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What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

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What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

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Old 01-01-2005, 09:59 PM
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TexasAirBoss
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Default What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

I grew up in East Tennessee. There, several flying fields in the area were donated. One field was leased to the club by a very large corporation for 1 dollar per year, (and the lease was for a very long period of time, ie. 99 years) It included a hard runway, shelter and driveway.
One club was built by a small city on the site which had been its land fill. They have a hard runway, shelters and a T33 on display, very nice.
I now live in Texas. The attitudes here are very different and many clubs buy or lease thier land at the market rate. It is very expensive. And the clubs here usually fly off of grass. They believe hard runways are too expensive. And considering the financial burden of leasing or purchasing thier land, I understand thier concerns.
It is these privately owned club fields that would be hurt the most if the AMA were to fold. So I ask you, what could they do to protect themselves if the AMA did not exist ? Could they donate thier fields to the county as model flying parks ? I have contacted the state's parks department in the past. It seems that new parks must be multi-purpose, ( ex: soccer and picnic ). But if you donate the land for a specific purpose, partuicularly if safety dictates a single purpose site, I believe they are usually receptive.
And in at least one instance, I am aware of county/ municipal bodies offering improvements such as runways and driveways.

Perhaps we should do a little brainstorming on this topic just in case this seemingly improbable senario is realized.
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Old 01-01-2005, 11:32 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

They could buy their own liabilty ins.

Lonnie
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Old 01-02-2005, 01:15 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

or if buying their own liability insurance is too expensive, just require individual flyers to show proof of liability insurance and keep a copy on record if need be... it isn't that hard, you just need someone that understands insurance at least enough to read a policy dec sheet. and that combined with the correct legal structure, including a waiver of liability to the club, and the AMA is no longer part of the picture at all...
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Old 01-02-2005, 06:30 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

But as many in this forum often state , the AMA isn't just about insurance. What about all of those other essential services ?
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Old 01-02-2005, 08:16 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

A club would need to pbtain a liability umbrella type insurance policy. Very expensive, if it could be obtained at all. As for individual members maintaining liability insurance, that would leave only those that were home owners as flying members, and not all home owners insurance policies will extend to model, or any other type, of aircraft.

Donating the land to the city/county for a specficic purpose is a great idea that won't work. A perfect example was Miles Square Park in Orange County, CA. The land was deeded from the U.S. Marine Corps to the county in perpetuity as long as it was used for park/recreational purposes. It had a beautiful 3 runway triangle in the middle of it that suited everybody for many years. Now it's a golf course.

Pray that the AMA stays right where it is. Don't just pray, join and get involved!
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:35 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Hey Silver,

Yes I do belong to AMA. I have umbrella myself. It is only about 100 bucks for a million liability. I think that is pretty cheap.

I have read so many threads in the AMA forum criticizing the AMA. And the criticism is coming from people claiming to be heavily involved in the AMA. I don't understand what future the AMA could possibly have.

I have also read threads in the AMA forum and other forums promoting the idea of spread spectrum radios. Have you heard of these things. It seems it doesn't matter what frequency you are on or who around you is flying. If the industry starts producing these radios it seems that it will spell the end of the AMA clubs. People could fly where ever they like and not fear interference from thier neighbor.

And I hate to admit this. But this weekend I test flew a high performance Parkflyer for a friend. I was very very impressed. These things have the p to w ratio of an unlimited and yet they land on a beach towel. For many folks, the drive to BFE and the AMA club just isn't worth it any more.

With so many things such as technology, politics, and cost working against the AMA, I wonder if the AMA can maitain the membership needed to keep thier doors open. I am not advocating the end of the AMA. I am just considering my alternatives should the AMA close thier doors.
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Old 01-03-2005, 01:19 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

ORIGINAL: kingwoodbarney

Hey Silver,

Yes I do belong to AMA. I have umbrella myself. It is only about 100 bucks for a million liability. I think that is pretty cheap.

I have read so many threads in the AMA forum criticizing the AMA. And the criticism is coming from people claiming to be heavily involved in the AMA. I don't understand what future the AMA could possibly have.

I have also read threads in the AMA forum and other forums promoting the idea of spread spectrum radios. Have you heard of these things. It seems it doesn't matter what frequency you are on or who around you is flying. If the industry starts producing these radios it seems that it will spell the end of the AMA clubs. People could fly where ever they like and not fear interference from thier neighbor.

And I hate to admit this. But this weekend I test flew a high performance Parkflyer for a friend. I was very very impressed. These things have the p to w ratio of an unlimited and yet they land on a beach towel. For many folks, the drive to BFE and the AMA club just isn't worth it any more.

With so many things such as technology, politics, and cost working against the AMA, I wonder if the AMA can maitain the membership needed to keep thier doors open. I am not advocating the end of the AMA. I am just considering my alternatives should the AMA close thier doors.

Well, we lost a couple of percent in the last year. How long before THAT seemingly insignificant hemorrage bleeds us dry?
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Old 01-03-2005, 09:56 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Not quite on your main topic, but: The cities atittudes in Texas varies from city to city. Some cities support the modelers very well and help maintain very nice fields, some provide the land cheap (our club pays a dollar a year), and, yes, some do not seem to care. Probably about the same as across the nation.

Steven
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:01 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

kingwoodbarney,
I think you're missing the point, people are not criticizing AMA, the organization, they're critical of SOME of the leaders and the direction they're taking AMA. Instead of promoting model aviation, some of the leaders are dreaming up all sorts of doomsday scenarios and trying to restrict or eliminate those activities, without regard to the probability that any of these scenario's could happen. Also, the way some of these "restrictions" are put into the SC, without regard to the input of the full EC is a cause of concern.
Since most AMA members don't fly turbines, 3D, or giant scale models these restrictions and the manner they're implemented go unnoticed by the general membership and therefore have no reason to get involved. Only when your toes are stepped on do you yell OUCH.
Unfortunately, since the vast majority of AMA members don't care enough to vote, there's no incentive for any of these people to change, hence the frustrations that many members express on the AMA forum.
BRG,
Jon
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:58 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Jon,
You are right on target.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:23 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Many in our club are waiting for the day when we can purchase the field, go private and drop the AMA like a hot pototao. The disadvantages, we will have to provide our own insurance some way, probally home owners. The advantages, we can build freely and fly jets, planes over 55 pounds without any restrictions other than those we deem necessary.
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:23 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Like I said, the umbrella policy is only about 100 bucks for 1 million liability. And that covers you at the field and in many other situations as well. Compared to the AMA's fee of $58 JUST for models, the umbrella policy is a bargain. Proof of insurance isn't an issue either, just show your policy to the club officers when joining .
There was a thread in another forum about using the frequency board. I was alarmed to read that at least a few pilots thought it was unreasonable to pay the owner of a jet 8000 dollars if you shot it down by accident. The argument was, just because some rich guy can afford jets, he shouldn't take the rent money from some poor guy to replace his model. I bet the AMA won't cover you ! The umbrella would, ( at least I think it would ). So I really believe the umbrella is a good idea if you fly at an AMA field or not. And comparing the two insurances, the umbrella is a slam dunk winner. Most agents don't push umbrella policies because the agent hardly makes a dime on thier sale.
The price of the AMA insurance is aproaching the cost of liabilty insurance form other providers, ( which offer a better product.) And I seriously doubt that the AMA has the where with all to fight Allstate or any other large insurance provider for the exclusive right to insure modellers. One more rate increase from the AMA might just be the final straw that sends many shopping for insurance and realizing they do have options available. And those options are appealing. Of course you would loose that award winning magazine and all of those other essential but illusive benifits offered by the AMA.
My business is all about escape plans. What if this plan doesn't work, then what. That is how I am trained to think. So , for me, I do find it reassuring that flying fields can operate with or without the AMA organization.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:56 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

I have read so many threads in the AMA forum criticizing the AMA. And the criticism is coming from people claiming to be heavily involved in the AMA. I don't understand what future the AMA could possibly have.
Keep in mind what you read here in RCU is still the opinions of the vocal minority. The recent elections should make that obvious. If you were to base the results on what was in here DM would have been the hands down new prez, yet the results were 2:1 (estimate) the other way. [X(]
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:24 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

When we paid our mortage 6 years ago we obtained property, theft and vandalism insurance. We also checked into the cost of liability insurance and I believe at that time (6 years ago) we were quoted $1200.00/year for 1.25 million. I am sure it is more expensive now but it is obtainable. We didn't need it as we are an AMA Chartered club but we just wanted to see what it would cost. We are fortunate in that if ever became necessary, our club could afford to purchase our own liability insurance. Many (most) probably could not afford to do so.

We have never seriously considered dropping the AMA and being a stand alone club. Doing so would mean that we could not hold any type of "sanctioned" event (for whatever that might be worth to some), some modelers that I know would or will not fly at a field that is not AMA due to the insurance issue (even though the host club would have their own), and the last time we did a mall show, the local malls wanted proof of 2.0 million aggregate lilability insurance. In addition, those members who would chose not to belong to AMA would obviously not be welcome at most AMA clubs.

Now, certaily if someone wanted to have a totally private field with their own insurance (and other) requirements that is fine. One does not have to "belong" to an umbrella organization to enjoy this hobby as long as he/she understands the limitations imposed. And, I agree, depending on one's requirements, being totally private and perhaps even "isolated" is not a limitation to some.

As far as home owners or renters or condo owners insurance as someone has pointed out is that not all of these policies cover model activities as written. Umbrellas are also good (I have one) but not all of them are all inclusive. That is one plus for the insurance portion of the AMA, if your home owners (or other) insurance does not cover model activities you do not have to try to purchase or find insurance that does - your AMA policy becomes primary and handles it.

Plus, as already mentioned, there is more than insurance to the AMA for many people. Obviously not all as there are many who only see the AMA as an insurance company. For those of us that think otherwise, that is not so. Either way is fine with me. I just like to fly and get along!!

Dan
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:24 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

What other essential services?
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:32 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Jon i also agree that you are right on target, i belive before we see any real change
in the status quo something will have to be done to stop the AMA from forbiding
non AMA members to fly at the fields they insure.

how many of us go fishing go to shooting ranges bowling alleys ect all the activites
are on insured propties for the most part yet we dont have to have there ins to participant.
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Old 01-05-2005, 08:12 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

I really don't want to fly next to someone who can't spend 58 bucks for insurance. It makes me question the quality of his flight gear. There are open places all over this great county if you don't want to be in AMA go use one of the ones not used by a club. Just be prepared for the angry mob when you shoot down a few member models.[sm=angry.gif]
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:31 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded


ORIGINAL: vicman

I really don't want to fly next to someone who can't spend 58 bucks for insurance. It makes me question the quality of his flight gear. There are open places all over this great county if you don't want to be in AMA go use one of the ones not used by a club. Just be prepared for the angry mob when you shoot down a few member models.[sm=angry.gif]
Vicman i dont think the amount of 58 bucks is the issue in this thread . what is the real
issue is the fact that many dont care for the AMA rules as of late also there are no
other choises for ins if you fly rc planes.
this is mainly because the AMA tells clubs not to let you fly if you are not a member
yet if something goes wrong they want you to first use your other ins that was not
good enough in the first place.
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:34 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Ira_d

If you are going to continue to post about the insurance coverage provided by the AMA, you might want to carefully read the Club Charter Kit on the AMA page. It is the best publicly available document, and explains the coverage, and the reasoning of the AMA quite well.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/2004clubkit.pdf
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Old 01-06-2005, 12:45 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Back to the Park Flyer note. These are rapidly becoming, or should I say have become, something that needs to be addressed. Agreed, a large percentage of those flying them are not, and probably don't intend to become AMA members.

A large percentage of those flying park flyers have entered the hobby with absolutely no flight skills whatsoever. They fly them anywhere, with little knowledge of what dangers they may impose on themselves or others. The actions of a few irresponsible and publicly visable individuals could be misconstrued to be representative of all R/C flyers. It happened before many years ago in control line, and the opportunity is there for it to happen again.

What if the AMA (meaning us) was to develop an entry level membership and program specifically targeted at the park flyer group. Implement it through the hobby shops where the products are sold at. Include with the membership a subscription to "Park Flyer" or some other electric/park flyer specific magazine. With this program include a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual newsletter that provides solid safe and responsible flight guide lines. Provide a reduced coverage liabilty policy that's limited to operation of park flyer types of aircraft. Provide all this at about half or less of what is currently charged for full AMA membership.

The up side to all of this is that as the park flyer people develop the desire to move up to larger aircraft, they will have already been introduced to safer flight operation practices, and to the AMA, with the potential of greater growth in membership.

The Park Flyer group may soon well be the most publically visible representatives of R/C flight. We could all benefit immensely if they represented us to the general public as safe and responsible people. Who knows, we could even get the cities and counties to look at us more favorably than they previously have and provide new flight locations

Edit, additional info;

Add to the above that the AMA could provide a list of local flying sites to the new member based upon the new members zip code after they join. This would assist the new members by showing them where to go to find other people with similar interests.

None of this is intended to be critical of Park Flyers in any way. They're a lot of fun and I fly them too. But it could be an effective way of increasing the hobbys' long term participants. Many of those that enter the hobby today with park flyers will leave the hobby tomorrow after the first high damage crash of their new toy due to a lack of training and skill. If we helped them be a little better from the first day, it could benefit all.

Pat
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Old 01-06-2005, 01:53 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

ORIGINAL: Silversurfer

What if the AMA (meaning us) was to develop an entry level membership and program specifically targeted at the park flyer group. Implement it through the hobby shops where the products are sold at. Include with the membership a subscription to "Park Flyer" or some other electric/park flyer specific magazine. With this program include a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual newsletter that provides solid safe and responsible flight guide lines. Provide a reduced coverage liabilty policy that's limited to operation of park flyer types of aircraft. Provide all this at about half of what is currently charged for full AMA membership.
My Model Avation goes from the mailbox straight into the trash. My Tower Talk gets a 15 minute look and goes in the trash.

Some of these Park Flyers come with their own magazine. When a co-worker bought a EZone plane it came with a magazine. He had no interest in joining the AMA or exploring anything beyond trying out his EZone plane. I told him I'd take him out and teach him how to fly it. However he was in a hurry and ended up with a $200 pile of broken foam. He's learned how hard it is to fly and gave up, he's now moved on to Mountain Biking.

These park fliers are here to hook the curious and allow them to progress from there. It's a quick $200 solution for them. Some of them will crash over and over and move on to other hobbies. For those that want to continue in the hobby.. It's more likely they will spend the extra $60 to join the AMA and may look at joining a club. As more counties place ordinaces on flying in parks, people will be forced to join a club. If you ask me now is the time to ask your local government to set aside land for a public r/c park.

--Scott
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Old 01-06-2005, 10:19 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

ORIGINAL: J_R

Ira_d

If you are going to continue to post about the insurance coverage provided by the AMA, you might want to carefully read the Club Charter Kit on the AMA page. It is the best publicly available document, and explains the coverage, and the reasoning of the AMA quite well.

http://www.modelaircraft.org/PDF-files/2004clubkit.pdf
JR I read the charter info as you suggested what is your point?
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Old 01-07-2005, 12:27 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Hi Ira

Several points really. The AMA does not tell clubs who may fly at the club, that decision is made by the club. The Kit makes that clear. On more than one occasion you have stated the AMA tells the club who may fly there.

The actual value of the AMA insurance is not for the individual. The coverage, which costs a maximum of$120 a year to the club is for the club, it's officers and the landlord. The policy for the landlord is a full blown liability policy without the limitations of the Safety Code. I won't even try to guess what such a policy might cost should the club have to purchase it in order to satisfy a landlord. The Kit you read makes some pretty good points. The club members, and for that matter, all AMA members subsidize the policies for the club and the landlord. IF a club does chose to let others fly there, they are risking increased costs to all AMA members, not just themselves. At any rate, it makes for some interesting reading.

When you couple the information in the kit with the information in the AMA financial statements, you will see that each member only pays about $22 per year for all three policies... the individual, the club and the landlord. Not a bad bargin, even if the individual coverage is excess.
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Old 01-07-2005, 02:38 PM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

Throw a good riddance party!

Maybe the SFA or it's equivalent could come back.
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Old 01-08-2005, 02:20 AM
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Default RE: What can individual clubs do if the AMA folded

JR the charter kit makes a strong suggestion not to let non members fly, then in another section
where it talks about buddy boxing it says only one flight by non members.
we can split hairs over the wording but the net effect is the same as everyone knows all clubs
think they have to bar non AMA members.
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