DISTURBING change to Terms of Service puts you & client to legal risk

@matthewpmunger
Any news on this?

I would appreciate at least some initial thoughts from the management.

For instance:

  1. Does the management like the idea of an OPT IN-OUT button for this specific usecase? Just put a button on the dashboard, and copyright sensitive projects can opt-out if needed. See idea above.

  2. Does the management understand that many projects (=clients) have to be removed from Webflow once the client really understand implications? For example, any project that relies on third party licensed assets, or relies on the work of a third party contractor has to be removed.

CONSIDER THESE:

  1. Just think about actors, photographers who work for a client. Those contractors did NOT allow you to use their work for Webflow’s commercials. Yes, a commercial can be just an innocent Facebook post, but it can be an international TV ad during the Olympics.

  2. Think about any project that relies on licensed photos from major Stock Photography Website. When I purchase a license from Adobe or Getty Images, they did NOT allow a third party to use these assets for commercial purposes.


I don’t like that with such a serious matter, the senior management is not involved in the conversation. They should at least respond with some initial thoughts, even if that is not a final legal statement.

Currently we are just waiting, with no understanding how the management sees this problem. So I don’t know if I should start the process of removing the project from Webflow, or most likely there will be some positive change? I would appreciate if someone would at least acknowledge that they made mistakes regarding this new T&C.

Thanks!

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Hi everyone, thank you for sharing your concerns and your patience while we worked through this with the team.

I have an update in regards to our Terms of Service. After chatting with the team, it’s clear that we need to revisit and simplify the terms surrounding what we can and cannot share on behalf of you and your clients.

While our team revisits our TOS to make the process even more clear, I want to call out a few things:

  • This section was put in place so that Webflow could more easily promote the work being done on the platform in channels like Webflow Inspo or the website.
  • I can assure you that we would never commercialize the work or assets uploaded onto the site for our own gain, i.e. claim work uploaded by a photographer on their site.
  • Lastly — for anyone who is concerned about their work being featured, or who would like to ensure we do not promote or share the logos or content of any of your clients, you can reach out to contact@webflow.com.

I understand the concerns when reading this section, and have brought them back to the team. We’ll be working with them to ensure that the language is adjusted and a clear opt-out will be included in-line versus further down in the Terms of Service.

Again, thank you for bringing this up — it’s incredibly important that you and your clients feel safe and excited to build on Webflow, and that includes fully understanding what processes are in place and how their data is protected. :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the response. It’s seems we’ll have a good solution that will work for everyone.

I like that opt-out is being considered, and I like that you will clarify what exactly you can do with someone’s project under the term “Promotional Activities”.

What freaked me out - I think quite rightly - is that Webflow’s “Promotional activities” was not specified. It was way too vague. There is a big difference between appearing on Webflow’s “inspirations” page, vs. appearing on CNN in a Webflow TV ad. Most people would accept the first scenario, but not the second.


If you don’t mind, I have a recommendation:
Be as specific as possible when you re-write the T&C. Go into a client’s head, and imagine what uncertainties he/she will have with those rights that you just grant to Webflow. You can write a much better T&C if you also focus on the client’s perspective, not just Webflow’s goals.

When you do this exercise, just imagine a few made-up scenarios:

  1. Imagine some easy scenarios, like a local plumber’s website
  2. Imagine a mid. complexity page that relies on Adobe and/or Creative Commons assets.
  3. But also practice with an extreme case. For instance, imagine an entertainment company who wants to build a Webflow site for their upcoming theatrical performance. They have music uploaded to Webflow written specifically for them by a living composer, performed by musicians who are sub-contractors. The costumes are unique designs (maybe trademarked), made by a third-party company. They also have video footages from the musical, featuring the actors and they also photographs taken by a hired photographer. And on top, they use Adobe licensed photographs to make the website nicer.
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Hope to get the opt-out soon It’s a good idea.

when I was reading a new terms when I got notification I was shocked but I rather didn’t comment on it and only said “thats it”. But most people would not read it.

Thank you for getting back to us with this.
It looks like you’re working on a solution that works for both parties – Webflow and us clients.

Looking forward seeing the updated TOS.

@matthewpmunger Could you please post an update here in this thread when the new TOS version is published?

Thanks Istvan, your example scenarios are excellent. And thanks too to @matthewpmunger for your replies. Webflow’s lawyers (they must have them, considering their $100’s of milliions of dollars of VC funding — which they deserve, by the way!) must already be conversant in this language and understanding of usage creep in a contract. I imagine that any lawyer would not make such vague terms in a contract if it was concerning outsider’s use of WEBFLOW’S intellectual property. Imagine if we wanted to use Webflow’s cool training videos for our own marketing or licensing? The opt-in approach seems most respectable, and less fraught with legal friction (speaking as a non-lwayer).

@matthewpmunger What’s the status, any update for us?

Hey all, checking in with the team to get a status update and will respond back here as soon as I can.

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