You may remember my article from a while back, 3 Ways You’ve Sold Your Soul to the Internet. As it turns out, there seems to be a variety of ways that one can make it happen, and as a matter of fact, I’ve found four more ways that you can do so!
The items presented here are some of the fringe services that you may use in conjunction with your main services (besides the last one), so it’s at least a good idea to keep them in mind.
Let’s take a look at how you’ve signed away your digital life-force.
Straight-up, I’ll be honest and tell you that I actually have a Twitpic account. Prior to the new Twitter photo albums feature, I would occasionally use it, and I thought it was pretty awesome. However, I found this in Twitpic’s Terms of Service fairly recently.
You retain all ownership rights to Content uploaded to Twitpic. However, by submitting Content to Twitpic, you hereby grant Twitpic a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and Twitpic’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels.
Logically speaking, it’s a good idea for Twitpic to go ahead and throw this into their TOS. However, it’s also a good idea for you to check it out for yourself to make sure it’s something you’re okay with getting into! Basically, whatever you put on Twitpic, Twitpic (along with is successors and affiliates) can in turn use it for whatever they want… without asking you. So just keep that in mind next time you upload something crazy.
At the core, PicFog is a Twitter image search engine at best, and basically, it runs through all images posted on Twitter and uses them as results for the website. Once again, you should keep in mind that whatever you upload online can end up here.
Using Twitter and the connecting image upload services, PicFog shows pictures from Twitter as they’re posted, in real time. You don’t even need a Twitter account to enjoy the benefits – and you can filter by any keyword, location or Twitter user.
When I last checked PicFog, it seemed that there had been some troubles with the website due to Twitter’s new API. However, who knows what you’ll find when it’s back up and running?
With respect to photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Yahoo! Services other than Yahoo! Groups, the license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publicly perform and publicly display such Content on the Yahoo! Services solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available. This license exists only for as long as you elect to continue to include such Content on the Yahoo! Services and will terminate at the time you remove or Yahoo! removes such Content from the Yahoo! Services.
I suppose what this means is this – if you make your photos available to the public, then Yahoo! (or Flickr, rather) can use these images for whatever they want. Furthermore, they can alter them as they wish, but I don’t know what that exactly would entail. (Perhaps they could Photoshop Godzilla in if they wanted?)
As much as I love Google, it scares me. I guess it’s kind of like being good friends with a professional wrestler. You know that they could crush you, but you also know them on a pretty cool personal level. However, here’s a tidbit from Google’s TOS.
You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
So not only can any information that you post using Google’s services be used by them at any time for any media outlet, the company also has the power to adapt or modify the work. Much like the case with Flickr, those are real loose words – “adapt” and “modify”, that is. It’s pretty scary in a way, because they can apparently do whatever they want with whatever you post using Blogger, Google+, or maybe even YouTube.
Realistically speaking, the chances are that most of us simply will not care about the state of our Internet soul. Sacrifices have to be made in order to prevent lawsuits, but sometimes those sacrifices are described rather vaguely.
What other TOS statements do you tend to question? In what other ways have you sold your soul to the Internet?