Illuminati Online Services Agreement
(Our thanks to Lance Rose, author of SYSLAW, for creating the model contract on which this was based. Any errors we have introduced are our responsibility alone.)

A. Introduction
We start every new customer relationship with a contract. It spells out what you can expect from us, and what we expect from you. We do not know each customer personally, so it is important to set out the ground rules clearly in advance. We apologize for their length, but it's necessary. If you agree to what you read below, welcome to our system! When you are finished reading, you will be asked to enter a Y, for Yes, to show that you have agreed. Only by entering Y will you be able to complete the registration process. We intend this to be the legal equivalent of your signature on a written contract, and equally binding.

If you have any questions about any part of the contract, please send us e-mail about it, at! We will be glad to explain why these contract provisions are important for our system. We are willing to work with you to make changes if you can show us a better approach. Please remember--until you and we have an agreement in place, as signified by your answering Y after having read all the way through this contract, you will not have access to any part of our system other than the limited access which we may provide to guests.

B. Access and Services
We will charge you a monthly or annual fee for using our system. Your access to file and message areas, and to the various services available on the system, depends on the level of access you select. If you ever want to change your service, call 462-0999 or send e-mail to We may add, change or discontinue certain access levels or services on our system from time to time, and we will try to let you know about such changes a month or more in advance. We may send you e-mail announcements about our own products and services, and you agree that we may do so.

Certain services on our system require additional fees. Please review the complete, current price list in the Products and Services section before signing up for any such services. The price list will tell you which services are included in the standard monthly fee, and which are extra. You agree to be responsible for all uses of your account for any purposes. Protect your password!

You agree that we have the right to delete all data, e-mail sent by you or by others to you, files and/or other information you have on our system if your Illuminati Online account is terminated, for any reason, by either you or by us.

C. Payments and Refunds
You may pay by check, direct withdrawal, or credit card. You will be given the opportunity to choose a payment method when you sign up. If you choose to pay by credit card, we will automatically bill your credit card account once a month on your start date. Each billing will cover the next month's access fees, and any extra charges you accrued during the last month. Be aware that if you choose direct withdrawal there will be a delay of up to 2 weeks in activating your account unless you make your first payment by check. Your account will be activated the day we receive your check.

You agree to pay all billed amounts according to your agreement with the card issuer until you cancel your Illuminati Online account or discontinue credit card billing. If you choose to pay by check, we will e-mail you an invoice. Payments are due 30 days after the date on the invoice. If we do not receive payment within 45 days of the invoice date, we may suspend your account until payment is received. Accounts that are suspended for 30 days will be subject to deactivation and all information for that account (other than what's in our billing system) may be subject to immediate deletion.

In either case, you are responsible for all billed amounts until you contact us to deactivate your account, preferably via e-mail. If you stop using your account you are still responsible for the charges until you contact us. If your account is suspended for any reason you are still responsible for charges that accrue during that period. We do not give refunds for fractions of months.

We can change our prices and fees at any time, except that our existing customers will receive 30 days notice of any change. All price changes will be announced in IO's daily column, IO Revealed!

We guarantee your satisfaction! You may cancel your service, including prepaid yearly contracts, for any reason within the first 30 days and receive a complete refund. If you cancel your monthly service within three days of the billing date your entire monthly payment will be refunded. Yearly contracts are normally non-refundable, but we will pro-rate refunds in extenuating circumstances based on the current monthly fee for the same service.

D. Acceptable Use Policy
Besides payment, the only thing we ask from you is that you follow the rules and policies of our system. You will find system rules and policy statements in two places: in the following list here in the contract, and on the Acceptable Use Policy web page at Any changes or additions to these rules and policies will be announced in IO's daily column, Revealed! and posted on the Illuminati Online Acceptable Use Policy page, and you agree to be bound by such notices. Customers should always refer to the Acceptable Use Policy page for current information.

Here are some of the basic rules for our system:

  1. Respect other users of the system. Feel free to express yourself, but do not do anything to injure or harm others. In particular, if you dislike someone else's ideas, you may attack the ideas, but not the person. We want people to speak freely on our system. But if you misuse that freedom and abuse others, we will take the liberty of cutting that discussion short.

  2. Do not use our system to commit a crime, or to help commit a crime. This system may not be used to aid dealing in illegal drugs, illegal gambling, prostitution, child pornography, robbery, spreading computer viruses, cracking into private computer systems, software infringement, trafficking in telephone or credit card codes, or any other crimes.

  3. Note that it is not illegal to DISCUSS these subjects, or even to debate whether certain things should be legal or not. The First Amendment guarantees your freedom of speech, and we strongly support it. But anyone PLANNING an actual crime, or ENCOURAGING the commission of a crime, may be convicted of conspiracy, which is itself illegal, and may expose his fellow users - and us - to similar charges.

  4. People sometimes have trouble figuring out whether certain activities are illegal online. It's usually not that hard. If it's illegal out there, it's illegal in here! Using an online system to commit a crime does not make it less of a crime. In fact, if you use an online communications system to commit a crime, you're exposing the operators of the system, and its other customers, to legal risks that should be yours alone.

  5. If you genuinely do not know whether something you'd like to do is legal or illegal, please discuss it with us before you proceed. And if we tell you we do not want you to pursue your plans on our system, please respect our decision. Respect the security of our system. Do not try to gain access to system areas private to ourselves, or to other users. If you violate the privacy of other users, we may cancel your account without notice or refund, and we may also take legal action.

  6. Don't abuse your account privileges. You agree not to tell others your password or let your account be used by anyone except yourself. You agree not to attempt to log in more than once at the same time on any given account without specific permission of a system administrator.

E. Privacy
We offer private electronic mail (e-mail) on our system as a service to our customers. We will endeavor to keep all of your e-mail private, viewable only by you and the person(s) to whom you address it, except: We, as system operators, may need to look at your electronic mail if we believe it is necessary to protect ourselves or our customers from injury or damage.

For example, if we have reason to believe a customer is involved in illegal activities, which creates a risk that our system could be seized by the authorities, we may review that customer's e-mail for our own protection. The federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) explicitly gives us the right to do this. We will never, however, monitor electronic mail unless we believe it is actually being misused. If we believe certain electronic mail is connected with illegal activities, we may disclose it to the authorities to protect our system, ourselves and our other customers.

Remember that the person to whom you send electronic mail has no duty to keep it secret. The sender or receiver of electronic mail has the right to make it public. If the authorities ever search or seize our system, they may gain access to your private electronic mail. In that case, we cannot assure you that they will not read it or disclose it to others, even in violation of federal law.

Remember that although the law guarantees you certain personal rights of privacy that even the government cannot legally violate, you may have to go to court to enforce those rights. In fact, our system WAS seized in 1990, and the private mail of our users WAS read and deleted by the Secret Service. We took them to court and won. We were awarded damages for their violation of the privacy rights guaranteed to e-mail users under the ECPA. We cannot guarantee that they learned anything from the experience, even though it cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars and a great deal of public embarrassment.

F. Editorial Control
We want our system to be a worthwhile place for all of our customers. This does not mean everyone can do whatever they choose on this system, regardless of its effect on others. It is our job to accommodate the common needs of all customers while striving to meet our own goals for the system.

We will not monitor all messages and file transfers. We want to keep the message and file traffic moving quickly and smoothly - this goal would be defeated if we monitored everything on the system. However, if we see (or hear about) messages or other activities that violate the rules, threaten the order or security of the system, or use the system in ways we do not agree with, we will take appropriate action. Our editorial control includes normal housekeeping activities like changing subject headers, deleting senseless or off-topic public messages, and selecting among uploaded files for those we wish to make available for download.

It also goes beyond that. If a customer persists in posting messages or transferring files that we previously warned him should not be on the system, those messages will be deleted. If we discover any user violating the rules, especially the prohibition against illegal activities, we will act firmly and swiftly. Depending on the circumstances, we may give a warning for the first offense, or we may remove the offender's account immediately.

We always reserve the right to remove a customer's account, without notice or refund, for violation of either the system rules or the law. If a user has done anything to put us or other customers in jeopardy, we may contact the authorities.

We do not plan to do any of these things. If all customers act with respect and regard for us and for others, there will never be any problems. But if problems arise, we will assert control over our system against any customer who threatens it. And in this Agreement, you acknowledge that control.

G. Ownership of Materials
You retain all copyright to all original messages you post and all original files you upload, unless you place an explicit notice on each file or message that you are dedicating it to the public domain. We advise you that if you want to make your rights explicit to others, you should add the notice ``Copyright (year) by (Your Name)'' to any item you post or upload. This notice does not give you any extra rights, but it is useful as a warning to others.

Certain conference areas, including the SJ Games Gaming conferences, include notices similar to the following: ``Anything posted in this area is assumed to be a contribution to (company) for use with (their products), unless accompanied by an explicit copyright notice.'' This means that the operator and users of that conference area consider the area to be a public discussion, and if you make a suggestion there, you may not later deny anyone else the right to use that suggestion!

You should always realize that if you post something on this system, a member of the press may see and quote it, and the press has every right to do so. You may add ``Please Do Not Quote'' to your message, but if a reporter disregards your wishes, you have no recourse against us, or against the impolite reporter. When you post something in a public conference here, you are speaking in a public place.

Likewise, you must respect the ownership rights of others in their own messages and files. You may not post or upload any messages or files unless you own them, or you have full authority to transmit them to this system. We own certain things you will find on this system, including the "look and feel" of the system, the name of our system and many of its features, and the collective work copyright in all sequences of public messages on our system. You cannot reproduce any sequence of messages from our system, either electronically or in print, without our permission.

This is not a complete list - other things on the system are also our property. Before you copy anything from our system with the intent of reproducing it or distributing it, contact us about it.

H. Limitation of Liability and Indemnity
The great danger for us, and for all operators of online communication systems, is that we might be held accountable for the wrongful actions of our customer. If one customer libels another customer, the injured customer might blame us, even though the first customer was really at fault.

If a customer uploads a program with a computer virus, and other customers' computers are damaged, we might be blamed even though the virus was left on our system by a customer. If a customer transfers illegal credit card information to another customer through private electronic mail, we might be blamed even though we did nothing more than unknowingly carry the message from one customer to another.

We did not create this system to take the blame for others' actions, and we cannot afford to operate it if we must take that blame. Accordingly, we need all customers to accept responsibility for their own acts, and to accept that an act by another customer that damages them must not be blamed on us, but on the other customer. These needs are met by the following paragraph:

You agree that your use of this system is at your sole risk. You agree that we will not be responsible to you for any indirect, consequential, special or punitive damages or losses you may incur in connection with our system or any of the data or other materials transmitted through or residing on our system, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damage or loss.

In addition, you agree to defend and indemnify us and hnew us harmless from and against any and all claims, proceedings, damages, injuries, liabilities, losses, costs and expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees) relating to any acts by you or materials or information transmitted by you in connection with our system leading wholly or partially to claims against us or our system by other customers or third parties.

I. Choice of Law
Illuminati Online can be reached by individuals from all 50 states of the US, and around the world. Each of these places has a different set of laws. Since we cannot keep track of all these laws and their requirements, you agree that the law of our own state, Texas, will apply to all matters relating to this Agreement and to Illuminati Online.

In addition, you agree and consent that if you ever take legal action against us, the courts of our own state, Texas, will have exclusive jurisdiction over any such legal actions. The following legal language makes this agreement binding:


J. General
This agreement is the entire understanding between you and us regarding your relationship to Illuminati Online. If either you or we fail to notify the other of any violations of this agreement, this will not mean that you or we cannot notify the other of future violations of any part of this agreement.

K. Your Agreement

Agreed to this __________ day of __________________, 20____.

by: _________________________________________________________________

for: _________________________________________________________________

by: _________________________________________________________________


If you cannot agree to the terms of the Services Agreement, we regret that we will not be able to offer you an account. We will be happy to consider your concerns; send e-mail to, or write us at:
2800 S IH 35 STE 220
AUSTIN TX 78704-5700
But to protect ourselves and our other users, we can provide our services only to those who are willing to agree to the Services Agreement.

The above concludes the Illuminati Online Services Agreement.

Last revised August 29, 2000