Monday, March 14, 2005

AOL IM terms of service changes

Although there a lots of people covering this, the first post I saw was this one at TUAW (so they get the link love).  From the post, here is the concerning change:

”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.”

This will surely make me re-evaluate my use of AOL IM.  Although I use Trillian to access the AOL IM system, the language above seems to be a blanket for anyone using the service, AOL software user or not (so, as pointed out by TUAW, probably all of the iChat users as well).  This seriously makes me consider just switching to Skype for all of my IM needs; I certainly have no desire to have AOL own rights to the content that I am putting out over IM.

Additionally from the post:

”The following terms and conditions apply to all users who either registered for AIM services or downloaded AIM updates or software on or after February 5, 2004.”

This part is interesting as I have been using Trillian for years and have only downloaded software from them to update the AOL portion of their software -- I wonder if that counts; it probably does.

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