Livejournal user agreement updated

I still have an LJ account, though I stopped posting there after they changed the terms of service in problematic ways. Today I got email notifying me of an update to those terms of service, so out of curiosity I took a look. That's the new version; I didn't look for the old one or attempt a direct comparison. A few things jumped out on a quick skim (conclusion: still not using them):

  • Section 6.1 says this about termination of accounts: "The Administration reserves the right to delete Account and Blog if User did not access the Account or the access was restricted for more than 2 years due to a breach hereof." They don't say what "access" means, but if you left LJ and thought your posts would remain until you removed them, you might want to check into that, or log in once a year, or something.

  • Section 7.4, about blogs and comments, says that the commenter and blog owner are "jointly and severally liable" for their content. (If someone posts a problematic comment and you don't nuke it, you're complicit.) The "severally" part means the parties can be sued independently, or at least that's what it means under US law as I understand it. Russian law? No idea. I bring this up because in the next section, about communities (shared blogs), it says in 8.4 that a poster or commenter and the community owner are "subsidiarily liable" with respect to the content. I don't know what that means or why it's different from the blog case.

  • Section 9.2.6 says that users may not "without the Administration’s special permit, use automatic scripts (bots, crawlers etc.) to collect information from the Service and/or to interact with the Service". Do they mean userscripts too? Other clients? That cron job that posts a quote of the day?

  • Users may also not "post advertising and/or political solicitation materials" without permission, but these terms are not defined. Are you allowed to pitch your new book (with purchase link)? Link to the feedback form for legislation that's out for public comment? I assume the purpose is to support the goals of the Russian government, but the language is more expansive.

  • Section 11.3 (under liability) says (my emphasis): "Please note that in accordance with the Russian Federation Act No. 2300-1 dated February 7, 1992, the provisions of the said act related to consumer rights protection do not apply to the relationship between the Administration and Users as the Service is provided for free." I paid for a permanent account. On the other hand, they also say (in 10.6): "The Administration may at its own discretion and without User’s prior notice supplement, reduce or otherwise modify any Service function and it’ [sic] procedures." So I guess they have cancelled or can cancel permanent accounts at will.

  • As with the 2016 change, the English-language document they post isn't legally relevant in any way; you are agreeing to the Russian-language TOS. Can you read Russian?