15. Dispute Resolution.
Please read this section carefully. It affects rights that you may otherwise have. It provides for resolution of most disputes through arbitration instead of court trials and class actions. Arbitration is final and binding and subject to only very limited review by a court. This arbitration clause shall survive termination of this agreement.
If a dispute arises between you and Backstage, our goal is to provide you a neutral and cost effective means of resolving the dispute quickly.
All administrative fees and expenses of arbitration will be divided equally between you and us, except that for claims of less than $500, you will be obligated to pay $25 and we will pay all other administrative costs and fees. In all arbitrations, each party will bear the expense of its own counsel, experts, witnesses and preparation and presentation of evidence at the arbitration.
The arbitration will take place in your hometown area if you so notify Backstage in your notice of arbitration or within five (5) days following receipt of Backstage’s arbitration notice. In the absence of a notice to conduct the arbitration in your hometown area, the arbitration will be conducted in New York, New York, unless the parties agree to video, phone or Internet connection appearances.
Prohibition of Class and Representative Actions and Non-Individualized Relief.
YOU AND BACKSTAGE AGREE THAT ANY ARBITRATION WILL BE LIMITED TO THE CLAIM BETWEEN BACKSTAGE AND YOU INDIVIDUALLY. YOU AND BACKSTAGE AGREE THAT (A) THERE IS NO RIGHT OR AUTHORITY FOR ANY DISPUTE TO BE ARBITRATED ON A CLASS-ACTION BASIS OR TO UTILIZE CLASS ACTION PROCEDURES; (B) THERE IS NO RIGHT OR AUTHORITY FOR ANY DISPUTE TO BE BROUGHT IN A PURPORTED REPRESENTATIVE CAPACITY OR AS A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL; AND (C) NO ARBITRATION WILL BE JOINED WITH ANY OTHER.
Exceptions to Negotiations and Arbitration.
You and Backstage agree that the following Claims are not subject to the above provisions concerning negotiations and binding arbitration: (i) any Claims seeking to enforce or protect, or concerning the validity of, any of your or Backstage’s intellectual property rights; (ii) any Claim related to, or arising from, allegations of theft, piracy, invasion of privacy or unauthorized use; and (iii) any claim for equitable relief. In addition to the foregoing, either party may assert an individual action in small claims court for Claims that are within the scope of such courts’ jurisdiction in lieu of arbitration, provided that any such action or proceeding must be commenced no later than one year after the accrual of the Claim giving rise thereto.
You and Backstage agree that if any portion of the Arbitration Agreement is found illegal or unenforceable, that portion will be severed and the remainder of this section will be given full force and effect. If for any reason the Arbitration Agreement is deemed inapplicable or invalid, you and Backstage both agree (i) that all Claims will be exclusively decided either the courts of the State of New York situated in the County of New York or in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and you and Backstage agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of those courts, and (ii) that you and Backstage both waive, to the fullest extent allowed by law, any claims to recover punitive or exemplary damages and any right to pursue any claims on a class or consolidated basis or in a representative capacity. By using the Websites, you accept generally and unconditionally the jurisdiction of the aforesaid courts and irrevocably waives any objection to such jurisdiction.