AOL Instant Message Maybe Not A OK


For those who use AOL IM or for those who may plan to in the future you may want to take a real good look at this. Privacy would seem to be a thing of the past.

America Online, Inc. has quietly updated the terms of service for its AIM instant messaging application.

The revamped terms of service, which apply only to users who downloaded the free AIM software on or after Feb. 5, 2004, gives AOL the right to “reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote” all content distributed across the chat network by users.

“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,” according to the AIM terms-of-service.

With such drastic changes by AOL one would think that they would make a more concerted effort to inform the INTERNET users. Privacy has always been a trademark of the INTERNET with email and instant messaging. AOL does not seem to think so these days. The revised AOL terms can be read here.

The privacy issue be breached is bad enough but ownership and the right to reproduce, this is chilling:

“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,” it added.

It is hard to imagine that AOL will also make such changes to their business programs or premium packages, then again its pretty hard to fathom that they tried to pull this fast one.

Hat Tip: Drudge Report

Posted March 13, 2005 by
Main, Technology | one comment

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  • Comments

    One Response to “AOL Instant Message Maybe Not A OK”

    1. » WATCH WHAT YOU SAY on March 14th, 2005 9:11 am

      [...] er: All — site admin @ 9:10 am For all AOL Users, a word to the wise…watch out for the new privacy rules. Comments » [...]

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