Legal Information

Last updated July 2017

Terms & Conditions

By using the ShintoTea website, you consent to our use of your information as described in our privacy policy, you agree to respect our copyright notice, and you agree to these terms of use:
You agree that you will only create one account on this site, and to use a valid email address that is used solely by yourself.
You agree to post only honest reviews of tea based on your own personal experiences. Reviews without any verbal explanation of the numerical rating, reviews containing advertising or promotional language, unbacked assertions about health effects (cautiously sharing personal experiences can be okay), or reviews/ratings that show little regard for the flavor, aroma, and other characteristics of the tea are not considered honest reviews.
You agree to be respectful towards all other users on the site, and to the companies whose teas you are reviewing. Respectful reviews may offer constructive criticism and specific criticism, but rants, personal attacks, and sweeping negative generalizations about a company are considered disrespectful.
You agree to identify any relationship you have with any tea manufacturer or distributor. If you or someone in your immediate family is employed by or has an interest in such a company, you agree to refrain from rating the teas of any brand you are associated with.
You agree not to hold ShintoTea liable for any effects caused by drinking tea or herbal tea, any effects caused by the functioning or malfunctioning of this website, or any effects related to any information and content on this website.
You agree to abide by the law in your use of the ShintoTea website.
You agree not to post any advertisement for any website or product (spamming) in any of your reviews or anywhere on the website, except where allowed in your profile, or when linking to extended reviews on a blog or website. (Comparisons by analogy to other teas are ok, when they are descriptive and relevant to the review at hand.)

Deletion of material

We reserve the right to delete any material for any reason and at any time.
We will delete material and cancel accounts that we find to be in violation of these terms of use.
We may share or publicly display personally-identifiable information associated with violation of these terms of use. See our privacy policy for more information.

Privacy Policy

Your email address will be used to identify and verify your account and login to the website; your email will be strictly confidential, will not be displayed on the site unless you explicitly enter it into other text or content you add to the site, and it will not be shared with anyone except as required by law.
Your password is not recorded or stored anywhere; instead it is used to generate a cryptographic hash; this ensures that your password is not available to anyone, including RateTea administrators.
All other information that you enter in the site may be publicly displayed on the website or republished in any form.
Information on your use of the site may be recorded and shared, but we will not reveal any personally-identifiable information about your use of the site except as required by law or in the case of violations of our terms of use described below.
You retain the right to reuse or republish any content you add to this site.

Contacting you

We currently send out periodic newsletters by email; you can opt-out (unsubscribe) from all future mass-emails without affecting your use of this site.
After unsubscribing, we may still use your email or any other information you provide to contact you on an individual basis to resolve any issues that may arise in your use of the site.

Privacy & Terms of Use

In the case of violation of our terms of use, we may share or publicly display personally-identifiable information associated with the violation of our terms of use. For example, we may record and share IP addresses and other information about spammers or hackers, in order to curb such activities, and we may publish a story if an employee of a tea company is rating their company’s teas.

Google ads

Our site may include Google ads. Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on ShintoTwa. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy. View Google’s privacy policy.

Affilliate links

Our site may include links that allow ShintoTea to profit.

Copyright

Unless otherwise stated, and excluding copyleft material (noted where it is used on the site), commercial descriptions, images, and trademarks from other companies, all material on this site is copyright ShintoTea. In this notice, “we” and “our” refer to ShintoTea.

Exceptions

Our country maps are copyrighted adaptations from the CIA Factbook, where the original images are available in the public domain. Maps of Chinese provinces and regions in India are copyrighted modifications of public domain images, where the originals are available on wikimedia commons. Maps of Chinese counties are copyrighted as our own original work. Social media logos are trademarks and/or copyrighted works of the companies they refer to.

Images of teas, packaging, and logos

ShintoTea uses a mix of images provided by tea companies, users, and other individuals, images we own the copyright on, and images available under public domain material or copyleft licenses. When in doubt, assume that each image is copyrighted by the person or organization it originated from.
We use small thumbnails to identify products, under fair use for the purpose of comment and criticism. Such images are included solely in order to help users identify each individual tea, and are used at a low resolution (128px height). Nearly all product images on our site are copyrighted, and in most cases, we do not own the copyright so cannot grant you permission to use them.

Commercial descriptions, and trademarks

To aid reviewers in identifying and reviewing teas, ShintoTea may includ commercial descriptions and brewing instructions for teas when such material is available. In some cases, these descriptions have been directly entered by companies themselves; when we have entered this data ourselves, these descriptions are used under fair use for the purpose of comment and criticism: an important aspect of rating and reviewing a tea involves assessing (a) the degree to which it lives up to its commercial description and (b) whether or not one is pleased with the provided brewing instructions.
If you are the copyright holder for material used in commercial description and have concerns about copyright infringement, inaccurate portrayal of your products, or wish for us to change our listings for the commercial description and brewing instructions of any of your products for any reason, we will gladly do so upon your request, so long as your request is honest and congruous with the way your product is marketed in other media: it is our desire to portray the commercial description as accurately as possible according to each company’s wishes and the space constraints of our site (we truncate or only include excerpts from long descriptions).
These commercial descriptions and some of the brewing instructions listed on our website have been obtained from various sources, including written material on packaging, websites, catalogs, and other promotional materials originating from tea companies. When in doubt, assume this material is copyrighted by the companies it originated from.
Trademarks
The names of some teas are registered trademarks belonging to the companies that market them. While ShintoTea sometimes labels these teas with the ® or ™ symbols, we may have omitted this symbol, especially when we obtained the name of the tea from a company source that also omitted this symbol. When in doubt, check with the company to see whether or not the name of a tea is trademarked before using it in a way that could infringe on trademark rights.

Users retain rights to their ratings and reviews

All people submitting ratings and reviews retain the rights to reuse or republish their own submissions in any way they so desire. Unless otherwise noted, assume all user-submitted material is copyrighted.

Obtaining permission to use copyrighted content

You must obtain explicit written consent from ShintoTea before using any copyrighted material from this website for any purpose beyond that permitted as fair use.
We cannot grant permission to use any content for which we do not own the copyright, such as commercial descriptions or images obtained from tea companies.
To obtain permission to re-use material posted by our users, you can contact us or contact those individuals indepedently.