TOS wording

@bufferunderrun : The point I was trying to make was that the word creates ambiguity in the literal interpretation of the ToS.
If the word choice was enough to make me have to search for contextual hints as to its meaning --I consider myself to be very well versed in the English language-- then I could easily see it causing problems for others as well, especially non-native English speakers.
I will concede that I am not very well versed in legal jargon, but if it would help, I live fairly close to the Antonin Scalia Law School. I would be happy to investigate this further.

I don't want to be that guy, but can someone illuminate me on the actual importance of ToS on a non-commercial website? What laws regulate potential liability claims? Because after giving it a cursory glance it has become obvious to me that that was written by either a very well educated non native speaker or a native speaker but without pedantic proof reading.

I like to lead a lot of my topics with that @CreativeThinking

It's kind of a social armor that occasionally stops the incoming fire but can still drown in deep waters.

It's useful to have a contract between the website for both the user and website if problems and twists should arise. It doesn't really matter in the bigger picture wether a site is commercial or not. The same legal principles apply.

@clousems hey - I initially and maybe primarily drafted and wrote the TOSs. I'm a UK lawyer although TOSs is not my speciality. Answering a question higher up I would like to put myself in the "highly educated native speaker who didn't closely proofread".

From someone who spends the majority of their waking hours analysing maritime insurance case law and applying them to specific facts about so many thousands of tons of small industrial ball bearings sinking to the bottom of the sea, there are some boundaries even we don't have.

First of all, I'm glad someone here has a boundary further than me and has actually closely read and looked into what I wrote. I initially drafted them when I was a student, and closely revised them once a few years ago to try and make them less jargony and more readable.

Secondly, you're completely right that in this context, withholding someone the right to close their account doesn't make sense, and it should be reserve, or in less legal jargon something like "we keep the right to close your account for any reason". If you'd like a job as the voluntary lichess paralegal, I'll take this as your CV and application.

As to why Lichess has any kind of legal documents, I think it's helpful to have a baseline as there's always going to be someone who's going to try and blame you for something. So it's easier and less of a headache if we can point to some kind of code or rules, and also a jurisdiction which we (well, I) know reasonably well if the worst ever happens.

I'm not sure if this stuff has a place to document everything that needs to be changed, but I'll look into finding a place where changes should occur this weekend. And it's likely a complete rewrite (now with a few years of legal experience) will be coming around March/April.

@lovlas and @Cynosure I should have asked more specifically, what are the practical implications of ToS on webpages, and are there specific court cases that would be relevant here.
I would also argue that there might be a difference between a non profit "pet project" site and an Online Business as the latter would be subject to other laws. Then again I am not at all familiar with french laws if there even are any.