Terms of Service
Your use of our site including: registration on this or any other National Geographic Society site; use of digital services or products on this site; or your provision to us of any content or personal information constitutes your agreement to these terms, including the Privacy Notice. Please do not use this site, provide any content or personal information if you do not agree to the terms or if your jurisdiction will not honor them.
These terms and conditions of service (the “Terms”) are a legal and binding agreement between you and the Society governing your use of our site, www.nationalgeographic.org, which includes but is not limited to products, software and services offered by way of the website such as any “Video Player,” “Uploader,” and other applications that link to these Terms (the “Service”). The “Society” includes National Geographic Society, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, and its licensees, including National Geographic Partners, LLC, that may produce or distribute NG Products. An NG Product is defined as “a product of the Society, a subsidiary, affiliate, joint venturer, or licensee of the Society, in any language, over which the Society has Editorial Control.” For the purposes of this Agreement, “Editorial Control” means the right to review, consult regarding, formulate standards for, or to exercise a veto over the appearance, text, use, or promotion of the NG Product.
Please review the Terms fully before you continue to use the Service. By using the Service, you agree to be bound by the Terms as well as our Privacy Notice, which also governs your use of the Service. If you do not agree with our Terms, please discontinue using the Service. We may update the Terms from time-to-time. We will inform you before any change takes effect. The Terms were last updated on 15 October 2021.
Your use and browsing of the Service is at your risk. If you are dissatisfied with any of the materials contained in the Service, with the quality of Service, or with these Terms, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue accessing and using the Service.
For information about privacy and information security, including consent to international data transfers and disclosure please consult the Privacy Notice. Please do not provide, or allow others to provide, personal information about anyone unless you, on your own behalf and on behalf of anyone whose information you provide: (a) have reviewed and agree with the Privacy Notice, and (b) are authorized to, and do, consent to provide personal information for the Services.
In order to use certain functionality of the Service, you may be required to complete a registration process and create an account. As a registered user of the Service, you agree to (a) provide true, accurate, current, and complete information about yourself as prompted by the Service registration form (“Registration Data”), and (b) maintain and promptly update the Registration Data to keep it true, accurate, current, and complete. Upon completing the registration process, you will receive confirmation of a password and username. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of the password and username, and you are fully responsible for all activities that occur under your password or username. You agree to (a) immediately notify the Society of any unauthorized use of your password or user name or any other breach of security; (b) exit from your account at the end of each session; and (c) defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Society from any loss or damage arising from your failure to keep your account information secure and confidential, including, without limitation, the unauthorized use of your password or username.
By registering, you consent to the collection of your data, including, without limitation, Registration Data, by the Society or through a third party service and processing of such data by the Society in connection with your use of the Service. You consent to the technical processing and transmission of data involved in your use of the Service, including, without limitation, Registration Data, and you acknowledge that processing may involve (a) transmission of such data over various networks; and (b) modifying such data to conform and adapt to technical requirements of connecting networks or devices.
3. Intellectual Property
The Service is owned by the Society. All of the content featured or displayed on the Service, including, but not limited to, still images, text, pictorial works, video images, still images of video, graphic designs, audio recordings, multimedia combinations, and computer programs, including web-based programs (“Content”) is owned or licensed by the Society.
Pursuant to the copyright and trademark laws of the United States, you agree:
- To download only the Content the Society designates as being offered for downloading to any single computer, and only a single copy of any such Content for personal and noncommercial use.
- Not to reproduce, distribute, modify, re-post on another Service (regardless of the server on which the Content is stored), or sell any Content without specific written authorization from the Society, unless such use is an Educational Use of Content as specified in these Terms.
- To maintain any and all copyright or other proprietary notices embedded in or attached to any Content.
- To refrain from framing, inline linking, or mirroring any portion of the Service.
- You retain all of your ownership rights in material you upload, comments you post, translations you provide or other content you provide to the Service (“Your Content”).
- By uploading Your Content, however, you grant the Society the following rights: a worldwide, perpetual license to display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivatives of Your Content, in whole or in part, without further review or participation from you, in any medium now existing or subsequently developed, in editorial, commercial, promotional, and trade uses in connection with the NG brand, NG Products, and Society’s branded channels on existing and future social media platforms (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and subsequent new platforms). The Society may license or sublicense, in whole or in part, to third parties rights in Your Content as appropriate to distribute, market, or promote such NG Products or NG brand through any existing and future media, channels, or platforms. You also grant the Society permission to use and authorize others to use your name and any profile picture you provide in association with Your Content for identification, editorially, publicity related to Your Content or the Service, and for similar institutional promotional purposes. You also agree that the Society may make Your Content available to users of the Service who may display and redistribute it in the same way that Society makes all other Content available.
- The Society may use Your Content, without compensation to you, in any NG Products that feature Your Content in the context of, in direct promotion of, or otherwise strongly identified with (beyond mere attribution), the special section or community of the Service to which it was submitted, or successor sections or communities of the service.
- The Society may exercise its rights to use Your Content in NG Products other than described, immediately above (e.g., for an “App,” a book or e-book, merchandise, etc.), and will pay you at the Society’s rates.
- To enable the Society to use Your Content in NG Products, NG may request you to provide Your Content in other formats, and if technically possible, you agree to provide Your Content in such other formats so long as Society pays you the reasonable out of pocket costs of providing Your Content in such other formats.
- Any payment to you is conditioned upon you keeping your registration information up-to-date and you completing any paperwork that the Society requires to make payments to third parties. The Society also reserves the right not to make payment to you if the Society reasonably believes that to do so would violate applicable law.
- Pursuant to Title 17, United States Code, Section 512, notifications of claimed copyright infringement on the Service should be sent to our designated agent. If you believe that your work has been used in a way that may constitute copyright infringement, please provide the Society’s designated agent the following information:
- An electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest;
- A description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed;
- A description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the Service (such as the URL);
- Your address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
- A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
- A statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner’s behalf.
The Society’s designated agent for notice of claims of copyright infringement on the Service is its Chief Legal Officer who can be reached as follows:
Chief Legal Officer
National Geographic Society.
1145 Seventeenth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036-4688
This contact information is only for reporting alleged copyright infringements. Contact information for other matters is provided elsewhere on the site.
The Service is provided for informational purposes only. The Service should not be used in any high risk activities where damage or injury to persons, property, environment, finances or business may result if an error occurs. You expressly assume all risk for such use.
Although the Society does not routinely monitor the postings to the Service, the Society reserves the right (but assumes no obligation) to delete, move, or edit any Your Content that comes to its attention that Society considers in its sole discretion to be unacceptable or inappropriate, whether for legal or other reasons. Conduct by any user that, at the sole discretion of the Society, restricts or inhibits any other user from using or enjoying the Service will not be permitted. The Society reserves the right to refuse access to the Service to any user for any reason, including, without limitation, a reasonable belief that the user in question has violated these Terms, any other operating rules or terms currently posted on the Service, or any of the copyright or trademark laws of the United States.
The Service may provide, or third parties may provide, links to other sites or resources. Because the Society has no control over such sites and resources, you acknowledge and agree that the Society is not responsible for the availability of such external sites or resources, and does not endorse and is not responsible or liable for any content, advertising, products, or other materials on or available from such sites or resources. You further acknowledge and agree that the Society shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused in connection with your use of or reliance on any such linked content, goods or services available on or through any such linked site or resource.
Your interactions with companies, organizations and/or individuals found on or through our Service, including any purchases, transactions, or other dealings, and any terms, conditions, warranties or representations associated with such dealings, are solely between you and such companies, organizations and/or individuals. You agree that the Society will not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage of any sort incurred as the result of any such dealings. You also agree that, if there is a dispute between users of this Service, or between a user and any third party, the Society is under no obligation to become involved, and you agree to release the Society and its affiliates from any claims, demands and damages of every kind or nature, known or unknown, suspected and unsuspected, disclosed and undisclosed, arising out of or in any way related to such dispute and/or the Service.
The information, products and services offered on or through the site and any third-party sites are provided “as is” and without warranties of any kind either expressed or implied. To the fullest extent permissible pursuant to applicable law, the Society disclaims all warranties, express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. The Society makes no warranty that the site or any of its functions will be uninterrupted or error-free, that defects will be corrected, or that any part of this site, including bulletin boards, or the servers that make it available, are free of viruses or other harmful components. The Society neither warrants nor makes any representations regarding the use or the results of the use of the site or materials on this site or on third-party sites in terms of their correctness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or otherwise.
Under no circumstances, including, but not limited to, negligence, will the Society, or our subsidiaries, parent, affiliates, service providers, and/or licensees or licensors be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, this site, including its materials, products, or services, or third-party materials, products, or services made available through this site, even if we are advised beforehand of the possibility of such damages. (Because some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of certain categories of damages, the above limitation may not apply to you. In such states, our liability and the liability of Society subsidiaries, parent companies, affiliates, service providers, and/or licensors is limited to the fullest extent permitted by such state law.) You specifically acknowledge and agree that the Society is not liable for any defamatory, offensive or illegal conduct of any user. If you are dissatisfied with the site, or any materials, products, or services on the site, or with any of the site’s terms and conditions, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the site.
5. Your Content
The Society encourages an open exchange of information and ideas on the Service, and specifically through our educational communities (“Communities”). You can expect the Service to include information and opinions from a variety of individuals and organizations other than the Society. The Society neither endorses nor guarantees the accuracy of any of Your Content. The Society may review Your Content from time to time and may take steps to remove inappropriate Your Content that comes to its attention; however, the Society engages in no routine monitoring of Your Content on the Service. There is no substitute for healthy skepticism and your own good judgment.
You agree to assume full and sole responsibility for any of your content you post on the Service, and you agree to:
- Abide by the Society Community Rules (which are fully incorporated into these Terms);
- Post Your Content that is relevant to and appropriate for the specific topic, designed to help people share information, and supports the Society’s mission of using the power of science, exploration, education, and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world.
- Represent that you are the owner of Your Content, or are making your submission with express consent of the owner, that you have obtained all third party releases and permissions necessary for the Society’s use, in accordance with the license you grant in paragraph 5 of Intellectual Property Issues above, of any Your Content that you post, and nothing you post will infringe on the rights of others;
- Neither post nor transmit any unlawful, obscene, defamatory, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive or otherwise inappropriate Your Content, or Your Content that encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or post or transmit any other portion of Your Content that infringes on the ability of others to enjoy the Service or is otherwise inappropriate;
- Refrain from posting any personal information of your own such as your email address, phone number, address, etc., and refrain from soliciting personal information from any user. However, if you do choose to post any personal information it means that you are making that information public and allowing everyone to use and access that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your user name and if applicable any profile photo);
- Neither post nor transmit through the Service any Your Content that constitutes advertising or solicitation with respect to any product or service;
- Not post anonymously or impersonate any other person;
- Use no automated means, including spiders, robots, offline readers, crawlers, data mining tools, or the like to download or store data from the Service. Exception is made for publicly available Internet search engines (e.g., Google, Bing) and non-commercial public archives (e.g., archive.org) that comply with our Terms of Service but not for any archive that hosts, promotes, or links primarily to infringing or unauthorized content; and
- Not to alter or modify any part of the Service, make no use that would interfere with or disrupt the Service or servers or networks connected to the Service, make none of Your Content available (whether through upload, post, email, transmit, or otherwise) that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy, track or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment, and neither circumvent nor disable any security or data-protection measures implemented by Society.
- Not to translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or attempt to discover any source code or underlying ideas or algorithms of the object code of any portion of the Service.
Caution: any attempt by any person to deliberately damage the site is a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, the Society reserves the right to seek legal and equitable relief from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.
You must provide and are solely responsible for all hardware and/or software necessary to access the Service. You assume the entire cost of and responsibility for any damage to, and all necessary maintenance, repair or correction of, that hardware and/or software.
You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Society; its affiliates, licensees and partners; and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, members, licensors, representatives, and third party providers of the Service from and against all losses, expenses, damages, and costs, including attorneys’ fees, resulting from any violation of these Terms. The Society reserves the right to assume, at its sole expense, the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you, in which event you will fully cooperate with Society.
7. Educational Use of Content
With respect to Content designated as available for download for educational purposes (“Downloadable Content”), Educators or Learners may download and exhibit such Downloadable Content on a stand-alone basis or embed in their own presentations, handouts, worksheets, other educational aids, homework, school reports, and other educational assignments or projects. For the purposes of this Agreement, “Educators or Learners” consists of librarians, teachers, support staff, administrators and other staff of educational institutions, students, and adults supporting such students’ learning. The following restrictions apply to Educators and Learners concerning all Downloadable Content:
- You may not disseminate Downloadable Content beyond your particular educational institution, organization, or home.
- Under no circumstances may you use Downloadable Content for commercial purposes.
- You may not make any modifications to Downloadable Content and must preserve all Society or Licensor credits, copyright notices and other proprietary notices; provided, however that an Educator may modify questions or other classroom activities for use only in his/her classroom, subject to the obligation to correctly cite to the original Downloadable Content.
- You may not make use of, or allow or enable the use of, Downloadable Content in a manner in which it is re-posted, framed, or mirrored on any other websites, regardless of educational use, but may store Downloadable Content on password-protected computer networks administered by your school or school system.
- You may post only products you have created that contain Downloadable Content and only to a password-protected website administered by your school or school system, or by the Society.
- If you embed Downloadable Content in the form of video material (e.g., through a video player) you must also comply with the NG Terms of Service for Your Conduct with respect to Video Players.
Educational Opportunities including but not limited to ScienceTelling Bootcamp course, Educator Certification and Other Courses. From time to time the Society provides educational opportunities (“Educational Opportunities”) through this Learning Management Systems (“LMS”) and other providers (e.g. NovoEd, Google, Udacity, Coursera, etc.) (each a “Platform”). By accessing and/or using the LMS, Platform or Educational Opportunities, you agree to be bound by these additional Terms of Service, whether you are: a “Visitor,” meaning you simply browse the Educational Opportunities, including, without limitation, through a mobile or other wireless device, or otherwise use the Educational Opportunities without being registered; or a “Student,” meaning that you have registered to use the Educational Opportunities and will complete the homework assignments and exams; or an “Attendee,” meaning that you have registered to use the Educational Opportunities and that you intend to audit the Educational Opportunities (i.e., attend or view lectures online without completing homework assignments, exams or other course work). The term “Course User” refers to a Visitor, Student or Attendee.
- Content Disclaimer. The text and other material in Educational Opportunities may include the opinion of the specific instructor and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information from the Society. If you feel you might be offended by the content of the Educational Opportunities, you should refrain from registering for the Educational Opportunities.
- Educational Opportunities and Certificates of Completion. The Society and the instructors of the Educational Opportunities reserve the right to cancel, interrupt or reschedule any Educational Opportunities or modify its content as well as the point value or weight of any assignment, exam or other evaluation of progress. Educational Opportunities offered are subject to the Disclaimer of Warranties / Limitation of Liabilities found in Liability above. For some Educational Opportunities, subject to your satisfactory performance in the Educational Opportunities as determined in the sole discretion of the instructor, you may be awarded a statement acknowledging your completion of the class (“Statement of Accomplishment”) or Continuing Education Units (“CEU”). The term “Recognition” refers to a Statement of Accomplishment and/or CEU. Recognition, if provided to you, would be from the Society and/or from the instructors. The type of Recognition, if provided to you, will be explicitly stated in the Educational Opportunities. Further, the Society reserves the right to offer or not offer any such Recognition for such Educational Opportunities. You acknowledge that the Statement of Accomplishment does not convey academic credit and will not stand in the place of a course taken at an accredited institution, unless academic credit is expressly provided in relation to specific Educational Opportunities. You acknowledge that neither the instructors of any Educational Opportunities nor the Society will be involved in any attempts to get the course recognized by any educational or accredited institution, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the Educational Opportunities. The format of the Recognition will be determined at the discretion of the Society and the instructors, and may vary by class in terms of formatting, e.g., whether or not it reports your detailed scores or grades in the class, and in other ways. Where CEU is provided, the format will conform to CEU requirements.
- Intellectual Property Rights and License. All content or other material available through the Educational Opportunities, including but not limited to online lectures, speeches, video lessons, quizzes, presentation materials, homework assignments, programming assignments, programs, code, and other images, text, layouts, arrangement, displays, illustrations, documents, materials, audio and video clips, HTML and files (collectively, the “Course Content”), are the property of the Society and/or its parent, affiliates or licensors and are protected by copyright, patent and/or other proprietary intellectual rights under United States and foreign law. In consideration for your agreement to these Terms of Service, the Society grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to access and use the Educational Opportunities and Course Content. You may download Course Content identified as available for download only for your own personal, non-commercial use. You may not otherwise copy, reproduce, retransmit, distribute, publish, commercially exploit or otherwise transfer any Course Content, nor may you modify or create derivative works of the Course Content.
- Course User Conduct. Some Educational Opportunities are public and open forums. You agree to assume full and sole responsibility for any of Your Content you post to the Educational Opportunities. Course User conduct is subject to standards described in the “Your Conduct” section of these Terms of Service above, which includes your obligation to abide by the Educational Opportunity Community rules.
- Termination Rights. You acknowledge that for the purpose of any Society Educational Opportunities your sole relationship is with the Society. The Society has the right to cancel, delay, reschedule or alter the format of any Educational Opportunities at any time, and that the Society has no liability to you for any such action. If you no longer desire to participate in the Educational Opportunities, you may terminate your participation therein upon notice to the Society.
- Feedback. The Society may, in its sole discretion, utilize, in any manner the Society deems appropriate, all comments and suggestions, whether written or oral, furnished by any Course User to the Society in connection with Educational Opportunities (“Feedback”). Course User assigns to the Society all right, title and interest, including, without limitation, all intellectual property rights, in and to the Feedback.
- Research. Records of your activity in Educational Opportunities may be used for researching online education intended to improve future Educational Opportunities and contribute to overall knowledge in the field. This research will involve analyzing patterns about the use of the site and user submitted resources and comments. You may also be asked if you are willing to respond to survey questions or be interviewed for the research. Individual participants will not be identified, and reasonable efforts will be made to avoid including information that could be connected to any individual, school or district, in all research reports. In the interests of this research, you may be exposed to variations in the course materials that should have no substantive effect on your learning experience. All research findings will be reported at the aggregate level and will not expose your personal identity.
8. Video Player
With respect to your use of any Video Player offered on the Service, you also agree:
- If you use a Video Player on your website, you must include a prominent link back to the Service on the pages containing the Video Player and you may not modify, build upon, or block any portion of the Video Player in any way;
- You may embed videos using the Video Player, provided you do not embed the Video Player on any website or other location that (i) contains or hosts content that is unlawful, infringing, pornographic, obscene, defamatory, threatening, harassing, vulgar, indecent, profane, hateful, or racially or ethnically offensive, (ii) encourages criminal conduct, gives rise to civil liability, violates any law, rule, or regulation, or infringes any right of any third party including intellectual property rights, (iii) is otherwise inappropriate or objectionable to the Society (in Society’s sole discretion), or (iv) links to infringing or unauthorized content (collectively, “Unsuitable Material”);
- You are prohibited from embedding the Video Player into any hardware or software application, even for non-commercial purposes. The Society reserves the right to prevent embedding to any website or other location that Society finds inappropriate or objectionable (as determined by the Society in its sole discretion); and
- You may not use the Video Player for any commercial purpose, without the prior written authorization of the Society; provided, however, that you may use the Video Player to show the Society content on an ad-enabled blog or website, as long as the primary purpose of using the Video Player is not to gain advertising or any other form of revenue (e.g., license fees, subscriptions, etc.). Prohibited commercial uses include, without limitation, any use of the Video Player that the Society finds, in its sole discretion, to use the Society’s resources or Your Content with the effect of competing with or displacing the market for Society content.
9. Mobile Terms and Conditions
- There is no fee from the Society to receive text messages. Message and data rates may apply – this can be checked with your mobile service provider. Charges are billed and payable to your mobile service provider or deducted from your prepaid account. Consent is not a requirement for purchase.
- Alerts sent via SMS may not be delivered if the mobile phone is not in range of a transmission site, or if sufficient network capacity is not available at a particular time. Even within a coverage area, factors beyond the control of the wireless operator may interfere with message delivery, including the customer’s equipment, terrain, proximity to buildings, foliage, and weather. Wireless operators do not guarantee message delivery and will not be held liable for delayed or undelivered messages.
- The Society will not be liable for any delays in the receipt of any SMS message as delivery is subject to effective transmission from your network operator.
- By subscribing to the Society’s mobile alerts, you consent to receive automated text alerts to help explore and protect our world. Recurring messages. Message & data rates may apply.
If you have any questions, text HELP to the number you received a text message from or contact us at or firstname.lastname@example.org. To stop receiving messages reply STOP.
Any and all disputes, with the exception of copyright claims, arising out of, under or in connection with this Agreement, including without limitation, its validity, interpretation, performance, or breach, shall be settled by final and binding arbitration in Washington, D.C., pursuant to the rules of the American Arbitration Association. Judgment upon any award rendered may be entered in the highest court of the forum, state or federal, having jurisdiction. This Agreement, its validity and effect, shall be interpreted under and governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, without regard to its conflict of laws provisions, and you agree that the arbitrator shall award all costs of arbitration, including reasonable attorneys’ fees plus legal rate of interest, to the successful party. Copyright claims shall be brought in the Federal court having jurisdiction. If you are an agent for or an employee of a non-United States company but operate in a place of business in the U.S. or its territories, you expressly agree that any dispute regarding this contract shall be adjudicated within the U.S. in the manner described here. If the Society is obligated to go to court, rather than arbitration, to enforce any of its rights, you agree to reimburse the Society for its respective legal fees, costs, and disbursements if the Society is successful.
These Terms and any other operating rules or terms currently posted on the Service constitutes the entire agreement between the Society and the users of the Service, and supersede all previous written or oral agreements between the parties with respect to such subject matter. No action of the Society may be construed as a waiver of any part of these Terms. Should any of the above paragraphs be unenforceable, the other paragraphs will remain in full force and effect.
Photo credits: Johnathan Irish