The Privacy Probe

Character.AI's New Terms of Service Explained

Character.AI, the AI chat bot platform, updated their terms of service on the 25th of October, 2023.

The company's subreddit (r/CharacterAI) seem to have just caught on, and have raised their concerns about some of the new terms.

Now let's be real, you're not going to read the new terms of service.

For this reason, we've summarised the entire document and color-coded it for easy understanding below.

  • badYou waive the right to trial by jury and cannot participate in class action lawsuits against the company.
  • badThe company may terminate your account for inactivity or at their discretion without notice.
  • badYou grant the company a broad license to use, modify, and commercialize your content.
  • badThe company is not responsible for any loss due to unauthorized account access if you fail to keep your account secure.
  • badThe company can remove content and terminate accounts at their discretion.
  • badYou are responsible for any content you submit, including legal repercussions for infringing content.
  • badYou cannot use the service to submit harmful or illegal content.
  • badThe company is not liable for third-party content or services linked through their services.
  • badYou are required to indemnify the company against claims related to your use of the service.
  • badThe company disclaims all warranties and does not guarantee the service will meet your needs or be error-free.
  • badThe company's liability in connection with the service is strictly limited.
  • badClaims against the company must be filed within one year of the cause of action.
  • neutralYou must be over 13 years old, or over 16 if you're an EU resident, to use the services.
  • neutralThe company may set limits on data storage and service usage.
  • neutralYou consent to receive electronic communications from the company.
  • neutralThe company's trademarks and service marks cannot be used without permission.
  • neutralDisputes are to be resolved through binding arbitration in San Francisco, CA.
  • neutralThe company may update these terms and will post changes online.
  • goodYou retain ownership rights to content you create and submit.
  • goodYou own the rights to characters and content generated by you using the service.

We posted this summary on the subreddit, and users had some questions. Let's answer them.

Do I own the content I create on Character.AI?

You retain ownership of the content you create, but you grant Character.AI a broad license to use and commercialize it.

For example if Disney created a character on the site for all of the Star Wars characters, Disney still own the Intellectual Property of those characters, but Character.AI can use those characters on their site and in their marketing.

How long will it take for my account to be terminated for inactivity?

This term is less worrying than it sounds.

It usually takes many years before inactive accounts are terminated, and even then, Character.AI would likely reach out to you before they delete your account.

Most online platforms have this clause in their terms of service as a backup if they need to free up space or get rid of inactive spam accounts.

Can I still sue Character.AI if necessary?

Yes, but disputes must be resolved through binding arbitration, and you waive the right to participate in a jury trial or class action lawsuit.

Some reddit users questioned the legality of this clause, but binding arbitration is a common method for resolving disputes in many online service agreements.

It's a controversial term, as it limits users' ability to take legal action against Character.AI collectively.

Instead of participating in a class action lawsuit, users are required to resolve disputes individually through binding arbitration in San Francisco, CA.

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Finally understand what you're actually agreeing to online.