For a while, I've had multiple policy documents kinda randomly thrown around my websites. For example, branding information on a subdomain, the promotional kit policy on the blog... And, even though I use Matomo on all my sites, there wasn't really a formal
From today on, all osk services will be governed by the General Terms of Service. The ToS is very simple, and is very similar to what you're used to on TETR.IO (no liability, no guarantee of fitness for any purpose, reservation of right of removal and cessation).
These documents act as a fallback for if no other document is specified. For example, on TETR.IO, its own terms of service take precedence. As such, on TETR.IO, you agree to both the osk GToS and the TETR.IO-specific ToS. If any TETR.IO-specific clause were to clash with the GToS, the TETR.IO-specific clause takes precedence. Pretty simple, right?
The Promotional Kit Policy
From today on, the distribution of native advertisements on TETR.IO (the "promotional kit") is governed by the new TETR.IO promotional kit policy. The previous blogpost is now deprecated. In addition, a new page helps shed light on the nature of the promotional kit for players.
The most important and notable changes to the kit include:
- All sponsors and advertisements related to your event/advertisement must be declared. This means, if you plan to run a tournament, and there's any sponsors, you must declare who your sponsors are, the associated deals, and how this impacts any of your content (will you be doing sponsored segments? giveaways? etc.). Failure to declare a sponsor or advertisement is deemed fraud.
- In the case of events where smurfing could pose a threat, sign-ups must close at least 24 hours before tournament start. This to ensure you have the time to go through user lists and weed out bad actors before they're stuck in your bracket. TETR.IO staff can help you with this.
- From now on, there are no exceptions to the "all information must be handed in 14 days prior to flight date" rule for events on the free tier. If you are too late, you will be required to pay a premium or be rejected, period.
- As a reminder, flight date is when the campaign starts, NOT when the tournament starts. If you want a banner to go up on the 18th, THAT is the flight date, no matter when the event date is. If you make this mistake and submit information 14 days prior to event date (and not flight date), you WILL be rejected!
- More attention is brought to the fact this kit is a gift. A community leader is never "entitled" to (free) usage of the kit.
The new policy is rather strict, in particular toward sponsorships. While this may seem rather untoward to tournament organizers and the like, it's important to remember that the promotional kit, in particular the free tier, is a very large gift. Advertising is not cheap, and the price of a banner lies in multiple thousands of dollars a day. I care very much for the community, and wish to promote its events. Not only does this in turn help promote the game, it also allows me to give back to the community. Nothing forces me to give out 5 digits worth of advertising to the community, or to stay awake to 4am just to develop a specially-made banner. It's a free gift to the community, from the developer of a game that in turn is also entirely free-to-win.
It is for that reason that it hurts me a lot when some show a lack of respect toward it (just seeing it as a service that's part of the game that they, as community leaders, are entitled to), or worse, abuse it. Throughout the later half of June, I gave out access to the promotional kit (consisting of a banner and 15 badges) to the tournaments Tetralympic S3 SG and Tetralympic S3 Worlds, both led by Skyllabtw (with support from MMC, but they did not handle sponsorships). Throughout the application for the kit (which was already beyond the deadline), there was near to no indication or declaration that the event was sponsored, so I approved it for the kit.
However, the streams were completely different. There were three sponsors (two multi-million dollar corporations, and a supplement company), all of which with large constant on-stream advertisements, sponsored segments, giveaways, chat commands, 10+ mentions per stream, etc. The tournament's website was also changed after I reviewed it to include large, multi-page sponsored segments. This obviously does not consitute fair use of a community resource, and would never ever have been approved for the free kit. I immediately took action by removing the banner, and defacing all the awarded badges for any Tetralympic tournament.
Skyllabtw, the organizer (and sole person in charge of the event's sponsorships), has apologized and states it was a misunderstanding, and that she did not mean to pull in large sponsors behind my back, or leave out any information about them to me until it's too late. She further stated that she did not receive any monetary compensation for the sponsorships (???). In understanding that I am partially at fault for not vetting and verifying applications harshly enough (the previous policy was vague on the subject of sponsorships), I have decided to not let this impact the players who played in the tournaments, and have restored the badges for all 26 total involved players. My gift to the community being abused, be it through fraud or negligence as Skyllabtw states, should not cause these players' achievements to be wiped, considering the event itself was fair and transparent.
To prevent anything like this from happening again in the future, I will be thoroughly vetting any applications for the promotional kit in the future, using these stricter policies. If you are interested in advertising on TETR.IO, be it on the free tier or not, please ensure you have read and understand the new TETR.IO promotional kit policy in its entirety. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me!