Hypothesis Terms of Service

Terms of Service

By using our services, you agree to a binding contract to certain rights and responsibilities (Terms).

Our services evolve constantly. As such, the services may change from time to time, at our discretion. We may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the services or any features within the services to you or to users generally. We also retain the right to create limits on use and storage at our sole discretion at any time. We may also remove or refuse to distribute any content on the services, suspend or terminate users, and reclaim usernames without liability to you.

Who May Use the Services

Individual Use

You may use the services only if you agree to form a binding contract with Hypothesis. In any case, you must be at least 13 years old to use our services, unless you obtain consent from a parental authority (i.e. parents, guardians, school teachers, etc). Those under the age of 18 are encouraged to discuss with their parents or teachers before using our services.

Commercial Use

If you are using or incorporating Hypothesis hosted annotation services (as distinct from our openly licensed code) within a commercial offering or entity, be it free or otherwise, you will need to contact us and enter into a formal business agreement.


Our Privacy Policy describes how we handle the information you provide to us when you use our services.

Content on the Services

You are responsible for your use of the services and for any content you provide, including compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. You should only provide content that you are comfortable sharing with others.

We reserve the right to remove content that violates our Community Guidelines, including for example, copyright or trademark violations, impersonation, unlawful conduct, or harassment.

If you believe that your content has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement, please report to us by email at support@hypothes.is.

Content License

You agree to freely dedicate your public contributions to the public domain or, where that is not possible because of law, to freely dedicate your publications using the Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication (contributions prior to October 27, 2014 were made without reference to specific licensing terms). The CC0 Public Domain Dedication allows free copying, modification, distribution and performance of your contributions, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. We note that Creative Commons has provided additional public domain guidelines that we strongly support. Most important, if you use contributed content, give credit and attribution, provide a link to the original source, protect the reputation of authors, contribute discoveries back, and generally share knowledge in an open way.

Annotations made using our groups feature are not in the public domain or dedicated using Creative Commons as with public contributions. The individual user reserves all rights provided by copyright law for user-created content created within groups and agrees to grant a license to Hypothesis to distribute and publish user-created content within groups, as long as the user-created content is not deleted by the contributor or other group members.

Using the Services

Please review our Community Guidelines to understand what is prohibited on the services.

Your Account

You may need to create an account to use some of our services. You are responsible for safeguarding your account and avoiding misuse by others.

Your License to Use the Services

Hypothesis gives you a personal, worldwide, royalty-free, non-assignable and non-exclusive license to use the software provided to you as part of the services. This license has the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the services as provided by Hypothesis, in the manner permitted by these Terms.

Use of Proxy Services

Use of Hypothesis proxy services (e.g. via.hypothes.is) is strictly limited to facilitating Hypothesis annotation services in accordance with the Terms of Service outlined in this document. Any other use of Hypothesis proxy services is prohibited, and may result in termination of user accounts, or other appropriate action as necessary.

Account Termination/Deletion

You are free to delete your account at any time. Deleting an account is irreversible. If you want to delete your account, please contact us at support@hypothes.is.

If you are in the United States of America (USA), using an account created with a school email address and are under the age of 18, your school or district may request your account or content to be deleted without your consent.

The Services are Available “AS-IS”

Your access to and use of the services or any content are at your own risk. You understand and agree that the services are provided to you on an “AS IS” and “AS AVAILABLE” basis.

Termination Conditions

We may launch new or terminate existing services at our discretion. If we discontinue our public annotation services, we will give you at least 30 days notice to download or otherwise preserve your data. It is our objective that even if we no longer exist as an active organization, we will make provisions to keep annotations and other data publicly available and preserved for as long as possible.


You are responsible for your use of these services, for any content you publish and for any consequences thereof. Hypothesis does not monitor or control your contributions directly and cannot offer any protection or indemnification for you. As above, you should follow your local legal restrictions.


The laws of the State of California, excluding its choice of law provisions, will govern these Terms and any dispute that arises between you and Hypothesis. All disputes related to these Terms or the services will be brought solely in the federal or state courts located in San Francisco County, California, USA, and you consent to personal jurisdiction and waive any objection as to inconvenient forum.

Law Enforcement

If we are approached by law enforcement for information about you, we will not provide that information including whether that information exists without a subpoena or a court order. We will notify users of any legal requests for their account information, including a copy of the request, prior to disclosure unless we are legally prohibited from doing so (e.g., USA Code of Laws section 2705b).


You have the right to use these services only so long as you promote civil discourse and do not harass or intimidate other users. Please read our Community Guidelines.

United States Government Users/Members

If you are using this service as a member of the government of the USA, this amendment applies.

User Data and Privacy

Please read our Privacy Policy for more information about cookies and user data.

Changes to This Document

This document will update from time to time and we will announce any material changes. By continuing to access or use the services after those revisions become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised Terms. See the full history of changes to these Terms.

Questions About These Terms of Service

Email: support@hypothes.is

Effective: 7 May 2021