Is a search engine allowed with the TOS (please see details)?

Basically I am building a search engine for certain archived content, this includes official websites which are now defunct. I am not hosting the content itself and I don’t link to illegally uploaded content, but I’d like to link to the official website of certain brands and also personal pages, but again not to content which is illegally distributed like roms. Is this allowed with the TOS of InfinityFree? This is not a web crawler or anything but the website links are stored in a MySQL database, so it doesn’t fetch a lot of content from the internet which would be heavy for the hosting of InfinityFree.

I could not directly find anything against it which is why I ask this here, because I want to be certain if it’s allowed or not, as I am confused when linking to what is against the TOS.

You may be banned because you might end up linking to inappropriate or TOS violating sites.

See below for a more detailed responce.

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Rule of thumb: If you do not own the content, be VERY careful uploading it. Really you shouldn’t upload it at all if you don’t own it.

Search engines are allowed, but add validation so your users don’t submit anything that would violate the TOS.

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Oh I think that you don’t understand how it works as I explained in the OP. Users don’t upload content and I don’t host or upload any content, it links to archived websites with links stored in a MySQL database. I am very aware of copyright law and the uploading of copyrighted content giving possible problems.

I manually curate and add the links myself which are in the search engine, what it links to is mostly official brand websites which don’t exist anymore (so not illegal upload websites).

So is it a search engine or a list of links? It is easier to violate TOS with a search engine compared to provided links.

Again, make sure your users cannot search anything that would violate the TOS. Just because you don’t have the content doesn’t mean that bad traffic was sent to the server.

It is both in a way, it is a search engine with which you can look for keywords, the PHP code will then display the links from the MySQL database which contain these keywords. So it is a search engine where you can display links after doing searches. I add the links manually so I make sure that they can’t find links which break the TOS, or do you mean that I should add an exception for certain search words which users should not be allowed to search for?

Yes.

Ok. So it is only a search box with a custom-programmed search engine. I think I understand.

Like you said, if you have nothing that violates the TOS, you should be fine.

I think so, it is basically a search engine for certain archived content and defunct links and I also want to link download pages, but only to official and legal ones. For example, where the download link of archived content doesn’t work anymore, I want to add a working modern link for the user, but as that’s legal it shouldn’t break the TOS.

This, however, will get you suspended for file hosting, even though you are not providing the files.

Does this also count if I would link to GOG.com where people can purchase old games like Rayman or a website where people can play a Flash game which is no longer supported? The second isn’t really file hosting but you can’t link to a page where people can purchase something from an official source, if I understand correctly?

I will say “yes” with lots of hesitation. You could be suspended. Please make sure you read the terms VERY closely.

Is there a way to contact administrators about this? I indeed read rule 16 under member conduct of:

  1. upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise material for the purposes of file distribution, relay, or streaming reasons.

But it really is the question in how far a game released on GOG.com would count as “file distribution” as they have to be purchased there and are officially licensed (thus not illegal) and you only get a file after purchase, so it is not as simple as plain file distribution where you put a download link up.

This question might be too specific and complicated to be answered correctly by regular forum members and might need an answer from the staff of Infinityfree. If it is not allowed I will simply exclude that part of the script from running these purchase links from the MySQL database.

If it is against the TOS to link to an official Nintendo website because it contains copyrighted content by definition, I already hear that this basically is impossible on here.

If you have further questions about the Terms of Service, please contact hello@infinityfree.net. Please refrain from doing anything until you get a response from Admin.

I don’t see any problem with this. If, as you said, you only link to legal, official content, I don’t see why there would be an issue.

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So I can also link to websites like GOG which have a purchase download link as long as it’s an official source and it is not a download link from a third party or myself?

Can I also link fan sites if they don’t contain anything like roms or illegal downloads but just things like fanfics or descriptions or is it preferred to not link to those?

Um, you have to be hosting the files on the server here to be suspended.

@Ubizwa, as long as you check each link you are adding, you will be fine. Linking to download files hosted elsewhere (Such as Nintendo) should also be ok.

Yes, of course.

The rule of thumb with our hosting is quite simple: don’t do anything that overloads our servers or is illegal or morally questionable.

So linking to legal download stores, fan sites, forums, wikis and whatnot are all fine.

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