Doubt about email's permitted uses

I’ve been reading with mor attention your TOS, and wanted you to be so kind to clarify a couple of things.
You say:

10. Using disroot services for commercial activities
Disroot is a non-profit organization providing services for individuals on “pay as you wish” basis. Because of this structure we see using Disroot services for commercial operations as abuse of the service and it will be treated as such.

Using Disroot services for financial gain, including but not limited to trading or managing sales, is not tolerated. Accounts created for the purpose of generating profits will be subject to termination upon inquiry.

Using Disroot services for any other commercial activity will be examined per case and the decision on terminating such accounts will be based upon communication with the account holder and the type of the activities in question.

Does that mean that users can’t use our Disroot mail account as work email, only for personal purposes?
I’m an autonomous worker (I don’t know if the word is correct in english, sorry). I am my own boss and also the only worker. Do your terms mean that I can’t contact my clients using your mail service, since mi relation with them is obviously commercial?
I don’t think that would be fair; there’s nothing bad or capitalist or exploiter in the fact that an autonomous worker (think how wide can be such category: writers, designers, photographers, musicians, phisiotherapists, translator, etc, etc, etc) can use DR’s mail to get in touch with their clients, providers, administration, etc.
If alternative cloud services like DR can’t be used to totally substitute the big corporation owner ones like Gmail, GMX, Outlook, etc, what’s the point? Personal email only? For personal messaging everybody is using Telegram, Whatsapp, etc.

Also, I’m wondering something more worrying: how do you know if an user is using his email for commercial purposes? You swear that you don’t ever read the users’ email, right? Then, how can you know the nature of the users’ communicaions? Please cast some light on this.

BR

First of all I wonder why you find it to be unfair to expect that people will not use a free service fully run by volunteers for the sole purpose of making money. Disroot is run with a lot of love by admins in their free time while they need to hold another job to make a living. It is only logical that companies, small as they might be will try to collaborate with (ethical) commercially orientated projects rather then leach of the free work of others.

That said we didn’t set a goal for ourselves to go hunting for individuals that send every now and then an email to a client from their personal account. We trust that Disrooters are honest enough and conscious enough to understand when they are abusing this free service and that people will not open accounts on Disroot to be used purely by their businesses, big or small.

And for the ones that cannot distinguish between fair use and misuse, there are ways to discover that without reading any emails. We can determine or at least raise a suspicion for unwanted activity by routine monitoring of the system. Such monitoring which is done by every Email provider to prevent spam, abuse, fraud, intrusion and other issues are necessary to prevent a service from getting blacklisted. In any cases of suspicion of breaking TOS, either by our own monitoring systems or a report from outside, we reserve the right to investigate further. In these case and other cases of troubleshooting we always contact the user before hand, when possible, or afterwards by sending a transparency report explaining exactly what was checked and why.

For commercial use we run a separate entity directed exactly at small businesses and organizations - where more customization and flexibility is offered… We intentionally keep the twp projects separate in order to make sure Disroot will never be shaped by the few paying customers and their demands. If you or anyone else wishes to know more about our other project and would like to use it for their company, contact the Disroot Support for more information.

Well, first of all, why do you suppose that I want to use your email service, for work, just for free, especially when I had first sent this issue report in which I say that I want to make one of those donations which “reward” the donors (in “christian”: a payment, a purchase, even if you don’t like it to be perceived like an economical transaction). You have a couple of paid features that I would like to buy, but your TOS don’t say a word about different conditions for paid accounts, those terms put together into the same sack both paid and free accounts.
That’s not fair

Second, because if you set up a service for people to liberate from corporate, spying companies with have recognized to be collaborating with regimes more than slightly similar to what some politologists call “demofascism” like the USian regime, you can’t expect that people who wants to “migrate” from those Internet companies to others more respectful, like yours, split their digital life and keep their professional communications in hands of said companies but move their personal communications to civil rights respectful organizations. First (b), that is not going to happen, be sure about that, be sure that many, many of your users are using their Disroot mail accounts for work related communications. The fact that I’ve been the only honest enough to talk about this with you doesn’t change the reality that lots of your users are sending and receving mails regarding their economic lives. Second (b), if you really prohibit users to make any use of their accounts which is related with any economical activity you are becoming censors and “punishing” the fact that some workers have managed to liberate themselves from the salaried work’s yoke (salaried workers don’t need to get a professional use acount by themselves because their companies provide them).
That’s not fair.

As I said, I’m an autonomous worker, not an impresario; I have no employees and no boss parasites my surplus value nor my labor force (well, the capitalist state I live in, but that’s a different matter I can’t do much against). I only send work related mails to clients and providers few times a week, like I’m sure many of your users are doing. For most of my job’s communications I use the telephone, so, I’m sure that I could use a DR account for work and you won’t even notice, but, as I said, I wanted to be honest and protest against some too generalizing, ergo not fair, TOS.

One thing is forbid no-reply accounts, bulk emails and other practices that are not the ones an autonomous (and honest) worker would need but an enterprise world common practice. I think we all understand that. But our professional lives are a part of our everyday lives. Pretending we are beings of light who don’t need to make money to live; or that we have to split our jobs from our usual electronic communications is ingenuous.
And of course, that’s not fair either.

For commercial use we run a separate entity directed exactly at small businesses and organizations - where more customization and flexibility is offered… We intentionally keep the twp projects separate in order to make sure Disroot will never be shaped by the few paying customers and their demands. If you or anyone else wishes to know more about our other project and would like to use it for their company, contact the Disroot Support for more information.

I don’t run a business nor work for any company, I work from by my own means doing some transcription, correction and related jobs for authors, professors, doctorandi, small publishers and alike. But yes, I’d like to get some information about those other project you mention. I’ll send you and email. Oh, wait, that email would be a commercially related one! I hope you won’t ban me and delete my account… [sarcastic mode, only slightly on…]

I have a feeling you didn’t read my response carefully.

  1. We are not after people who use their Personal account to send few work emails.
  2. There are no preferences given to Disrooters who make a contribution. Their account do have exactly the same conditions as free accounts and that is what I consider fair. (Apart from the extra alias “reward”, or in the case of storage - they pay for the storage they get)
  3. People can liberate themselves in many ways. We are not the only solution out there. There are different solutions for different people and different circumstances. Everybody can choose what suits them best.
  4. I never assumed anything about your intentions. I just didn’t understand what you do not find to be “fair”. I still have difficulty with that definition.
  5. I might have a different definition of the word business then you, but I included self employed individuals within that term.
  6. You are not the first to approach us with questions regarding your commercial activities. There are more honest people in this world. Nice, isn’t it?
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Thats because there is no difference as those are not paid accounts, but a reward for donation!!! You are not buying here anything, but getting a thank you for donation. The only paid feature on disroot is larger disk space for which you are billed monthly and for which there is a certain price per GB, but apart from larger space you are not getting anything else, no special treatment.

We are trying to explain you this for over half a year! We do not want to create situation where paid accounts (as you call them) have more rights, then others!

There is plenty of ethical for-profit organizations out there. Not all of them are spying multibilion corporations. We even say we run a organization like that ourselfs and gave you a good reason why we decided to split both organizations in the previous post.

I dont know if you are aware about this but this forum is not the only means of communication within disroot. We had plenty of people asking questions and asking to verify whether their use was still within fair-use or not. Heck we have had some account deletion requests stating they want to delete their account because of pure commercial use. Not everyone is trying to abuse the service, and probably many do, but as Antilopa mentioned, we are not hunting for those that do, and rather reserve the right to execute it if there is a need for it.I dont know if you can explain it any better then what Antilopa did already.

So you are trying to tell me that its ok that i have to go to my dayjob to provide for my family and spend every free second of my life to work on disroot so that you, liberated person can use the service for free and even more, make money of of it?! As Antilopa mentioned we run another project directed at companies and small buisness so what is your problem? Where is this no fairness you refer to?

Again. You havent read the TOS nor antilopas reply seems like. It clearly states that its directed at accounts used purely for commercial purposes. We are not there to hunt nor restrict people who use their personal accounts for occasional commercial purposes (freelance stuff etc). But if you want to operate your business email address (with your company domain etc) then there is a simple solution I mentioned already so many times. What is not fair is you trying to somehow make me think that disroot providing free services to individuals is not fair towards your company.

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Yes, it’s lovely. Nevertheless, I wonder if they had felt like being so honest if treated like parasites who wanted to use a service for free “for the sole purpose of making money”…

No, I wasn’t. I remember I read that for any question, issue, suggestion, etc, users were encouraged to use the forum.

Not everyone is trying to abuse the service, and probably many do, but as Antilopa mentioned, we are not hunting for those that do, and rather reserve the right to execute it if there is a need for it.I dont know if you can explain it any better then what Antilopa did already.

Again, why do you consider that using your mail service for talking about job related matters is “abusing”. You are sort of “criminalizing” every person who just has a job and uses email to communicate about their jobs.
I don’t know if I can explain any better than Antilopa, probably not; I’m not the best english speaker on Earth, as I think it’s been stated clear in all the messages I’ve posted in this forum, but sincerely, I don’t think it really needs a much deeper explanation: I just don’t see fair to consider persons who want to migrate their mail, in all of its different uses, the professional one included, to Disroot as an abusing person who pursues the sole purpose of making money; much less if they want to get some extra cloud space to share files with clients or get some alias adresses to organize things and is totally in favor to pay for all that.
If my point of view is still badly explained, I’m sorry, I’m not goint to try to explain it again.

So you are trying to tell me that its ok that i have to go to my dayjob to provide for my family and spend every free second of my life to work on disroot so that you, liberated person can use the service for free and even more, make money of of it?!

I’ve been in touch with both you and Antilopa before, and I think you are nice people, but if I hadn’t, I’d consider that you are fooling or making fun of me… What part of “I want to […] request some “rewarded” features” isnt clear enough to keep on suggesting that I just want to parasite your work and time?

What is not fair is you trying to somehow make me think that disroot providing free services to individuals is not fair towards your company.

Ok, I’ve been answering you by sections, so I hadn’t read this part from you, and after doing it I don’t know if I can still be so sure about the idea I had about you… I know we are in a public forum but sincerely, tell it if you really feel it: is that attitude of you something personal against me by some obscure reason? That insulting insistence in the false idea that I’m part of some company who is trying to make you feel bad accusing you of being unfair if you don’t allow poor companies to earn thousands or millions of euros a month using yor services FOR FREE, why? have been a nice user, I think, I have been using my account only for personal purposes, I have suggested ideas which you can agree with or not, but have always been sincere and in the best constructive critical spirit to improve the service; I have reported bugs… Come on, do not bit your tongue. What on Earth has made you take that hostile attitude and keep saying I’m an opportunist parasite that want’s to make you guys work for me and, of course, for free?

I had missed this one.
Are you sure that it’s me who hasn’t read the TOS?:

_ we see using Disroot services for commercial operations as abuse of the service and it will be treated as such._
[…]
Using Disroot services for financial gain, including but not limited to trading or managing sales, is not tolerated

Section 10 of your Terms of Service. To which I asked in my first, primus, erste, primo, primero, 1st, post:

If a doctoral sudent, for example, sends me an email asking for a proofreading budget for his thesis, and I answer infroming about the price, that’s obviously a sales related correspondence which is not tolerated by your TOS.
Now, in Antilopa’s and you’s (sorry for, again, slaughtering the noble language of Byron and Keats) last messages you say that «Well, not in fact. You can talk to some of your clients as lon g as it is not the habitual and main purpose of the use you nake of our services. No problem.». Well, nice to read it, especially if not accompained of another more accusation of parasitism, but please don’t tell me that I haven’t read the TOS. I sign contracts every week I’m very used to read legal documents (I admit that not in english, though).

I am sorry you understood me in this way. I never called you or anyone else a parasite. I was just challenging the notion that it is somehow “unfair” to ask people to not abuse our services for pure commercial benefits. Maybe it is also nice to consider what is unfair towards the project and the people behind it.

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You can keep on nitpicking and try to find faults in what we say and what we write. I think this is mostly where the frustration from our side comes from. We are doing our best to provide a good service to good people and being accused of being unfair is hurtful.

The bottom point for this discussion is as I tried to explain before. Not every email regarding work or finance is considered a commercial activity. An account that is created for the only purpose of commercial activities, for example an account which is created by an ebay seller for the purpose of trading goods, by a car salesman for his business promotion, by a freelancer designer for his design studio etc. We don’t ban suspicious account without notice but first try to contact the owner to understand the nature of their activities. We understand personal accounts can be used “commercially” as well as personally and we accept that and are OK with that… I think logic and common sense plays an important roll in understanding this.

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