Privacy and Copyright on ICQ/AIM

I’m sure it’s an old hat for the most of you, but I read about this for the first time and found it unacceptable (and I can’t believe I really overlooked this when I agreed to the terms of service).

From the ICQ Terms Of Service:
You agree that by posting any material or information anywhere on the ICQ Services and Information you surrender your copyright and any other proprietary right in the posted material or information. You further agree that ICQ Inc. is entitled to use at its own discretion any of the posted material or information in any manner it deems fit, including, but not limited to, publishing the material or distributing it.

From the AIM Terms Of Service:
You or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to public areas of any AIM Product. However, by submitting or posting Content to public areas of AIM Products (for example, posting a message on a message board or submitting your picture for the “Rate-A-Buddy” feature), 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. Once you submit or post Content to any public area on an AIM Product, AOL does not need to give you any further right to inspect or approve uses of such Content or to compensate you for any such uses. AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating Content posted to public areas of AIM Products.

I heard that Jabber is an interesting alternative, and it also supports PGP. You don’t need to search for their terms of service; it’s completely free, open, public.

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Weekend Gamedev

  1. I think I’ve heard that they changed the term of service later *after* me and many others already agreed to an older version. I’m not sure about that though… I don’t read stuff like that. :o)