Wednesday, October 16, 2013

who gives a TOS?

Google are about to updated their terms of service (TOS) and it is very refreshing to see an on-line service provider, firstly notify its users about the changes and also focus on those aspects that let the user control what is to be shared. However the common click to accept terms, expressed in very verbose legalese, are seldom read by most of us. we just want to join up not spend half and hour or more trying to figure out what is meant.

If you are creative type and produce original works it is really in your interest to review the TOS of all on-line services you use. Many services assume ownership of anything your uploaded into their services, Facebook and Instagram assume you given then very draconian rights over redistribution, Dropbox which one held part of the middle grade have recently changed to claim more rights over your content.  Flick/Yahoo! and google+ are generally considered better. Terms of Service are fine, and necessary, they cover such things as the services right to cancel your account if you do bad things and the fact that they may take little or no responsibility for what you upload, most don’t claim they own your content but that statement will probably be followed by a clause that you “grant them non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post”. If you are not ok with this perhaps it is best not to use that service!

If like most of us you have tried to read the fine print and are still uncertain, here is a community (ToS;DR Terms of Service Didn’t Read) and website that understand and they aim to address and fix the biggest lie on the web “I have read and agree to the Terms” in one click!

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