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Legal, Privacy and Intellectual Property

These terms are preliminary and have not yet been approved.

1. User Policy

  • Please take a moment to read the following User Policy. If there is anything you do not understand, then please contact us.
  • Spark Beta is a web based suite of applications provided primarily for use by public sector organisations in the United Kingdom ("Public Bodies") by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills of 1 Victoria Street London SW1H 0ET ("we" "us" "our" or "BIS") on behalf of the Public Bodies.

2. Acceptance of this User Policy

Your access and use of the applications located at http://innovate-apps.direct.gov.uk/Spark Beta/ , including any and all content, information and materials provided within it (the "Content") (together referred to as "Spark Beta"), is subject to your acceptance of, and compliance with, the provisions of this User Policy, which incorporates our Privacy Statement and our Policy on Intellectual Property (both of which you should also read), and any other legal notices and/or instructions which may appear on Spark Beta and/or within any Content from time to time (together this "User Policy").

IMPORTANT: By accessing and using Spark Beta you will automatically be taken to have read, understood and accepted this User Policy. If there is anything you do not understand please contact us. If you do not agree to be bound by this User Policy please cease to access and use Spark Beta and any of the Content found within it (including any Content you have copied or downloaded). Your legal agreement with us is made of this User Policy and also our Privacy Policy.

3. Spark Beta

Spark Beta is about sharing innovation experience, digital or otherwise, within government departments and wider public sector and functions. It will help to spread knowledge, minimise duplicate spend and encourage a more open attitude to this critical area as we seek to deliver cost savings across service delivery.

Spark Beta is designed to show how innovative approaches to challenges across all government disciplines might be proposed, shared, adopted and reused.

Spark Beta provides you with a rich collection of on-line facilities, rights and obligations, and has 3 primary components:

  • Content - content and tools compiled and contributed by BIS and Registered Users,
  • Showcase - enables Registered Users to discover innovation from across government departments and the wider public sector including local government, health and police as well as voluntary sector groups. Registered Users can view and download project documentation and, should a Registered User wish, contact the project owner to start a discussion about sharing resources and collaborating.
  • Challenges - enables Registered User to discover innovation from across government departments and the wider public sector including local government, health and police as well as voluntary sector groups. Registered Users can view and download project documentation and contact the project owner to start a discussion about sharing resources and collaborating.

4. Your Obligations

IMPORTANT: You may only use Spark Beta (including any Content you access, copy or download) for either the lawful purpose(s) of a United Kingdom public body or your own personal non-commercial use, and in any event in accordance with this User Policy.

You agree:

  • not to use Spark Beta (including any Content) for your personal commercial gain (except where you have been authorised to access Spark Beta by a public body in relation to your performance of contracted services to such public body) or to sell or trade in any of the Content or other material copied or downloaded from Spark Beta or attempt to generate private business from other Registered Users;
  • not to change any of the text or images contained in Spark Beta or merge it with any other text or images, or forge headers or otherwise manipulate identifiers in order to disguise the origin of any of the Content;
  • to comply with any legal notices contained in Spark Beta (including in any Content); and to respect and comply with the legal rights of others, in particular our rights, and the rights of other Registered Users and their employing public body (please see the paragraph on Ownership below) and any rights of individuals under the Data Protection Act 1998, the law of confidentiality, and the right of privacy under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998;
  • not to copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any part of Spark Beta including but not limited to any Content, in any medium without Spark Beta?s prior written consent unless Spark Beta;
  • not to use or launch any automated system (including, without limitation, any robot, spider or offline reader) that accesses Spark Beta in a manner that sends more request messages to our servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a publicly available, standard (i.e. not modified) web browser;
  • not to collect or harvest any personal data of any user of Spark Beta;
  • not to use Spark Beta for the solicitation of business in the course of trade or in connection with a commercial enterprise;
  • not to solicit, for commercial purposes, any users of Spark Beta with respect to their Content;
  • not to access Content or any reason other than your personal, non-commercial use solely as intended through and permitted by the normal functionality of Spark Beta.

In addition you agree NOT to upload, post, email or otherwise send (together "upload") or knowingly receive any Content which:

  • is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent, offensive, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, indecent, obscene, defamatory, invasive of another?s privacy, or discriminatory whether racially, ethnically, sexually, religiously or otherwise, or which may incite or instruct any person or organisation to undertake such activities;
  • contains any viruses, trojan horses, worms, time bombs or any similar component likely to cause harm;
  • constitutes an advertisement, encouragement, or specific recommendation to trade in any specific share or security;
  • contains forged headers or manipulated identifiers in order to disguise the origins of any Content;
  • infringes our legal rights or the legal rights of our licensors or any other User, Subscribing Authority, other Local Authority, Service Provider or any other person or organisation; or
  • passes you off as, or in which you impersonate any person or entity, including any Local Authority or BIS official, or otherwise misrepresents yourself or your connection with a third party in any way.

5. Uploading Content

In addition to Your Obligations you shall only upload Content:

  • in accordance with any instructions we may issue from time to time;
  • of no more than [10 Mb];
  • which does not contain any information which may constitute investment advice under the Financial Services Act 1986. Under this Act it is a criminal offence to pass on any opinion (whether your own or another person?s) on investment merit and potential, unless you are subject to regulatory rules of membership of a self-regulating organisation;
  • in accordance with any legal rights of other persons, including any rights under the Data Protection Act 1998, the law of confidentiality, the right of privacy under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998, or any other rights or which you are otherwise not entitled to so upload; and

You warrant and undertake that any Content you upload is accurate and up to date, and of a quality reasonably appropriate to the nature of the Content.

You warrant and undertake to ensure that no copyright or other IP Rights (as defined in the section on Ownership and Licence below) will be infringed by either:

  • your uploading of any Content; or
  • such Content being accessed, downloaded and used (in accordance with this User Policy) by Registered Users.

IMPORTANT: Unless you include a clear legal notice, prominently positioned on the first page of any Content you upload, informing Users of any restrictions in their use of such Content, it will be deemed that Users are free to access, download and use such Content as they see fit, in accordance with this User Policy.

IMPORTANT: We reserve the right to either block access to, delete or amend any Content which you upload, as and when we deem appropriate (in our absolute discretion) from time to time, without notice to you.

If we receive any complaint in relation to any Content you have uploaded, in addition to our right to block access to, delete or amend such Content, we shall also be entitled to terminate your access to Spark Beta depending on the severity of the complaint.

Where we consider it appropriate, we will endeavour to contact you to inform you that a complaint has been received in relation to Content which you have uploaded, the action that we have taken, our evaluation of the allegation, and what steps (if any) we require you to take.

6. Availability of Spark Beta

Spark Beta is currently in beta testing. We shall use reasonable endeavours to ensure that Spark Beta is available between the hours of 09.00 and 17.30 Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays. While Spark Beta may be available outside of those times, we make no representation or guarantees as to such availability. You recognise and acknowledge that whilst Spark Beta is in beta testing we cannot guarantee that all or any functionality will be available at all times.

We reserve the right to withdraw access to all or any part of Spark Beta for periods of time in order to modify Content, scheduled or emergency maintenance and other purposes without notice to you.

Since you will receive Spark Beta via the Government Secure Intranet or third party telecommunications networks, you acknowledge that we cannot guarantee that the availability of Spark Beta will be uninterrupted or error free. Similarly we cannot guarantee that the transmission of any information over third party networks will be secure nor that you will be able to access Spark Beta at all times.

IMPORTANT: Spark Beta is therefore provided to you on an "as is" and "as and when available" basis, and your use of Spark Beta is at your own risk.

7. Registration & Use Of Your Data

In order to register as a Registered User you must request an invitation code from Spark Beta. Instructions on how to do this are contained within the /Register page of Spark Beta. Spark Beta reserves the right not to issue an invitation code to any person. Once you have an invitation code you may complete the registration process on Spark Beta.

In any event we may from time to time register persons as Registered Users as we see fit.

When registering as a Registered User you agree to provide accurate, up-to-date and complete information about yourself, as prompted by Spark Beta ("Your Data") and to promptly update Your Data as and when any changes to Your Data occur.

In return we agree to use Your Data only in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

When you successfully register as a Registered User you will receive a Username and Password. You are responsible for keeping your Password confidential and shall take all necessary steps to ensure that it is kept secure and not disclosed to any other person.

You must also promptly inform your line manager or other appropriate officer designated by your organisation for such task, and draw this User Policy to their attention, in particular the organisation?s potential liability under the paragraph Your Liability below that you have registered with us:

IMPORTANT: If you know or suspect that your Password has been disclosed to any other person you must contact us immediately and change your password. Please note that you are responsible for all activities that occur under your Password.

Where you are a Registered User and you cease to work (as an employee or consultant) for the Public Body that employed you at the time of registration, you must immediately notify us (contact us) of this fact (so that we can remove your registration and rights of access as a current Registered User) and cease accessing any part of Spark Beta other than the public areas.

8. Facility for Submitting Content

Unless a public body notifies us otherwise in writing a Registered User?s actions bind its employer and a Registered User agrees that where any data submitted in its employer?s name then we shall be entitled to use, publish and exploit such data as we see fit, including disclosing such data to third parties provided that any such disclosure shall not be of commercial gain to Spark Beta. Registered Users should note that content may be aggregated by third parties

9. Capability

Showcase is a facility to view, upload and download project documentation. It enables Public Sector Registered Users to contact the project owner to start a discussion about sharing resources and collaborating.

Challenges is a facility accessible by all Registered Users to enable Public Bodies to publicise awards, funding opportunities or requests for help or partners on ideas and projects.

Search is a facility to enable Registered Users to search through the fields of data held in Showcase and Challenges to produce one or more links to Content based upon the search parameters which are variable and can be set by the Registered User.

Collectively, Showcase, Challenges and Search are known as “the Capability”.

Your use of the Capability shall at all times comply with this User Policy, and in particular is subject to strict adherence with the following rules:

  • Acceptable Uses - you will ensure that all personal information and contact details associated with any Content you submit using the Capability is up to date and valid;
  • Sharing information - you will not sell, pass or otherwise make available any Content to a third party outside your employing organisation otherwise than in accordance with tools which we may make available on the site or through approved and published data aggregation tools. You may share Content with your colleagues in your employing organisation, only where there is a reasonable need to do so (and for the purpose of the provision of a relevant public sector services by your employing organisation), and provided that you ensure such colleagues are aware of these rules.
  • Communications - any communication you make with individuals found via the Capability ("Relevant Individuals") must clearly identify your name, your job title, your employing organisation and your contact details. Communications must be kept to a minimum and must immediately cease if the individual(s) indicate they do not wish to be contacted;
  • Unlawfulness - your communications with Relevant Individuals must not be unlawful, illegal, fraudulent, offensive, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, indecent, obscene, defamatory, invasive of another?s privacy, or discriminatory whether racially, ethnically, sexually, religiously or otherwise, or which may incite or instruct any person or organisation to undertake such activities.
  • Use of Language - your communications with Relevant Individuals must not contain language that is in any way unlawful, threatening or offensive. This includes the use of swear-words, bad language and offensive nicknames.
  • Breach of Confidence - your communications with, and your use of any communications received from, Relevant Individuals, must not in any way breach the confidence of any person.
  • Impersonation - you must not impersonate any person or identity, falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or organisation or disguise the origin of any content of such communication with a Relevant Individual.
  • Viruses - you must not send any communications to a Relevant Individual that might contain computer viruses or any other computer code, or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software, hardware, or telecommunications equipment.
  • Illegal and Harmful Activities - you must not send any communications to a Relevant Individual relating to (or including links to) pirated software (including computer games), counterfeit goods or any other material which is, or might reasonably considered to be, illegal or otherwise harmful.
  • Pornography - you must not send any communications to a Relevant Individual relating to (or including links to) any kind of pornography.
  • Personal Data - you must not send any communications to a Relevant Individual containing another person?s personal information (including their name, home address, job title, telephone number or other contact details) without first obtaining the relevant person’s consent.
  • Advertising - you must not send any communications to a Relevant Individual containing or including links to any overt advertisements or promotional materials, or otherwise use the Search Facility or such communications to overtly generate personal business.

10. Freedom of Information

Public Bodies are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the ‘FOIA’).

Any information on Spark Beta held by us on behalf of a Public Body should be easily accessible by Public Body using the Capability. However we will co-operate with any reasonable requests for assistance.

Where we receive a request under the FOIA which includes any information that belongs to, or is confidential to another Public Body, as we deem appropriate in accordance with the FOIA, we will refer such request is to the other Public Body.

11. Intellectual Property

Spark Beta will take no responsibility to protect the intellectual property or any other rights of any User. The protection of intellectual property or other rights of the Registered User is the ultimate responsibility of any User who possesses such intellectual property or other rights. Information about the use and management of IP can be found on the Intellectual Property Office's Public Sector Intangible Assets website at: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ian.htm. If in doubt. Users may wish to consider seeking professional advice regarding the consequences of contributing their intellectual property to this resource.

Users are strongly advised not to disclose any information that may compromise their ability to secure protection of their intellectual property. The Intellectual Property Office offers some useful advice on this subject which is contained in its literature on confidentiality at: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/cda.pdf

The copyright in all material contained on, in, or available through the Website including all information, data, text, music, sound, photographs, graphics and video messages, the selection and arrangement thereof, and all source code, software compilations and other material ("Material") is licensed to Spark Beta by contributing parties for the purposes of the Spark pilot. You can view, print or download extracts of the Material for your own personal use but you cannot otherwise copy, edit, vary, reproduce, publish, display, distribute, store, transmit, commercially exploit, disseminate in any form whatsoever or use the Material (other than Content posted by you) without Spark Beta?s express permission.

Certain names, words, titles, phrases, logos, icons, graphics or designs appearing in the pages of this website may constitute trade names or unregistered trade marks of Spark Beta or a third party. The display of any of the above trade names or trade marks on pages at this website does not imply that any licence has been granted BY any third party in respect of the same.

By posting, uploading and/or displaying any Content to the Website you warrant that: (a) you own all intellectual property and proprietary rights in such Content or that you have a licence from the owner of such rights to post, upload and/or display such Content on the Website; and (b) will not infringe the intellectual property or proprietary rights of any third party.

12. Ownership and Licence

You acknowledge that all rights in copyright, patents, design rights, trade marks and other intellectual property rights (whether registered, capable of registration or otherwise) throughout the world, for the full duration of such rights ("IP Rights") in Spark Beta (including in the Content) are owned by us or our licensors (as appropriate).

Except for your use of the Content in accordance with this User Policy, you are granted no IP Rights in respect of Spark Beta.

You may print, copy or download the Content provided always that:

  • Spark Beta and/or any Public Body or third party responsible for creating the Content, is the acknowledged source;
  • all titles credits and URLs are included; and
  • you comply with any legal notice contained in the Content and specifically with any requirements or restrictions relating to intellectual property rights claimed over Content.

This permission is revocable by us at any time.

All trade marks, logos, titles, brand and product names ("our Trade Marks") which are featured in Spark Beta are owned by us.

IMPORTANT: We have an ambition to publish the source code for Spark beta at some point in the future. Until such time the terms of this clause 11 apply

You may only use or refer to our Trade Marks which are included in Content downloaded, copied or printed by you in accordance with this User Policy. Otherwise you must not offer or distribute any products or services under or by reference to our Trade Marks, or otherwise reproduce any of our Trade Marks without our express written consent.

IMPORTANT: In relation to any Content which you upload, you grant to us a non-exclusive royalty free licence (which includes the right to grant sub-licences) to include such Content on Spark Beta so that it can be made available by us as part of Spark Beta and be viewed and downloaded by Registered Users and used and exploited as they see fit, subject to them respecting any reasonable legal notice which you may place on such Content and the terms and conditions of this User Policy.

13. Links

Spark Beta contains links to websites which are not under our control. These links are provided for your convenience only. We are not responsible for the availability or content of such other websites, nor for any products or services available from them. Any such link should not be seen as an endorsement of such websites, or any products or services contained on them.

You should be aware that your use of such other websites may be subject to additional terms and conditions imposed by the owners of those websites. Your dealings with such third parties are between you and the third party, and we accept no liability as a result of you accessing such websites or entering into contractual arrangements with the operator in question.

14. Modifications to this User Policy

This User Policy (including the Privacy Policy) may be amended from time to time, and we therefore suggest that you review it periodically.

15. Disclaimers

We do not limit our liability if you die or are injured as a result of our negligence or you suffer loss as a consequence of any fraud by us, and nothing in this User Policy should be read as making any such limitations.

You should note that since Content is provided not only by us but also by Registered Users we cannot and do not undertake to monitor every item of Content uploaded onto Spark Beta and as a result:

  • we are unable to guarantee that Spark Beta is virus and/or error free. You should always check Content (data, online tools, documented processes) before downloading or making use within your business. Any Content is used by you at your own risk, and on the basis that you will be solely responsible for any damage to your computer system, business goodwill or loss of data that result from the use of such Content; and
  • we make no representations, warranties or endorsements about the information included in Spark Beta or its accuracy (including in relation to any opinions or advice given, or any links to other websites). Anything on Spark Beta is for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice, legal or professional advice and should not be relied on without taking independent advice. Nor can we guarantee the prompt editing or removal of any inappropriate or inaccurate Content.

IMPORTANT: Please note that you are solely responsible for any decisions you take based on the information contained in the Content.

On the basis that you are accessing Spark Beta for business and commercial purposes, you agree that, unless we specifically state otherwise, we provide Spark Beta to you without any conditions, warranties, or guarantees, whether express or implied, including but not limited to any implied warranties or conditions as to the satisfactory quality or fitness for a particular purpose, which are expressly excluded to the extent permitted by law.

16. Our liability

We shall not be liable to you in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise for:

  • any damage or loss arising from the consequences of viruses received by you via Spark Beta or of our failure to provide Spark Beta in accordance with this User Policy;
  • any economic losses (including loss of profits) any indirect or consequential losses, loss of data, goodwill or reputation, or for any wasted expense including but not limited to losses caused by viruses or errors inherent in the online, data and other content,

and any other liability we may have to you whether in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise for any loss or damage suffered by you in relation to Spark Beta and/or the Content is limited to £500.

In any event we will not be liable for any failure to perform our obligations if we are prevented from doing so by an event beyond our reasonable control including (but not limited to):

  • strikes or labour disputes;
  • acts of God, war, riot, civil action, malicious acts or damage, fire, flood or storm;
  • compliance with any law, governmental or regulatory order, rule, regulation or direction, any act or omission of any government or other competent authority; and/or
  • accident, equipment or services failure, including the unavailability of third party telecommunications services, lines or other equipment.

IMPORTANT: You acknowledge that, on the basis that you are accessing Spark Beta free of charge that the disclaimers and limits on our liability contained in this User Policy are fair and reasonable.

17. Your liability

We reserve the right to suspend or terminate your registration as a Registered User and/or your access to all or any parts of Spark Beta without notice to you, if we reasonably believe you to have breached this User Policy.

You agree to indemnify us from and against any liability, loss, damage or expense caused to any person (including us, any Public Body or any other Registered User), to the extent such losses, damages and expense is caused by:

  • your use of Spark Beta or the use of Spark Beta by any person who may be authorised by you or for whom you are responsible, or to whom you have disclosed your Password (whether inadvertently or not); and/or
  • any Content which you have uploaded.

Again you acknowledge that this indemnity is appropriate and reasonable given that you are accessing Spark Beta free of charge or alternatively given the level of your (or your Subscribing Authority?s) Subscription Fee.

IMPORTANT: Each Public Body shall be jointly and severally liable under this User Policy for the actions and omissions of its Registered Users (whether within the scope of their employment or otherwise) in relation to any use of Spark Beta related to the said Local Authority?s purposes or business. In particular each Local Authority shall be responsible for all Content uploaded by its Registered Users, and for ensuring that such Content is only uploaded in accordance with this User Policy.

Otherwise you shall be solely liable for any other use you make of Spark Beta.

18. Termination

We are entitled to revoke your status as a Registered User or otherwise limit your right of access to Spark Beta at any time:

  • where you have materially or persistently breached this User Policy; or
  • in any event on 1 week's notice.

19. General

Please note the following:

  • any failure or delay by us to bring legal proceedings in relation to Spark Beta, the Content or this User Policy shall not be regarded as a waiver of any rights. Indeed if we do waive any such rights, this shall not be regarded to be a waiver of any other or future rights we may have;
  • if any paragraph, or part of any paragraph, of this User Policy is found by any Court, or other competent body to be wholly or partly illegal, invalid, void, voidable, unenforceable or unreasonable, that part shall be deemed to be severable from this User Policy and the remaining provisions of this User Policy shall continue in full force and effect;
  • the User Policy is not intended, nor shall it operate, to create a partnership or joint venture of any kind between us and you, and you are not authorised to act as our agent;
  • no term of this User Policy shall be enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 ("Act") by a third party, who is not a party to this agreement save for any Subscribing Authority or any other User who shall be entitled to exercise any rights it may have under that Act against you. Notwithstanding that any term of this User Policy may be or become enforceable by a Subscribing Authority or any other User, we shall be entitled to vary, amend, modify, suspend, cancel or terminate our agreement with you in accordance with the other terms of the User Policy, without their consent;
  • you may serve any formal notice on us by Contacting Us, and we may serve a formal notice on you, by either first class post or email to the contact details you submitted upon registration (as may be updated by you from time to time) and such notice will be regarded as formally received by the other on the next day that is not a weekend or a public holiday;
  • this User Policy represents all the terms and conditions of your agreement with us that arises automatically when you use Spark Beta, and supersedes any previous agreements between us relating to your use of Spark Beta. If there are any inconsistencies between our Privacy Policy or any legal notices or instructions, and the terms and conditions set out on this webpage, then the latter shall prevail;
  • you acknowledge that (in relation to your use of Spark Beta) you have not relied on any statement, representation, warranty or understanding made by us or on our behalf (whether or not made negligently) other than those expressly set out in this User Policy;
  • this User Policy shall be interpreted in accordance with English Law and you and we submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

20. Contact

Please use our contact us form or by write to us at the following address:

Damien Kennedy
Future Design
Corporate IT
301 Bridgewater Place
Birchwood Business Park

Email: damien.kennedy@gateway.gov.uk

Privacy Statement

To be completed.

Intellectual Property

To be completed.