March 13th, 2005

Beatles

Beware of AIM!

For those who doesn't know it, AIM/AOL Messenger has a new Terms of Service, which in my mind totally SUCK!!!

Essentially, but in other words, the new TOS says:

As for Content.

You're not able to send any content (as in files), you're not the owner of. As in, something you haven't created yourself (as your own photography), or the creator has given you the right to distribute. Essentially the standard Copyright laws.

You're also not allowed to send content that are illegal, or violates TOS.

That, as I said, is sound, and expected.

The next thing is the thing that's REAL BAD.

Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective w ork or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.

Which in other words means. If you send a photo you've taken through the AOL Network, AOL has total rights to that photo (or music, or drawing, or design or whatever), to use it as they see fit. If they want to start a big advertising campaign using your photo, they're in full right in doing so. Scarier is the fact that the right belongs to the owner of AOL, and as such could be used by all their companies.

I'm not sure, yet, how far that reaches, but, of course Apple's iChat uses the AIM Protocol and Network (So far, since I'm not sure Apple who sell itself as a creative enviroment would be happy with something that steal the work created on their computers), and of course, ICQ and AIM is the same company, which probably mean that it affects those using ICQ as well.
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