Saturday, March 12, 2005

AIM Terms of Service

Update #2: AOL has changed its Terms of Service. The heading is now "Content You Post to Public Areas." They have deleted the sentence that says you have no privacy and have made it clear that AOL can use anything posted in a public area. They also state that they do not read your private online communications when you use a tool like AIM. Good changes! ***************************************** Update: Apparently, AOL didn't mean to include instant messaging in that section of the Terms of Service. However, I'd still be leery. They may not have meant to include IM, but if you read it, it is included. ***************************************** If you use AOL Instant Messenger and you haven't looked at the Terms of Service lately, you might want to revisit it. As I am not an AIM user, I do not know how long these terms have been active. It looks like you retain copyright to anything you post, but AOL retains the copyright to any compilation or derivative work. Also, if you post, you are giving AOL rights to pretty much do with it as they want. You are waiving your rights to privacy and to approve AOL's use. Here's the section called "Content You Post" from the Terms of Service:
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 work 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.
If I am reading it correctly (and I am not a lawyer), you might want to be careful with the types of messages you send.

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