ODP Social Contract
Our Social Contract with the Web Community
Netscape Communications Corporation hosts and administers the
Open Directory Project (ODP), and has discretion over its content, use, and
operation as described in the ODP's
maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors. The following is a
social contract that we created to reflect Netscape's commitment to the Web
community to keep the ODP a free and open resource. It has been inspired by,
derived from, the
1. The Open Directory Will Remain 100% Free
We promise to keep the distribution of ODP data, and the
submission process to this data, entirely free. We will support our data users
who choose to add proprietary and revenue generating content, and other non-free
value-added functionality upon versions of the ODP in which they download. In
turn, data users agree to attribute use back to us per the
free use license.
2. We Give Back to the Web Community
We license our content as free with attribution back to the
ODP. We will make the most comprehensive, user-friendly directory possible, so
the content and taxonomy will be widely used and distributed. We will do our
best to list web sites in a fair and impartial manner, and consider all user
requests and suggestions for improvement.
We will make every effort to build a high quality and
comprehensive directory. We will make every effort to evaluate all sites
submitted to the directory. However, we do not guarantee all submitted sites
will get listed. We will be highly selective and judicious about sites we add,
and how we organize them. Sites that we do not routinely list are outlined in
We will protect the ODP's intellectual property from
infringement. Netscape owns the rights to the compilation of the Open Directory,
as well as to individual contributions. However, we provide non-exclusive,
royalty free rights back to our editors for their personal contributions, so,
they can present their material to the greater Web community in other ways if
3. We Don't Hide Our Official Editorial
We will keep all official ODP editorial guidelines and
policies open for public view at all times.
4. We Provide an Open Invitation to Join
We extend an open invitation to the general public to join to
the ODP. Our community is a diverse group of subject experts and web aficionados.
Our categories attempt to express the depth and breadth of human knowledge. We
accept editors from all walks of life, and we attempt to represent all points of
view. We will keep our application process open to anyone interested in joining.
Each new editor application will be reviewed by a member of the ODP community.
Our application process is necessarily selective due to our
commitment to building a quality resource. Not all applications will be accepted.
We do not endorse any formula for the perfect application, however our intent is
to accept applications that show fairness, impartiality, objectivity, and "fit"
within our editorial guidelines and codes of conduct.
5. We Encourage a Self-Regulating Community
We foster a self-regulating community governed by
community-driven standards. We encourage the community to regulate itself, and
to provide the checks and balances needed to ensure that its members follow
mutually accepted codes of conduct and editorial standards. We depend on the
honesty and integrity of the volunteer editors to ensure the directory is high
quality, user-friendly, and free of abuse.
6. Our Priorities are Our Data Users and the
We will be guided by the needs of our data users and the ODP
editorial community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We
allow others to create value-added distributions containing ODP data and data
from other commercial and noncommercial sources, subject to the terms of the
free use license,
without any fee from us.
7. Users Not Meeting The Free Use License
In order for the ODP to continue to flourish as a free and
open resource, it is critical that our users comply with our
free use license.
We do not permit unattributed use of our data, and will request data users to
place the attribution on their site or remove the data entirely if they wish not
to comply. We consider unattributed use a legal infringement of the
free use license,
and contrary to the ODP's purpose as an Open Source inspired initiative.