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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Terms of service (abbreviated as "ToS" or "TOS")[1] are rules by which one must agree to abide by in order to use a service. Usually, such terms are legally binding.

Certain websites are noted for having carefully designed terms of service, particularly eBay and PayPal which need to maintain a high level of community trust because of transactions involving money. Terms of service can cover a range of issues, including acceptable user behavior online, a company's marketing policies,[1] and copyright notices.[2] Some organizations, such as Yahoo!,[3] can change their terms of service without notice to the user base. [3]


Internet service providers

Most Internet service providers have terms of service—notably AOL LLC—which many have perceived to be very strict.[1] Many users do not read the terms of service.

Video Games

As video games move online, many of them are also adopting a terms of service, separate from the End User License Agreement required to utilize the client software. These Terms of Service generally specify behaviors that are disallowed within the video game's virtual world, generally to prevent a player from disrupting another player's game experience. For example, many online games disallow the use of racist speech through communication channels provided by the game. Many MMORPGs also disallow the trading of in-game items for "real world" money.


A ToS violation can result in myriad consequences towards those who are guilty depending on the service and the severity of the violation. Most organizations reserve the right to restrict a user's access to the service if they violate the terms in the agreement, an action referred to as "ToSing the user". In more serious cases, the user will have his or her account terminated.


  1. ^ a b c Janet Kornblum (1997-7-29). "AOL dumps new member policy". Retrieved 2006-12-24.  
  2. ^ (September 2008). "iTunes Store - Terms of Service". Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  3. ^ a b (2008). "Yahoo! Terms of Service". Retrieved 2008-10-31.  


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