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Monday, 14 March 2005


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. (emphasis added)

Does this say that AOL can use the content of my instant messages in any way that it wants? IChat uses the AIM network. I'm offline until further notice.

Actually, um, I've strongly advised against IMing sensitive corporate material for a long time. It goes through AOL servers. They probably don't read individual messages. But I'd bet money that they're scanning for links and probably also key words, in order to compile statistics. La la la. When I worked there, I'd get a weekly report of web traffic through their servers, as they could tell what websites their subscribers were hitting. It was very interesting. I bet SBC also collects web stats. I bet somebody buys these sorts of stats. I bet there are folks paid to spend a lot of time and energy analyzing these stats to see what sort of useful data they can gleam from them.

What's a good replacement for AIM?



Mick J. said...

Don't forget that AOL also owns ICQ. I've stopped using AIM, ICQ and MSN (which just plain sucks) as of today and told everyone on my list that they can catch me on Yahoo Messenger (whose TOS isn't privacy-raping) and switching to X-IM for my other, more sensitive IM traffic. I'm suggesting everyone else basically do the same.

I posted about this whole thing on my site as well:

yesyouam said...

Use ICB over SSH!
It used to be just a nice way to make drug deals online, but it's good for anything, really. I mostly use AIM just shittalk. I only thing to take into consideration on ICB is the fact that anyone else in your channel could be logging the conversation.