Terms of Service
The Bolete Filter website is a FREE and ANONYMOUS service that presents published information from field guides in a new and interesting way. We ask you for neither your money nor your private data. Foraging wild products is an inherently risky activity, however, and before you may use this service we require that you read and accept the following so that we cannot be blamed if anything goes wrong.
By entering and using this site you – for yourself and on behalf of your heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, attorneys, agents, successors and assigns (collectively, the “User”) – agree to the following understandings, agreements, terms, and conditions:
1. Presence of Edibility Data/Lore Provides Special Value. “Creator-Protection Terms” To Be Strictly Construed Against the User.
User understands, acknowledges, and agrees that:
1.a – Those involved in the creation and/or maintenance of the Bolete Filter (the “Creators”) could have omitted the published data concerning the purported edibility and/or dangers of the wild mushrooms described herein, but have instead agreed to continue including such data in response to the requests of User and/or other individuals in a comparable position to User.
1.b – User has decided to use the Bolete Filter, at least in part, because the published information on edibility provides (i) a useful and interesting fact in its own right, (ii) assistance in identifying certain particular specimens, and (iii) assistance in User’s general efforts to study mycology in general and boletes in particular.
1.c – For these and other reasons, the presence of edibility information, opinions, lore, and speculation on this site provides both the User and the mushroom collecting community at large with special and additional value that would be lost if such information was removed – value that exists even to the extent such information, opinions, lore and/or speculation is/are inaccurate, misleading, and/or outdated in certain particulars.
1.d – Many of the agreements, terms, and conditions contained herein (collectively, the “Creator-Protection Terms”) are designed and intended to protect the Creators, individually and as a group, against the financial, emotional and other kinds of exposure and/or damage that could be incurred as a result of lawsuits and/or other types of claims based on the allegation that User (or some other person) suffered harm as a direct or indirect result of consuming a mushroom identified on this site as fit for human consumption.
1.e – In exchange for the above-described benefits provided by the Creators’ willingness to allow the User to use this site, and the additional benefits provided by the Creators’ inclusion of statements that bear on edibility, the User agrees that all of the Creator-Protection Terms set forth in these Terms of Service shall be broadly construed in favor of the Creators, and strictly construed against the User.
1.f – User specifically and expressly understands, acknowledges, and agrees that the Creator-Protection Terms are extremely aggressive in their effort to protect the Creators, even to the point that some of the Creator-Protection Terms could be considered invalid as a matter of public policy under certain conditions. If any provision of these Terms of Service as applied to any party or to any circumstance shall be adjudged by a court to be void and unenforceable, the same shall in no way affect any other provision in any other circumstances or the validity or enforceability of the remaining Terms of Service, or of the Terms of Service as a whole.
2. Specific Creator-Protection Terms.
2.a – Creators Are NOT Experts. User acknowledges and agrees that the individual who compiled the Bolete Filter database IS NOT an expert on either mushroom identification or edibility. The data in this site is based – completely – on data and impressions gleaned from a variety of published sources rather than personal knowledge. Any mistake in those sources will accordingly cascade into the information found on this site.
2.b – Release Of All Potential Liability. User expressly, absolutely, and in all other ways releases the Creators, individually and collectively, from any and all responsibility and/or actual or potential liability that may arise directly or indirectly out of User’s use of the Bolete Filter; including without limitation liability for harm suffered by the User or any other person as a result of consuming mushrooms identified as “edible” by this site.
2.c – User’s Assumption of the Risk. User agrees to be solely, completely, and in all other ways responsible for accurately identifying any mushroom that User chooses to put in his or her mouth, and or to offer for the mouth of another – and to be even more responsible (to the extent such a thing is logically or legally possible) for anything that gets swallowed. User assumes all risk and all liability for the consumption of any mushroom that he or she consumes and/or feeds to another.
2.b – User To Indemnify and Protect Creators. User agrees to indemnify, defend, hold harmless, and protect all of the Creators – individually and collectively – from and against any and all actions, claims, controversies, damages, costs, fines, judgments, demands and other actual or potential liabilities (including costs, fees, expenses, etc. as described below) that arise from or in connection with the Bolete Filter.
2.d – Liability Limited to What the User Pays.
- THE SITE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOST PROFITS (REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED THAT SUCH LOSS MAY OCCUR) OR EXPOSURE TO ANY THIRD PARTY CLAIMS BY REASON OF ANY ACT OR OMISSION. THE SITE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY ACT OR OMISSION OF ANY THIRD PARTY INVOLVED WITH THE SERVICES, SITE OFFERS, OR ANY ACT BY SITE USERS. THE SITE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES THAT RESULT FROM ANY SERVICE PROVIDED BY, OR PRODUCT OR DEVICE MANUFACTURED BY, THIRD PARTIES.
- NOTWITHSTANDING ANY DAMAGES THAT USER MAY SUFFER FOR ANY REASON, THE ENTIRE LIABILITY OF THE SITE IN CONNECTION WITH THE SITE OR SERVICES, AND ANY PARTY’S EXCLUSIVE REMEDY, SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE AMOUNT, IF ANY, ACTUALLY PAID BY USER TO THE SITE OWNER DURING THE 12 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE EVENT THAT USER CLAIMS CAUSED THE DAMAGES.
- The Site shall not be liable for any damages incurred as a result of any loss, disclosure, or third party use of information, regardless of whether such disclosure or use is with or without User’s knowledge or consent. The Site shall have no liability for any damages related to: User’s actions or failures to act, the acts or omissions of any third party, including but not limited to any telecommunications service provider, or events or causes beyond the Site’s reasonable control. The Site has no obligations whatever, and shall have no liability to, any third party who is not a User bound by these Terms. Limitations, exclusions, and disclaimers in these Terms shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, even if any remedy fails its essential purpose.
- User further understands and acknowledges that at this time the Bolete Filter website is operated by a nonprofit entity as a nonprofit endeavor; both of those conditions are expected to continue indefinitely; and that User must accordingly expect the amount potential recovery to be Zero for the foreseeable future.
2.e – Failure to Use “Best Practices” In Using the Bolete Filter and/or Consuming A Given Mushroom Constitutes An Absolute and Total Defense. Set forth below are a series of self-described “Best Practices” for (i) how to use the Bolete Filter, and (ii) how to consume a wild mushroom. Failure to both use such Best Practices and to prove the use of such Best Practices by clear and convincing evidence shall be deemed a complete, absolute, and total defense to any claim that use of the Bolete Filter caused the User or any other Plaintiff harm.
2.b – Choice of Law and Forum. Use of this website and all issues arising as a result of such use shall be deemed to occur in, be governed by, and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including its limitation periods but without regard to its principles of conflicts of law. Any action brought hereunder shall be brought and litigated in the courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania located in the Allegheny County, and all depositions and other testimony shall be taken in-person in Allegheny County. User irrevocably waives any objection on the grounds of venue, forum non-conveniens or any similar grounds, irrevocably waives any right of removal to the federal courts or any other system of courts, irrevocably consents to service of process by mail or in any other manner permitted by applicable law, and irrevocably consents to the jurisdiction of said courts.
2.f – Attorneys’, Experts’ and Other Fees. In the event of any litigation arising out of User’s use of the Bolete Filter, the party or parties prevailing in that litigation shall be entitled, in addition to any other relief, to all reasonable expenses (as determined by the Court) incurred by such party in connection with such litigation and any separate action brought for the purpose of recovering such expenses, including without limitation all court costs and all reasonable attorneys’, accountants’, experts’, and other professional fees (including without limitation professional fees that would have been charged by a party who happens to be a qualified professional in such a field and elects to represent him- or herself). User further acknowledges and agrees that the man who compiled the database used by the Bolete Filter is an attorney, and specifically agrees that said individual will be entitled to bill at a rate of not less than $450/hour in connection with any such dispute and that the reasonability of hours spent on such defense shall be broadly construed. Unless otherwise specified by agreement of the parties, any settlement or dismissal prior to trial shall be conclusively deemed to be a result in which the defendant has prevailed; provided, however, that if the Complaint demanded a specific figure in damages (rather than an open-ended demand such as “an amount in excess of…”), in the absence of agreement by the parties the prevailing party shall be determined based on whether the settlement exceeds one-half of said demand.
2.g – User Shall Be Required To Post A Bond As A Condition of Pursuing Litigation. If a Plaintiff (i) resides outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and/or (ii) lacks sufficient ready funds to pay the Defendants’ reasonably predictable costs, expenses, and fees as described above, then upon application from any Defendant the Court shall require said Plaintiff to post a bond for such costs, fees and expenses equal to Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($250,000.00) plus such additional amount as the Court shall deem to be reasonably predictable in connection with the litigation. Said amount shall be held in an interest bearing account and shall be disbursed to the Defendants as litigation proceeds upon presentation of properly authenticated bills, receipts, and/or invoices for hours spent by a pro se Defendant; provided, however, that all amounts so disbursed shall be returned to the Plaintiff upon the entry of a final judgment in the Plaintiff’s favor and after the conclusion of all appeals, if any.
3. Best Practices – Proper Use Of the Bolete Filter Site
3.a – Typos and Data Entry Errors are Present; Data is Out of Date; User Shall Not Rely on Factual Accuracy Without Confirmation From Authoritative Sources. User acknowledges and understands that (i) the Bolete Filter is an amateur project, (ii) the Bolete Filter includes a significant number of typos and/or mistakes arising from data entry errors and/or misreadings of the source material, (iii) some of those mistakes may have caused particular mushrooms to be given an edibility grade that is not justified according to those sources, or may cause an inedible mushroom to be improperly excluded from a given set of results, and (iv) the data is in all events based on the referenced source materials, which are significantly out of date and reflect only those understandings current at the time they were written.
3.b – The Bolete Filter Is A “Key” and NOT As An “Identification Tool”. The Bolete Filter is designed for use only in conjunction with the cited field guides, textbooks, and other authoritative works. User agrees that he or she shall not rely on the Bolete Filter or any statements herein as an authoritative tool for identifying any particular mushroom, but rather shall examine all cited references to that mushroom, rely solely on the statements therein, and conduct all suggested tests (including both chemical and microscopic examinations) before reaching any conclusion about the identity of a given specimen. Failure to consult any of the cited authoritative works and/or to conduct any of the available tests shall be considered gross negligence and reckless behavior on the User’s part, and shall constitute a total and complete defense in any lawsuit that may be brought by or on behalf of User.
3.c –Site Designed for Typical Mushroom Specimens. The Bolete Filter is based on the characteristics found in typical specimens of a given mushroom. User acknowledges and understands that particular specimens may be outliers (“sports”, “anomalies,” etc.) and/or altered by environmental conditions (sun bleaching, effects of excessive or minimal moisture, age, etc.). User acknowledges and understands that in all such cases the Bolete Filter will not function as intended, but will rather produce results that include both false positives (mushrooms that are wrongly indicated as possible identifications) and false negatives (failure to include the actual mushroom as one of the possibilities).
3.d –Site Designed for Typical Digestive Systems. User understands and acknowledges that different people react to particular mushrooms in very different ways. A mushroom that one person can gorge on with great enjoyment might make another person seriously ill after just a bite or two. User acknowledges and agrees that all statements in this site regarding the edibility or palatability of any given mushroom are made with the assumption that the consumer (a) has broad experience consuming foraged mushrooms, and (b) has no susceptibility to that mushroom in particular that is not shared by more than 50% of the population of the United States.
4. Best Practices – Consumption of A Wild Mushroom.
4.a –Mushrooms Must Be Fresh. User acknowledges and agrees that many mushroom poisonings occur as a result of people who consume a mushroom that was too old to be considered a prime specimen. User shall neither consume nor serve to another any mushroom that was elderly, rotted, infected/infested, or of questionable quality in any other way.
4.b – Cook Thoroughly. User acknowledges and agrees that (i) wild mushrooms often contain or have been tainted by a variety of unique, undesirable, indigestible, and/or toxic chemicals; (ii) mushrooms of this sort, including many boletes, can only be rendered safe for consumption by the use of heat to degrade those chemicals; and thus many mushroom poisonings occur as a result of wild mushrooms that have been undercooked. User agrees to properly and thoroughly cook all wild mushrooms before consumption.
4.c –Start Small. User acknowledges and agrees that harm is much more likely to occur in connection with a mushroom that the consumer has not eaten before, and that both the likelihood and severity of harm will be drastically increased in proportion to the amount consumed. User accordingly agrees, on his/her own behalf and on behalf of anyone to who User offers a mushroom, (i) to consume only a small taste of any mushroom that he/she has not eaten before, (ii) to gradually increase the amount eaten, and (iii) to refrain from eating said mushroom as a primary side dish or main course until the eater has consumed it at least four (4) times without ill effect.
4.d –User Shall Retain Specimen Samples of All Mushrooms Consumed, Especially When Varieties Have Been Mixed. User acknowledges and agrees that any dispute arising out of the use of the Bolete Filter will most likely center on an allegation that consumption of a particular mushroom led to illness, injury, and/or death. User further acknowledges and agrees that proper identification of the mushroom in question will be an important, and probably essential, piece of evidence in such dispute. User accordingly agrees to retain a physical sample of each and every foraged mushroom that User consumes as part of a particular meal, and to include a DNA-based identification of said mushroom as a factual allegation in any filed legal Complaint. Failure to both retain such a sample and to include said allegation in the Complaint shall be (a) deemed to be gross negligence and/or recklessness on the part of User, and (b) conclusive grounds for immediate dismissal with prejudice of any filed Complaint.
5. Miscellaneous Terms.
5.a User Prohibited From Illegal Uses. User shall not use, and shall not allow any person to use, the Site or Services in any way that violates a federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance, or for any disruptive, tortious, or illegal purpose, including but not limited to harassment, slander, defamation, data theft or inappropriate dissemination, or improper surveillance of any person.
5.b User represents and warrants that:
- User will use the Services only as provided in these Terms;
- User is at least 18 years old and has all right, authority, and capacity to agree to these Terms;
- User will provide accurate, complete, and current information to the Site and its owner(s);
- User will notify the Site and its owner(s) regarding any material change to information User provides, either by updating and correcting the information, or by alerting the Site and its owner(s) via the functions of the Site or the email address provided below.
5.c DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES:
TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, THE SITE PROVIDES THE SERVICES “AS IS,” WITH ALL FAULTS. THE SITE DOES NOT WARRANT UNINTERRUPTED USE OR OPERATION OF THE SERVICES, OR THAT ANY DATA WILL BE TRANSMITTED IN A MANNER THAT IS TIMELY, UNCORRUPTED, FREE OF INTERFERENCE, OR SECURE. THE SITE DISCLAIMS REPRESENTATIONS, WARRANTIES, AND CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED, WRITTEN, ORAL, CONTRACTUAL, COMMON LAW, OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY WARRANTIES, DUTIES, OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, OR THAT MAY ARISE FROM A COURSE OF DEALING OR USAGE OF TRADE.
5.d Changes to the Site and/or to These Terms of Service. We reserve the right to add, change, and remove features, content, and data, including the right to add or change any of these terms, provided that no change shall require the payment of money on your part without your express prior consent. You agree that we will not be liable for any such changes. Neither your use of the Site nor these terms give you any right, title, or protectable legal interest in the Site or its content.