Topic: Section 5.5 'Non-commerical Use' in Terms of Use for site


This is my first post, so I'ld like to start by saying "Thank you" to Chumby Industries. I'm smitten with my Chumby and as a somewhat-rusty developer I'm impressed by the technology and appreciate these active forums.

I'ld be very grateful for any feedback on the following 2 questions:

Q1. If I build an application deployed via Chumby's website which provides access to features or content from a 3rd party commerical organisation then how does section '5.5 Non-Commercial Use' of the Terms of Use agreement apply?

"5.5 Non-Commercial Use. The Services are for the personal use of Registered Users only and may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically approved in writing by the management of chumby or in connection with Services expressly designated for commercial use."

Here are some examples to consider:

EXAMPLE1:  The Flickr app currently allows you to see photos from Flickr. Flickr sells 'pro' account (and no doubt engage in other lucrative commercial endeavors) I'm motivated to purchase a 'pro' account because of this wonderful app. I do note that this app was built by Chumby.

EXAMPLE2: There's already a very useful UK Train times app (thanks gingerbeardman!). Train companies sell train tickets (doh!) although to be clear train time table information is freely available yet is integral to the success of their commercial endeavor. I'm motivated to take the train rather than drive because of this wonderful app.

Q2. If I built an application which accessed *my own* commercial website or indirectly supported my own commerical endeavors how does the situation change?

EXAMPLE3: I build the next 'gee-whiz', 'must have' web application, somehow gain commercially from it and develop a free Chumby widget so users can access its features or content. Due to the meteoric success of my killer app, everyone rushes out and buys a Chumby. (wish me luck!)

EXAMPLE4: I'm a successful rail road tycoon and issue a Chumby to all of my staff to (say) access the UK Train times app and others to support my (perhaps very misguided) commercial endeavour.

EXAMPLE5: I'm a successful photographer and I buy a Chumby for all my existing clients and send it to them so they can access my wonderful picture collection. They're delighted and give me repeat business, for example ordering prints.

Thanks very much in advance for your feedback.

Please note that I'm only using gingerbeardman's UK Train times application as an example above and I'ld like to make it clear that this is an imaginary scenario. I don't know gingerbeardman and I am not in any way suggesting that he gains commercially in any way from my use of his software. Neither am I a rail road tycoon nor a commercial photographer. Neither am I a lawyer (but you might have worked that out already).

The point is that in each of these examples you might argue that the Chumby is being used IN CONNECTION WITH a commercial endeavor.

Best wishes,

Re: Section 5.5 'Non-commerical Use' in Terms of Use for site

That clause is there to prevent people from offering the "Service" (ie the system that *delivers* widgets) commercially to others, not widgets themselves from utilizing or offering commercial services.

For instance, somebody makes a non-chumby product (like a kiosk) that pulls widgets from our servers and charges people to use it - that would not be allowed.

Sony is such a licensee - they have a contract with us that allows the Sony dash to use the service.  Same with Best Buy/Insignia for the Infocast.  Some third party making an Android application that pulls widgets from the service would have to do the same.

There's nothing preventing you from reselling (or giving away) chumby devices as part of a business, as long as they're not misrepresented as your own product, just as would be the case if you provided the same service on, say, an iPhone.

Everything you've listed in your post is permissible.

Re: Section 5.5 'Non-commerical Use' in Terms of Use for site

Thanks for clarifying that Duane.