Terms, Conditions and Privacy

This is a legally binding contract between you and RDFRS. Please make sure you read it, because it is important. We’ve tried to make it as clear as possible, but we welcome your feedback to support@richarddawkins.net if you have suggestions or questions. In addition, we‘ve made these terms available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, so you can copy and adapt them as you see fit.

1. Definitions

We’re going to use some shorthand to make this easier to read. When we say “site,” we mean www.richarddawkins.net and the services offered through that site. When we say “RDFRS”, “we,” “us,” or “our,” we mean The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, a nonprofit corporation. When we say “your content,” we mean any text, sound, graphics or other material which you post, upload, or otherwise share on the site; similarly, when we say “RDFRS content,” we mean the copyrightable text, sound, graphics, and other material owned by RDFRS. And when we say “terms,” we mean these terms of service.

2. Accepting these terms

Please read these terms before using the site. If you do not agree to these terms, you may not register for the site. If we make material changes to these terms, we’ll let you know either through the site or via email (at the email address you provide). If you do not agree to those changes, you may send a request to cancel your account to support@richarddawkins.net. If we do not hear from you within ten days, the revised terms will apply to you.

3. Privacy policy

When you register with the site, you will be asked to provide certain personal information, including your name and email address. We will store your personal information, but will not share it with any third parties, except as necessary to provide the services offered, to monitor usage, and to improve the service. For example, we may store your personal information along with your files and data on a third party server such as Amazon Web Services; or we may use a third party analytics tool like Kissmetrics to learn how you are using RDFRS, and how we can improve that experience. We also use your personal information to send you notifications about the service, including solicitation for donations and notifications of events, and to respond to customer support requests. We will never share your personal information with advertisers or send you promotions for unrelated services. You can access and change your personal information, change your contact preferences or cancel your account by logging in to your account settings page.

We may be required to disclose your personal information in order to:

  • comply with the law or legal process;
  • protect or defend our rights or property, or the rights or property of others;
  • enforce these terms; or
  • respond to claims that the content of any material on our system violates the rights of others.

If we must disclose your personal information in order to comply with the law or legal process, we will inform you (at the email address you provide) as soon as practicable, provided that it is lawful for us to do so.

We will also aggregate user information and perform statistical analyses of the collective behavior of our members and visitors, to measure overall demographics, and to analyze how to improve our service. We may share this information with third parties (such as Google Analytics), but such aggregate information does not contain personal information other than IP addresses. In addition, we may compile and disclose aggregate information about our users for promotional or other purposes. For example, we might want to disclose that a certain percentage of our users are located within a particular geographic area or work most frequently in the mornings.

We use session and login cookies, which help us keep track of when a person is logged in and determine the content or sites users link to, and which services people use. We will also capture login timestamps, and usage statistics, as well as IP addresses. We’ll capture some information about the documents stored on the site (such as word count, use of various markup tokens, number of versions, etc.), but we will not view the content of your documents unless you give us permission to do so, or it becomes necessary in order to comply with legal obligations.

We will communicate with you via email, to the email address you provide to us. Some communications, such as emails informing you of new features, may be unsubscribed to via the unsubscribe link in the email. If you would like to cease all communications from us, please send an email to support@richarddawkins.net and we will cancel your account.

4. Permitted users

RDFRS is designed for use by adults. You must be thirteen years of age or older to use it. If we learn that we have collected personal information from a child under the age of thirteen, we will delete that information as quickly as possible. If you believe that we might have any information from a child under the age of thirteen, please contact us at support@richarddawkins.net. When you use the site, you represent and warrant that you have the legal capacity to form a binding contract with us, and are doing so by your agreement to these terms.

5. Copyright and intellectual property

We own our stuff; you own yours.

You retain ownership of all content you post, upload to, or otherwise share on the site. However, by posting, uploading, or sharing your content, you grant us a non-exclusive, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to access, use, and display your content in connection with the site and services we provide to you. This license permits us to perform the services that you registered for; for example, it permits us to store your content on redundant data servers, but it does not permit us to sell your content to advertisers or display your content other than to those you have authorized to view it, nor does it transfer the copyright to us. This license ends when you delete the material or your account.

In addition, the site provides features that allow you to share your content with others. There are many things that others may do with that content, including copying it, modifying it, and re-sharing it. So, please consider carefully what you choose to share and with whom; we take no responsibility for that activity.

When you delete your account, any comments or content that you contributed to someone else’s documents will remain on the site, and will not be deleted.

All RDFRS content, the selection, compilation, arrangement and presentation of all materials, and the overall design of the site are copyrighted by us, and are protected by US and international laws. Use of our content without our express prior written permission is strictly prohibited.

www.richarddawkins.net, RDFRS, and the RDFRS logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of RDFRS in the United States and other foreign countries. Our trademarks may not be used in connection with any product or service without our express written permission.


RDFRS deals with copyright infringement in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

You may not post, upload, or otherwise place any content or information on the site that belongs to a third party, unless you have the legal right to do so. If you believe that any such information or content has been posted on the site, please send a notice of copyright infringement containing the following information to the designated agent at the address below:

  • A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.
  • Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed, or, if multiple copyrighted works are covered by a single notification, a representative list of such works.
  • Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity and that is to be removed or access to which is to be disabled, and information reasonably sufficient to permit us to locate the material.
  • Contact information for the notifying party, including name, address, telephone number, and email address.
  • A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.
  • A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

Upon notification of claimed infringement, we will respond expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity. We will also notify the person who posted, uploaded, or otherwise placed the allegedly infringing material on the site that we have removed or disabled access to such material.

If you believe that material has been removed improperly, you must send a written counter notification to the agent, and include:

  • A physical or electronic signature.
  • Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.
  • A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification.
  • Your name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if your address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which we may be found, and that you will accept service of process from the person who provided the original notification or an agent of such person.

Upon receipt of a counter notification complying with these requirements, we will promptly provide the original reporter with a copy of the counter notification, and inform that person that we may replace the removed material or cease disabling access to it if we do not receive notice within ten business days that the original reporter is seeking a court order to prevent further infringement of the material at issue.

Designated Agent

Stephanie Guttormson

1012 14th Street NW, Suite 209

Washington, DC


7. RDFRS rules

RDFRS is designed to help people collaborate together; as such, we have some ground rules which you must adhere to when using the site. You agree not to do any of the following:

  • Threaten other users with violence.
  • Use hateful, abusive, harassing, libelous, or obscene language towards other users.
  • Post any material that infringes or violates any third party’s copyright, trademark, trade secret, privacy, or other proprietary or property right;
  • Post any material which promotes illegal activity, could constitute a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise violate any applicable law or regulation;
  • Use the site to send spam, chain letters, junk mail, or any other type of unsolicited mass email;
  • Use the site to distribute viruses or other harmful, disruptive, or destructive files;
  • Use or attempt to use another person’s account;
  • Disrupt or interfere with the security of, or otherwise abuse, the site, or any servers or networks connected to the site;
  • Attempt to obtain unauthorized access to the site;
  • Impersonate another person;
  • Share with any minor any content or materials inappropriate for children, or allow any minor access to such materials;
  • Systematically harvest data from the site, or programmatically register accounts on the site.

You further agree that you are responsible for your actions in relation to the site, and for any communications transmitted under your account; that you will comply with all laws relating to the transmission of technical data or software exported from the United States; and that you will comply with all applicable local, state, national and international laws and regulations, including without limitation those related to privacy, data collection, and email creation and delivery.

If it appears you have violated any of these rules, we may, in our sole discretion, remove any offending material or immediately limit or terminate your account.

8. Canceling your account

You can cancel your account at any time by sending an email to support@richarddawkins.net. If you like, you may export your documents prior to canceling your account. Upon canceling your account, your files will be marked for deletion in sixty days, and will be deleted upon expiration of that sixty-day period.

9. Disclaimer of warranties

We will strive to prevent interruptions to the service and be good stewards of your data. However, the site and our services are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. We disclaim all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. We do not make any warranty that the site or our services will meet your requirements, or that the services will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free, or that defects, if any, will be corrected. You understand that you download from or otherwise obtain content or services through the site at your own discretion and risk.

10. Limitations of liability

Under no circumstances — including, without limitation, negligence — shall we be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages, resulting from (1) the use or the inability to use the site; (2) the cost of procurement of substitute goods and services; (3) unauthorized access to or alteration of your transmissions or data; (4) loss of profits, use, data or other intangibles, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages. The foregoing shall not apply to the extent prohibited by applicable law.

11. Indemnification

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless us, our officers, directors, employees, members, partners, agents, and suppliers, and their respective affiliates, officers, directors, employees, members, shareholders, partners, and agents, from any and all claims and expenses, including attorneys’ fees, arising out of your use of the site, including but not limited to your violation of this agreement. We may, at our sole discretion, assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you. The assumption of such defense or control by us, however, shall not excuse any of your indemnity obligations.

12. Right to terminate

We may at any time decide to alter, amend, modify, or terminate the site, any functionality or portion of it, all in our sole discretion, and you understand that there is no guarantee that the site or any portion or functionality of it will continue to operate or be available for any particular period of time.

13. General

These terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state of California, without giving effect to its conflict of law provisions. You agree that you will bring any claim or cause of action arising out of your use of the site in the courts located within Los Angeles County, California, and you also agree to submit to the personal and exclusive jurisdiction of those courts. You agree that any claim or cause of action arising out of your use of the site or these terms must be filed within one year after such claim or cause of action arose or it shall be forever barred, notwithstanding any statute of limitations or other law to the contrary. If any provision contained in these terms is determined unenforceable, then such provision will be severed and replaced with a new provision that most closely reflects the intent of the original provision, and the remaining provisions of these terms will remain in full force and effect. No waiver of any provision of these terms shall be effective except pursuant to a written instrument signed by us expressly waiving compliance, and any such waiver shall be effective only in the specific instance and for the specific purpose stated in such writing. You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and us as a result of these terms and/or your use of the site. You may not assign any right, interest, or benefit provided under these terms or through the site without our express prior written consent. These terms set forth the entire agreement between you and us, and supersede any and all prior communications, agreements and proposals, whether electronic, oral or written, between you and us with respect to the site and our services. A printed version of these terms and of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in judicial or administrative proceedings based upon or relating to these terms and/or your use of the site to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form.

14. Do’s and Don’ts, or How to keep the moderators happy

RDFRS’s aim in providing this site is to create a space for thoughtful, analytical and constructive discussion and debate. A space, in other words, for the exercise of reason (whatever the views you may hold), where comments can be rigorously analyzed and robustly disagreed with, but users will never be bullied or abused. The moderators may, at their absolute discretion, remove comments (either in whole or in part) and/or disable the commenting rights of any user who behaves in ways that, in our view, work against this goal, whether or not specifically included in this list. In addition to the Do’s and Don’ts listed below, please also see the RDFRS Rules set out in Section 7 of this document.

1. Please engage constructively with those who disagree with you.
Seek to convince and inform, rather than to browbeat, humiliate or insult. Remember that the site is read by large numbers of people who do not take part in the discussions but may use them as an educational resource.

2. Do be generous towards other users.
Do your best to understand and engage with their arguments honestly. Focus on their strongest arguments rather than deflecting to trivial weaknesses. Remember that the aim is to come closer to truth, not just to win an argument at any cost.

3. Normal rules of acceptable public behavior apply.
Do not abuse, insult, bully or threaten other users. Do not be rude. Do not make overtures of a sexual nature or post sleazy comments. Do not make derogatory personal remarks. Remember the public nature of the internet: challenge ideas by all means, but do not humiliate or denigrate other users. People are not automatically idiots or evil just because they do not share your views.

4. Do not draw attention to users’ spelling or grammar mistakes unless you genuinely need to in order to clarify meaning.
Not all users are writing in their mother tongue; some may have a condition that affect their spelling ability. And in any case, even if they simply cannot spell, this does not necessarily mean their argument is invalid.

5. Don’t be that person …
You know who we mean: the person who has one particular drum that they just keep banging over and over again; the person who consistently derails threads onto their pet topic; the person who spits and snarls as soon as anyone disagrees with them; the person who treats the site as though it were their own personal blog or playground; the person who seems to think a modicum of courtesy is a sign of weakness. This list is not exhaustive.

6. Keep all comments on-topic.
Facebook is elsewhere …

7. No spam.
This includes commercial advertising, anything posted multiple times on one or more threads, and the habitual and/or extensive posting of material that has simply been lifted from other sites. It also includes links to users’ own blogs, websites, YouTube channels or any other online presence.

8. No trolling.
Trolling includes any activity intended to disrupt the site, derail or impede discussion, or inflame personal conflict. It does not automatically include comments that challenge the prevailing philosophy of the majority of visitors to the site.

9. No preaching, no threats.
Users who hold religious beliefs are welcome to join in the discussions, to challenge the views expressed here and to present their views from their own perspective.
However, please do not preach. The distinction between arguing and preaching can be somewhat blurred, but we are likely to treat as preaching any comment that relies mainly on quotes from your holy book; or that merely states your religious beliefs without any attempt to engage in rational discussion about why they should carry weight with non-believers; or that threatens hell or other retribution; or whose primary aim is, in our view, to proselytize. Please understand that for many users this website is one of the few places they can get away from all that. None of this is intended to prevent you from joining in fully with the discussions from a religious perspective or expressing dissent. We simply ask you to engage and reason rather than preach.

10. Please take care not to bring the site into disrepute.
For example: do not incite to violence or any other criminal activity; do not post homophobic, sexist, racist or other hateful remarks. Please see also the rules set out in Section 7.

11. One user account per person.
No sockpuppets. And please note that creating a new account after being banned is strictly forbidden, and such accounts will always be removed.

12. Please comply with moderator requests and do not re-post any comment or link or other material that we have removed.
We understand that no one likes having comments removed, but please do not argue with the moderators. We will always try to be as fair and objective as we can.

13. Queries
For any queries relating to the moderation of comments on the site, you can contact the moderators via moderator@richarddawkins.net.

February 01, 2016 version: Derived by Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science from June 4, 2014 version.

Dec 13, 2013 version: Copyright © 2014 Editorially, Inc. and licensed under CC-BY-SA.