In Partnership with AOL Search


Social Contract

AOL Inc. hosts and administers DMOZ, and has discretion over its content, use, and operation as described in the Terms of Use. DMOZ is an Open Source inspired initiative created and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors. The following is a social contract that we created to reflect AOL's commitment to the Web community to keep DMOZ a free and open resource. It has been inspired by, and derived from, the Debian Social Contract.

1. The Directory Will Remain 100% Free

We promise to keep the distribution of DMOZ 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 Directory 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 DMOZ. 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 our submission policies and editorial guidelines.

We will protect DMOZ's intellectual property from infringement. AOL 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 desired.

3. We Don't Hide Our Official Editorial Policies

We will keep all official DMOZ 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 DMOZ. 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 DMOZ 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 Community

We will be guided by the needs of our data users and the DMOZ editorial community. We will place their interests first in our priorities. We allow others to create value-added distributions containing DMOZ 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 DMOZ 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 DMOZ's purpose as an Open Source inspired initiative.