTLES

 


Matthew Battles is @mbattles on Twitter. He blogs about the future of the book at library ad infinitum and at Hilobrow.com, where "The Book: Terms of Service" first appeared. He is a frequent contributor to the BN Review.

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

advertisement
Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.