When Instagram announced they would be changing their Terms of Service Agreement, a lot of users got upset and threatened to delete their accounts. One report by a company called AppData says that Instagram's users fell by 25% on Christmas day. According the AppData, it was like millions of voices suddenly cried out in disagreement, and were suddenly silenced. Instagram and Facebook, which owns the service, have obviously denied those numbers, but they might not just be saving face. The way AppData tracks their numbers makes the whole thing a little suspect.Read More
Yesterday we wrote about the Internet's strong negative reaction to Instagram's new terms of service. If you missed it, Instagram's new policy basically said they could sell user photographs to advertisers without having to pay those users. Then the Internet went bonkers. Instagram has already called the whole thing a big misunderstanding, and announced that they're revising the language of the new policy before it goes into effect next month -- Just like we said they would.Read More
PayPal Arrives Late to the Party, Updates Policy to Prevent Users From Joining Class-Action Lawsuits
Over the past year, there's been a slew of Terms of Service updates pushed through by various companies to prevent their users from joining class-action lawsuits. Sony's already on the bandwagon, as is Netflix. AT&T's had a similar clause for some time now. Not content to let other businesses have all the fun, PayPal has finally decided that they too like this idea of not being involved in class-action lawsuits. The update hits November 1st, and they've made opting out of it a hassle, because of course they did.Read More
You're in the clear. The 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals just ruled that Terms of Service violations will not be prosecuted as misdemeanors. If you've got crimes on your conscious, it's not from lying about your age on Match.com. The ruling comes after a case where some cyber-bullying -- complete with ToS violations -- resulted in a suicide and the bully was charged under something called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (and later acquitted). Now, the court has ruled that you can't do that. This is a good thing.Read More
There's been something of a trend lately when it comes to Terms of Service agreements. More and more, companies seem to be using these fine print agreements to force users to agree to things they might not be too keen on. Things like giving up their right to participate in a class-action lawsuit. AT&T did it. Sony did it. Ditto for Microsoft and EA. Now Netflix is coming to the party with a handy, all caps clause informing you that when you agree to the Terms of Service to watch old episodes of Fraggle Rock or whatever, you agree to give up your right to go to court.Read More
Chances are, you break Terms of Service all the time; most of us do. Usually, it's nothing particularly malicious, like filing a fake name, misreporting your age for one reason or another, or entering gibberish for required fields you don't feel like filling out. All of these are bound to breach any TOS, but what's the big deal, right? It's not against the law. Well, if the Department of Justice has its way, it might be. Turns out the DoJ is arguing to U.S. congress that "prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider" are an absolute necessity.Read More
Today, Sony is asking PlayStation Network members (re: anyone who has ever made an account on their PS3 or PSP to log online) to agree to a new Terms of Service as part of Sony's unification of their online entertainment services. The PSN will be rolled into the Sony Entertainment Network, which shouldn't really affect users very much other than having to hear or see the new name every so often, except for one little detail. The new Terms of Service that PSN users will have to agree to in order to continue using the PlayStation Network includes a tidbit stating that users cannot take Sony to court over a dispute, and instead, must settle things with Sony outside of court. Most users will probably just immediately agree to the new terms without ever reading them, an act of which every single one of us is guilty, but hey, we really want to get online already, okay? If Futurama taught us anything, it is never leave your dog outside of your pizza place while you travel through time, never to return, but more recently, you never know what kind of terms are in an agreement and you should probably read them.Read More
According to a Wired.com report, there's a good reason that Pulse, an app providing a slick, simple layout for browsing RSS feeds, has been removed from the app store. This app had been praised by none other than Apple lord Steve Jobs just yesterday morning, and has been downloaded over 35,000 times, Wired reports. For some time, it was the most popular paid app on the market.
The New York Times, though, could not allow Pulse to continue its practices.Read More
Question: Remember Second Life? You know, that crazy yet kind of cool virtual world that a little while ago was less a game and more, for some, "the future of the web." The same virtual world that never saw the kind of widespread paradigm shift that it was supposed to bring about. Kind of like Google Wave.
Another question: Are you invested enough in a social network or virtual world to sue them for perceived wrongdoing? Many of you likely aren't, and probably laugh at the idea.
So, it should stand to reason that the idea of "residents" within Second Life suing creator company Linden Labs over rights to virtual land would sound litigious in the extreme, right? Because they are. Not so fast, though.Read More