Guess who can use your IMs?

Check this quote out from their new Terms of Service:

In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy.You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.

OK, I'm going to try encrypting my IMs. I really, really don't want my work being used to benefit AOL in any way shape or form.
What is scary is that I don't think they are informing anyone of these new terms. People will keep on using AIM thinking that their IMs are to be kept private.
What is more, this applies to AOL affiliates as well. I don't know how many dozens of other companies AOL is affiliated with.

Oh, and for those who are using Trillian, Kopete or whatever, you aren't exempt from this. This applies to all AOL services in addition to software.

But there is always Jabber!
CORRECTION, 2005-03-15
AOL changed the agreements because of geek outcry, it now excludes user to user communications. The line "you waive any right to privacy" is being deleted.
But I'm still going to encrypt my IMs whenever possible.


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