Terms and Conditions

Welcome to Planet Forward, a virtual public square fueled by the power of ideas – from students to scientists, entrepreneurs to activists – as they make their case for what they think about issues effecting civil society. The Planet Forward website, www.planetforward.org (“Planet Forward” or “the Website”) is owned by The George Washington University (the “University”) through its Center for Innovative Media (collectively, “us”, “we” or “the Project”). By accessing or using the Website (even through automated means) or by registering as a member, you (the “User,” “you,” or “your”) signify that you have read, understand and agree to be bound by these Terms of Service (“Terms of Service” or “Agreement”), and the related Privacy Policy (together, the “Policies”), whether or not you are a registered user of Planet Forward. The Web is an evolving medium. The Project may change the terms of this Agreement from time to time. By continuing to use this Website following the posting of such changes, you agree to be bound by this Agreement, as modified. The Project may change, restrict access to, suspend, or discontinue this Website, or any portion of this Website, at any time. PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF USE CAREFULLY AS THEY CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS, REMEDIES AND OBLIGATIONS. THESE TERMS INCLUDE VARIOUS LIMITATIONS AND EXCLUSIONS, AND A DISPUTE RESOLUTION CLAUSE THAT GOVERNS HOW DISPUTES WILL BE RESOLVED.

Registration Eligibility

Anyone can visit the Website and view the content without registering. To be able to submit User Content as defined below, you must register with this Website by establishing a user account (“User Account”). By registering, you affirm that you are either at least 18 years old, or an emancipated minor, or possess legal parental or guardian consent, and are fully able and competent to enter into the terms, conditions, obligations, affirmations, representations and warranties set forth in this Agreement, and to abide by and comply with these Policies. In any case, by registering you affirm that you are at least 13 years old, as the Website does not wish to collect any information from children under 13. If you are between the ages of 13 and 18, Planet Forward strongly encourages you to have your parents review and approve any User Content that you plan to submit before you submit it to the Website. If you are under 13 years of age, we’re impressed you’re even reading the Terms of Service, but please do not register to use this Website. Work with your parents on making your voice heard by having them set up an account.

Registration Data; Account Security

Transparency matters to us. Since this is a user-driven site that deals with news and public affairs, it is important that the Planet Forward community know accurate and relevant information about you, our contributors. By registering with Planet Forward, you agree to (a) provide accurate, current and complete information about you as may be prompted by any registration forms on the Website (“Registration Data”); (b) maintain the security of your password; (c) maintain and promptly update the Registration Data, and any other information you provide to the Project, to keep it accurate, current and complete; (d) be fully responsible for all use of your User Account and for any actions that take place using your User Account; and (e) promptly notify the Project of any breach of security or unauthorized use of your User Account.

User Content Submitted to the Website

Registered Users may submit User Content (as defined below) to the Website in accordance with the User Conduct section below and the related Planet Forward Submission Guidelines, which are incorporated into and made part of these Terms of Use. When you make submissions, Planet Forward may request additional information from you in order to keep with the open and transparent nature of the Website. Responsibility for the content in each posting lies with the user who submits it. You are solely responsible for all content (such as the viewpoints, photos, essays, poems, comments, information, music, videos, and other content) you submit, upload, publish or display on or through the Website, or transmit to or share with other users (collectively the “User Content”) and the consequences of submitting, posting or publishing it. In connection with your submitting or posting of User Content, you affirm, represent and/or warrant that: all those depicted in any User Content you submit to Planet Forward have consented to their inclusion in your submission with the understanding that it is being submitted to Planet Forward for potential distribution via a variety of distribution mechanisms, including but not limited to distribution over the Internet and transmission via broadcast and cable television; and you own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents and permissions to use, and authorize Planet Forward to use all copyright patent, trademark, trade secret, or other proprietary right in and to any and all User Content as it sees fit. If any persons under the age of 13 appear in your submission, you affirm, represent and/or warrant that you have obtained the consent of a parent or other legal guardian. When you submit or post User Content to the Website, you authorize us to make such copies thereof as we deem necessary. By submitting User Content to any part of the Website, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Project an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, whether commercial, advertising, or otherwise, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. This includes, without limitation, the right to distribute your User Content in all other media now known or hereafter invented. By submitting any item of User Content to Planet Forward, you grant Planet Forward the right to republish such User Content and/or excerpts from such User Content, and to use your name, username, likeness, and/or biographical information in any medium, for purposes of advertising or promoting Planet Forward, the Project, the University, or such User Content. Planet Forward does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms of Use, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content. In connection with our efforts to create a meaningful platform for ideas to be shared and topics to be discussed and debated, the Project will consider your submissions for posting based on its relevance, production and editorial quality and other considerations. You understand and agree that the Project reserves the right, with or without notice, not to post, and/or to delete, move, condense or edit any User Content that we consider irrelevant, unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or other reasons. If after submitting any User Content you conclude that it is inaccurate in any respect, or you wish to withdraw it from the Website, you also have that right.

User Conduct

Planet Forward is a news and public media project. The Website is only available for your personal, non-commercial use. We welcome and encourage you to submit and post comments and other respectful and appropriate content to the Website. You represent, warrant and agree that no materials of any kind submitted through your User Account or otherwise posted, transmitted, or shared by you on or through the Website will violate or infringe upon the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity or other personal or proprietary rights; or contain libelous, or otherwise unlawful material. In addition, you agree not to: use hidden cameras or to record any conversation without the consent of all participants; harvest or collect email addresses or other contact information of other users from the Website by electronic or other means for the purposes of sending unsolicited emails or other unsolicited communications; use the Website in any unlawful manner or in any other manner that could damage, disable, overburden or impair the Website; use automated scripts to collect information from or otherwise interact with the Website; submit, upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available any content that we deem to be harmful, threatening, unlawful, libelous, infringing, abusive, inflammatory, harassing, vulgar, obscene, fraudulent, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable; register for more than one User Account, register for a User Account on behalf of an individual other than yourself; impersonate any person or entity, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent yourself, your age or your affiliation with any person or entity; submit, upload, transmit, share or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, solicitations, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation; submit, upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make publicly available on the Website any private information of any third party, including, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, Social Security numbers or credit card numbers; solicit personal information from anyone under 18 or solicit passwords or personally identifying information for commercial or unlawful purposes; submit, upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any material that 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; intimidate or harass another; submit, upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that would constitute, encourage or provide instructions for a criminal offense, violate the rights of any party, or that would otherwise create liability or violate any local, state, national or international law; use or attempt to use another’s account, service or system without authorization from the Project, or create a false identity on the Website; and submit, upload, post, transmit, share, store or otherwise make available content that, in the sole judgment of Project, is objectionable or which restricts or inhibits any other person from using or enjoying the Website, or which may expose Project or its users to any harm or liability of any type.

Proprietary Rights in Website Content; Limited License

All content on the Website, including designs, text, graphics, pictures, video, information, applications, software, music, sound and other files, and their selection and arrangement (the “Website Content”), is the property of the Project or its licensors with all rights reserved. No Website Content may be modified, copied, distributed, framed, reproduced, republished, downloaded, scraped, displayed, posted, or sold in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without the Project’s prior written permission, except that the foregoing does not apply to your own User Content that you legally submit as a registered User or content that you may distribute using the “share” tools. You are free to establish a hypertext link (“Link”) to this Website so long as the Link does not state or imply any endorsement or sponsorship of you, your company or your site by the Project. You are granted a limited license to access and use the Website and the Website Content as provided in these Policies. You may occasionally copy individual items of Website Content solely for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that you keep all copyright or other proprietary notices intact. Unless explicitly stated herein, you may not upload or republish Website Content or incorporate the Website Content in any other database or compilation. Your license to use the Website Content for personal, non-commercial purposes is subject to these Policies and does not permit use of any data mining, robots, scraping or similar data gathering or extraction methods. Any other use of the Website or the Website Content other than as specifically authorized herein, without the prior written permission of the Project, is strictly prohibited and will terminate the license granted herein. Such unauthorized use may also violate applicable laws including copyright and trademark laws. Unless explicitly stated herein, nothing in these Policies shall be construed as conferring any license to intellectual property rights, whether by estoppel, implication or otherwise. This license is revocable at any time without notice and with or without cause.


Planet Forward and any Project graphics, logos, designs, page headers, button icons, scripts and service names are registered trademarks or trade dress of the Project in the U.S. and/or other countries.

Notification of Inaccuracies

We invite you to bring to our attention any material on the Website that you believe to be inaccurate. Please forward a copy of the material to info@planetforward.org, along with an explanation of your objection. Copyright Complaints We respect the intellectual property rights of others and comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). If you are an owner of intellectual property and you believe your intellectual property has been improperly posted or distributed via this Website, please notify us by sending an email to copyright@planetforward.org or by sending a notice by U.S. Mail to: Planet Forward, 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 250, Washington DC 20052, Attention: Legal Department. In your e-mail or letter, you will need to include all of the notice elements listed in the DMCA at 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3). Please be aware that the DMCA makes copyright owners liable if they materially misrepresent that a user’s content is infringing.


We encourage you to contact us in regards to any questions, comments, suggestions, or other feedback you have about the Website (“Feedback”). Feedback may be sent to the following e-mail address: support@planetforward.org. Such Feedback constitutes User Content. You acknowledge and agree that any Feedback provided by you to the Project is non-confidential and the Project shall be entitled to the unrestricted use and dissemination of the Feedback for any purpose, commercial or otherwise, without acknowledgment or compensation to you.

Third Party Websites and Content

The Website may contain links to other websites owned by third parties. Your use of each of those sites is subject to the conditions, if any, that each of those sites has posted. The Project has no control over and assumes no responsibility for the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party websites. In addition, the Project will not and cannot censor or edit the content of any third party website. By using this Website, you expressly relieve the Project from any and all liability arising from your use of any third party website. Inclusion on our Website of any third party content or a link to a third party site is not an endorsement of that content or the third party site. If you decide to leave the Website and access any third party site you do so at your own risk and you should be aware that our Policies no longer govern. You should review the applicable terms and policies, including privacy and data gathering practices, of any site to which you navigate away from this Website. Privacy We care about the privacy of our users. Click here to view the Privacy Policy. By using the Website, you are consenting to have your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States and abroad.


The Project is not responsible or liable in any manner for any User Content posted on the Website or in connection with the Website, whether posted by users of the Website, by the Project, or by third parties. The Project is also not responsible or liable in any manner for any injury or harm caused by User Content, whether posted by users of the Website, by the Project, or by third parties. Although we provide guidelines for user conduct, submissions and postings, we do not control and are not responsible for what users submit, post, transmit or share on the Website and are not responsible for any offensive, inappropriate, obscene, unlawful or otherwise objectionable content you may encounter on the Website or in connection with any User Content. The Project is not responsible for the conduct, whether online or offline, of any user of the Website. The Website may be temporarily unavailable from time to time for maintenance or other reasons. The Project assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, User Content. The Project is not responsible for any technical malfunction or other problems of any telephone network or service, computer systems, servers or providers, computer or mobile phone equipment, software, failure of email or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at the Website or combination thereof, including injury or damage to User’s or to any other person’s computer, mobile phone, or other hardware or software, related to or resulting from using or downloading materials in connection with the Website. Under no circumstances will the Project be responsible for any loss or damage, including any loss or damage to any User Content or personal injury or death, resulting from anyone’s use of the Website, any User Content or third party applications, or software transmitted to Users, or any interactions between users of the Website, whether online or offline. THE WEBSITE AND THE WEBSITE CONTENT ARE PROVIDED “AS-IS” AND THE PROJECT DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL REPRESENTATIONS AND WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF TITLE, MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGEMENT. THE PROJECT CANNOT GUARANTEE AND DOES NOT PROMISE ANY SPECIFIC RESULTS FROM USE OF THE WEBSITE. THE PROJECT DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT SOFTWARE, CONTENT OR MATERIALS ON THE SITE ARE ACCURATE, COMPLETE, RELIABLE, CURRENT OR ERROR-FREE OR THAT THE WEBSITE OR ITS SERVERS, ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS. THEREFORE, YOU SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION IN THE USE AND DOWNLOADING OF ANY SUCH CONTENT OR MATERIALS AND USE INDUSTRY-RECOGNIZED SOFTWARE TO DETECT AND DISINFECT VIRUSES. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT YOU DOWNLOAD OR OTHERWISE OBTAIN CONTENT, MATERIAL, OR DATA FROM OR THROUGH THE WEBSITE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND THAT YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR USE THEREOF AND ANY DAMAGES TO YOUR MOBILE DEVICE OR COMPUTER SYSTEM, LOSS OF DATA OR OTHER HARM OF ANY KIND THAT MAY RESULT. The Project reserves the right to change any and all content, software and other items used or contained in the Website or offered through the Website at any time without notice. Reference to any products, services, processes or other information, by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, supplier or otherwise does not constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation thereof, or any affiliation therewith, by the Project. Limitation on Liability IN NO EVENT WILL THE PROJECT, OR ITS AFFILIATES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO MARYLAND PUBLIC TELEVISION, AND NEBRASKA EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION, OR THE DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, TRUSTEES, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES OR AGENTS OF THE PROJECT OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANY THIRD PERSON FOR ANY INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, INCLUDING FOR ANY LOST PROFITS OR LOST DATA ARISING FROM YOUR USE OF THE WEBSITE, OR ANY OF THE WEBSITE CONTENT OR OTHER MATERIALS ON, ACCESSED THROUGH OR DOWNLOADED FROM THE WEBSITE, EVEN IF THE PROJECT IS AWARE OR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY CONTAINED HEREIN, THE PROJECT’S LIABILITY TO YOU FOR ANY CAUSE WHATSOEVER, AND REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF THE ACTION, WILL AT ALL TIMES BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT PAID, IF ANY, BY YOU TO THE PROJECT FOR USE OF THE WEBSITE OR USER CONTENT, BUT IN NO CASE WILL THE PROJECT’S LIABILITY TO YOU EXCEED $100. YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IF NO FEES ARE PAID TO THE PROJECT, YOU SHALL BE LIMITED TO INJUNCTIVE RELIEF ONLY, UNLESS OTHERWISE PERMITTED BY LAW, AND SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO DAMAGES OF ANY KIND FROM THE PROJECT, REGARDLESS OF THE CAUSE OF ACTION. CERTAIN STATE LAWS DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS ON IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF CERTAIN DAMAGES. IF THESE LAWS APPLY TO YOU, SOME OR ALL OF THE ABOVE DISCLAIMERS, EXCLUSIONS OR LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU, AND YOU MAY HAVE ADDITIONAL RIGHTS UNDER APPLICABLE STATE LAW.


The Project may terminate your registration, delete your profile and/or any content or information that you have submitted or posted on the Website and/or prohibit you from using or accessing the Website for any reason, or no reason, at any time in its sole discretion, with or without notice. Governing Law; Venue and Jurisdiction By visiting or using the Website, you agree that the laws of the District of Columbia, without regard to principles of conflict of laws, will govern these Policies and any dispute of any sort that might arise between you and the Project or any of its affiliates. Any dispute arising from or in connection with these Policies shall be resolved exclusively in the courts in the District of Columbia, and you hereby consent to, and waive all defenses of lack of personal jurisdiction and forum non conveniens with respect to, venue and jurisdiction in the courts in the District of Columbia.


You agree to indemnify and hold the Project, and each of its subsidiaries and affiliates, and each of the directors, officers, trustees, employees, representatives or agents of any of these, harmless from and against any loss, liability, claim, demand, damages, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, arising out of or in connection with your submission or use of any User Content you submit, your use of the Website, your conduct in connection with the Website or with other users of the Website, or any violation of these Policies or of any law or the rights of any third party.

Definitions and Constructions

Unless otherwise specified, the terms “includes”, “including”, “e.g.,”, “for example”, and other similar terms are deemed to include the term “without limitation” immediately thereafter. Terms used in these Terms with the initial letter(s) capitalized will have the meaning attributed to them in these Terms.


These Policies constitute the entire agreement between you and the Project regarding the use of the Website, superseding any prior agreements between you and the Project relating to your use of the Website. These Policies do not establish rights in any third party beneficiaries. The failure of the Project to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Policies shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision in that or any other instance. Nothing contained herein shall limit our right to comply with governmental, court, and law-enforcement requests or requirements relating to your use of the Website. You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to the use of the Website, including these Policies, must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred. If any provision of these Policies shall be deemed unlawful, void or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from these Policies and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions and the remainder of these Policies shall continue in full force and effect. Use of the Website is subject to existing laws and legal process. The material on this Website is presented for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as professional advice. Though we hope all who come to the Website will be truthful and respectful, we cannot verify or guarantee the truthfulness, accuracy, or reliability of any User Content. No action should be taken based upon any information contained in this Website until you have independently confirmed such information. We do not endorse or support any opinions expressed via the Website. We expect that you will use caution and common sense and exercise good judgment when using the Website and evaluating the information and materials available via the Website.