Controversy Over AOL Policy Illustrates TOS Shortcomings

Users went crazy recently when AOL posted new policies claiming ownership of user content. In truth, AOL's policies are not much different from any other Web site's, and IT people

March 25, 2005

1 Min Read
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In fact, AOL's policies on user content are virtually indistinguishable from most service usage policies, which state that the user must own the copyright to any content posted to the service's public areas, and that the user grants the service provider the right to use posted content as it sees fit. Most TOS and EULAs (end user license agreements) are written to protect the service provider and can be changed without notice.

There are two morals to this story. One, treat Internet "news" with skepticism until it's independently verified. Two, most users accept TOS and EULAs without even glancing at the contract terms. As IT pros, we should take a closer look at these shrink-wrapped user agreements, and let top management know when one raises a red flag.

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