Terms regarding unlimited disk/bandwidth


#1

Hi,

I’m working on a site where users can share 3d content (think of it something like flickr, but for 3d content). So I was wondering if this could cause problems with respect to the terms for unlimited disk space.

Users who register can upload files, which are then displayed on the site using a custom viewer. I’m thinking of having a free plan with quite limited space (maybe 15MB), and then a premium plan for paying users with more space.

Would such a site be allowed or should I find another host?[hr]
I should mention that the upload would only allow specific file types: 3d models + textures (probably .jpg and .png)


#2

This would probably constitute a violation of our Unlimited Policy. Sorry.


#3

No problem, thanks for clarifying this.


#4

Andrew, why is this a violation? How is it different from a club website where members can upload pictures to the club photo gallery?


#5

“Basically, sites whose essential purpose is to use disk or bandwidth.”

It would say that would be the key line. The main purpose of a club site is to promote the club whereas this is more a file sharing site he is trying to make.


#6

Yes, exactly — sites which host media uploaded by users are all right so long as that’s not the primary purpose of the site. (So, for instance, allowing users to upload MediaWiki images or forum avatars is perfectly OK, but running a PhotoBucket clone isn’t.) In this case, accepting payments to get access to more storage makes it clear that you’re basically just trying to resell storage/bandwidth.

If you’re willing to host the downloads externally (through a service like Amazon S3, for instance), though, that totally changes things. If you’re fine with the idea of paying extra for the storage/bandwidth your downloads use, that might be the way to go.


#7

So, going back to the OP, if the structure of the site was aimed more at a 3D community where people upload their creations to share with friends (like ZenPhoto, but 3D), didn’t charge for bandwidth, and the focus was on website that people would visit rather than just hotlink 3D files, that would be ok? Maybe the OP should just reconsider the plan, unless the main goal is to earn a profit by reselling bandwidth.

Would there be any way to offer free and premium accounts, with one of the distinctions being more storage space to build your 3D portfolio, without violating TOS?


#8

The answer to your first questions is “yes”. The answer to your second question, if you are planning for this extra storage space to be on/at DreamHost, is “no”. Allowing some uploads to facilitate the operation of the community is “incidental” usage (unless the *uploading" becomes the primary focus/purpose of the site (in which case, it becomes and image/file sharing site, which is prohibited). Offering either free, or premium, accounts “more storage space” is clearly “offering your resources to the general public”, and is prohibited.


#9

I see. That seems clearer. So the OP should focus on users coming to the site to view the 3D creations, comment on them, rate them, etc, without explicitly offering storage space. Sounds good to me, but I guess OP wants to make a profit… Maybe add some ads then…

Would charging a membership to all members for membership in the 3D community, without reference to one of the benefits being a storage space, allow him or her to make a profit?