Hypothesis Terms of Service

Hypothesis Terms of Service 2017-05-24T11:16:49+00:00


By using this service, you agree to certain rights and responsibilities (Terms). This service is intended to be used by those who are 13 years of age or older. By using the service, you represent that you are 13 years of age or older. Outside the US you should follow local laws.


You are responsible for your use of this service, 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.

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 importantly, that if you use contributed content that you 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 licensed under Creative Commons as with public contributions. The individual user reserves all rights provided by copyright law for their content created within groups.

Nym policy

We support pseudonyms. You are free describe as much or as little about yourself as you want. The only requirement for signing up is a working email address.


Generally, we do not store identifying information about users other than the email address required for account creation and what they choose to record in their profile. Of course, any data you contribute publicly can potentially be used by others to identify or track you. Server logs are kept only where required to ensure quality of service and prevent abuse.

Data retention

Our intention is to retain your user account information and user contributions in perpetuity, or until you should decide to delete your account. For more information, read our Privacy Policy.

Teachers and Students

By prior arrangement, US Schools or Districts may arrange, with specific terms and time allowances, to request access to all user data generated by user accounts made from school email addresses. Schools or Districts may need to get explicit consent from students over the age of 18. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Account deletion policy

You are free to delete your account at any time. Deleting an account is irreversible. If you have contributed to public conversations that others have replied to we will not delete your individual annotations. If you want to delete your annotations, you must do so before deleting your account, and you must delete each annotation individually, by hand. Deleting an annotation does not delete replies to that annotation, it creates a blank stub that replies are still attached to. If you want to delete your account, please contact us at support@hypothes.is.

If you are in the US and 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.

Termination conditions

We may launch new or terminate existing services at our discretion. If we discontinue our public annotation service, 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 annotation and other data publicly available and preserved for as long as possible.

Data export

Your data belongs to you. We hold it so that we can provide you a service. You can access your data using our public API.

ToS change policy

This document will update from time to time and we will announce all changes. We’ll make sure we preserve changes, either here or via services that keep track of the history of the web.

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 (section 2705b).


You have the right to use this service 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 U.S. Government user, this amendment applies.

User data and privacy

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

Changes to this document

See the full history of changes to these Terms here.