Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Leaving AIM

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 use.

From the AIM terms of Service, if you’re wondering why I’m no longer available. [Update: AOL has fixed their TOS.]

5 comments on "Leaving AIM"

  • gwen hastings says:

    Long time no eyeball Adam,
    I forwarded this on to my favorite supreme court defendant 🙂 who uses AOL IM on a regular basis from Ichat. Hopefully not any more(I really want to put him on OTR but in my copius amounts of spare time…!!)
    warm regards
    ps how was dominica, and M says Hi!

  • Get off AOL’s back

    Why is the line “You waive any right to privacy” worthy of such a maelstrom now when it’s been in AOL Instant Messenger’s Terms of Service since Feburary 5, 2004? Don’t believe me? Check the Internet Archive for yourself.
    Since the change to the …

  • Cypherpunk says:

    I’m seeing this all over the net as though it’s something dramatic and terrible, but haven’t we been here before? Every site that runs public message boards has similar disclaimers and licenses.
    The most bizarre part is the claim that this applies to chat messages. Since when is an AIM chat message a “posting”? That word, “posting”, refers to something published for the public to read. This would never apply to email or instant messages.
    Now, maybe you will say, but AIM is only about chat. But that’s not necessarily so, especially if you consider possible future project lines. Note this quote from the TOS: “You are responsible for any materials you post or make available on or through the AIM Products, including message board posts, chat participation and homepages.”
    If you search the TOS for “post” you will see many other references to AIM services that include message boards and similar technologies that provide for public posting of communications.
    This language which has everyone all atwitter seems to me simply to assert AOL’s right to publish the material people post for such publication. As I said, every similar service has such policies.

  • adam says:

    I don’t see what’s not to like about this. It’s the free market correcting bad language. Don’t want an uproar? Write your licenses more clearly.
    In looking at Yahoo’s TOS, they do not have similar language.

  • Cypherpunk says:

    Yahoo puts “Copyright © 2005 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.” at the bottom of every page, so they are effectively claiming copyright over the compilation just as AIM does.
    A new slashdot posting today contains a statement from AOL making it clear that they do not claim copyright on instant messages! Duh! Wanna bet whether this gets as much coverage as the earlier bogus claim? “A lie can travel around the world while the truth is still pulling on its boots.”

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