LiveJournal has come fully under Russian control since January of this year, and as of last week LiveJournal and its users are now completely subject to Russian law. In reality, LiveJournal (also known as LJ), a place to, well, live journal your thoughts, etc., has been owned by Russian interests since 2007, but many users either didn’t know that, or didn’t care because LJ was still being managed out of California, and the LiveJournal servers were located in California. But all that has changed. (Note: We have provided the full text of both the LiveJournal TOS and the controlling Russian law at the end of this article.)
For several years, until 2007, LiveJournal was owned by Six Apart, the company behind, among other things, Vox and Movable Type . Six Apart sold LiveJournal to SUP Media – a Russian company – in 2007. Until a few months ago, however, LiveJournal was still primarily operated out of California. But this past December, 2016, all assets, including the LiveJournal servers, were moved to Russia, and as of this month (April, 2017) LiveJournal and LiveJournal users are subject to Russian laws that control privacy (or lack thereof), and content.
And all LiveJournal users are now subject to the Russian LiveJournal TOS (which stands for “Terms of Service”). And when we say the Russian TOS, we mean the one in Russian, as LiveJournal’s own English version of the LiveJournal TOS starts out by saying “ATTENTION: this translation of the User Agreement is not a legally binding document. The original User Agreement, which is valid, is located at the following address: http://www.livejournal.com/legal/tos-ru.bml.”
So what does that Russian version say? Well, it starts out by saying “Предмет Соглашения
Общество с ограниченной ответственностью «Суп Медиа» (Администрация) предоставляет пользователю информационно-телекоммуникационной сети Интернет (Пользователь) возможность использования Сервиса на условиях, изложенных в настоящем пользовательском соглашении (Соглашение). Использовать Сервис вправе только физические лица, достигшие 14-летнего возраста.”
But, we kid, as we know that most (not all, but most) of our readers don’t speak Russian.
At the end of this article is the full text English translation of the Russian version of the LiveJournal TOS. There are a few things worth noting, which are, not coincidentally, the things that have non-Russian LJ users deleting their accounts.
First, there’s section 9.2.7 which states that the user may not “post advertising and/or political solicitation materials unless otherwise directly specified in a separate agreement between User and the Administration.”
And if that’s not enough, section 7.4 reads “Please note that, User shall be subject to Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149-ФЗ if more than three thousand Internet users access the Blog (the Blog’s page) within 24 hours.”
Then, section 8.4 reads “Please note that the Community (the Community’s page) within 24 hours, the Community Owner shall be subject to Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149-ФЗ if more than three thousand Internet users access.”
So just what is this Article 10.2 Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149-ФЗ?
Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149-ФЗ is titled The Details of Dissemination of Generally Accessible Information by a Blogger. You can read Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149-ФЗ here. (That link goes to the English language version at the World Trade Organization (WTO).)
Basically, it is the Russian law that holds bloggers, and other publishers of websites, who receive 3,000 or more visitors a day, responsible for the content on their blog. Couple that with the Russian laws, starting in 2006, banning “propaganda of homosexuality” among children, and the blanket law passed in 2013 that bans ‘promotion among children’ of “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships,” and one can understand why not just the LGBT community, but really anyone who might talk about anything of..well gosh..nearly any nature, might be concerned about using LiveJournal for nearly anything. (It is widely believed that the “for the children” aspect of the law was the grease to get what is essentially an anti-anything-that-is-not-heterosexual-missionary law passed.)
The concerns are especially great considering that violators of the laws risk, according to Human Rights Watch, “stiff fines, and in the case of foreigners, up to 15 days’ detention and deportation.”
Here is the actual text of Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149-ФЗ, and below that our English translation of the LiveJournal Russian TOS.
Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149-ФЗ / 149-03
1. The owner of a website and/or a website page on the Internet on which generally accessible information is placed and to which access exceeds 3,000 users of the Internet per day (hereinafter referred to as “blogger”) when said in formation is placed and used, for instance when said information is placed on the given website or website page by other users of the Internet shall ensure the observance of the legislation of the Russian Federation, for instance:
1) shall not allow the website or website page on the Internet to be used for the purpose of committing the acts punishable under a criminal law, disclosing the information classified as state or another specifically law – protected secret, disseminating the mater ials containing public appeals for carrying out terrorist activities or publicly justifying terrorism, other extremist materials and also the materials propagating pornography, the cult of violence and cruelty and the materials containing obscene language;
2) shall verify the reliability of placed generally accessible information before it is placed and shall immediately delete unreliable information that has been placed;
3) shall not allow the dissemination of information about the private life of a citizen in breach of the civil legislation;
4) shall observe the bans and restrictions envisaged by the legislation of the Russian Federation the referendum and the legislation of the Russian Federation on elections;
5) shall observe the provisions of the legislation of the Russian Federation that regulate the procedure for disseminating mass information;
6) shall observe the rights and lawful interests of citizens and organisations, for instance the honour, dignity and business reputation of citizens as well as the business reputation of organisations.
2. The following is hereby prohibited when information is placed on a website or website page on the Internet:
1) the use of the website or website page on the Internet for the purpose of concealing or falsifying information of public significance, disseminating knowingly unrelia ble information under the disguise of reliable messages;
2) the dissemination of information for the purpose of discrediting a citizen or some categories of citizens on the basis of sex, age, race or ethnicity, language, religion, trade , place of residence and work and also in connection with their political convictions.
3. The blogger is entitled to:
1) freely search, receive, transmit and disseminate information by any method in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation;
2) set out on his website or website page on the Internet his personal judgements and assessment with an indication of his name or pseudonym;
3) place or allow the placement on his website or website page on the Internet texts and/or other materials of other users of the Internet, unless the placement of such texts and/or other materials contravenes the legislation of the Russian Federation;
4) disseminate advertisements on an onerous basis in keeping with the civil legislation , Federal Law No. 38 – FZ of March 13, 2006 on Advertisement on his website or website page on the Internet.
4. An abuse of the right of disseminating generally accessible information that has manifested itself as breach of the provisions of Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the present article shall entail criminal, administrative or another liability in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
5. On his website or website page on the Internet the blogger shall place his name and initials and an e-mail address for sending legal – significance messages to him.
6. On his website or website page on the Internet the blogger shall place immediately after receiving a court’s decision that has become final and contains demand for its being published on the website or website page.
7. The owners of websites on the Internet who have registered as network editions in accordance with Law of the Russian Federation No. 2124 – I of December 27, 1991 on Mass Media are not bloggers.
8. The federal executive governmental body carrying out the functions of control and supervision in the field of mass media, mass communications, information technologies and telecom shall keep a register of the websites and/or website pages on the Internet on which generally accessible information is placed and to which access exceeds 3,000 users of the Internet per day. For the purpose of ensuring the formation of the register of websites and/or website pages on the Internet the federal executive governmental body carrying out the functions of control and supervision in the field of mass media, mass communications, information technologies and telecom:
1) shall organise the monitoring of websites and website pages on the Internet;
2) shall endorse a methodology for assessing the number of users of a website or website page on the Internet per day;
3) has the right of requesting from organisers of dissemination of information on the Internet, bloggers and other persons the information required fo r keeping such register. Within 10 days after receiving a request from the federal executive governmental body carrying out the functions of control and supervision in the field of mass media, mass communications, information technologies and telecom said persons shall provide the information so requested.
9. In the event of detection in information – telecommunication networks, for instance on the Internet, of a website or website page which contain generally accessible information and to which access exceeds 3,000 users of the Internet per day, including the consideration of relevant applications of citizens or organisations, the federal executive governmental body carrying out the functions of control and supervision in the field of mass media, mass communications, information technologies and telecom:
1) shall include said website or website page on the Internet in the register of the websites and/or website pages on the Internet on which generally accessible information is placed and to which access exceeds 3,000 users of the Internet per day;
2) shall identify the hosting provider or the other person which ensures the placement of the website or website page on the Internet;
3) shall send to the hosting provider or the person mentioned in Item 2 of the present part a notice in electronic form in Russian and English concerning the need for provision of details allowing to identify the blogger;
4) shall record the date and time of dispatch of the notice to the hosting provider or the person mentioned in Item 2 of the present part in the relevant information system.
10. Within three working days after receiving the notice mentioned in Item 3 of Part 9 of the present article the hosting provider or the person mentioned in Item 2 of Part 9 of the present article shall provide the information allowing to identify the blogger.
11. Having received the information specified in Item 3 of Part 9 of the present article, the federal executive governmental body carrying out the functions of control and supervision in the field of mass media, mass communications, information technologies and telec om shall send a notice to the blogger informing that his website or website page has been included in the register of the websites and/or website pages on the Internet on which generally accessible information is placed and to which access exceeds 3,000 users of the Internet per day, with reference to the provisions of the legislation of the Russian Federation applicable to said website or website page on the Internet.
12. If during three months access to the website or website page on the Internet is below 3,000 users of the Internet per day that website or that website page on the Internet shall be removed on the blogger’s application from the register of the websites and/or website pages on the Internet on which generally accessible information is placed and to which access exceeds 3,000 users of the Internet per day, with a notice to this effect being sent to the blogger. The given website or website page on the Internet may be removed from that register when no application is filed by the blogger if access to the given website or website page on the Internet during six months is below 3,000 users of the Internet per day.
Full Text of Russian Version of LiveJournal TOS Translated to English*
*Translation done by Google Translate, the Internet Patrol is not responsible for errors in translation.
Subject of the Agreement
The limited liability company “Soup Media” (Administration) provides the user of the information and telecommunication network Internet (User) with the opportunity to use the Service on the terms and conditions set forth in this User Agreement (Agreement). Only individuals who have reached the age of 14 are entitled to use the Service.
The possibility of using the Service is provided by the Administration to the User free of charge.
The agreement is a public offer in accordance with Article 437 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation. The use of the Service, including every access to the pages of the Site by any means, means the full and unconditional acceptance of the Agreement by the User.
The Agreement regulates the rights and obligations of Users and Administration, as well as relations with third parties whose rights and interests may be affected as a result of User actions.
The current version of the Agreement is on the page at http://www.livejournal.com/legal/tos-en.bml. The Agreement can be changed by the Administration without special notification by placing the new version of the Agreement at the same address. The new version of the Agreement comes into force from the moment of its posting on the Internet, unless otherwise provided for in the new version of the Agreement.
A user who does not agree with the terms of the current version of the Agreement in whole or in part, shall terminate any use of the Service.
Violation by the User of the terms of the Agreement may lead to termination of access to the Account or removal of the Account of such User, as well as to the complete or partial removal of the Content or restriction of access to it without prior notice.
Authorization is the process of analyzing the Authentication data entered by the User by the software part of the Service, which results in the User being given access to the Account.
Account – an account of the User, containing Authentication and other data provided by the User in the process of using the Service.(Article continues below)
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Authentication data are unique means of User identification (login and password) used for Authorization.
A blog is a third-level domain of the Site, the right of use of which has been transferred by the Administration to the User on the terms of this Agreement for the purposes of posting the Content by the User (maintaining the Blog).
The owner of the Community is the User who created the Blog in the Community format.
Content – information of the User on the Service, including information specified during the Registration, information posted in the Blogs and Communities, as well as sent in private messages.
Community Moderator – A User to whom the Owner and / or the Community Care Provider provided access to the functionality allowing the moderation of Community Content.
A profile is a public page automatically created on the Service at Registration, containing all the data specified by the User at Registration, as well as further changing or supplementing the Account data, except for the password and the Registration address.
Paid services are additional services provided to the User by Live Journal Inc. On the basis of a separate agreement concluded between the User and Live Journal Inc.
Registration – the User’s actions to create an Account under the procedure established by the Administration. In the registration process, the User must specify Authentication data, and may also specify other optional information that it deems necessary.
The site is a site in the information and telecommunication Internet network, identified by the domain name LiveJournal.com.
Service – LiveJournal Service that provides Users with the ability to maintain Blogs, post notes, comments and use other functionality offered by the Administration.
The Community Caretaker is the User to whom the Community Owner has granted access to special functionality for managing the Community.
Community – A blog with a given Community Owner subject, the content of which can be created by the Community of Users in the manner defined by the Community Owner.
A number of functions of the Service, including the maintenance of the Blog, will be available to the User after Registration.
For Registration, the User provides information provided by the registration form. If the Administration has reason to believe that the information provided by the User is not true and up-to-date, the Administration has the right, at its discretion, to stop access to the User Account or delete the Account.
After completing the Registration form, the User must confirm the Registration by activating it according to instructions sent by the Administration to the e-mail address specified by the User at the Registration (Registration address).
The administration has the right at its discretion to prohibit the use of certain logins, as well as to establish the requirements for the login and password (the number of characters, permissible symbols, etc.). If the use of words (letters) as logins that can be regarded as affecting the rights and legitimate interests of the Administration and / or third parties is found, the Administration has the right, at its discretion, to delete the User Account or restrict access to it until the User brings the login in accordance with the requirements Administration.
As a result of Registration, an Account and a User’s Blog are identified, identified by a third-level domain name of the form username.livejournal.com, where username is the user’s chosen login.
The user is responsible for the security (resistance to attack attacks) of the Authentication data he has chosen, and their confidentiality.
The user is responsible for all actions performed using the User’s Authentication data. All actions performed after Authorization with the use of the User’s Authentication Data are deemed to be performed by the User himself, unless the User has previously informed the Administration in advance in the manner provided for in the Agreement about the possibility of unauthorized access and / or any breach (suspicion of violation) of the confidentiality of its Authentication Data .
The user is liable for possible loss or misrepresentation of data, as well as other consequences of any nature that may occur due to the User’s violation of the provisions of the Agreement.
Also, the User can access the additional functions of the Service by using his / her account on Facebook, Twitter, Google, VKontakte or Mail.ru (Third Party Account). The functionality available through the Third Party Account may be limited in comparison to the functionality of the Account.
Technical data transferred to the Service by the User’s software, as well as other data transmitted by the User to the Service, will be available to the Administration and may be used by the latter at its own discretion in ways not prohibited by law, including targeting of the advertisement displayed to the User.
The User’s IP address can be accessed by other Users when posting User comments in the Blogs – depending on the settings selected by the User or the Community Owner, in which the User posts a comment.
The User Profile information will be available to other Users. The User has the right to delete and / or correct the Profile at any time using the account management interface.
The Administration draws attention to the fact that no information is required to use the Service, including the Registration, on the basis of which it is possible to directly or indirectly identify a particular individual, and therefore the relations related to the Service, the Registration and Information provided in the Registration process are not subject to the provisions Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 152-FZ.
Termination of the Account
Termination of Inactive Accounts by Administration
The Administration reserves the right to delete the Account and the Blog if access to the Blog is not carried out by the User for more than 6 months in a row or was limited during the same period in connection with the violation of the Agreement.
Termination of the User Account
The User has the right to delete the Account using the account management interface. When the User Account Deletion function is activated, the Account is blocked for a period of 60 days, during which other Users will not have access to the Content of the Blog.
During this period, the User can restore the Account. Users’ access to the Blog Content will resume.
If the User does not restore the Account, the Account login will be available for use by other Users, and all User data and all Content placed using the Account and marked by the User in the interface as being deleted will be deleted, except for the data specified in clause 6.3 of the Agreement. Since this moment, the Restoration of the Account, as well as any information related to it, is impossible. The data stored in accordance with clause 6.3 of the Agreement will also be unavailable to the User and third parties from this moment and may be provided by the Administration only upon the request of authorized bodies.
The Administration draws the attention of the User that in accordance with Part 3 of Art. 10.1 of the Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 149-FZ, the Administration is obliged, regardless of the will of the User, to store and provide, upon legitimate requests, authorized bodies:
Information on the receipt, transmission, delivery and / or processing of voice information, written text, images, sounds, video or other electronic messages of Users and information about the Users who have committed the listed actions – within one year from the end of the implementation of such actions;
The User has the right to keep the Blog, to leave notes and comments both in his Blog (Community) and in the Blogs (Community) of other Users.
Using the functionality of the Service, the User, subject to the requirements of the Agreement and the applicable law, determines the content of the Content and the level of availability of the Content to Users.
The user who created the Blog is responsible for such Blog and the content placed therein.
The Administration draws the attention of the User that if access to the Blog (the Blog page) is more than three thousand users of the Internet network within 24 hours, the User will be subject to the requirements of Art. 10.2 of the Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 149-FZ.
The user who posted a comment in the Blog and the User who leads such a Blog bear subsidiary responsibility in respect of such comment.
The User has the right to create Communities.
The Community may have Community rules that must not conflict with the Agreement and applicable law.
The owner of the Community is responsible for the Community, including its rules, the Content placed therein, the activities of the Caretaker and the Community Moderator.
The Administration draws the attention of the Community Owner that if access to the Community (Community page) is more than three thousand users of the Internet network within 24 hours, the requirements of Art. 10.2 of the Federal Law of the Russian Federation No. 149-FZ.
The user who posted the entry or comment in the Community, and the Owner of such Community bear subsidiary responsibility in respect of the relevant entry or comment.
The Community Caretaker and the Owner of such Community shall bear subsidiary liability for actions carried out by the Community Care Officer.
By posting Content, User:
Guarantees the Administration that the Content and the terms of its placement comply with the requirements of the applicable law, the User has obtained all the rights and permissions required for the Content placement;
With respect to the Content resulting from intellectual activity, the Administration grants to the Administration a non-exclusive (simple) license for the use of Content for the purpose of providing the Service by reproducing the Content, as well as bringing the Content to the public for the entire term of the Content on the Service. In the event that the User participates in the ratings, as well as the use of the User Content in the drafting of the Service, the User additionally authorizes the Administration to make changes, abbreviations and additions to the Content, providing the Content with illustrations, an introduction, an afterword, comments or whatever Explanations, and in some cases caused by the functionality of the Service – also the permission to use the User Content anonymously.
It undertakes to mark Content that is not permitted under the laws of the Russian Federation for distribution among children (0 to 18 years) as material for adults, using the functionality of the Service.
The user is prohibited from:
Register as a User a legal entity;
Register as a User on behalf of another person;
To mislead Users regarding their identity, or their relations with other persons;
Carry out mass mailings of messages without the consent of the recipients;
To carry out actions aimed at violating the normal operation of the Service;
Use automatic scripts (bots, crawlers, etc.) without the special permission of the Administration to collect information about the Service and / or interact with the Service;
To place advertising and / or political agitation, unless otherwise specifically established by a separate agreement between the User and the Administration;
To commit other actions that violate the legislation of the Russian Federation and / or other applicable legislation, including the legislation of the User’s place of residence.
All claims related to the Content should be sent to the Administration through a request form.
Rights and duties of the Administration
The Administration makes reasonable efforts to provide the Service and promptly restore it in the event of technical failures and interruptions.
The Administration does not verify the accuracy of the information provided by the User at Registration, but reserves the right in exceptional cases to require the User to confirm it. Non-confirmation of information can be equated with providing false information and entailing the consequences provided for in § 4.2. Agreement.
The Administration does not check the Content and / or actions of the Users for compliance with the requirements of the Agreement and applicable law, but reserves the right, at its discretion or in the event of receiving an appeal from an authorized body and / or reasonable demand of another person, without prior notice to the User, to mark the Content as material for Adults, take the measures specified in clause 2.5 of the Agreement, and limit the access of specific Users to the Blog / Community.
Upon receipt of an appeal by an authorized body, the Administration may be obliged to provide such authorized body with information about the User that is available to it or associated with the User.
The Administration has the right to restrict the User’s access to any of the Service’s functions, as well as to restrict or prohibit the use of the API, placing links to third-party resources, and take other actions aimed at protecting the Service from factors that positively or potentially threaten Users, Service and policy of the Administration. The Administration implements these measures at its own discretion and is not responsible for the possible negative consequences of such measures for the User or third parties.
The Administration has the right, at its discretion and without prior notice to the User, to supplement, reduce or otherwise modify the functionality of the Service and the procedure for providing it.
The User is liable for violation of the terms of the Agreement, including requirements for the Registration and placement of Content, as well as for violation of the applicable law by the User, including the legislation of the Russian Federation and the legislation of the User’s place of residence;
Administration is not responsible for temporary interruptions and interruptions in the work of the Service, caused by them inaccessibility and / or loss of information. Administration is not liable for any damage to any equipment, computer programs or information caused by or associated with the use of the Service, including damage caused by the modification of the Service in accordance with clause 10.6 of the Agreement.
The administration draws attention to the fact that in accordance with the Russian Federation Law No. 2300-1 of 07.02.1992, the provisions of this law concerning the protection of consumers’ rights do not apply to relations between the Administration and Users, since the Service is provided free of charge.
Unless otherwise specifically established by a separate agreement between the User and the Administration, the Administration may, without additional notice and without any compensation to the User, post advertising on the Service, including the blogs / communities pages.
Administration has the right at any time to change the way, type and amount of advertising placed on the Service.
Participation of the User in promotions and events advertised on the Service, as well as the purchase by the User of the goods, works or services advertised on the Service generates rights and obligations exclusively between the User and the person selling the relevant goods, work, services or conducting a share or event.
Placement by the User on the Content Service of an advertising nature (a promise to make such an arrangement) does not entail any obligations for the Administration.
The Administration has the right to send information to the User at the e-mail addresses indicated to them concerning the Service, as well as advertising of third parties.
The proper addresses for sending legally significant messages are:
In relation to messages related to the Content: a form for appeals,
In respect of other communications: 117105, Moscow, Varshavskoye Shosse, 9 p. 1.
For the User: Registration address.
All disputes arising from the Agreement and / or related to the Service and the Content may be transferred to the court after the Parties have taken measures for the pre-trial settlement of the dispute after 30 calendar days from the date of submission of the claim (s) to the addresses specified in clause 13.1 of the Agreement .
In case of non-settlement of the dispute at the time specified in clause 13.2, the dispute may be referred to the court’s decision at the location of the Administration.
Paid services are not subject to the Agreement. Administration does not bear any responsibility for Paid services. All issues related to the receipt of paid services must be addressed to Live Journal Inc.
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