The Null Device

AOL: All your IM are belong to us

Reasons to avoid using AOL Instant Messenger: according to their most recent terms of service, AOL have the right to do whatever they like with any text messages you send through their system, and you have no right to privacy and no say in things at all.

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.

So if AOL decide that they can monetise that steamy chat you had with hot_bi_babe_18f, or the story/screenplay/song ideas you've been bouncing around with your collaborator on the other side of the world, you're SOL.

Oddly enough, AOL's other service, ICQ, doesn't seem to have anything similarly nasty in its terms of service. (via Alec Muffett)

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