Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Oh, those sneaky user agreements

Eric and I went out to do some errands last night: we got a nifty fleece-lined shirt for him (to replace a great big thick canvas-like shirt he's had for years, and looks it!) and to get new cellphones. Originally this was supposed to be a new phone for him only, as certain keys on his keypad had pretty much ceased functioning, but we've got AT&T Wireless, which has recently been folded into Cingular. This means that, because we have a family plan, in order to upgrade one phone we had to: 1) change over to a Cingular plan from AT&T; 2) both get new, Cingular-compatible phones. So, we chose cute little flip phones, bemoaned the dearth of standard ringtones, etc. I started poking around Cingular's site, looking at ringtones and graphics, and found a service they offer that allows you to upload, edit, download and send your own pictures and images. Kinda nifty. EXCEPT when you read the terms and conditions of the user agreement, which contains the following:

"By uploading, posting or otherwise transmitting any material via the Service, you grant to MOVISO, its successors and assigns, a non-exclusive, world-wide, royalty free, perpetual, non-revocable license to use, modify or distribute such material in any manner."

Now, how many people read the full agreement? Or know that this company can turn around and sell their images?

Yes, I know this type of thing is not uncommon, but it still burns me. Just another example of why copyright matters, and why we should always, always read the fine print.

- posted by laurie @ 1/11/2005 09:21:00 AM
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