Terms & Conditions for Use - Stepping Stones Foundation

Terms & Conditions for Use

Effective June 5, 2021

Agreement between User and The Stepping Stones Foundation, operator of www.steppingstones.org

Welcome to www.steppingstones.org. The www.steppingstones.org website (the “Site”) is comprised of various web pages operated by The Stepping Stones Foundation (“Stepping Stones”). The Site is offered to you conditioned on your acceptance without modification of the terms, conditions and notices contained herein (the “Terms”). Your use of the Site and any other websites under the auspices of Stepping Stones constitutes your agreement to all such Terms. Please read these terms carefully, and keep a copy of them for your reference.

The Site is a non-profit website, and its purpose is to serve as the organization’s official site and provide information about the historic home and archives and the preservation of these historic assets, and to share the legacy of Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and Lois Wilson, cofounder of Al-Anon Family Groups.


Your use of the Site is subject to Stepping Stones’ Privacy Policy. Please review our Privacy Policy, which also governs the Site and informs users of our data collection practices.

Intellectual Property – No Unlawful or Prohibited Use

Recordings, graphics, images, and documents on the Site may not be downloaded, copied or duplicated without the express written permission of Stepping Stones.

You are granted a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable license to view and listen to the content on the Site strictly in accordance with these Terms. As a condition of your use of the Site, you warrant to Stepping Stones that you will not use the Site or its contents for any purpose that is unlawful or prohibited by these Terms. You may not use the Site or its contents in any manner that could damage, disable, overburden, or impair the Site or interfere with any other party’s use and enjoyment of the Site. You may not obtain or attempt to obtain any materials or information other than that intentionally made available or provided for through the Site.

All content included as part of the Site, including but not limited to text, graphics, logos, images, and the compilation thereof, and any software used on the Site, is the property of Stepping Stones or its suppliers and protected by copyright and other laws that protect intellectual property and proprietary rights. You agree to observe and abide by all copyright and other proprietary notices, legends or other restrictions contained in any such content and will not make any changes thereto.

To learn about obtaining permission to use material found on the Site, see our “GUIDELINES FOR OBTAINING PERMISSION TO USE MATERIAL” below.

You will not modify, publish, transmit, record, copy, alter, reverse engineer, participate in the transfer or sale, create derivative works, or in any way exploit any of the content, in whole or in part, found on the Site. Stepping Stones content is not for resale. Your use of the Site does not entitle you to make any unauthorized use of any protected content, and, in particular, you will not delete or alter any proprietary rights or attribution notices in any content. You will only view or listen to the content, and you will make no other use of content without the express written permission of Stepping Stones and the copyright owner. You agree that you do not acquire any ownership rights in any protected content. We do not grant you any licenses, express or implied, to the intellectual property of Stepping Stones or our licensors except as expressly authorized by these Terms.

Electronic Communications

Visiting the Site or sending emails to Stepping Stones constitutes electronic communications. You consent to receive electronic communications and you agree that all agreements, notices, disclosures, and other communications that we provide to you electronically via email and on the Site, satisfy any legal requirement that such communications be in writing.

Children Under Thirteen

Stepping Stones does not knowingly collect, either online or offline, personal information from persons under the age of thirteen. If you are under 18, you may use the Site only with permission of a parent or guardian.

Cancellation / Refund Policy

Undamaged, clean, and unused shop merchandise may be returned within 30 days for a full refund or credit.
All other transactions are final.

Links to Third Party Sites/Third Party Services

The Site may contain links to other websites, apps, and social media platforms (“Linked Sites”). The Linked Sites are not under the control of Stepping Stones, and Stepping Stones is not responsible for the contents of any Linked Site, including without limitation any link contained in a Linked Site, or any changes or updates to a Linked Site. Stepping Stones is providing these links to you only as a convenience and the inclusion of any link does not imply review or endorsement by Stepping Stones of the site or any association or affiliation with its operators. Stepping Stones cannot verify the accuracy of content found on any Linked Site.

Certain services made available the Site are delivered by third party sites and organizations. By using any product, service, or functionality originating from the www.steppingstones.org domain, you hereby acknowledge and consent that Stepping Stones may share such information and data with any third party with whom Stepping Stones has a relationship to provide the requested product, service or functionality on behalf of the Site’s users and customers.

Third Party Accounts

Certain functions of the Site may enable you to connect your Stepping Stones account to third party accounts (e.g., social media). By connecting your Stepping Stones account to your third-party account, you acknowledge and agree that you are consenting to the continuous release of information about you to others (in accordance with your privacy settings on those third-party sites). If you do not want information about you to be shared in this manner, do not use this feature.

International Users

The Service is controlled, operated and administered by Stepping Stones from our offices within the USA. If you access the Service from a location outside the USA, you are responsible for compliance with all local laws. You agree that you will not use the Site or any of its content in any country or in any manner prohibited by any applicable laws, restrictions or regulations.


You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Stepping Stones, its officers, directors, employees, volunteers, agents, vendors, and third parties, for any losses, costs, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to or arising out of your use of or inability to use the Site or services, and user postings made by you, your violation of any terms of this Agreement or your violation of any rights of a third party or your violation of any applicable laws, rules or regulations. Stepping Stones reserves the right, at its own cost, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you; in such event you will fully cooperate with Stepping Stones in asserting any available defenses.


In the event the parties are not able to resolve any dispute between them arising out of, concerning, or relating in any way whatsoever to these Terms, any provisions herein or in the Privacy Policy, or your use or non-use of the Site — whether in contract, tort, or otherwise at law or in equity for damages or any other relief — then such dispute shall be resolved only by final and binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, conducted by a single neutral arbitrator in New York state and administered by the American Arbitration Association, or a similar arbitration service as agreed by the parties, in New York state. The arbitrator’s award shall be final, and judgment may be entered upon it in any court having jurisdiction.  You hereby irrevocably submit to the personal jurisdiction of the State and federal courts in New York State for purposes of any dispute covered by this provision.  In the event that any legal or equitable action, proceeding or arbitration arises out of or concerns in any way whatsoever these Terms, any provisions herein or in the Privacy Policy, or your use or nonuse of the Site, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. The parties agree that the Federal Arbitration act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this provision. The entire dispute, including the scope and enforceability of this arbitration provision shall be determined by the Arbitrator. This arbitration provision shall survive the termination of these Terms.

Class Action Waiver

Any arbitration under these Terms will take place on an individual basis; class arbitrations and class/representative/collective actions are not permitted. THE PARTIES AGREE THAT A PARTY MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN EACH INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PUTATIVE CLASS, COLLECTIVE AND/OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING, SUCH AS IN THE FORM OF A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION AGAINST THE OTHER. Further, unless both you and Stepping Stones agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding.

Liability Disclaimer


STEPPING STONES AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABLITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS Contained on the site for any purpose. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, all such information, software, products, services and related graphics are provided “as is” without warranty or condition of any kind. Stepping stones and/or its supplieRs hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, software, products, services and related graphics, including all implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement.

to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall stepping stones and/or its suppliers be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, incidental, special, consequential damages or any damages whatsoever including, without limitation, damages for loss of use, data or profits, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of the site, with the delay or inability to use the site or related services, the provision of or failure to provide services, or for any information, software, products, services and related graphics obtained through the site, or otherwise arising out of the use of the site, whether based on contract, tort, negligence, strict liability or otherwise, even if stepping stones or any of its suppliers has been advised of the possibility of damages. because some states/jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages the above limitation may not apply to you. if you are dissatisfied with any portion of the site, or with any of these terms of use, your sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue using the site.

Termination/Access Restriction and Governing Law

Stepping Stones reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate your access to the Site and related services or any portion thereof at any time, without notice. To the maximum extent permitted by law, this agreement is governed by the laws of the State of New York without regard to conflicts of laws principles. Use of the Site is unauthorized in any jurisdiction that does not give effect to all provisions of these Terms, including, without limitation, this section.

You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and Stepping Stones as a result of this agreement and use of the Site. Stepping Stones’ performance of this agreement is subject to the existing laws and legal process, and nothing contained in this agreement is in derogation of Stepping Stones’ rights to comply with governmental, court, and law enforcement requests or requirements relating to your use of the Site or information provided to or gathered by Stepping Stones with respect to such use. If any part of this agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law including, but not limited to, the warranty disclaimers and liability limitations set forth above, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of the agreement shall continue in effect.

Unless otherwise specified herein, this agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the user and Stepping Stones with respect to the Site and it supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals, whether electronic, oral or written, between the user and Stepping Stones with respect to the Site. A printed version of this agreement and of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in judicial, arbitral, or administrative proceedings based upon or relating in any way to this agreement to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form. It is the express wish of the parties that this agreement and all related documents be written in English.

Changes to Terms

Stepping Stones reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change the Terms under which the Site is offered. The most current version of the Terms will supersede all previous versions. Stepping Stones encourages you to periodically review the Terms to stay informed of our updates.

Contact Us

Stepping Stones welcomes your questions or comments regarding the Terms:
Mailing address:
The Stepping Stones Foundation
P.O. Box 452
Bedford Hills, NY 10507

Email address: info@steppingstones.org
Telephone number: 914-232-4822


Lois Burnham Wilson entrusted Stepping Stones with the responsibility to protect foundation assets, including its materials and their content. To meet this responsibility, Stepping Stones attempts to ensure that materials it owns remain undiminished by infringing activities and does not grant blanket or non-specific permission for their use by anyone.

All requests for use of content (photographs, recordings, documents, and all other content) should be directed to Stepping Stones at info@steppingstones.org to obtain a “Use Agreement” or “Study Copy Request.”

Use, Licensing and Reprinting Policy

With written approval, Stepping Stones may permit licensing, reprinting, and use of its archive collection materials and other materials for projects and programs that further Stepping Stones’ mission to foster understanding of alcoholism and inspire recovery while preserving the home, archive, and legacy of Bill and Lois Wilson. Fees may apply. To apply to license or reprint material, please email info@steppingstones.org.

When is permission required for use?

Permission is generally required to use any content from the Site. Examples of instances when use is strictly required include:

  • When an individual or entity intends to use the material repeatedly.
  • When an individual or entity intends to use material for commercial purposes. Examples of this include use in books, use on products, use to promote events, use on websites, etc.
  • When an individual or entity wants to use a work in its entirety, including, but not limited to in print, in film/video, in the media, presentation, or on a website.

Personal Use

Personal use of materials for study purposes only is not permitted without an approved “study copy request” from Stepping Stones.

These usages are not allowed / not granted:
Must not be used for any of the following:

  • Novelty item such as stickers, clothing, mugs/cups, greeting cards, etc.
  • Commercial (i.e., not for sale).
  • Advertising
  • Event promotions (e.g., flyers, social media posts).
  • Saving to personal computers and electronic devices such as smart phones.
  • Use on other websites.
  • Sharing study copies with unauthorized persons.


Guidelines and Limitations for acceptable use of material from Stepping Stones:

Please apply for use of materials in live lectures/presentations and academic papers. Excerpts of text, use of documents and use of photographs, requires permission, credit, collection identification and the printing of a disclaimer. To make a use request, email info@steppingstones.org.

Text of Stepping Stones material shall be presented as-is, with no amendments, changes or editing permitted.

Educators are permitted to provide web links to Stepping Stones’ materials.


Who owns Stepping Stones material?
Stepping Stones is a wholly separate nonprofit, tax-exempt organization separate from the 12-Step fellowships. Stepping Stones owns an extensive archive of photographs, documents, and books, as well as memorabilia and other objects. The majority of the materials were left in the care of Stepping Stones by Lois Burnham Wilson. Some materials have also been collected since Lois’ passing in 1988. All Stepping Stones archive and collection materials and the Site’s text and designs are the property of Stepping Stones, which reserves all rights.

Who holds copyright to the material in Stepping Stones’ collection?
Stepping Stones owns the Site, archive, and collection material, but in certain cases copyright may be held by a third party, so those interested in using material should contact Stepping Stones by email to info@steppingstones.org for permissions and more information.
To obtain permission to reproduce or utilize material, email info@steppingstones.org.

What are examples of uses for which Stepping Stones does not grant permission?

  •  For-profit novelty items such as stickers, clothing, cups/mugs, greeting cards, posters, etc.
  •  Use of large amounts of material such as full documents on websites or in publications.
  •  Use of materials that would jeopardize the anonymity of living members of 12-Step fellowships.

What is the status of the Diary of Two Motorcycle Hobos book written by Lois Burnham Wilson?
Lois Wilson filed for copyright with the U.S. government for her book Diary of Two Motorcycle Hobos, and that protection extends beyond her lifetime. Lois printed approximately 500 copies of this book with a green cover and gave them to friends for their personal enjoyment. Stepping Stones filed and won in a Canadian court when a third party published thousands of unauthorized copies of Lois’ book. (The unauthorized version has a yellow cover and was ordered to be destroyed by the Canadian court.) To use material from the book, or if you would like to be contacted if an official copy of the book is published by Stepping Stones, please email office@steppingstones.org

Effective as of June 5, 2021