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Yahoo Backs Down (sorta)

CmdrTaco posted more than 15 years ago | from the isn't-that-interesting dept.

The Internet 83

Jareth writes "In their revised terms of service, Yahoo is trying to make it clear that they do not own content that you submit. They still haven't taken out the sections about 'modify, adapt, ... create derivative works from'. So while they don't own your web page, they can still do anything they want to it. The story is over at Wired. "

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That's a plus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823787)

Free has a different meaning nowaday.

mail.yahoo.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823788)

Does all this stuff apply to there free e-mail accounts too? Are they saying that if I use yahoo mail, that they can redistribute, modify, etc. my e-mails?

Or is there another license for that?

Re:Its not that bad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823789)

You only have to look at the Demon libel case to see you can't rely on a judge being sensible.

Re:It's a culmination of things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823790)

Waaa waaaa community, waaaa waaaa spirit, waaa waaa human element, waaa waaa i am a beggar on the information highway and can't afford $10 a month for a webpage of my own. Your whining is the one that makes me sick.

The day I treat a beggar who pisses on what i give him FOR FREE (room/board/bandwidth) with dignity is the day i slit my own wrists.

You can take your pie in the sky, communist, liberal drivel and you can put it you know where.

I may not have to like it either, but this world is powered on greed and money, live in it and deal with it instead of spending all you time in some ficticious digital domain.

What's the difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823791)

How is the agreement Yahoo/Geo has different from the GPL? Don't both want to make it possible for others to make money on your work?

Heck, doesn't RMS recommend that you assign all copyright to FSF (which is the beef with XEmacs)?

Maybe slashdotters are hypocrits afterall?

Dionysus
bromius@usa.net

Re:9. Indemnification (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823792)

Actually, 9 says nothing of the sort. If you actually read it, the one (rather long) sentence in part 9 says, in much simplified language:

You agree not to hold Yahoo Inc. responsible for anything that someone else claims that you did.

Oh yeah. That's "utterly unfair". Right.

If it is such a PR disaster why is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823793)

Thier is doing better, in fact it's gone up.

Re:If it is such a PR disaster why is it (whoops) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823794)

I meant thier stock has gone up. 12 points since yesterday.

Simple way to avoid this dilemma (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823795)

Go out and pay $20 a month for your own domain to post your 90210 fan site or whatever other crap is being put up.

Newsflash for the slashdot crowd - the internet doesn't run on solar energy. Either you pay, or yahoo pays. If yahoo pays, they're going to monkey with a site as they deem fit. Tripod does the same.

If You Don't Like It, Don't Use It! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823796)


There are other places that will host your websites - for a fee. You all want a free website and don't want to give the company whos resources you are using anything in return. It just works out that by taking ownership of your IP, Yahoo! is possibly the most expensive web hosting service you can find. That and it sucks too.

My grandmother told me an ancient Chinese proverb that, roughly translated, goes something like this:

"Robins have the most positive outlook on life of anyone I know. They eat worms and cherries and STILL they sing! If I had to eat worms and cherries I wouldn't be singing to nobody but the toilet! O Robin teach me as I were your hatchling!"

There is a moral to that and it is far from being off-topic. Before any of you moderators go downgrading this you should give it some thought. You'll probably end up increasing the thresh if you think about it.

I could give the moral away but it's better if people discover it on their own.

The boycott is still on and bigger than ever! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823797)

Yahoo needs to be slapped HARD for this insane attempt and pure GREED. They need to be hauled into the bright public light and also to make it clear to the SHAREHOLDERS that Yahoo is committing internet SUICIDE by pursuing this policy of stripping all its web site ownerd of all IP rights to their own creations.

Re:covering their ***es (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823798)

they've "seemed" to cover their ***es.

9. INDEMNITY

You agree to indemnify and hold Yahoo, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, co-branders or other partners, and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your Content, your use of the Service, your connection to the Service, your violation of the TOS, or your violation of any rights of another.

Here's the difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823799)

>How is the agreement Yahoo/Geo has different from
>the GPL? Don't both want to make it possible for
>others to make money on
>your work?

The GPL covers source code which the author has expressly chosen to place under that license. Everyone has the right to use it providing they abide by terms of the license, which includes that they may NOT limit the rights of other parties when distributing the software. The author still maintains the copyright. Note that this type of license does not work for things like essays and so forth, because you could modify what someone else has said and then distribute it. Take an essay and add a couple sentences on sleeping with livestock. The impact with source code is very different (a functional work) from the impact with other types of intellectual property.

What YAHOO has done is to usurp the IP of others and grant themselves rights to do anything they want with it. The copyright holders haven't agreed to it (keep in mind there were millions of GeoCities accounts established under different TOS). This includes anything you have on your site -- books, music, photographs, etc. YAHOO could, for example, take music off a struggling band's site and sell it to a record label. Take your book and sell it to a publisher. Take your photographs, cut them up, and use them on their own pages. Sell them to a clip-art gallery. Without your permission, since they've granted themselves the right.

This IP grab is probably illegal.

(How would you like it if YOUR ISP decided to revise its terms of service without telling you -- YAHOO doesn't have to tell you when they change their TOS, according to their TOS -- and decided they have full rights to everything on your pages?)

Note that this is something they grant themselves; with the GPL, the AUTHOR grants EVERYONE usage, and anyone who uses it has to grant everyone else those same rights.

Your FSF example would only be accurate if the FSF started assigning the GPL to your work without your express permission, and if the GPL only granted rights to the FSF. So that they could use it but nobody else.

This is clearly NOT what the GPL is about at all.

Re:What about the content from other services? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823800)

What will happen if I steal your material and put it on a Yahoo site is that you'll sue Yahoo, they'll settle with you and then make me pay them back. Perhaps you'll additional sue me too, and I'll have to settle with you. If you make an invalid claim and Yahoo finds it more convenient not to fight, I'll still have to pay Yahoo if they settle with you.

What I don't understand is why Yahoo claims the new TOS doesn't allow them to publish a book with your material on it. The TOS says they can publish your material in any media they chose.

Yahoo's agreement gives them everything they could ever want as from your material, but disclaims all possible repercussions that publisher generally have to deal with. I can't imagine a sweeter IP deal.

Isaac

WHO CARES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823801)

Who cares? My homelink points to
www.google.com [google.com]
which is superrior search engine.
Yahoo needs to change itself radically,
to attract my attention:-)
happy hacking,

MSN homepages. Same IP problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823802)

Right on the tail of the Yahoo scandal, Microsoft has opened up their own web page hosting on MSN. 12mb, they put banners on your pages, and after digging around for their TOS, it looks like they're claiming ownership to the IP also.

Did we expect anything less?

I'm waiting for the day that they change their TOS to say that "anything served by a Microsoft web server will be come property of M$. You have been assimilated"


Re:Ironic that everyone gets protective now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823803)

Exactly how many of us have disregarded SW authors' rights? I for one find it rather insulting to be labeled a software pirate for no apparent reason.


The discussion here is about Yahoo's apparent IP grab, not the travails of some bunch of criminals

GPL software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823804)

Its clear that even with the new yahoo mods its still incompatible with the GPL. Can someone give me a list of sites that allow GPLised software projects to be put up at no cost ??

chalk another one up for slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823805)

way to go! we are the people and we have the power!

yeah like that anne geddes @#$@#$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823806)

she is fucked in the head

Re:Yahoo/Geocities Paid Virtual Domains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823807)

To those who criticize people with web sites at Geocities: Be aware that many of us - over a hundred thousand I believe PAY for web sites of 25mb without ads and for Geocities to host our domains. I've had a paid virtual domain at Geocities for 2 1/2 years now, upon which I have over 600 pages of my published writing and professional photography, and which gets about 20,000 visitors a month. It's been a great deal all along - paying low cost to get 25mb of space, unlimited traffic, and the ability to upload via a web-based file manager, which is essential for students in all the web design classes I teach using Geocities. The price of paying $9.90 per month for my site has been that the address switches to Geocities once someone arrives at it - but so what? Just typing http://www.webwinds.com will get one there.

Having Yahoo demand rights to do whatever they want with years of my copyrighted creative work and the source of my livelihood is completely untenable .....as is having to sign their terms even to retrieve the material. This is power at its worst.......and thank God Netizens are fighting back!......

And of course now I have to take down, change, and reupload over a thousand of my files, altering thousands of links, and pay to transfer my dowmain elsewhere. Not a pleasant prospect.
They could have at least given notice of their change in policy and allowed members the time needed to find another web host.

Tracy Marks http://www.webwinds.com/
(It only says anonymous coward above because I didn't choose to register here just to post one message!)

There's nothing half so angry... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823808)

...as someone who's getting something for free and has a threat made to his "freedom" to continue using the free thing as he thinks he should be able to. Of course, this is a faux freedom: real freedom is that which no one *can* take away from you, and all the pale imitations are naught but social conventions. Or, as in this case, business arrangement.

This, incidentally, is where the early free software movemment went astray. Information does *not* inherently "want to be free". Stallman's brilliant contribution was recognizing this and crafting the GPL so as to restrict the natural inclination to hide information for pecuniary advantage. Put this way it does sound a little like the avowed goals of Communism, but then there's a lot that we take for granted today that arose straight out of Marx's writings and the social movements directly inspired by those writings. Labor unions, 40 hour weeks, health insurance, governmental welfare of all sorts... (yes, of *course* I'm glossing over a lot. This is a friggin' slashdot throw-away comment, not a scholarly work. If you want the latter try a library - do a little work instead of just sitting there with your ass in the chair and a fatuous grin on your face.)

Let's not make too much more of this than it deserves. Yahoo had an existing policy in place that was thoughtlessly applied to a newly acquired business, one that was quite different than Yahoo's previous operations. Gosh, I bet they would have revised the agreement without all these tantrums and people turning blue from holding their breath - a better, more carefully drafted one than they did produce no doubt.

Ah well, the infants will have their fun.

Much too little, too late (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1823809)

Yahoo need to, at a minimum, allow people to decline the new TOS and remove their pages. The new TOS, both avatars, require a certification that Yahoo is absolved of issues around someone's ownership of content. Further, it might just be that people don't want Yahoo to create any derivative works from their original content.

It's nothing but smoke.

I've been through this sort of thing before (when GEnie was taken over by Yovelle Renaissance), and TOS changes like this don't stand up in court if a graceful way out is not available. Anyone in doubt should refuse the TOS and MAIL Yahoo a statement declining the TOS change, requesting all creative content be removed from their system. The letter should reaffirm your copyright and your refusal to grant a license to your works.

-Greg

In practice, they still own it (1)

Electron (598) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823810)

"So while they don't own your web page, they can still do anything they want to it."

They say that they don't own the content, but can do ANYTHING they want to it?

Call me stupid but... isn't that what OWNING something grants you to do to it?

They still need to patch this :)

-- Electron

Sometimes flaming isn't such a bad idea... (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823811)

Posted by 2B||!2B:

When many of us threatened to forever pull all content from GeoCities and to never ever use or link to Yahoo again, they changed the terms immediately. My own mail to them included the something to the effect "The customer is always right, and I'm the customer. Respect us, and we will return the favor. Piss us off and you will forever regret it." Oh, how the mighty fall!

Remember: You are getting what you paid for. (2)

Masem (1171) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823812)

I do agree that what yahoo is doing is unethical.


Just like when Geocities added the ubiquitious logo to each page


Just like when Geocities and Xoom added the pop up
windows to each page


Just like how hotmail/deja/excite/yahoo.com mail
always includes the ubiquitious plug for their service with each mail you send out.


These are all free to the user services, and thus,
they have to make money to break even somehow, and
this is best done with the ads that they do,
whether for themselves or for others. And
as with this yahoo deal, these all used methods
that are considered unethical or innappopriate
for the medium.


Geocities-cum-Yahoo is in a weird boat; Geocities,
without being owned by Yahoo, was merely providing
free webspace with some minor content of their own.


On the other hand, Yahoo *IS* a content provider,
given yahoo.com, my.yahoo.com, and Yahoo Magazine.
They are in the unique position that if they happen to see content they wish to adsorb from pages
that are using their free service, they will do
it.

9. Indemnification (1)

David Jensen (1987) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823813)

The Yahoos write:
You agree to indemnify and hold Yahoo, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, co-branders or other partners, and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of your Content, your use of the Service, your connection to the Service, your violation of the TOS, or your violation of any rights of another.
They should work on this, too. A proper indemnification clause would require Yahoo to immediately inform the person who has agreed to be financially responsible so this person can take immediate control of the case. This one does not. According to 9. Yahoo can bollix up the claim, ignore any defenses you might have and then bill you for their incompetence. Again, the license language is utterly unfair to users.

Yahoo's Goals (1)

David Jensen (1987) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823814)

I'll bet that Yahoo's goals are not what their lawyers wrote in the TOS. I'll even bet that they will never try to enforce some of the more onerous provisions of 8 or 9, but they did write it and they did require agreement to get access to the sites (even if to remove them).

Yahoo screwed up. I hope they fix it. Yahoo could have explained in the TOS how they expect to use the pages.

First draft langauge follows: "You authorize us to use this information as expected based on the current operations of Yahoo and GeoCities. This includes but is not limited to the following: You authorize us to duplicate this page for multiple servers. You authorize us to add advertising, pop-ups and watermarks as we deem necessary. You authorize us to serve your pages when requested. If you have any questions about how we use your pages, contact ______. You will always have the opportunity to remove your pages if you do not like the way we are presenting or using them."

You have oversimplified (1)

David Jensen (1987) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823815)

You agree not to hold Yahoo Inc. responsible for anything that someone else claims that you did.
No. It does not say that. It says that you have to pay ("indemnify") Yahoo for any expenses associated with a claim made by a third party. It does not say the claim has to be valid. It does not say that Yahoo has to contest the claim. It does not say that Yahoo has to tell you about the claim. Under Yahoo's language, Yahoo can settle the claim and come back to you for indemnification.

Not a Restriction (1)

David Jensen (1987) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823816)

The language we are complaining about has not been restricted as you think it might have. I think Yahoo intended that, but they need better, more fair language.

Lawyers get used to the give and take of negotiations when writing contracts. When there is no other side to negotiate with, the lawyers have to make an extra effor to assure that the contracts are not one-sided.

"Yahoo does not own Content you submit" is a lie (2)

David Jensen (1987) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823817)

Yahoo says that they do not own the content, but then assert non-exclusive but complete ownership rights by claiming:
By submitting Content to any Yahoo property, you automatically grant, or warrant that the owner of such Content has expressly granted, Yahoo the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed.
Aside from exclusive use, what do they not own?

Derivative Works right is their Basic Premise (1)

Chris Tyler (2180) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823818)

The business model of most "Free" web space providers is based on publishing derivative works. They take your content, add some ads so to provide some revenue, and then distribute that derivative work. Without permission to distribute and to produce derivatives, the business model doesn't work.

Yahoo (2)

ToiletDuk (6366) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823819)

So if I type my name into a Yahoo search, do they own me?

is *not* free (was Re:There's nothing half so ang) (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823820)

The yahoo service is no more free than any of the major broadcast networks. By using the yahoo services I am in essence making an agreement to view their ads. My time is being traded for their service... their service is only free if you don't value your own personal time.

---
Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...

For the last time, it is NOT free. (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823821)

All these anonymous cowards who apparently don't value their own time keep getting this wrong.

Just because they are "giving" you a service doesn't it make free. Why? Because you have agreed that for this service you will view their ads. in case you aren't aware this is how portals make money, on the ads. So by using their so called "free" service you are actually paying their bills... Yahoo and its ilk cost as much as you value the time you waste looking at advertisements. Seems some of you don't value your time at all.

---
Openstep/NeXTSTEP/Solaris/FreeBSD/Linux/ultrix/OSF /...

Re:Sometimes flaming isn't such a bad idea... (1)

chialea (8009) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823822)

ah, but they have already stated that if the content is in any way illegal, it's your problem.

otherwise it's theirs to do as they like with.

Lea

they don't own the responsibility (1)

chialea (8009) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823823)

... for your stuff, which they also stated in another part of this quite /interesting/ statement.

Lea

Re:Nice Try, Guys (1)

grahamm (8844) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823824)

IP in this context is Intellectual Property, not Internet Protocol

Adding banners IS creating a derivative work (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823825)

Everytime anyone browses a geocities site, the server is copying (reproducing) your web site and sending it to the client. If you put up a web site there, don't you WANT them to be able to reproduce it?

Since they add banner ads, they are actually modifying your original work, thus creating a derivative. This is the quid pro quo of free web sites.

Re:Yahoo's Goals (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823826)

Certainly your language is much more clear. Now let me ask you this: when was the last time you ever read anything that clear from a lawyer?

Re:Adding banners IS creating a derivative work (1)

pspeed (12169) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823827)

The courts are not as clear on this as you are.

Is it reproduction if GeoCities uses more than one server? Is it reproduction if GeoCities uses some sort of cache? Is it reproduction if GeoCities modifies the content as it is "published"?

In each case, it can be argued logically both ways.

If you were a group of lawyers for a large corporation would you want to trust the courts to decide the answers to those questions?

"That's like saying 'I'm an author and I don't want the publisher to print numerous copies of my book and sell them.'"

That's exactly like what it's saying. If I want the publisher to publish my book then I have to let them have certain publication rights. If I don't like the rights they ask for then I don't have to let them publish my book.

Yahoo's biggest mistake (from a legal standpoint) was not giving users an easy way out.

From a commerce point of view, the publishing rights will be renegotiated until they are favorable enough that people will still use them to publish good content. Yahoo! is within their rights to do this. We may not like it, but free web pages on GeoCities are not a special right granted to everyone online. They just needed to give current content providers a way to easily walk away.

Re:Any contract/copyright lawyers out there? (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823828)

Why would you want a lawyer? Isn't this GPL-fanatics wet dream? You create something, some else can make a profit of it without giving you royalties...

Really don't see the problem here.

Dionysus
bromius@usa.net

Re:Here's the difference (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823829)

Check out the Free Software Foundation website.
RMS goal is to get rid of IP. GPL is a stepping stone towards that goal (heck, he even recommends that libraries be licensed under GPL now).

Meaning, you create something. Debian can sell it without giving you a dime.

Oh, wait, but it's not the same, right? They're grabbing your IP (lets disregard the fact OS people really don't believe in IP, well other people's IP. This thread shows that they do care about their own IP).

The majority of the OS applications out there have a license that says something like: "This application is covered under the GPL/LGPL v2 or later". Meaning RMS could release a new version of GPL stipulating that all applications using this license would belong to FSF.

>> YAHOO could, for example, take
music off a struggling band's site and sell it to a record label. Take your book and sell it to a publisher. Take your photographs,
cut them up, and use them on their own pages. Sell them to a clip-art gallery. >So that they could use it but nobody else. >How would you like it if YOUR ISP decided to revise its terms of service without telling you

Wouldn't be stupid enough to sign an agreement where the terms could be changed withour prior warning.

Dionysus
bromius@usa.net

Its not that bad.... (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823830)

They just want to cover their butts so they can put up summaries of websites when you're doing a search. I highly doubt that they're going to steal someones invention, or steal someones great screenplay... there are laws against that, and just because someone were to click "Submit" does not mean its legally binding. I don't think there is a single judge who wouldn't feel the same way.

~~Kev

What about BOTS? (1)

kevlar (13509) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823831)

What would happen if a page was submitted by anyone BUT the owner... like their own web bots. That'd open them right up to a lawsuit. Hell I have a couple pages that I know I didn't submit... if they ever did anything nasty to them, they'd definately see a lawsuit because I didn't even click submit....

~~Kev

Re:mail.yahoo.com (1)

Robin Lionheart (14795) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823832)

"any Yahoo property" should include mail.yahoo.com.

So it seems that Yahoo has asserted its right to "use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, or create derivative works from" your private e-mail.

Here's the email that I sent to them... (3)

yAm (15181) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823833)

I sent an email to (probably dark hole) somewhere in Yahoo expressing my displeasure at their behavior:

Dear Yahoo!,

I am unable to find another address to which I am able to complain about your plans to usurp you users Intellectual Property, so I am taking my chances and mailing you here.

I have removed my email address and changed my homepage away from yours in protest of your new TOS. I have been a big fan of Yahoo! pretty much since you started, having not only used you myself, but adding your page to all the systems I install (as opposed the the usual Microsoft or Netscape homepage). I felt that you had one of the best start pages in the business and have made it known to my coworkers and clients that this is the page of choice.

I will do this no longer.

Your recent Intellectual Property landgrab is completely uncalled for. Not only is it (probably) legally unfounded, but it is an insult to the userbase that you have either built up or acquired. Being forced to agree with your TOS *before* I could even get in to check and delete my mail is patently unfair. I did not agree and will not agree.

Perhaps you may be thinking that you will be trying to cover yourself legally, but there are *far* better ways than claiming rights to others' property. Perhaps you think that there are plenty of other free email and web hosting sites. You are correct. And I will find one. One that doesn't feel the need to steal my work.

I am truly disappointed in Yahoo!. It seems that one of my old friends has just shown himself to be a not only a bad neighbor, but a greedy, one as well.

I may possibly reconsider rejoining you should you remove the draconian TOS you have imposed, but I would need plenty of evidence of your contrition and large apology to the community that has made you the success that you are today.

Shame on you, Chris Eidem

I hope their hard drives seize...

Chris

don't think that works (1)

Tannin Kal (17633) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823834)

does it?
is there a legal procedure for saying,
"my bad, i take responsibility for what (he/she/it/they) did"?
i'd suspect not,
thus the aformentioned indemnity section would be meaningless.
in addition,
assuming they did claim ownership of the content,
(which they don't, but just for the sake of argument)
it would no longer be YOUR content that caused the "claim or demand".
i wonder if the above would just apply to civil action,
and not criminal.
"claim or demand" is a ways from "infringement" or "infraction".
and typically, "third party" isn't used to represent authoritative legal action.

any lawyers present, to set me/us straight on this one?

covering their ***es (2)

Tannin Kal (17633) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823835)

besides trying to cut their losses,
as many have already left geocities,
they may just be trying to cover a different problem.
maybe i'm wrong here,
but if you upload something illegal,
and they claim to own it,
doesn't that make them liable?
i think they're just afraid people would use the space for warez or other illegal content,
and since without their new statement,
they would own it,
they would be responsible for the content.
there have been isues on web hosts being responsible for the content before,
and they would have no chance of winning one,
if they claimed to OWN the illicit material.
this was an ass-covering masked by a bad PR move.

Re:Yahoo (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823836)

Not directly.

But, they can modify you and use that as a derivative work. Kind of like cloning done Andy Warhol style, I guess...

Re:Adding banners IS creating a derivative work (1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823837)

That's like saying "I'm an author and I don't want the publisher to print numerous copies of my book and sell them."

Serving a web page is not reproducing it. Moving it all to a different address and serving it, without notifying the IP owner, would be reproducing it.

Re:Remember: You are getting what you paid for. (1)

warhound (23066) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823838)

I wondered if someone would bring up that point.

I agree, what they ar doing is unethical, but thats life. As I understand it they haven't taken anything yet, they are just putting conditions on the continued use of their service. You have the choice of taking it or leaving it. There is no (insert diety/goverment/philosophy/dogma of choice here) given right to a page on the internet. The only way you can be sure of having a place on the net that will be yours and under your own conditions os to pay for it.

Seems like that is not a popular philosophy nowdays, everybody has their hand out waiting for something. By all means boycott Yahoo if you feel they are out of line, I think they kind of are, but all the whining because the people that have been giving you something for nothing all this time suddenly change the rules.

Time to get back to reality, if a web page is iportant enough to get this upset over, maybe its important enough to pay for.

Re:Nice Try, Guys (1)

whimsy (24742) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823839)

I don't understand what you mean by IPs. This is about GeoCities websites, which are all under the same IP or set of IPs.

Re:Nice Try, Guys (1)

whimsy (24742) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823840)

That makes more sense. ;P

Re:Sometimes flaming isn't such a bad idea... (1)

whimsy (24742) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823841)

This is a victory in name only. You may still "own" your information, but Yahoo still holds all the same rights as an owner, except for exclusivity. They can use it, they can change it, they can sell it. Ad banners, watermarks, and all that stuff is different - these places need to survive. Reserving the right to chop up your work and sell it wholesale is another matter.

Unfair statement (1)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823842)

I find your statement a bit unfair, and the logic a bit wrong somehow.

Seems to me you have this choice:

(a) No service at all.
(b) Service, with some forced advertising.

Just because somebody willingly accepts the advertising in order to obtain the service does not mean that they "don't value their free time at all". It's a symbiotic relationship .. I give a bit of my time in exchange for a service. You seem to imply some sort of parasitic relationship where only Yahoo is getting something.

Re:Ironic that everyone gets protective now (1)

lhand (30548) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823843)

We have always been protective of our work/IP. Those of us who develop free/open software protect it by licensing it under the GPL or other license. Those who write closed source protect it with other copyrights.

What we don't do is grab all of the software out there and claim it as our own.

Even if we do steal some.

Yahoo's First PR Disaster? (1)

Vector Inspector (35504) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823844)

I have to think this is Yahoo's first real Public Relations disaster in there history. If so, I think they have done a pretty good job so far.

The difference between Owning and Having a License (1)

Thalia (42305) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823845)

The difference is that Yahoo has to attribute the information to you. So if they reflect it, reprint it, or otherwise abuse your content, they still have to attribute it to you as the original author. Otherwise, they can do whatever they wish according to their license.

If you have the license, leave Yahoo and leave them a nasty letter. Someone does read and tally letters. Btw, the biggest hit for them would be if folks said they'll refuse to use Yahoo Shopping and use Yahoo in a corporate situation, since that's their money maker.

Nice Try, Guys (1)

Steve B (42864) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823846)

This is meaningless. They've disclaimed something that they never claimed to begin with (ownership of your IP) but kept the clause that caused the problem (the asserted license to use your IP more or less as they see fit).
/.

Re:Nice Try, Guys (1)

Steve B (42864) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823847)

IP here is an abbreviation for Intellectual Property.

Barring evidence to the contrary, I assume that this is simply a pointy-haired screwup, and they merely intended to cover the standard trade-offs for free web space (i.e. adding some ads when the site is displayed). The problem is that the language as written appears to authorize them to do just about anything (e.g. put your content on a "Best of GeoCities" CD and sell it).
/.

[HUMOR] How GeoCities Can Fix Their TOS Problem (1)

Steve B (42864) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823848)

If, as I suspect, they intended to merely protect their right to add banner ads, watermarks, and the like to sites when serving them (as per the usual tradeoff for free web space), they'll need to correct the screwup PDQ.

They have two options:

1. Pay their lawyers however many hundreds of dollars an hour they charge to redraft the TOS, or

2. Look for a copy of a rational free-site TOS on somebody's GeoCities Web page, and copy it under their current TOS.
/.

It's a culmination of things (1)

gonzocanuck (44989) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823849)

I have to disagree. The reason people are so ticked at Geocities is that the straw has been broken. If you were there in 1996, you would have said it was a real online community. I made lots of new friends there. Then came the ads that defaced your page, over and over again.


Geo was supposed to be about spirit and community. It did a flip and became about money, greed and eyeballs. That's what's making people so upset.
They could care squat about community - for example, before you couldn't sell anything on your site. Now you can sell "approved" things on your site. They have constantly changed the rules without consulting their "community".


People may whine that it is free, but at least one should be treated with dignity and respect and not the ninth arm of an advertising monster. It's no longer about people, it's all greed. Geo killed it's own communities. They forgot the human element that put so much into those pages, however crappy or beautiful they were.


Check out Hitlercities btw, you'll get a laugh. This poor guy has been chased from server to server by Geo.
http://thor.prohosting.com/~hitler/

Poor you (1)

gonzocanuck (44989) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823850)

Gee...I thought I was from the Chomsky camp...you'd do well to read him. You still can't deny that they started to trample on people's dreams of having a bit of cyberspace, people who thought the net was supposed to be a great sharing, and not dictated by a mother corp.


I don't spend my life in a fictious community, hell, I'm tree planting this weekend and doing a highway clean up. How about you?

The Yahooligans are just co-owners now! (1)

laetus (45131) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823851)

Given that Yahoo can still "use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate," or create derivative works from" anything you post on their site, they have, in effect, made themselves "co-owners".

Nice touch. Hey you still own your work, but we do too!

A protest site detailing the rights grab by the Yahooligans: Das Extrablatt [geocities.com]

Re:They've always created derivatives (1)

m3000 (46427) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823852)

This has nothing to do with Geocities, but if you have a XOOM page, you can get rid of that annoying frame ad. Just insert

onLoad="if(parent.frames.length!=0)top.location= 'index.html';"

into the body tag, and no more frames.

Read everything in context! (1)

forii (49445) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823853)

Most of the people who have posted so far seem to be complaining about the same words that they were complaining about before, and completely ignoring the new material that was added to the TOS. For example, look at the second sentence of part 8:

"You license the Content to Yahoo as set forth below for the purpose of displaying and distributing such Content on our network of properties and for the promotion and marketing of our services."

In other words, all the language later on in part 8 that so many people are getting themselves worked up over is only valid for the purposes mentioned in the second sentence. This is important, because it means that if Yahoo was to take your IP and use it in a way that was not for the purposes stated in that sentence then the language later in the paragraph no longer applies. It is wrong to read only the second part outside the context of the first part.

Re:covering their ***es (1)

NodeZero (49835) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823854)

I think that is a very good point. If a bunch of people started putting nekkid pics of little kids on pages that yahoo and geocities claimed to OWN, then they could be facing some trouble.

I have to agree that this is part of (if not the only reason) reason that they said this.

Re:Sometimes flaming isn't such a bad idea... (1)

NodeZero (49835) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823855)

I think they realized that without the users (the page owners and the people who browse through them) there would be no traffic, which means they make no money. No banners are clicked, no links are gone to. They could not take that kind of a hit.

Also there are legal issues. What if I decided to put a bunch of illegal content onto one of the pages there? They own it, good, they own my responsibility (hence, they are responsible for anything on the pages, via Kiddie porn etc..)

just my $00.02

Re:They've always created derivatives (1)

NodeZero (49835) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823856)

You were not the only one my friend, many of us put that watermark up on the most hated list (up there with jar jar).

I never used and never will use their site, nor click on any link to it or use a banner to it.

Amen.

Whining? (1)

Error 404 (50896) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823857)

Some of us are simply examining the re-negotiation, and deciding that, unlike the original deal we agreed to in '96, this one isn't mutualy beneficial.

In particular, the liability parts are a problem. Yahoo's management may have asked the lawyers for "ya can't sue us for what somebody puts on a site, sue the bozo what put it there" but the "contract" says something a bit more expensive. In theory, some loon could sue them for the subliminal messages said loon claims I put in my page, Yahoo could hire the OJ dream team to tell the loon "OK, you win, here's a million dollars," and then I'd have to pay Yahoo a mill, plus the cost of the lawyers. I'm sure they wouldn't do that, but I don't think I should agree to it.

And, no, they probably don't want to do anything beyond what is expected of a web host, but the way the "contract" is written, they have the right to.

Now, I can easily agree to what I think Yahoo actualy wants, but I don't think I can afford what the contract says.

It never was free. It was a deal that was mutualy beneficial. There is a big difference between being a beggar and taking someone up on an offer.

Still, I'm kind of sorry to have to bow out. It was fun, and I learned quite a bit. I used the site to learn how to build web sites, and that is now the main focus of my job.

I think I'll leave the site as it is for a while and see how things shake out. I won't agree to the terms as they are now, but they may change soon.

By the way - the subliminal messages are designed to turn red-blooded God fearing Anonymous Cowards into pie in the sky communist liberals who spend all their time in a ficticious digital domain. Making them gay is just a side effect.


Fear my wrath, please, fear my wrath?
Homer

Does this *really* mean anything? (4)

D. Taylor (53947) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823858)

They state that:
' Yahoo does not own Content you submit, unless we specifically tell you
otherwise before you submit it. You license the Content to Yahoo as
set forth below..'

And below it says:
' By submitting Content to any Yahoo
property, you automatically grant, or warrant that the owner of such
Content has expressly granted, Yahoo the royalty-free,...'
So, Basically, they tell you other wise. They don't *own* the content, but they have a non-exclusive license to use it still.

What about the content from other services? (1)

agtofchaos (56094) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823859)

So if some guy copies something that I made on my site @ crosswinds (they have no such policy), yahoo can use it? I will get a lawyer and sue them if they try to take content from me because someone copied to their geocities account. This will be the most interesting part of the ToS

Top X Things Yahoo Plans To Do To Your Webpage (4)

RimRod (57834) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823860)

I know it's been a few days and you've all dearly missed the Top X lists...but real life beckons occasionally! :)

1) Sell it to the Chinese. (Or is that Let the Chinese steal it?)

2) Add a moving "Y" to the bottom of every page. Naaaaaah, no one would EVER be that cheap.

3) Broadcast it to the entire Internet using Shoutcast.

4) Test out their new Virtual Paper Shredder on it.

5) Make Webpaper Airplanes.

6) Compile millions of personal webpages on a comprehensive CD-ROM. The title? "How Web Geeks Waste Their Free Time". (I know, I know. Free Time is a myth.)

7) Slashdot it.

Ironic that everyone gets protective now (2)

dadkins (60044) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823861)

Hmmm.... I find it very ironic with respect to the recent software piracy thread that everyone is suddenly getting very protective of their work (or is it intellectual property in this case?)

Some of the arguments made for software piracy, that could be equally applied here were:

1) They're just virtual bits. How can you own bits? Information wants to be free.

2) I wouldn't have paid for it anyway, so it doesn't really matter how I use/abuse it.

3) It costs too much, therefore I'll just take it for free.

So, it's really ironic that the same people who completely disregarded software author's rights are up in arms when their own homepages are at stake. Does intellectual property only exist if you make it, but not someone else?

Any contract/copyright lawyers out there? (1)

-=Hastur=- (61446) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823862)

I personally believe the new sentence added:

"You license the Content to Yahoo as set forth below for the purpose of displaying and distributing such Content on our network of properties and for the promotion and marketing of our services."

takes care of my main worry--that Yahoo could use an author's writing or photographs in a collection solely for profit without providing royalties to the author. But are there any legalese types who have dealt with these sorts of things before who could tell us whether this actually limits Yahoo or not? In an email conversation I had with Yahoo, they were adamant that, even before the change of the TOS, they could not do so.

-=Hastur=-

Yahoo's reply: they DID back down (1)

-=Hastur=- (61446) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823863)

I received the following email from Yahoo copyright which I thought I'd reprint here. To me, it's pretty convincing evidence that they have indeed backed down. I reprint this for two reasons: to inform, and as evidence. If Yahoo ever does decide to steal someone's original work, then hopefully the following can be considered as some sort of verbal contract, since they specifically say:

"We intend for these rules to be legally binding on Yahoo!. And, as the lawyers say, to the extent that any of these rules conflict with or
modify the Yahoo! Terms of Service, these rules will prevail."

Note that it appears to be a generic reply; I'm not actually a member of GeoCities myself:

--begin--

Yahoo! does not claim ownership of the content on your site. We never
have.

One of the terms in the Yahoo! Terms of Service grants us the license
(in other words, gives us your consent) to use the content on your
GeoCities site. We ask for this license to do the job of serving your
pages to the world, but Yahoo! agrees to the following rules with
respect to the content on your GeoCities site:

* You license your content to Yahoo! so that we can display the content
on your GeoCities site and promote the Yahoo! GeoCities services.

* The license exists for as long as you continue to be a Yahoo!
GeoCities homesteader, no longer.

* Yahoo! has the right to reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, and create
derivative works of your content only for the purpose of hosting your
GeoCities site and providing and promoting the Yahoo! GeoCities service.


Some people have asked if under these rules Yahoo! can do things like
publish a book or make a movie using your Yahoo! GeoCities homepage
content. We cannot.

We intend for these rules to be legally binding on Yahoo!. And, as the
lawyers say, to the extent that any of these rules conflict with or
modify the Yahoo! Terms of Service, these rules will prevail.

Folks, please know that we've built our network of services and tools by
committing ourselves to our users. Starting in the early days of the Web
with the Yahoo! directory, we've always made it our job to respond to
your needs. We understand that we owe any success to you. We have no
intention of violating the trust that we've built with you over the
years.

We're blessed to be working in an industry in which, on a daily basis,
we hear the good and the bad directly from people like you. We listen
when you talk to us. The recent merger of Yahoo! and GeoCities does not
(and will not) change that.

We understand your recent concerns, but there are some very basic and
important reasons why an online company such as Yahoo! asks for such a
license.

For starters, we use many computers to serve to the world the millions
of GeoCities home pages. In order to display your pages quickly and not
lose any of your content (say, in a computer crash), we often need to
copy your files onto more than one computer. Very simply, the license
assures that we can do this.

In addition, if we choose to promote your page on the top of Yahoo!
GeoCities, or anywhere else on the Yahoo! network (even, for example, in
a marketing promotion of Yahoo!'s many services), we need to reproduce
the content. Again, the license assures that we can do this.

There are many times when we use other companies to help us serve web
pages on our global network. Sometimes information is changed as it is
served to the world. For example, if your page contains images in JPEG
format and the other company's service uses GIF format, your images may
need to be adapted to fit in.

These are just a few reasons. Also keep in mind that the Yahoo!
GeoCities Terms of Service (which have been standard on the Yahoo!
network) are very similar to the terms of service of many major Web
sites and online services, including other home page providers.

We feel the recent merger of Yahoo! and GeoCities will provide many
exciting opportunities for our users, but if you'd rather not keep your
home page with us we, obviously, will respect your wishes.

Please visit this URL and we will remove your home page and account as
soon as possible.
http://add.yahoo.com/fast/help/geo/cgi_remove

If you feel that we may have sent you an inappropriate response to your
question or comment, please respond to this e-mail and let us know.

Thank you for your time,

The Yahoo! Team

--end--

Re:They've always created derivatives (1)

signe (64498) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823864)

Actually, they don't really modify the code on your web page so much as send some "extra" content to the client at the end of the request.... kinda like this:

Client requests connection to port 80
Server answers
Client requests your web page
Server sends your web page to the client
Server sends Geocities watermark code
Server closes connection

Theoretically, someone told me in the past that you could get around their code by putting this HTML code at the bottom of your page (It doesn't come out correctly, so just make sure you form the tags properly:

</HTML><NOSCRIPT><!--

I don't know if that still holds true, however.

---

Baaaaaaaaaaa (5)

signe (64498) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823865)

All they're trying to do is pull the wool over our eyes. I mean, come on! I know some of you Yahoo people are reading this. Do you think we're stupid or something? All Yahoo did was add some non-legal jargon that means absolutely nothing. Let's take a look at it, shall we?

Yahoo does not own Content you submit, unless we specifically tell you otherwise before you submit it.


Sorry guys. You don't own content I submit even if you say this when I submit it. You don't have any ownership rights whatsoever unless I explicitly give them. This statement is just to pacify the reactionists who thought that the later parts gave Yahoo ownership of the content, which they never did. Discard useless sentence number one.

You license the Content to Yahoo as set forth below for the purpose of displaying and distributing such Content on our network of properties and for the promotion and marketing of our services.


Oh wow. Looks like Yahoo's limiting how they can use your content, just like Tripod does, right? (And I looked at Tripod's TOS... it's really not that unreasonable) Nope. Look at it from a lawyer's point of view. They never used the word limited or exclusive, so all this is is another empty promise. If they had said limited purposes or exclusive purposes then this statement would be legally binding and you'd have every right to go after them if they used your content for something other than promoting you or the service. Scratch statement number two, but kudos to your lawyers for coming up with something suitably obfuscated that would fool some of the people.

By submitting Content to any Yahoo property, you automatically grant, or warrant that the owner of such Content has expressly granted, Yahoo the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed.


And here's the first of the original statements. Let's look at it in light of Yahoo adding the first two statements. Well, let's see... we're still giving Yahoo the right to use the content, and although they stated what the purposes are above, they didn't limit them. So the meaning remains the same. They also still have the right to modify and create derivative works. And here's the kicker. They still have the right to distribute and sub-license the content. Which means even IF the second statement about the purposes held any water, they could still sell it to someone else to do with as they please. And just to add insult to injury, they haven't limited the term of the license to the term of your account (like Tripod has).

Wow. It's so nice that Yahoo backed down. It's so nice that they're not the giant corporation that doesn't care about their customers that we thought they were. Nice try guys, but we're not the mindless sheep you seem to think we are.

---

Re:Its not that bad.... (1)

mong (64682) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823866)

> ...just because someone were to click "Submit" > does not mean its legally binding...

I always thought that's _exactly_ what it means. And if not legally, then at least morally.

There's a saying "Lump it or Leave it". Unhappy Yahooers should take their "stuff" elsewhere (there's plenty of options) people who'll stay are those who understand that this is purely Yahoo making a sensible, informed decision to impose a lightweight "back-covering" agreement.

Come on - Yahoo were (and maybe are) pioneers, an excellent ambasador for the web.

Quit picking on them!

Btw, I have no affiliation with them, the only service I use is their search facility.

Mong.


* Paul Madley ...Student, Artist, Techie - Geek *

Yahoo!/Geocities and a way around (1)

subliminalsandwich (65127) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823867)

When I read the new user agreement, I immediately deleted everything of interest from my account and proceeded to send them a very nasty letter (which I'm sure they didn't read).

Their new policy is shite, but at least I have a site of my own now.

Oh, if you're a current Geocities user still, I suggest throwing a tag at the end of your code at each page. It will kill anything they insert afterwards, including the watermark or pop-up advertisement. Happy smack-back!

-ac-
http://www.almostcool.org

They've always created derivatives (1)

B.W. Hogg (79367) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823868)

I got ticked off at them because I'm one of those who pays their 5 bucks a month so I don't have to do advertising, and they still put that stupid Geocities watermark on my page. How? By modifying the code of my web page.

I guess I was the only one that got mad because they didn't get rid of the watermark.

Yahoo/Geocities (2)

GramGersh (188181) | more than 15 years ago | (#1823869)

Sounds like the music industry.

I think the boycott is a good idea. Stop using geocities and actually pay for your web site.
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