NYPL Website Terms & Conditions

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Last Updated: 03/12/2019

The New York Public Library (“NYPL” or the “Library”) has created and maintains www.nypl.org and certain related websites (the “NYPL Websites”) in order to make information about its programs, collections and resources available to the public via the internet.  By using the NYPL Websites and their content, you are agreeing to comply with and be bound by the following Terms and Conditions.  These Terms and Conditions may change from time to time, and we encourage you to review them periodically.  Your continued use of the NYPL Websites indicates your acceptance of any changes to these Terms and Conditions.  (Any changes to these Terms and Conditions are inapplicable to disputes arising, or arising out of events occurring, prior to the posting of such changes here.)

Proprietary Rights

As between you and NYPL, NYPL owns, solely and exclusively, all rights, title and interest in and to the NYPL Websites, all the content (including, for example, audio, photographs, illustrations, graphics, other visuals, video, copy, software, etc.), code, data and materials thereon, the look and feel, design and organization of the NYPL Websites, and the compilation of the content, code, data and materials on such websites, including but not limited to any copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights, database rights, moral rights, sui generis rights and other intellectual property and proprietary rights therein.  Your use of the NYPL Websites does not grant to you ownership of any content, code, data or materials you may access on these websites.   

Use of Content From NYPL Websites
The Library encourages its patrons to use materials from the NYPL Websites, provided that you follow these guidelines:

1.  Low Resolution Files (Only Non-Commercial Uses Allowed).  Materials downloaded from the NYPL Websites may only be used for personal, educational, or research purposes.  They may not be used for commercial purposes.  

2.  High Resolution Files (All Uses Allowed, Including Commercial Uses).  High resolution digital files of photos in the Library’s Digital Gallery are available for editorial and commercial use for a reproduction fee.  For more information, please go to: www.nypl.org/permissions

3.  You Are Responsible For Obtaining Necessary Permissions.  The NYPL Websites contain a wide range of content.  They contain materials that are in the public domain as well as materials that are protected by copyright.  In cases where materials on the NYPL Websites are protected by third party rights, you are responsible for clearing the necessary rights in order to use the materials in question.  For example, if you want to download a photo that is still protected by copyright for use in a research paper, you must determine whether your proposed use requires consent from the copyright holder, and, if so, you must secure the permission of the copyright holder.  In some cases, you may also need to secure the consent of people who appear in photographs in our collections.

Because the Library’s collections are vast, we are not in a position to provide advice to patrons about which materials are protected by third party rights and which materials may be used freely.  The following websites have information about copyright, fair use and other related topics which may be useful:

It is your obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials from the Library's collections.  You are solely responsible for determining whether the use of any digital object requires the permission of any other person or entity, and you are responsible for paying any associated fees.  If you have questions about the legal issues surrounding the use of digital objects you should contact your attorney.

4.  Credit NYPL When You Use Materials From Our Website.  If you use material from our website online, we ask that you credit the Library by linking directly to the permalink provided or, if no permalink is provided, via the URL on which the material is foundIf you use material from our website offline, we ask that you credit the Library as follows:  “Courtesy of The New York Public Library.  www.nypl.org” 

Privacy Policy
Information provided by patrons to the Library is governed by the Library’s privacy policy.  By using NYPL’s Websites and services, you signify your acceptance of this Privacy Policy.  We encourage you to read the privacy policy at your convenience.

Contacting NYPL If Your Material Should Not Be On Our Website
In order to make its collections available to the widest audience possible, the Library has placed photographs of items from our collections online.  In each instance, we have tried to make sure that we have secured all necessary rights.  If you believe that we have made a mistake, please contact us so that we can correct the oversight.

It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in an appropriate manner under such Act and other applicable intellectual property laws, including the removal or disabling or access to material claimed to be subject of infringing activity.  Pursuant to 17 United States Code 512(c)(2) (Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998), The New York Public Library is the designated agent for notice of alleged copyright infringement appearing on any NYPL Website.  Direct any notices of infringement to: The General Counsel, The New York Public Library, 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY  10018 or send an email to: takedown at nypl.org.    To file a notice of infringement with us, you must fulfill the requirements specified in Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.  The text of this statute can be found at the U.S. Copyright Office Web Site, http://www.copyright.gov.

Patron-Generated Content
NYPL encourages patrons to become involved in interactive portions of our website, by participating in online discussions and, in some cases, uploading content. Before you participate in these activities, however, we ask that you keep the following in mind:

1. Patrons who provide content to NYPL for its website are granting NYPL a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use such material. In most cases, NYPL will only use this material on its website, but NYPL reserves the right to also use this material in other ways, such as in promotional materials created about the Library and on third-party websites on which the Library promotes its services, collections and/or activities. In each instance, you agree that NYPL may use your content for these purposes without making any payments to you. If you are not willing to grant NYPL these rights, please do not contribute content to our site.

2. Please make sure that any content you contribute does not infringe on the rights of any third party. For example, if you upload a drawing or a photo, please make sure that you are the creator of the artwork/photo. Do not contribute content to which you don’t own the rights.

3. Please also remember to exercise good judgment when contributing written material or other content. In the NYPL blogs, for example, the Library prohibits comments that are offensive or objectionable to others, that use inappropriate language, or that are off-topic. In most instances, we will not have the resources to review patron comments/content, but we do reserve the right to edit or delete user comments/content in a manner consistent with our mission and policies. We also ask that you do not insert your own or a third party's advertising, branding or other promotional content into any of your comments/content.

4. Pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, NYPL has adopted and implemented a policy to provide for the termination, in appropriate circumstances, of users who repeatedly infringe copyright through their use of NYPL.org.

5. NYPL is not responsible for any of the patron-generated comments/content that appear on our websites.

The trademarks (including the Library Lions), logos, service marks and trade names (collectively the "Trademarks") displayed on the NYPL Websites or on content available through the NYPL Websites are registered and unregistered Trademarks of NYPL and others and may not be used unless authorized by the trademark owner.  Nothing contained on any NYPL Website should be construed as granting, by implication, estoppel, or otherwise, any license or right to use any Trademark without our written permission or that of the third party rights holder.  Your misuse of any Trademark is strictly prohibited.   If you would like to contact the Library to license the use of any of the Library’s marks, including the Lions, please send an email to permissions@nypl.org

Third Party Websites
Among the many services offered by the Library is access to databases provided by third parties.  These databases are subject to their own terms and conditions.  Please review the terms and conditions specific to each database you intend to use and make sure that you comply with the applicable rules.  (Some of the Library’s other resources, such as language tutoring products, may also be subject to their own terms and conditions; in each instance, we ask that you review the terms and conditions before using the product in question so that you can comply with them.)

1. All materials on the NYPL Websites are provided "as is" without a warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular use, and/or non-infringement.  The Library assumes no responsibility for damage to your computer or other property resulting from your use of the NYPL Websites.  You understand and agree that any downloading or obtaining of material or data through the NYPL Websites is done at your own risk.  In addition, we disclaim any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, reliability, and legality of materials found on the NYPL Websites.


2. Some pages on the NYPL Websites include links to other websites.  The Library has not reviewed all of these websites and is not responsible for the content of these websites.  The Library provides these links as a convenience only, and a link does not imply endorsement of, sponsorship of, or affiliation with the linked site by the Library.

3. The Library offers access to a broad range of information and materials, including certain materials that may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. You should view such materials in the historical context in which they were created.  All historical media are presented as specific, original artifacts, without further enhancement to their appearance or quality, as a record of the era in which they were produced.  Opinions expressed on the NYPL Websites are not necessarily those of the Library or of its Trustees and staff.

Applicable Law
Any legal action brought against the Library shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York without regard to its conflicts-of-law rules. Any claim asserted against the Library shall be heard and determined in the federal or state courts located in New York City.  Users of the NYPL Websites agree not to commence any litigation relating to the use of any of the NYPL Websites, except in courts located in New York City.  Users also waive any objections to venue of any such litigation in courts located in New York City and agree not to plead or claim that New York City is an inconvenient forum.

You agree to defend, indemnify and hold NYPL and its Trustees, officers, employees and agents harmless from any and all claims, liabilities, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees, arising in any way from or relating to your use of the NYPL Websites, your placement or transmission of any message, content, information, software or other materials through the NYPL Websites, or your breach or violation of the law or of these Terms and Conditions.  NYPL reserves the right, at its own expense, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you, and in such case, you agree to cooperate with NYPL’s defense of such claim.

By using the NYPL Websites, you agree to receive electronic communications from NYPL, whether addressed to the e-mail address associated with your Library account or posted on the NYPL Websites.  You acknowledge and agree that any communication via e-mail or by postings on the NYPL Websites satisfies any legal requirement that such communications be made in writing.

The provisions of these Terms and Conditions are intended to be severable.  If for any reason any provision of these Terms and Conditions are held invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part in any applicable jurisdiction, such provision shall, as to such jurisdiction, be ineffective to the extent of such invalidity or unenforceability without in any manner affecting the validity or enforceability thereof in any other jurisdiction or the remaining provisions hereof in any jurisdiction. The failure of NYPL to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Terms and Conditions shall not operate as a waiver of such right or provision.