Fine Print

Image Source: studentspaces.net
Image Source: studentspaces.net

Does anyone ever really read the fine print?

Your mother told you to, but do you really?

Or have we become so eager to use the ‘latest’ app or software or service that we simply hit ‘agree’ and move on?

There was a LOT of brouhaha (I love that word 😀 ) over the changes to the TOS in Second Life a while ago.

Content creators up in arms over the wording.  Some left SL.

I’m not a content creator, so while I understood their upset, it didn’t affect me.

I do passionately believe in copyright and protections for intellectual property.  However, it’s becoming harder and harder to protect yourself and your rights.

Everyone is online.

And if you are, you need to protect yourself.

At least read the fine print.

I was looking a social media site the other day and went to read their TOS.

Here’s what it said (and no, it isn’t from SL):

“We claim no ownership of any intellectual property rights over the Content that you upload to the Service. Any intellectual property rights in the uploaded Content belong solely to you (or your licensors). However, by uploading the Content to the Service, you grant -company name retracted- a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, perpetual and irrevocable right to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, sublicense, and prepare derivative works of, such Content, in any format or medium now known or later developed, solely on and through the Service, subject to these Terms of Service and our privacy policy. You represent and warrant that you have sufficient rights to grant this license.”

Wow.

So they claim no ownership, but then in the next sentence say that you uploading content allows them to basically do anything they want with it, in any format (now known or invented in the future), in perpetuity.

PERPETUITY.

You know what perpetuity means right?

In case you don’t, here’s the definition from Dictionary.com:  ‘endless or indefinitely long duration or existence; eternity.’

That means they can use your stuff however they want, whenever they want, wherever they want, FOREVER.

Even though they said you own the content.

Just because you used their service.

And you can’t revoke their right to use the content, because the TOS says that not only is your agreement perpetual, it’s irrevocable.

Now, this particular TOS does say that they can/will use your content ‘solely on and through the Service’ of their site.

Which is something, I guess.

Read the fine print, people.

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