Makerbot Terms of Use in Plain English

API Terms of Use is the single most important building block of any ecosystem, yet it is the least discussed area of API management and integration. I’m working hard to dedicated more time in 2014 to not just the area of API TOS, but what I consider to be the politics of APIs.

Today’s focus is on making a plain english translation of your terms of service available. I came across a great example over at Makerbot Thingiverse today, where they add:

We realize Terms of Service can be confusing and, quite frankly, a snooze- fest; however, they are very important in explaining the basis of what we, the Company, expect of you, the User, while on this Site and how this interaction plays out. We promised “understandability” so, to the right of each term, we provided a summary in “plain English”.

Music to my ears. Every time I come across an example of plain english terms of use like this, I’m going to write a short blog post on it. While I may not always agree with a company’s terms of service, I can get behind approaches to make them simpler, more accessible and understandable by users.