After being pummeled by Hans Neimann with a lawsuit against the website and its executive Daniel Rensch, Chess.com has updated its user agreement as of November 18, 2022. The last change according to the Internet Archive was on April 21, 2022. Needless to say, there were some interesting changes.
Companies’ User Agreements
But given the transaction between Chess.com, Play Magnus, the cheating scandal, and of course Niemann’s lawsuit, it is not surprising that someone at Chess.com’s legal team reviewed their current user agreement. Given that, it is odd that typos still exist, including some extraneous HTML:
As to the substantive changes, the first one goes to the heart of the cheating scandal under Chess.com’s fair play policy:
Clearly, this goes to the criticism of Chess.com’s decision to go public regarding Niemann’s previous online cheating on Chess.com and his communications with Chess.com management. Though subsequent remedial measures are typically not admissible evidence to support the fault, the claims against Chess.com are not based upon their “leaking” of communications or going public.
Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule
Given that chess is a game that starts often at an early age, it may come as a surprise to some that Chess.com rules provide that only ages 13 and above are technically permitted to use the site going forward. See the change here:
This is generally the typical practice as any information collected from children under the age of 13 must comply with additional requirements including obtaining the consent of their legal guardian (see the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA).
The other changes were relatively minor or more subtle updating to current standards of terms of service.