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Legal Rights

Last Updated 9/28/11

Contracts need to have a set of standard legal clauses that ensure their effectiveness. These include our policies regarding legal indemnifications, disclaimers of liability, arbitration rules, integration clauses, and other legal issues. Especially important are a description of legal procedures you must take if you believe that anything you find in our Website infringes a copyright you own (or if you’re accused of infringing someone else’s copyright).

We’ve tried our best to translate the legalese of these rights and responsibilities into readable English and encourage you to dig through them if you’re interested in participating in our Website. It’s always important to know your legal rights and obligations.

1.  Your agreement with our Community Policies

If you visit our site or participate in any way, or use any of the products or services, you automatically agree to all the terms and conditions or our Community Policies. When we refer to “these Terms,” we’re including all of the information in these documents. If you don’t agree with any of these Terms, you shouldn’t visit or participate in our Website.

2.  Claims of copyright infringement: Takedown Notices and Counter-Notices

If you believe that any content in our Website infringes a copyright you own — or if someone accuses of infringing their property in our Website — you may have to take some legal steps.  This section explains how the law works. It’s really not that complicated, but if you want to protect your rights, you’ll need to follow these instructions closely.

If you think your copyright is being infringed by some of our Website content, we’ll remove it upon receiving a takedown notice from you. The procedure is described in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act § 512(c) and this is how it works.

You should email us at Admin@OEIC and request a confirmation of receipt, or mail it via the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, UPS, or some other delivery service with a proof-of-delivery receipt to:

Copyright Administrator
Our Energy Independence Community (OEIC)
9 Diamond Road
Ballston Lake, NY  12019

In order to fully protect your rights, a takedown notice must include:

  1. A copy of the work you claim to be infringed. If you claim infringement of multiple works, you may include a list that identifies each item;
  2. The URL of the page where the infringing material is posted;
  3. Your contact information including physical address, telephone number, and email address;
  4. A statement that you have a good-faith belief that the allegedly infringing material has been posted or distributed without authorization by the copyright owner, its agents, or a relevant law or government regulation;
  5. A statement that “under penalty of perjury, the information contained in this notification is accurate” and that you are (or are authorized to act on behalf of) the true copyright owner;
  6. Your physical or electronic signature.  A brief description of electronic signatures can be found in the Wikipedia at:

When we receive a proper takedown notice, we immediately launch an investigation. If we find your claim plausible (and the standard is low — better safe than sorry), we’ll remove or block access to the offending content, and will try to do so within 48 hours. We’ll also promptly notify the person who posted the content.

If we remove or block material that you have posted because someone else claims that it infringes a valid copyright, you can contest that claim in a counter-notice. You should promptly send the counter-notice to us through any of the acceptable methods for sending takedown notices. If your counter-notice substantially complies with the legal requirements listed below, we will restore your material no later than within 14 days of receipt, regardless of whether it is ultimately determined that your material actually does infringe. If the person filing the original takedown notice sues you in court, however, we can’t legally restore your material until the court case concludes.

Your counter-notice must include:

  1. Identification of the removed material and, if possible, the URL of the page where it had been posted;
  2. A statement that, under penalty of perjury, you have a good-faith belief that the material was removed because of a mistake or misidentification;
  3. Your contact information, including physical address, telephone number, and email address;
  4. A statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court for the judicial district in which your physical address is located. If you don't live in the United States, you may substitute any federal judicial district in which OEIC may be found (which is any jurisdiction in the U.S.). You must also state that you consent to accept service of process from the person who submitted the takedown notice “in compliance with section (c)(1)(C) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act”;
  5. Your physical or electronic signature.

3.  Indemnification

As on any website that accepts user content, it’s possible that you may become involved in a legal controversy related to your participation in our Website. Legal issues can arise, for example, from somebody’s unauthorized use of your name or account, problems with content you make available to our Website, or some other violation of somebody else’s rights or of these Terms. Somebody might, for example, accuse you of using our Website for copyright or trademark infringement, defamation, or violation of rights of publicity or privacy. It’s unlikely, but these things occur.

If they happen to you, you agree to indemnify, defend, and hold us harmless from liability, losses, costs, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) incurred in connection with such claims against you. This extends to our employees and volunteers, Sponsor employees and volunteers, our Members, and others involved in providing content, services or licenses to our Website.

If such a controversy forces us into court, we also reserve the right, at our own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of our defense and you agree to cooperate with our defense.

4.  Disclaimers

We do our best to ensure that our Website is a reliable, accurate and useful resource. If anything happens to compromise those goals, we do our best to fix the problem as soon as we learn of it.

But despite our best efforts, there’s always the possibility of problems that occur without our knowledge, that aren’t under our control, or that we can’t fix fast enough to prevent you from being inconvenienced. We disclaim any responsibility for any of the following:

  • We disclaim responsibility for the deletion, the failure to store, the misdelivery, or the untimely delivery of any information or material. We disclaim responsibility for any harm resulting from downloading or accessing any information or material on the Internet using search results from our Website. We disclaim responsibility for any service outages caused by our maintenance on the servers or the technology that underlies our Website and other services, failures of our service providers (including telecommunications, hosting, and power providers), computer viruses, natural disasters or other destruction or damage of our facilities, acts of nature, war, civil disturbance, or any other cause beyond our reasonable control.
  • We do not guarantee that access to our Website will be uninterrupted or error free.  We do not make any guarantee about the content on our Website. Our Website and its content are distributed on an “as is, as available” basis. Any material that you download or otherwise obtain through our Website is done at your own discretion and risk, and you are solely responsible for any potential damages to your computer system or loss of data that results from such downloads.
  • Neither we nor our Sponsors guarantee that (i) our Website will meet your requirements, (ii) our Website and services will be uninterrupted, timely, secure, or error free, (iii) the results that may be obtained from the use of our Website will be accurate or reliable, (iv) the quality of any products, services, information, or other material that you purchase or obtain through our Website will meet your expectations, and (v) any errors will be corrected.
  • Neither we nor our Sponsors make any guarantees 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 Website, any content accessible on our Website, or any of our services, tools, products, or properties. You expressly agree that you assume all risk related to the quality and performance of our Website and the accuracy or completeness of its content.
  • Neither we nor our Sponsors are liable for direct, indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages arising out of the use of or inability to use our community, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages.
  • 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 liability and that of our Sponsors and third-party content or service providers and their respective agents shall be limited to the greatest extent permitted by law.

5.  Arbitration

We may choose to resolve any controversy or claim arising out of or relating to these Terms or to your use of our Website resources by entering binding arbitration in accordance with the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. Any such controversy or claim will be arbitrated on an individual basis and will not be consolidated into any arbitration with any claim or controversy of any other party.  Arbitration will be conducted in Saratoga County in New York State and judgment on the arbitration award may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. Either you or we may seek interim or preliminary relief from a court of competent jurisdiction in New York, as necessary to protect our or your rights or property (or our agents, suppliers, and subcontractors), pending completion of arbitration.

6.  Miscellaneous Legal Rights and Obligations

Waiver.  Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms does not mean that we waive those rights or provisions.

Statutes of Limitations.  You agree that, regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of our Community or these Terms must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred.

Integration.  These Terms, including all terms, conditions, and policies that are incorporated into these Terms by reference, constitute the entire agreement between you and OEIC and govern your use of our Website, superseding any prior agreements that you may have with us.

Choice of Law / Choice of Venue.  These Terms shall be construed in accordance with the laws of New York State, and the parties irrevocably consent to bring any action to enforce these Terms before an arbitration panel in Saratoga County, New York, or before a New York court of competent jurisdiction if seeking interim or preliminary relief or enforcement of an arbitration award.

Severability.  If any part of these Terms is found to be invalid or unenforceable under applicable law, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original, and the remainder of these Terms shall remain in effect.

Legal Compliance.  Our Website, like any website, is subject to federal, state, and local laws. Nothing contained in these Terms limits our right or legal duty to comply with governmental, court, and law-enforcement requests or requirements relating to your participation or membership in our Website.


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