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Cook Eat Lebanese or Abusive Terms & Conditions at Their BestFebruary 22nd, 2012 2 comments

I am a real fan of good online collaborative platforms and I’m a bigger fan of anything that has to do with food so imagine how excited I was when i stumbled on this: Cook Eat Lebanese.

As described on their website:

Cook and Eat Lebanese is a Portal designed to connect Lebanese food lovers, consumers and service providers in an uninterrupted fashion. Founded by a group of Lebanese food enthusiasts passionate about promoting Lebanese eating on a global basis, the team has grown to include equally passionate volunteers and professionals with the shared objective of promoting Lebanese food as a primary, shared value that all Lebanese are proud of.



Basically it all sounded wonderful. People can freely share and read each other’s recipes, post videos or articles, rate the recipes or find a restaurant. In short Lebanese Foodie Heaven!

As a new food blogger myself I rushed to sign up for this great community website, especially after seeing the logos of three well known and respected Lebanese restaurants: Tawlet, Cafe blanc and Cafe Younes (who it later turned claim to have no legally binding relationship with the website).

As I was signing up, naturally, I was asked to agree to the Terms & Conditions. Although I (and I suspect all of you) have never read Terms & Conditions online before, I proceeded to reading theirs, and what I read made me cringe with disgust. Below are my favorite parts:

[…] you grant Cook & Eat – Lebanese a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content which you provide (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed and to exercise the same rights with respect to such works.[…]


[…] You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Cook & Eat – Lebanese and its underlying content and service providers, licensors and suppliers, and each of their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, and employees, from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any third-party due to or arising out of Submitted Material or any other content you submit, post or upload to or transmit through our Site[…]



In short, these guys were granting themselves all the rights and bearing none of the reponsibility.

In short, they would become exclusive and worldwide intellectual owners of your great grand mother’s recipe but if you shared a recipe that resembled someone elses and they sued them you were solely responsible for this wrong doing.

Have these guys never heard of CC? Is their lawyer simply incompetent? Or are they really this evil?

I don’t know for sure, but I do hope they use this opportunity to change their terms & conditions or explain themselves here.

In all honesty they did reach out to me and I’m hoping they will do the necessary as they stated below.



I posted about this online and here are the reactions I got:

Facebook



Twitter





You can read the full terms and conditions below.

BY SUBMITTING CONTENT TO THIS WEB SITE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS STATED IN THIS POLICY APPLY TO YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH THIS WEB SITE AND THAT GOOD AND VALUABLE CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO YOU. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, DO NOT SUBMIT CONTENT TO THIS WEB SITE OR OTHERWISE ACCESS ANY COMMUNITY FEATURES ON THIS WEB SITE.

USER SUBMITTED CONTENT

Our Site has “publicly accessible areas” that allow users to post Content that will be accessible by the public or the user population generally. With respect to any Submitted Material such as message, data, image, text, photos, graphics, audio, video or other material you elect to post to such publicly accessible areas of our Site, you grant Cook & Eat – Lebanese a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content which you provide (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed and to exercise the same rights with respect to such works. You also permit any user of our Site to access, display, view, store, distribute, perform, reproduce and prepare derivative works of, such Content that you have placed in publicly accessible areas of our Site.

No compensation will be paid to you or to any other person or entity with respect to the posting or use of your Content. Cook & Eat – Lebanese is under no obligation to post or use any Content you may provide and Cook & Eat – Lebanese may remove your Content at any time at its sole discretion. You agree that Cook & Eat – Lebanese is not under any obligation of confidentiality, express or implied, with respect to your Content or your identity.

You represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all necessary rights (Intellectual Property and other) to the Content that you post, that such Content is accurate, that use of the Content you supply does not violate these Terms, and do not infringes upon someone else’s patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright or other intellectual property or other rights, and will not cause injury to any person or entity, and that you will indemnify Cook & Eat – Lebanese for all claims resulting from the Content you supply.

You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Cook & Eat – Lebanese and its underlying content and service providers, licensors and suppliers, and each of their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, and employees, from and against all losses, expenses, damages and costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any third-party due to or arising out of Submitted Material or any other content you submit, post or upload to or transmit through our Site, your use of our Site, your connection to our Site, your violation of these Terms, or your violation of any law or the rights of another. These obligations will survive any termination of your relationship with Cook & Eat – Lebanese or your use of our Site. Cook & Eat – Lebanese reserves the right to assume the defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you, in which event you will cooperate with Cook & Eat – Lebanese in asserting any available defenses.


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  • Sam kelly

    I am not sure I see the problem and the issue. These are there terms and conditions (and not like other websites) , they make it very clear to everyone how they operate. If this does not meet your likings you don’t have to join it. It is your choice.

    Also I am not sure I understand the issue of Cafe youness and others. These are ( as it appears to me ) advertisement by these organizations so if they decide to advertise on this portal it is their choice also.

    May be if you look at it from the other side things would be different. If you are investing resources to build such a portal, and providing free access to such content, then may be it is why they are setting up such terms and conditions.

    My 2 cents

    Sam

    • Marilyn Z.

      Hey Sam,
      I appreciate your point of view and I couldn’t agree more that they should have the right to use the content. It’s the exclusive and worldwide part that bugs me. They could easily use a creative commons Licence that grants them rights to commercial use of the recipes and content without making them the exclusive owners of the intellectual property.

      As for Tawlet, I contacted them and they told me they were not in relationship with this initiative. Cafe Blanc and Younes have not commented yet.

      Thank you for your comment. I was mostly interested in having a debate about this issue and in other people’s opinions.

      M.