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back to article AT&T lifts (deleted) page from Google EULA

Remember Google Chrome's copyright-snaffling EULA? AT&T appears to be doing the same courtesy of a BellSouth ISP offering. Carl Meredith, a webmaster for a Bellsouth.net-hosted site, pointed out that BellSouth, an AT&T subsidiary, has just changed its Terms of Service (TOS). Here is sections 10a(i) and 10a(ii) from the new Terms …

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Boffin

I actually don't see that much wrong here?

Can someone please explain to this layman what is wrong with the so called offending paragraph.

I would have thought AT&T needed the right to reproduce, modify and distribute your content, otherwise how does it serve it to people?

For example a preview of a picture is surely a modification, so they clearly need the right to allow modification rights as long as the item is on the site.

Public display, isn't a website a public display?

And they clearly need to be able to distribute the content....

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Tom
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Stop

Stop being a tool

Yes, its SCARY STUFF in a legal document! OH NOES THEY ARE OUT TO GET US!!!!eleven

Honestly, it looks nothing like google's one, and is pretty clear on its purpose. If you submit content to AT&T's website, you are granting them an implicit license to reproduce it to display to people - how else is anyone going to see it?

All this does is note down this implicit license.

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Coat

Is it just me?

Or does the new EULA paragraph actually mean: Whatever you upload here, we will use soley for the purpose you uploaded it. Until you delete it?

Doesn't seem too damn scary to me... Plus you're not granting them a permanent license.. So if you don't like it, you can move elsewhere....

Slow news day is it?

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Alert

Is this Julie Moult writing under a pseudonym?

Translating legal to English: You legally allow AT&T to distribute to the public anything you upload to a public area of the web server, until you delete it.

It doesn't give AT&T copyright of your material, and you have to upload it somewhere public in the first place for it to apply.

The only worrying bit is "modify and adapt", but that will be there because the web server may perform activities such as gziping the content, which technically is a modification.

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I wager...

some blurb about keeping on par with the industry. they prolly want to play golf more than pay people to create original content for their advertisements.

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Stop

They're not the same at all

Surely this report is nonsense (I'd expect better from the Reg) - the thing they've changed it to is granting them the license to use it "solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available", and the license "will terminate at the time such Content is removed from the Site.".

Since this is for content uploaded onto a site (presumably either ISP provided webspace or a portal or what have you), that seems perfectly reasonable. The big thing about the Chrome EULA was that it was a "perpetual, irrevocable" license on anything that you "submit, post or display" through Chrome. If the AT&T license applied to anything sent using them as an ISP, then yes it would be a problem, but the license above seems absolutely fine to me (however, IANAL)..

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Anonymous Coward

Bets on how long until you see this in a T&C?

1. Bend over & lube up.

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Paris Hilton

Not too good in English class were you?

This is just junior lawyer legalese.

All it says is that they may legally serve whatever content you asked them to serve for as long as you want them to make it available solely for the purposes you intended. If you don't want them to do that, you shouldn't ask then to put it on the web.

Paris cause you're made for each other

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Anonymous Coward

Purposes of use

The key phrase is "solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available.".

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Similarity?

The Chrome EULA you cite uses phrases such as "you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence" though it is just a tad restricted when it says "This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services"

For comparison, in the portion you quote, it says "you grant AT&T the license [...] solely for the purpose for which such Content was submitted or made available." Solely is seems to be a rather important word in that sentence. (Though it does make me wonder if AT&T had been sued for displaying something someone had posted to then home web pages or some such.)

In the paragraph preceding the one quoted, it says "AT&T does not claim ownership of Content you submit or make available for inclusion on the Site or Service," which should be somewhat reassuring.

On the other hand, in 10.a.ii, it says "(ii) With respect to Content other than photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Site, you grant AT&T the perpetual, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed."

What kind of web content is "other than photos, graphics, audio or video"? Text is all I could think of (which would include code, etc.). All ur txt r b long to us? What if you posted a picture of text?

But on the whole, not terribly similar. Slow news day?

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cool

Cool... so then they also accept legal responsibility of the content. Afterall, they hold the intelectual rights to it.

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Jobs Horns

Every has these terms

A browser like Chrome may not need or want this language, but i see thousands of web sites with forums, bulletin boards, and user generated content, that all have this language. It is common.

As examples from big brand names on either side of the Atlantic, check the Nike and BBC T&C's regarding user generated content.

Oh, and lets check Apple

http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa

License to Use Submission. By sending a Submission to the Site you agree to grant Apple a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive worldwide right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, play, make available to the public, and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to the Submission. If you do not want to grant to Apple the rights set out above, do not send your Submission to the Site.

And Microsoft

http://www.microsoft.com/info/cpyright.mspx#E3D

However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting ("Posting") your Submission you are granting Microsoft, its affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft Services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission; to publish your name in connection with your Submission; and the right to sublicense such rights to any supplier of the Services.

If you don't like it then don't post.

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All your stuff are belong to us

And this surprises you how? This is an American corporation, after all...

(Where is that megacorp devouring the earth icon you promised us?)

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Alert

Read the second paragraph!

No it's not the same as Chrome's, nor is it quite as outrageous for a web host to do this as a web browser, but read the second paragraph. It says they get a *perpetual* license to any content other than video, audio, or graphics. I guess that would include text and computer code. Is there any legitimate reason for that clause? I can't think of one.

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I declined Google because of this...

I was researching the possibilities of a client using Google calendar and read the EULA... I DID NOT join up.

11. Content licence from you

11.1 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 licence 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 licence 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.

11.2 You agree that this licence includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this licence shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.

Sorry. We get everything you get nothing except a service which could be pulled at any time without notice, as described in section 4.

4.3 As part of this continuing innovation, you acknowledge and agree that Google may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services (or any features within the Services) to you or to users generally at Google’s sole discretion, without prior notice to you. You may stop using the Services at any time. You do not need to specifically inform Google when you stop using the Services.

Then there is the "reverse engineering" clause... Now I am a programmer, and I might want to create something like this someday (it COULD happen).. but check out this little beauty...

10.2 You may not (and you may not permit anyone else to) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise attempt to extract the source code of the Software or any part thereof, unless this is expressly permitted or required by law, or unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google, in writing.

Now I don't have their source code, but I do know how a calendar works and could make one. With this little gem however, if I did in up and decide to create my own, having a Google account opens up the possibility of being sued... no thank you. I love the "(and you may not permit anyone else to)" line... like how the he** could a Google account member stop me?

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J
Alert

Short attention span?

The first bunch of comments up there... Did you guys read only the first part? What you said is right for photos, graphics, audio or video. The second part, which you were salivating to hard to be able to read, says (WITH MY EMPHASIS):

"(ii) With respect to Content OTHER THAN photos, graphics, audio or video you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Site, you grant AT&T the PERPETUAL, IRREVOCABLE and fully sub-licensable license to use, distribute, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed."

OK, as someone pointed out earlier, nothing new that other sites don't do. But hardly "until you delete it", eh?

Anyway, they said "perpetual, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable"... but they did not say "royalty-free", as the Chrome one used to. Shush!

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dv
Stop

RE: Not too good & others:

Follow these easy steps next time pls:

1) Read the frist!!1! paragraph and get outraged @ writer's ignorance.

2) Read the second paragraph and get ashamed of your own.

3) THEN post a comment.

4) Sit back and relax.

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Anonymous Coward

The second paragraph is the scary one....

Check me on this but doesn't the second paragraph give them the right to do anything they wish with anything you post besides videos/photos etc?

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Different wordings

Read the two paragraphs: the conditions are *very* different. In the first paragraph (covering photos, movies, etc...), you authorise AT&T to display these items whenever someone requests them, and said authorisation lapses when you remove the items (typical ass covering: we are display your content publicly and you allow us to do so, so don't sue us).

The *second* paragraph (which covers things like documents, novels, e-mails, etc) basically states: you post it, it is now ours to do with as we see fit. BWAHAHAHAHA!

Why the difference? I'd say AT&T is distancing itself from the RIAA/MPAA/etc to avoid being sued by them for (c) infringement... but making a legal grab for everything else.

IANAL, YMMV, of course.

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TJ
Dead Vulture

Im with the "Scary Stuff" crowd

Its kind of gives them right to everything you put up. And says nothing about until you delete it (The adage "One its one the web, its forever on the web" comes to mind).

Aside from that - Build your own freaking website! Of all the crap out there to help you do it, there is no need to be worried of such paragraphs, because if you post it on your website, this whole story means squat. I'm a hardware guy, not a coder. And I have my own site. No, its not gorgeous, or fun. Its boring. like me. (And I even used front page, ohs noes!). I use wordpress as a blog, and that is the extent of it, mostly.

RIP, Because this only means anything to teenie boppers who don't care anyway.

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Black Helicopters

Obvious

Is this the "get-out-of-jail-free" card that allows them to send a copy of everything to the secret service (ok, FBI) server? Come on someone has to make sure you aren't a terroirist. You know in that despicable French tradition not the upstanding Finger Lakes variety of course.

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I bet...

Five of the first 6 posters now wish they had posted as AC. The remaining one is relieved.

Is that the SMS culture? 161 characters read -> buffer overflow -> comment? Scary.

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Anonymous Coward

Good for me too?

So, I can freely upload all my copyright infringinging illegally downloaded torrented apps, videos, music, and of of course the obligatory 75GB of porn or is it pr0n now, got so much of it I don't know the difference anymore, and AT&T will automatically become my co-defendants in any lawsuit?, or if they alter or amend of their own free will they stand on their own, even though I have given consent, through a duressful process, given that I have no choice but to accept their terms if I need the services. Is this also a two way process. If somebody else uploads something that AT&T amends under their terms, and I like it, I can have it for free with no obligation to either AT&T or the original provider?

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Anonymous Coward

@MetalMonkey

Unfortunately not. You grant them a license to use your submissions (within the terms of the license) but you do not transfer your copyright to them.

I also see this as a non-issue. This is lawyer speak for "I wish to cover my arse and prevent you from suing me for IP infringement when I am just doing what you want me to do"

The bit about the permanent license for non pictures etc. will be aimed at forums and similar.

It seems fairly clear to me, as a complete non-lawyer, that this is to prevent a situation where poster A makes a post, poster B quotes poster A and poster A sues AT&T for allowing B to infringe his IP rights.

True if you post your draft script for your next Hollywood blockbuster on one of their sites you will have seriously compromised your IP rights but the simple solution is to not do so.

Is it a difficult concept to accept that you should not post on the internet anything you don't want to give away to everyone free.

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Bronze badge

Nothing new...

As the first section, on photographs, etc, shows, there's no need for any perpetual licence.

You might, for a news server, want something a bit different: an item posted will end up on servers around the planet, with no control over who deletes it when.

But for a web page?

As it is, it looks like somebody has taken the ancient rights-grab boiler-plate, and then a proper lawyer has, for whatever reason, written an exception.

It might be interesting, in an academic sense, to trace just where this bit of garbage started out. It's probably legal ass-covering from the early days of the commercial internet. And for it to survive, it's probably never been challenged in court. It's never been tested.

And maybe, just maybe, this particular instance is a sign that it might soon die. Why shouldn't the the clause on photographs, etc., clear and unthreatening, become the default?

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Um, there's one very, VERY big problem with the change....

(By the way, I have asked our attorney, who is an intellectual property specialist, about what I've written here, and he agrees this is how it looks to him as well.)

If you read the old agreement, AT&T's rights to content were restricted to what they defined as "publicly accessible areas" such as "message boards, forums..." and so on (see previous section 24 below). That definition did not include Personal Web Pages.

There was a separate section that covered content on Personal Web Pages that made it clear content on your personal page was yours alone, and you retained all rights to it, regardless of the type of content (graphics, text, video, etc.). Your personal web page was not considered a "publicly accessible area" (see previous Section 11 below)

Now, I think it's ridiculous anyway that AT&T thinks it's acceptable to grab ownership of materials posted in its forums.

But it's COMPLETELY unacceptable if, in fact, a subscriber's personal web page content is now being lumped in with publicly accessible material under the new Policy.

The most suspicious and disturbing part of the new Legal Policy is that it still refers to "publicly accessible material," but that term is NO LONGER DEFINED, nor is there any mention of personal web pages AT ALL.

I would hope that just means AT&T's attorneys have been careless and sloppy with their editing and proofreading.

If not, every AT&T customer should find out IMMEDIATELY if their personal web page is now considered a "publicly accessible area".

If Personal Web Pages ARE now considered "publicly accessible areas," then customers are suddenly required to give AT&T a legal license to any written content on their web pages - content that they previously retained ALL rights to - AND to any other individual's content posted on your site - meaning AT&T would be able to use materials that you posted with the creator's permission WITHOUT HAVING TO OBTAIN PERMISSION FROM THE ORIGINAL CREATOR EITHER.

Since AT&T is not required to notify customers of changes to the Legal Policy, this would mean that - unbeknownst to the customer - a story, poem, technical article, joke, script, etc. - could be used by AT&T in a television commercial, company brochure - or any other way AT&T wishes - with no recourse, no royalties paid, no use fee paid, whether the material is copyrighted or not, and whether or not the customer is even the owner.

AT&T needs IMMEDIATELY to edit the Legal Policy to restore the definition of "publicly accessible areas." A legal contract should not - indeed, usually may not - include an undefined term.

If the definition DOES now include Personal Web Pages, customers should then start writing, calling, and e-mailing AT&T to protest - or taking their web pages, and their business, elsewhere.

Until AT&T posts a policy with "publicly accessible areas" defined, I personally would delete any personal web page. And they can be sure I will never be posting in their forums, or any other public area there.

OK, AT&T, give us a definition and an answer!!!!!

BTW, I'm copying this note to every AT&T contact I can find, and let's hope they'll clear this up fast. If they've done this intentionally, and personal web pages are now considered publicly accessible areas, I also plan to copy every regulatory agency they are subject to. Considering companies' objections to having their own intellectual property stolen, that a company would attempt to do what appears to be essentially the same to its customers via what seems to be an unannounced policy change is a little hypocritical.

Also: any possibility the Policy change might have something to do with this? Yet another item to complain to AT&T about: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/18/eff_sues_bush/

cordwainer

OLD VERSION: 24. Grant of License

Our Site may have "publicly accessible areas" such as message boards, forums, member profiles, yellow pages, job folders or other features that allow users to post information that will be accessible by the public or the user population generally. With respect to all content you elect to post to such publicly accessible areas of our Site, while you retain any and all rights that may exist in such content, you grant AT&T 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 to exercise the same rights with respect to such works. You also permit any user of our Site to access, display, view, store and reproduce content that you have placed in publicly accessible areas of our Site. Any content you post to publicly accessible areas is not subject to our Privacy Policy.

Except for any personal, individually identifying information which we agree to keep confidential as provided in our Privacy Policy, any feedback, data, answers, questions, comments, suggestions, ideas or the like that you send to us will be treated as being non-confidential and nonproprietary, and not subject to our Privacy Policy. We assume no obligation to protect such information from disclosure and will be free to reproduce, use, and distribute the information to others without restriction. We will also be free to use any ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques contained in information that you send us for any purpose whatsoever including but not limited to developing, manufacturing and marketing products and services incorporating such information.

OLD VERSION: 11. Personal Webpages

AT&T may make personal Webpages available as an optional feature of its AT&T Internet Service. If you subscribe to such feature the following provisions of this Section shall apply (in addition to the other provisions of this Agreement):

a. AT&T may provide a listing/link to users' personal Webpages on its AT&T Internet Service gateway or other mechanisms. By subscribing to the personal Webpage feature, you authorize and grant AT&T the right to use your name, Website address and similar information in such listing or directory sites or applications. You may use the complete address (URL) granted to you as part of the personal Webpage feature (which may have names or marks of AT&T embedded therein) so long as you are obtaining the personal Webpage feature from AT&T hereunder, but only for the purpose of identifying the location of your personal Website on AT&T 's Service. Otherwise, you shall not utilize the name or any marks of AT&T or any of its affiliates in any press releases, promotional materials or other commercial manner without the express prior written approval of AT&T in each instance.

b. Ownership of all graphics, text or other information or content materials supplied or furnished by you for incorporation into or delivery through your personal Website shall remain with you (or the party which supplied such materials to you). Ownership of any software developed or modified by AT&T and all graphics, text or other information or content materials supplied or furnished by AT&T for incorporation into your personal Website, shall remain with AT&T (or the party which supplied such materials to AT&T ), and may be used only while you are obtaining the personal Webpage feature from AT&T . The domain name and address (URL) granted to you for use with the personal Webpage feature shall remain the property of AT&T , shall be used by you only so long as you are obtaining the personal Webpage feature from AT&T hereunder, and may be subject to change by AT&T or the InterNIC or other applicable Internet domain name registry or granting authority from time to time. AT&T reserves the right to approve the subscriber Uniform Resource Locator (URL's) that will be used in conjunction with a AT&T registered domain name and personal Webpage feature. URL's registered using a AT&T owned domain name are nontransferable by subscribers upon account termination and will be retained by AT∓T

c. You acknowledge and agree: (i) that the primary function of AT&T 's personal Webpage feature as it relates to your personal Website is to facilitate access by end users to the information provided through your personal Website; (ii) that AT&T has no proprietary, financial, or other interest in any of the content or information that may be described in or made available through your personal Website; and (iii) that you are solely responsible for the content, quality, performance, and all other aspects of the information or other content contained in or provided through your personal Website. You warrant that you will own or have the right to use and offer all such information or other content in the manner in which the same will be used, offered or provided in connection with your personal Website. You shall indemnify and hold harmless AT&T from and against any and all claims, demands, actions, causes of action, suits, proceedings, losses, damages, costs, and expenses, including reasonable attorneys fees, arising from or relating to your personal Website or an end user's use thereof, or any act, error, or omission of yours in connection therewith, including, but not limited to, matters relating to incorrect, incomplete, or misleading information; libel; invasion of privacy; infringement of a copyright, trade name, trademark, service mark, or other intellectual property; or violation of any applicable law.

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sneaky but..

..probably not an issue.

The first para, as people have said, is clearly there as a butt-cover, to legal;ly allow them to display your content. Even without that paragraph, it is unlikely that anyone (except the habitually litigious) would try to sue AT&T over it and even less likely that they would win in court, given the nature of the services provided. However, legal counsel don't earn their money by leaving these things out.

The second paragraph is -potentially- an issue but again, only if there is cause for it to be used. They have already stated that they do not own your audio, video etc and my educated guess is that they don't want any issues from quoting, linking, caching, blog entries and other content that may persist after you cease using the services. I doubt that they want to steal your text and sell it to Simon & Schuster.

What I don't like about all of this is the one-way, unalterable nature of the contract. normally, when I am party to signing a contract with its associated Ts&Cs, there are clauses I would strike out, question or alter should I feel that they are ambiguous or undesireable. This is not possible in any on-line (or on-install) EULA and / or terms and conditions that I have ever seen, but I believe that it should be.

Then, people could modify these things to suit, and El Reg would have to run stories about idiots that signed their rights away rather than seemingly draconian clauses in an otherwise innocuous contract.

Note: IANAL (but have postgrad contractual law quals)

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Tom
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@Pierre, dv, J, El Reg

and all the other commenters commenting on how silly us early posters are.

Well, the problem was, the second paragraph wasn't originally included in the article, so no, we did have a little problem reading the second paragraph. Without that second paragraph (which seemed to have been brought to attention by a commenter), the article is Daily Fail gibberish, I don't regret not AC'ing.

You can see this from the hastily re-edited article by the feckless el reg reporter, to add in the second paragraph.

Original text:

Here is section 10a(i) from the new Terms of Service:

New text:

Here is sections 10a(i) and 10a(ii) from the new Terms of Service:

Remember when silently updating articles, to check for grammatical errors, it is the smoking gun which gives it all away.

On topic, yeah, that second paragraph is a great deal nastier.

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