• Privacy Policy

• Content Use Policy

• A.A.W.S. Inc., Policy on G.S.O.'s A.A. Website

• Intellectual Property Policies

Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the www.AA.org Website and reviewing our privacy policy. This policy explains how we handle information about your visit(s) to A.A.’s site, how we protect your privacy and anonymity, and how this site is linked to other sites, such as the A.A.W.S. Online Store and Contributions Online that are internal to Alcoholics Anonymous.

See the Site Disclaimer for information on how you may link from AA.org to outside sites, e.g., local intergroup/central offices or area committees and offices.

This Privacy Policy was last updated on April 1, 2014.

1. Introduction

This privacy policy is applicable to this Website (the “Site”), which is provided and operated by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (“A.A.W.S.” or “we”). PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING TERMS CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THE SITE. Access to the Site is offered to you conditioned on your acceptance without modification of the terms, conditions and notices contained herein (collectively, the “Privacy Policy”). In addition, particular features, applications and activities offered as part of the Site may also be subject to additional privacy terms specified in connection with such features, applications and activities, all of which are incorporated herein by reference.


Please note that this Privacy Policy applies only to information collected via the Site. It does not apply to information that you may submit to us by any other means or to Websites maintained by other companies.

This Privacy Policy is incorporated into, and part of, A.A.W.S.’s Terms and Conditions (“Terms and Conditions”) for the A.A.W.S. Online Store, which also govern your use of that related Site. Capitalized terms not defined in this Privacy Policy have the definitions in A.A.W.S.’s Terms and Conditions.

A.A.W.S. may modify, add, or delete portions of this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the changes on this page. Your continued use of the Site after any such changes have been made means you agree to such changes. If A.A.W.S. makes any material changes to the Privacy Policy, it will indicate, at the top of this page, the date the Privacy Policy was last revised.

2. Personal Information

In connection with your use of the Site or particular features or components thereof, you may be required to provide, and we may collect, information that can identify you personally or that can be used with other sources of information to identify you (“Personal Information”). For example, if you create an account or purchase products on the Site, you will be asked to enter your name, email address, phone number, credit card information and billing address. You may also provide Personal Information when you request customer service or other assistance, sign up to receive emails or other communications for us, or otherwise communicate with us via the Site.

Access to software applications that are owned and operated by third parties (“Third-Party Applications”) may require you to provide access to your Personal Information to the providers of such Third-Party Applications. In such cases, you will be informed about this either during the registration process, in the terms of use of the Third-Party Application, or in a similar manner. The Third-Party Application provider’s use of your personal information is governed by that third party’s privacy policy. Please note that if you choose to remove a Third-Party Application from your A.A.W.S. account, this does not necessarily mean that the relevant third party provider will delete Personal Information about you that they have previously received. Please visit the privacy policy of the relevant third party to make sure that you understand how they may use the Personal Information you provide to them. If you do not want such use of your Personal Information, you should not register for or use the applicable Third-Party Application.

3. Anonymous Information

When you use the Site, A.A.W.S. may also collect certain information that does not identify you individually (“Anonymous Information”). For example, A.A.W.S. may collect information about your computer, mobile device, or other device that you use to access the Site (which may include, for example, IP address, geolocation information, unique device identifiers, browser type, browser language, and other transactional information) and about your use of our Website (which may include, for example, a reading history of the pages you view).

4. Use of Cookies

Like many Websites, A.A.W.S. may use “cookies,” which are files stored on your computer’s hard drive that help A.A.W.S. identify account holders and optimize their Website experience. Most browsers accept cookies automatically but allow you to disable them. A.A.W.S. recommends that you leave cookies enabled so it can offer you a better Website experience. A.A.W.S. will not drop cookies or other tracking devices that are persistent and/or cannot be erased on an end user’s hard drive.

You may occasionally receive cookies from Third-Party Applications. A.A.W.S. does not control these cookies, and these cookies fall outside the scope of this Privacy Policy.

5. Our Use of Information

We use the information we obtain from or about you to help us operate the Site and personalize and improve your experience with the Site and to make certain features, service, activities or functionalities available to you. For example, we may use information we collect (including Personal Information) to:

  • Fulfill orders and complete transactions;
  • Provide you with products and services that you request;
  • Communicate with you about your account, respond to your inquiries and send you information about features and enhancements of the Site;
  • Communicate with you about changes to our policies
  • Send you newsletters and other communications;
  • Optimize or improve our products, services and operations;
  • Detect, investigate, and prevent activities that may violate our policies or be illegal; and
  • Perform statistical, demographic, and marketing analyses of users of the Site and Site usage, including analysis of which content or images users click on or hover over and analysis of which email messages were opened or acted upon when A.A.W.S. sends HTML-formatted email messages (messages resembling Web pages that include graphics).

We may use and store information about you that we receive from other sources to enable us to update and correct the information contained in our database and to better customize your experience with the Site.

6. Disclosure of Information

We will only disclose your Personal Information collected via the Site to other companies and individuals as described in this Privacy Policy.

We may disclose Anonymous Information and any other information that is not Personal Information to other companies and individuals in any manner that A.A.W.S. deems appropriate or necessary.

Service Providers

A.A.W.S. occasionally has third-party contractors and agents that provide services to A.A.W.S., such as credit card processing, order fulfillment, marketing, database hosting, web analytics, and providing customer service. These entities may have access to Personal Information in order to perform their functions. We do not authorize them to use the information we share with them for any other purpose.

Legally Compelled Disclosures

A.A.W.S. may disclose Personal Information to government authorities, and to other third parties when compelled to do so under law (including under a reasonable interpretation of the law), including, without limitation, in response to court orders and subpoenas.

Emergency Situations

A.A.W.S. may disclose Personal Information if required to do so by law or in the good-faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to applicable law; (b) protect and defend its rights or property, the Site or its Users, and (c) act under emergency circumstances to protect the personal safety of A.A.W.S., its Users, and others.

Affiliated Entities

We may disclose Personal Information and other information collected from you to our parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates and investors.

Change of Ownership or Corporate Organization

We may change our ownership or corporate organization. We may transfer Personal Information to another entity in connection with any change of ownership, change of corporate organization or similar transaction, such as, for example, a transfer an entity with which we have merged, that we have acquired or that has acquired A.A.W.S. Under such circumstances A.A.W.S. would use reasonable efforts to require the transferee to follow the practices described in this Privacy Policy, as it may be amended from time to time.

7. Security

We make commercially reasonable efforts to keep your Personal Information secure. We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information.

We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (“SSL”) technology and then encrypted into our payment gateway provider’s database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. After a transaction, your credit card information will not be stored on our servers.

No transmission of data over the internet is guaranteed to be completely secure, however. It may be possible for third parties not under the control of A.A.W.S. to intercept or access transmissions or private communications unlawfully, including in the case of your contacting A.A.W.S. by email or a “contact us” or similar feature on the Site. Accordingly, though A.A.W.S. may take reasonable steps to protect the security and integrity of all Personal Information provided to the Site, due to the nature of the internet, A.A.W.S. cannot guarantee that information, during transmission through the internet or while stored on its system or otherwise in its care, will be absolutely safe from intrusion by others, such as hackers. Any such transmission is done at your own risk.

8. Children

This is not a Website directed to children under the age of 13, and A.A.W.S. does not knowingly collect personal identifiable information from children under 13 years of age. If you are under 13 years of age you should not use this Website, and under no circumstance should you provide personally identifiable information to A.A.W.S.

9. Local Law

The Site is published in the United States. We make every effort to protect the personal identifiable information of all users of the Site. We attempt to comply with local data protection and consumer rights laws to the extent they may apply to the A.A.W.S. services. If you are uncertain whether this privacy policy conflicts with the applicable local privacy laws where you are located, you should not submit your Personal Information to A.A.W.S.

10. Notice to Users Outside of the United States

If you are located within the European Union, you should be aware that your personal identifiable information will be transferred to the United States of America, the laws of which may be deemed by the European Union to have inadequate data protection. If you are located in a country outside the United States of America and voluntarily submit personal information to us, you thereby consent to the general use of such information as provided in this privacy policy and to the transfer of that information to, and/or storage of that information in, the United States of America.

11. Questions?

If you have any questions about this Privacy policy, please use the Website feedback form to contact us.

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Content Use Policy


A.A.W.S. copyrights are held in trust for A.A. as a whole.  A.A.W.S. has a responsibility to protect these valuable A.A. assets both in terms of content and preserving the integrity of the A.A. message.  In order to meet this responsibility, A.A.W.S. must ensure that A.A.'s copyrights remain undiminished by infringing activities.  Further, as a practical matter, and in order to meet such responsibility, blanket or non-specific permission is not granted.

Any request that does not fit within the parameters of the listed conditions and guidelines should be directed to the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous. Contact ippolicy@aa.org to obtain a “Request for Permission to Reprint” form.
Some uses of A.A. copyrighted literature and other copyrighted A.A. materials are allowed by A.A.W.S. if the following conditions are met:

  1. Use must be for non-fiction commentary, news reporting, parody, summarization or similar.  For use in creative/fiction writing, please submit a completed “Request for Permission to Reprint” form.
  2. Use must be on a one-time basis only and not replace a sale of the work or diminish the market for, or value of the work.

 These usages are not allowed:

  1. Must not be used for novelty items such as bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, greeting cards, etc. as these types of items tend to trivialize the A.A. program.
  2. Use must not be commercial (i.e., not for sale) or used in any type of advertising.

Guidelines and Limitations for acceptable use of A.A. Copyrighted Literature and other copyrighted A.A. material:

  • Individual printing or photocopying of a single copy or a brief excerpt of A.A. literature and/or A.A. material.
  • A single reproduction of a brief excerpt of audio DVDs, CDs, etc. or video works, e.g. film, film clips, public service announcements/PSAs, etc. (up to 10% of the total work or three minutes, whichever is less.)
  • Individual printing or photocopying of a brief excerpt of printed A.A. literature and/or A.A. material from the A.A. Website www.aa.org.
  • A single reproduction of a brief excerpt portion of audio DVDs, CDs, etc. or video works, e.g. film, film clips, public service announcements/PSAs, etc. (up to 10% of the total work or three minutes, whichever is less) from the A.A. Website www.aa.org.
  • Saving A.A.W.S literature or other A.A. material on a computer hard drive.
  • An entire work of A.A.W.S. copyrighted material must not be posted or/uploaded to any website, online discussion boards or any social media formats, whether A.A. or non-A.A., without written permission from A.A.W.S.

When Is Permission Required?

  1. When an individual intends to use the material repeatedly.
  2. When the material is intended to be used for commercial purposes.
  3. When an individual wants to use a work in its entirety.

No permission to reprint need be submitted to A.A.W.S. if all of the following conditions and guidelines are met:

  • Text of A.A.W.S. copyrighted literature shall be presented as-is, with no amendments, changes or editing permitted.
  • An educator may make one copy of the following items for purposes of scholarly research, or for use in teaching or preparing to teach a class: one chapter from a book, one article from a periodical, one short essay, one chart/graph (unless otherwise noted).  Copying shall not be used to create, replace, or substitute for anthologies, compilations or collective works.
  • An educator may make multiple copies of A.A. material, not to exceed more than one copy per pupil in the course, provided the amount of material copied is sufficiently brief.  Each copy should include the following notice of copyright:

This photocopy was reproduced with the permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S.) for inclusion in a course package. Permission to photocopy this material does not mean that A.A.W.S. has reviewed or approved the contents of this course package, or that A.A. necessarily agrees with the views expressed herein.

  1. Educators are permitted to provide web links to A.A. material on the A.A. Website www.aa.org.


C.        A.A. ENTITIES
The A.A. Service Manual in the sections “Area Newsletter or Bulletins” provides guidance to A.A. entities regarding the reprinting of Alcoholics Anonymous copyrighted material.  The section states:
“Local A.A. publications are permitted to reprint the Steps, Traditions, and/or the Concepts, and to quote a phrase, sentence or brief paragraph excerpted from A.A. literature such as the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, The A.A. Service Manual and Conference-approved pamphlets without a prior, written request to do so.  When this occurs, the proper credit line should be included to ensure that the copyrights of A.A. literature are protected.  After a quotation from a book or pamphlet, the credit line should read: Reprinted from (name of publication, page number), with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Additional information regarding what material can and cannot be used within the A.A. Fellowship that would not constitute an infringement of A.A.’s copyrighted material is provided in the following Frequently Asked Questions:
Who owns the copyrights to A.A. Conference-approved literature?
A.A.W.S. holds the copyrights of A.A. material in trust for A.A. as a whole.
Do we have to formally request permission to reprint A.A. literature?
As a general rule no one has the authority to reproduce A.A. Conference-approved literature without prior written permission from A.A.W.S.  However, given the nature of our Fellowship, our experience indicates that A.A. groups and entities, and only A.A. groups and entities, should have the authority to reproduce limited amounts of A.A. Conference-approved material. In no case should this material be amended or modified.
Can we upload an A.A. Conference-approved book or pamphlet to our local A.A. Website?
A.A. entities are permitted to provide web links to A.A. Conference-approved literature on www.aa.org instead of uploading.
Can we print a copy of A.A. material from www.aa.org?
If the material is in HTML, it can be printed.  Some PDFs, including most service material, may also be printed.
Can we include brief excerpts from A.A. material in a mobile app?
Permission to reprint A.A. material must be obtained by contacting the Publishing Department at ippolicy@aa.org. Additionally A.A. material should represent only a small segment of material in the entire mobile app.
Can we obtain a license from A.A. to include an entire publication in a mobile app?
No, A.A.W.S. does not issue licenses to reproduce its copyrighted material on mobile apps, etc.
Can you give us a few other examples of requests for which G.S.O. does not grant permission?
A.A.W.S. does not grant permission to reprint A.A. material on novelty items such as bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, greeting cards, etc., as these types of items tend to trivialize the A.A. program.
What is the copyright status of the Big Book?
The First and Second Editions of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, are in the public domain in the United States only.  The Third and Fourth Editions remain copyright protected worldwide, including the United States.  Given that the Internet is a worldwide medium, permission must be requested from A.A.W.S. for all Internet postings of all editions of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.
Can I reprint excerpts on a daily basis from A.A. material and distribute them electronically?
A.A.W.S. does not grant permission for anyone to continuously reprint excerpts of A.A. material through the Internet or electronic devices, etc.
Do I need permission to reprint the Serenity Prayer and the St. Francis Prayer?
As the Serenity Prayer and the St. Francis Prayer are not copyrighted by A.A.W.S., A.A.W.S. cannot grant or deny reprint permission.
Where can I find information regarding the use of A.A.’s trademarks?
On the A.A. Website, www.aa.org, in the section entitled “Intellectual Property Policies” and see in The A.A. Service Manual, under the section entitled “Trademarks, Logos, and Copyrights.”
Can we use the “blue people” graphic from the home page of www.aa.org on our local A.A. website?
This graphic is copyrighted and is an image specific to www.aa.org, A.A.W.S., and the General Service Office that serves the U.S. and Canada. Therefore, A.A. does not grant permission to use the “blue people” graphic on goods or services not provided by A.A. World Services, Inc.
Can A.A. entities use pamphlet cover graphics?
Yes, A.A. entities have permission to reprint thumbnail or larger-sized graphics of A.A. pamphlet covers for A.A. purposes only.  Place the copyright symbol © next to the graphic and include the following credit line: The above graphic is [graphics are] used with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
If your specific concern is not addressed in this A.A.W.S. Fair Use Guidelines, you may wish to direct your question to the G.S.O. Intellectual Properties desk.

For information on A.A. Grapevine’s Copyright and Reprint Policy, see The A.A. Service Manual, under the section entitled “General Guidelines for Reprinting Art and Articles from the A.A. Grapevine,” or www.aagrapevine.org/copyright-and-reprints-policy.

Revised April 30, 2016

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A.A.W.S. Inc., Policy on G.S.O.'s A.A. Website


The purpose of the Website is:

• To serve the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
• To serve as a resource for A.A. members, those seeking help from A.A., professionals working with alcoholics, the media, and the public at large.
• To provide accurate and consistent information about Alcoholics Anonymous.
• To provide information about services coordinated by the General Service Office.
• To encourage participation of A.A. members, groups and committees in A.A. services and activities.


• Oversight of the Website, including new releases of apps, websites or any other additional G.S.O. technology, will be the responsibility of the Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Board (A.A.W.S.), acting through its Technology/Communication/Services Committee and in accordance with the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous.
• A.A.W.S. will provide both annual and quarterly reports regarding Website activity to the trustees’ Committee on Public Information (P.I.).*
• The Website will provide, whenever practical, information in three languages: English, French, and Spanish.
• The Website will make use of existing A.A. materials whenever practical.
• The Website will provide contact information to General Service Conference Areas by listing and linking to existing websites.
• The Website will provide contact information and assistance by including a list of Intergroup/Central Offices and Answering Services in the U.S. and Canada, international General Service Offices, and online intergroups, including website and email links where applicable.
• The Website will include a disclaimer before linking to any external web page.
• The Website will include selected Archives information and material.
• The Website will welcome visitors to make suggestions about the Website design and content.
• This Policy will be reviewed annually by the A.A.W.S. Board of Directors.


Revised by A.A.W.S. December 11, 2015

* As per 2004 Conference Advisory Action (Public Information Committee)

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Intellectual Property Policies

A.A.’s Copyrights

A.A.W.S. holds numerous copyrights in trust for A.A. as a whole in the many written works, videos, cassettes, CDs, and other materials produced and published by A.A.W.S. both in English, as well as in other languages.
Licensing Policy

Generally, A.A.W.S limits licensees for the publication and distribution of A.A. literature, to General Service Offices (G.S.O.s) in other countries and literature committees around the world. The “Current Conference Charter” provides guidance in the matter: “In countries where a General Service Structure exists, the United States/Canada Conference will delegate sole right to publish our Conference-approved literature to the General Service Board of the structure.”
Reprint Policy

Our reprint policy, however, is different from our licensing policy. As stated in The A.A. Service Manual: “Local A.A. publications are permitted to quote a phrase, sentence or brief paragraph excerpted from A.A. literature such as The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, The A.A. Service Manual and Conference-approved pamphlets without a prior, written request to do so…, (accompanied by a credit line (that) should read: Reprinted from (name of publication, page number), with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.)” Non-A.A. individuals and entities may not reprint A.A. copyrighted materials without prior approval granted pursuant to a written request. Please send your request to reprint A.A.W.S. material to ippolicy@aa.org
Trademarks and Logos

A.A. World Services and the Grapevine have registered a number of trademarks and logos, and the guidelines for using them are based partly on legal considerations and partly on the nature of A.A.

The following is a complete list of registered trademarks and service marks that symbolize Alcoholics Anonymous, its work and its purpose: A.A.; Alcoholics Anonymous; The Big Book; Box 4-5-9; The Grapevine; A.A. Grapevine; GV; Box 1980, La Viña.

Use of these marks on goods or services that do not emanate from A.A.,and have not been approved by A.A., both infringes upon and dilutes A.A. marks, in legal terms. The resulting harm is that the marks and A.A. itself, since A.A. is what the marks symbolize, will come to be associated with a variety of products and services that are not part of A.A., and are not consistent with A.A.’s purpose. This will cause the marks to lose their meaning and significance as symbols of Alcoholics Anonymous.


Click here for AA.org Web Banners

Click here for Guidelines for Posting Public Service Announcements on A.A. Websites

Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Publishing Department Licensing & Translation Process

Our process takes much care. It is essential that we follow our long-established, thorough procedure of licensing and translation, which includes our obtaining independent reviews of every translation, to ensure the accuracy of all translations. This is of foremost importance, as Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S.) holds the copyrights for our literature in trust for the worldwide A.A. Fellowship.

We encourage and uphold the principles of Group Conscience and Unity as we set about our translation and licensing endeavors.

A.A.W.S. has a legal, moral, and spiritual responsibility to maintain the integrity of the A.A. message in all translations of A.A. literature.

Our collective commitment to the accurate translation of A.A.W.S. material provides all of us the opportunity to work together in unity to protect and share the spiritual core of A.A.’s message as we fulfill our primary purpose.


Our process includes these necessary stages of licensing and translation review:


A Literature Committee or G.S.B. may decide by group conscience that they would like to translate an item or items of A.A.-Conference-approved and copyrighted literature. The chair of the committee or a designated trusted servant / point person may contact the Licensing Manager in the A.A.W.S., Inc., Publishing Department to express the need for a new or revised translation and to request permission to translate the item(s).

For countries still evolving their service structure, and thereby without a recognized General Service Board (G.S.B.) in place:

A “Request for Permission to Translate A.A.W.S. Copyrighted Work” will be sent by the Licensing Manager to the requestor, to be completed in duplicate and returned.

Also, an “Assignment of Copyright – Translator” agreement will be issued, to be signed by all parties who will work on the translation.


For countries with an established structure and recognized General Service Board (G.S.B.):

A “License to General Service Board of said country to Translate Copyrighted Work” will be issued from the A.A.W.S. Publishing Department’s Licensing Manager, to be completed and returned in duplicate in hard copies to the A.A.W.S. office.

Also, these agreements will be sent to the G.S.B., to be completed, signed and returned, as instructed:

Assignment of Copyright - General Service Board Assignment of Copyright – Translator(s)


The local literature committee may submit a few translated chapters of the A.A. book or pages of a pamphlet to our publishing department along with the completed Assignment of Copyright - General Service Board and Assignment of Copyright – Translator forms. We will send out the translated text sample to an independent translation-evaluation service, to be checked against the English edition for accuracy and integrity.

For the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, our policy is to ask for Chapter 5, which includes the Twelve Steps, to be undertaken first by a translation team and to be submitted to us first, possibly with one or two other chapters, prior to any further translation being completed.

When our department receives a report from our independent translation-evaluation service, the professional assessment of the proposed translation will be returned to the local literature / translation committee point person, along with any suggestions for improvement.

Important: Translated text must be submitted to us in a digital text format, in order to facilitate the review and editing process.

Also, please note: When a project is deemed complete by a literature committee and thereby ready for a final review, the translation should be contained in one file only, not divided up among discrete chapter or piecemeal files.

This process of translation and review may take much time and care. Some translations of the Big Book, for example, have taken several years of diligent translation, editing, and polishing from start to finish.


Once an acceptable version of the translation is received by our publishing department, and has received a favorable independent translation-evaluation review, a license agreement will be issued.

1. For countries with an established structure and recognized General Service Board (G.S.B.):

A “License to Reproduce and Distribute Translated Copyrighted Work” in said country will be issued. This agreement will include the exact wording of the copyright notice to be included in the printed item.

[Note: “License to Post A.A.W.S., Inc.-Copyrighted Work” on an official website is handled via separate license.]

2. For countries without G.S.B.s:

An “Authorization to Print” letter agreement will be issued to a local designated printer for a one-time-only printing of a specified number of copies.


A.A.W.S., Inc., in care of our publishing department, should be sent three (3) copies of the licensed work when it is printed. Copies of the master digital files used for printing must also be sent to the Licensing Manager, to be housed in our Production Department archives.

For queries and requests about translation and licensing; obtaining permissions to translate or retranslate A.A. literature, to renew licenses, to post translated literature on websites, etc., please contact: translationsandlicensing@aa.org

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