Stop Freaking Out About Snapchat's Terms Of Service; You Read It Wrong

from the not-this-again dept

This seems to happen every year or so with tech companies that involve hosting photos: people totally misreading terms of service completely freak out that the company is claiming copyright on their photos. In 2011, it was Twitpic's new terms of service that everyone freaked out about. At the beginning of 2012, it was Pinterest. At the end of 2012, it was Instagram's new terms of service. In every case, it was kicked off by people who don't realize that these terms are pure boilerplate standard stuff that basically says, "if you use our platform, you're granting us a license to actually show your photos, so you don't then sue us for violating your copyright." There's nothing nefarious about this at all, but the freakout still occurs, and the media pushes it along.

This year's flavor of the exact same freakout is around Snapchat's new terms of service and, once again, the media has been stupidly pushing the story along, led by the Telegraph in the UK, which has an article suggesting its reporter has no clue what she's talking about. The terms of service are pure boilerplate, standard legal language that any site hosting photographs basically needs to have (which is why this same freakout happens every year or so with photo hosting sites). You can read the terms here. The key part that everyone is talking about is this:
Many of our Services let you create, upload, post, send, receive, and store content. When you do that, you retain whatever ownership rights in that content you had to begin with.

But you grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). We will use this license for the limited purpose of operating, developing, providing, promoting, and improving the Services; researching and developing new ones; and making content submitted through the Services available to our business partners for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication outside the Services. Some Services offer you tools to control who can—and cannot—see your content under this license. For more information about how to tailor who can watch your content, please take a look at our privacy policy and support site.

To the extent it’s necessary, you also grant Snapchat and our business partners the unrestricted, worldwide, perpetual right and license to use your name, likeness, and voice in any and all media and distribution channels (now known or later developed) in connection with any Live Story or other crowd-sourced content you create, upload, post, send, or appear in. This means, among other things, that you will not be entitled to any compensation from Snapchat or our business partners if your name, likeness, or voice is conveyed through the Services.
Again, this is absolutely standard and there's nothing nefarious about this. The company is just covering its bases so that it's actually allowed to display your images/videos the way you want them to. It's not about doing something sneaky. It's about making sure that you are actually giving the site a license to display your stuff. In fact, right after the bolded stuff in the first paragraph, the terms make it clear that this is "for the limited purpose" of making Snapchat work -- and not for running off and doing other stuff with your photos and videos.

Nearly identical language can be found in nearly every such service that involves sharing information. Here's Pinterest's:
You grant Pinterest and its users a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, store, display, reproduce, re-pin, modify, create derivative works, perform, and distribute your User Content on Pinterest solely for the purposes of operating, developing, providing, and using the Pinterest Products.
And Instagram's:
...you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service....
And here's Facebook's:
For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License).
And Twitter's:
By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals who partner with Twitter for the syndication, broadcast, distribution or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use.
And Tumblr's:
When you provide Subscriber Content to Tumblr through the Services, you grant Tumblr a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, transferable right and license to use, host, store, cache, reproduce, publish, display (publicly or otherwise), perform (publicly or otherwise), distribute, transmit, modify, adapt (including, without limitation, in order to conform it to the requirements of any networks, devices, services, or media through which the Services are available), and create derivative works of, such Subscriber Content.
Okay, how about Imgur's:
With regard to any file or content you upload to the public portions of our site, you grant Imgur a non-exclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable worldwide license (with sublicense and assignment rights) to use, to display online and in any present or future media, to create derivative works of, to allow downloads of, and/or distribute any such file or content.
Also YouTube's:
by submitting Content to YouTube, you hereby grant YouTube a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Content in connection with the Service and YouTube's (and its successors' and affiliates') business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of the Service (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels. You also hereby grant each user of the Service a non-exclusive license to access your Content through the Service, and to use, reproduce, distribute, display and perform such Content as permitted through the functionality of the Service and under these Terms of Service.
And, just for fun, how about Reddit's where the freakout first started:
By submitting user content to reddit, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform, or publicly display your user content in any medium and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so.
I'm sure if you looked up any other similar service you'd find similar things. They need to get a license. And this is the language by which it's done. Some word it more broadly than others, and people seem to be focusing on Snapchat, in part, because of how it was mainly billed as a place to send quickly deleting photos/videos (though it's been making that a less and less prominent part of its business lately), and thus there's a fear that Snapchat will suddenly start "displaying" or otherwise sharing the images and videos you thought were being deleted. Of course, if the company actually did that, it would destroy its reputation.

Having read through all these terms of service, though, I will say that some of the other ones have done a much better job in trying to cut off such freakouts. Both Tumblr's and Twitter's include "plain English" explanations next to the legalistic paragraphs, explaining why there's this nutty language and why you shouldn't freak out about it. A few of them, such as Pinterest, put something directly in the terms that the reasons for this are "solely for the purpose of operating, developing, providing and using the Pinterest products," which makes it a little more clear what's going on.

It's reasonable to suggest that perhaps Snapchat and its legal team should have anticipated this situation, and done something like a few of the others in getting people not to freak out -- but, really, people appear to be totally overreacting. Indeed, if you actually read through Snapchat's terms, they do immediately make it clear that there are limited reasons why they need this license, and that they're still limited by their privacy policy.

In short: this is standard, boilerplate language that's more or less considered necessary for sites like these, and the people who are freaking out (including reporters) are totally overreacting.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:28am

    What the freak...

    "Stop Freaking Out About Snapchat's Terms Of Service"

    I can guarrantee you, I wasn't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:34am

      Re: What the freak...

      Agreed. To freak out about Snapchat's terms of service, I'd first have to care about Snapchat, most likely due to being a snapchat user. But I really have nothing to freak out about.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 10:03am

        Re: Re: What the freak...

        "But I did not speak out, because I was a Snapchat user."

        Opting-out only goes so far. I wish this approach was adequate, but as you mentioned in another comment, it increasingly is not.

        IoT devices and services are going to have broad if not broader ToS.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mr. Oizo, 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:33am

    Can you actually read ?

    I do not get why you write the following.

    'Again, this is absolutely standard and there's nothing nefarious about this. The company is just covering its bases so that it's actually allowed to display your images/videos the way _you_ want them to.'

    Which is not what the legal text says. That once says 'you grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).'

    Which thus means that your paragraph should be written correctly as: '...The company is just covering its bases so that it's actually allowed to display your images/videos the way _they_ want them to.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:46am

      Re: Can you actually read ?

      Which thus means that your paragraph should be written correctly as: '...The company is just covering its bases so that it's actually allowed to display your images/videos the way _they_ want them to.'

      Pretty sure the 'the way you want them to' bit is intended in the sense of 'The poster of the image/video wants said image/video to show up on the site, that being the reason they submitted it to be posted'. Less 'how', more 'what'.

      The site cares about being able to host the image/video without facing potential legal troubles for doing so, the user just cares about having the image/video posted.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jackn, 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:40am

    Quit telling us what to and what not to freak out about. This is just another sign of the broken system and is worthy of freak out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      This is just another sign of the broken system

      True in a sense, but probably not in the way you're thinking. The reason behind such clauses is because copyright law is so screwed up, sites need to protect themselves from the potential of being sued by the very person who uploaded the content, should they decide that they don't like how the site 'used' it, or simply feel like being a pest by filing bogus claims about how the site is 'infringing upon their copyright'.

      With the 'shoot first, consider asking questions if it goes to court' mentality behind a lot of copyright law, it's no surprise that sites would make absolutely sure that every angle they can think of is covered, just in case.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:42am

    This is standard

    That's the problem. Cue the age old "if everyone else were jumping off a bridge, would you do it too"? Because something is standard doesn't mean it's acceptable or not worthy of concern.

    Besides, all those other sites you mentioned deal primarily with public or semi-public posts, not one-to-one or a small group like Snapchat primarily does.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:50am

      Re: This is standard

      Besides, all those other sites you mentioned deal primarily with public or semi-public posts, not one-to-one or a small group like Snapchat primarily does.

      It's basically the same license you grant Google when you use Gmail. By using Gmail you grant Google the right to use anything in your email and any attachments in the exact same way:
      When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services...
      Google Terms of Service

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 10:05am

        Re: Re: This is standard

        People were right to freak out about Gmail when it first launched, and the reasons have only increased over time.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 10:14am

          Re: Re: Re: This is standard

          Agreed , My thing is if they feel your images, video or whatever has monetary value and lifts the sites revenue higher, then toss some money at the creator don't ask for a free pass (even if you are supplying the venue) concert halls have figured this out , why hasn't the internet.

          I'd say the same about site mods , If the site is pushing ads toss some money to the mods.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:48am

    Stop Freaking Out About CISA, You Read it Wrong

    Yep, Techdirt speculation is only acceptable when done about a government. Never about private industry.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20151008/17085132483/why-do-senators-keep-lying-about-wha t-cisa-would-be-used.shtml

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:08am

      One of these things is not like the other...

      You can opt out of using a site if you don't care for it's TOS. You cannot opt out of government spying if you don't like what the fact that they're doing it, unless you feel like cutting yourself off from pretty much the entirety of modern society.

      In the case of CISA, those that were pushing it absolutely were lying, or at the very least were misinformed. Nothing in the bill would have stopped any of the hacks that had occurred, yet they continued to insist that had the bill been in place it would have done so. Nothing prevented the voluntary sharing of security related data with the government, yet they continued to insist that they needed the bill passed for such to occur.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:31am

        Re: One of these things is not like the other...

        "Stop Freaking Out if You Don't Use Snapchat and Don't Know Anyone Else That Does" doesn't have the same ring to it.

        Your criticism of CISA is apt, but it's irrelevant to this discussion. Why shouldn't we be concerned when those who control our data broaden that control even more?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:52am

        Re: One of these things is not like the other...

        You can opt out of using a site if you don't care for it's TOS. You cannot opt out of government spying if you don't like what the fact that they're doing it

        Why are people still making this comparison, when it's been known to be false for at least as long as we've known about Facebook's shadow profiles?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 10:01am

          Re: Re: One of these things is not like the other...

          you can opt out but they still have control of your (stuff) and can sell it to whomever.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    radix (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:50am

    This would all be a lot less painful for the average angsty teenager if they would just say something like,

    "Our service involves displaying your content (text, pictures, videos, etc) to other people. That's the whole point. Social media is social. By uploading your content, you are giving us permission to display it. If you don't want your content to be seen by others, keep it on your own system."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    crade (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 8:58am

    Unnecessarily broad legal boilerplate language with unofficial reassurances that it won't be abused in user agreements are about as harmless as unnecessarily broad laws with the same reassurances.

    I don't really get how it's better because it's standard boilerplate, that makes it worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      Unnecessarily broad legal boilerplate language with unofficial reassurances that it won't be abused in user agreements are about as harmless as unnecessarily broad laws with the same reassurances.

      I don't really get how it's better because it's standard boilerplate, that makes it worse.


      It's not okay because it's boilerplate. It's boilerplate because it's okay and necessary to run a service like this.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        crade (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 12:26pm

        Re: Re:

        It's boilerplate because lawyers like to cover anything and everything they can regardless of what they actually need. Who knows, they might "need" it later.

        Pinterest's seems to actually limit the permissions they request to be used for the sole purpose of actually using Pinterest, whereas SnapChat's agreement doesn't, for instance.

        I'm certainly not a lawyer, but from what I can interpret the things covered in their boilerplate seem to extend significantly beyond what they need to run their service.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Binko Barnes (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:04am

    This writer keeps repeating that the Snapchat ToS are "just standard, boilerplate language" and then tells us over and over that we are wrong to "freak out".

    I think the fact that this kind of abusive ToS is now standard means we need to freak out all the more. Right now, Snapchat may not be abusing our images. But in the future they can literally do anything at all they want to with them.

    We used to take rolls of film in to be developed. We didn't grant the developing company the right to use our pictures in any way they want for all of perpetuity. And there is no reason why Snapchat and other social media companies couldn't lay out precisely what limited rights they need to perform their service instead of just making a grab for the absolute freedom to do whatever they want.

    People should be VERY concerned. If you are a young person who has sent a ton of photos through Snapchat they may well come back to haunt you someday because, according to this ToS, Snapchat can save your images and sell them or make them available to any other business. Wait until you're applying for your dream job ten years down the line and suddenly all your teen snaps pop back up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:16am

      Re:

      Wait until you're applying for your dream job ten years down the line and suddenly all your teen snaps pop back up.

      Just like would happen with anyone else from their generation. Pictures and/or video of someone doing something stupid may be noteworthy when it's relatively rare, but when everyone around them also has pictures and/or videos of them acting like idiots floating around, it rather decreases the potential harm they can cause, because they just don't stand out as much.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      These things also don't have to be written in legalese that nobody understands (plain english contracts are still enforceable), and large parts likely don't have to be written at all. The example of photo development didn't require explicit contracts at all.
      The company is just covering its bases so that it's actually allowed to display your images/videos the way you want them to.
      That's ridiculous. If I posted a photo for Facebook to display and then sued them for showing it, any sane court would toss that out quickly. Especially if Facebook offered to remove the content when I threatened to sue.

      Anyway, section 17 of Snapchat's TOS is much more worrying. It requires users to give up their right to lawsuits (except in small claims court and for copyright/patent/etc. cases), to waive their right to jury trials completely ("YOU AND SNAPCHAT WAIVE ANY CONSTITUTIONAL...RIGHTS..."), and to waive their right to class-action suits. And there is no way this can be considered "more or less...necessary".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 11:37am

      Re:

      I think the fact that this kind of abusive ToS is now standard means we need to freak out all the more.

      It's not abusive. It's boilerplate because it's the required language that every site needs to have to officially license your works *from you*. If there's a problem it's with copyright and other related laws that require them to put in this kind of language.

      We used to take rolls of film in to be developed. We didn't grant the developing company the right to use our pictures in any way they want for all of perpetuity.

      Because you weren't asking them to host the work for you.

      And there is no reason why Snapchat and other social media companies couldn't lay out precisely what limited rights they need to perform their service instead of just making a grab for the absolute freedom to do whatever they want.

      This is not a "grab for absolute freedom to do whatever they want." This is covering all the eventualities they'd be sued under if they didn't do this. They are still restricted by their privacy policy.

      People should be VERY concerned. If you are a young person who has sent a ton of photos through Snapchat they may well come back to haunt you someday because, according to this ToS, Snapchat can save your images and sell them or make them available to any other business.

      Not if it violates their privacy policy. And your hypothetical would.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:24am

    In fact, right after the bolded stuff in the first paragraph, the terms make it clear that this is "for the limited purpose" of making Snapchat work -- and not for running off and doing other stuff with your photos and videos


    Oh? Then why do they need permission to use the photos for purposes of "promoting"? What prevents them from running a Super Bowl ad containing a photo of you that you thought you were just sending to a friend?

    I've never used Snapchat, but from what I've heard, it lets you send pictures which are supposed to be deleted after a very short period. Why do they need a "perpetual" license for pictures that are supposed to be unviewable after 10 seconds or something? Wouldn't a one minute license be plenty?

    Oh, and don't forget "We will use this license for the limited purpose of operating, developing, providing, promoting, and improving the Services; researching and developing new ones; and making content submitted through the Services available to our business partners for syndication, broadcast, distribution, or publication outside the Services". That's a hole you could drive a truck through.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 11:32am

      Re:

      Oh? Then why do they need permission to use the photos for purposes of "promoting"? What prevents them from running a Super Bowl ad containing a photo of you that you thought you were just sending to a friend?

      The company's privacy policy still prevents that. And the terms make it clear that they're still subject to those privacy policies.

      So, no, you're wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 12:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Ehh.... maybe. I did skim the privacy policy before posting, and it seems contradictory; I can't tell what sections override other sections. I'd probably have to sign up for an account in order to see what privacy options are in the app; it does say it will respect those choices.

        If they did abuse it, I'd have to go to an arbitrator and not a court, which is still a problem, because I wouldn't be able to rely on things like precedent.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 12:41pm

        Re: Re:

        "So, no, you're wrong."

        Techdirt is now dead.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 9:59am

    transferable and irrevocable , do kinda stand out .. If and when I close an account on any of the above mentioned services my creations should be deleted along with my account.

    freak out if you want to , because their ToS pretty much grants them a copyright on your images....forever + a day,

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Moonkey, 2 Nov 2015 @ 10:27am

    I think we all need to stop thinking about what a site CAN do and stop taking pictures of our faces and small things we do.

    None of it is relevant to your living, and nobody needs to know about it unless they want to.

    Just take out a camera, take some pictures, and if you want to show someone something, bring it to them in person. If you don't care what a site does with those pictures and videos, at all levels, then by all means go ahead and use those sites.

    People are ridiculous.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 11:00am

    "It's fine because everyone does it". Great defense. Next time you blindly attack police, think of this. There goes your entire article. Hah.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    OldMugwump (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 11:03am

    Don't do that

    If your photos are so effing special and valuable and secret that you are going to freak out about this, don't upload them to a photo sharing service.

    I find it ironic that many of the same people who on other days complain about excessive copyright rules and terms, are the same people who complain "OMG somebody might make a few pennies off MY PHOTOS!".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 11:14am

      Re: Don't do that

      Honestly, when SnapChat is often synonymous with Sexting and Porn, I would be very cautious about them using the photos for monetary gain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        OldMugwump (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 4:00pm

        Re: Re: Don't do that

        SnapChat is a business. They have to make money somehow if they want to stay in business.

        I don't have much sympathy for people who upload their personal stuff to a sharing service and then complain when their stuff gets shared.

        Even in the complete absence of written ToS or contract, it seems to me the basic idea of a photo sharing service is to share photos. So nobody should be able to complain when their photos, which they voluntarily uploaded to a sharing service, get...shared.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 11:07am

    technology should be implemented to societies standards not the other way around.

    These same rules should apply to the internet as well, even if they were just science-fiction.
    A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.[1]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 12:11pm

    I wonder how much Snapchat paid for this post?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 1:54pm

    Lost a bit of respect for you for this post Techdirt , I know you could care less , but a ToS is corporate sovereignty in that users only option for disagreement being cancel your account , that does not create a community it's a system of voting the non-compliant off of the island.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 3:55pm

      Re: Lost a bit of respect for you for this post Techdirt

      I don't see why.

      Every contract is a two-way street. Both parties have to like the deal, or no deal.

      SnapChat has lots of competitors. And there's nothing stopping YOU from starting your own competitor if you think you can offer a better service to customers.

      If you don't like what they're offering, don't buy.

      I don't see how SnapChat is any more or less "soverign" than the user, or anyone else, here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 2:08pm

    I haven't read it (don't use SnapChat), but if their 'privacy policy' is one of those 'we can change it any time we want' deals - then it really doesn't matter if certain uses would 'violate' it TODAY; if TOMORROW they may be free and clear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anony, 2 Nov 2015 @ 3:10pm

    wtf masnick. IMO you're way off base. you're logic is inconsistent, and it's very frustrating to read.

    These TOS's clearly don't state what is purported; If this was gov legalese you'd be shredding it as it deserves.

    "power grab" is correct- there is absolutely no reason this couldn't be written without such insanely vague terms.

    I have no idea where you get the idea that a privacy "policy" somehow limits a service "agreement". Even if it did- There's likely ample loopholes in that language as well; and if not, it can conveniently be changed, retroactively, at any time, at their discretion, as can the TOS... don't like it- have fun in arbitration.

    I don't use any of this crap- FOSS is the only way forward- but call a spade a spade. Corp or Gov, doesn't matter- If you think this sort of behaviour is ok- you're part of the problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      OldMugwump (profile), 2 Nov 2015 @ 6:13pm

      Re:

      Maybe by your definition I'm part of the problem, but I see a big difference between the level of scrutiny required for a business vs. government.

      A government can imprison me, fine me, take away my business, take my passport, keep me from getting on airplanes, and kill me. It can tell me what I must and must not eat, and what drugs I must and must not take. It can tell me who I may have sex with, and how, and who I can marry. It can take away my children. It can send me and my children to war.

      No business can do ANY of that.

      If I don't want to deal with a business, I don't.

      If I don't want to deal with the government, I ... go to prison.

      So there are lots of things that I find acceptable for a business to do (because, who cares), that are NOT acceptable for a government to do.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2015 @ 10:40pm

      Re:

      I have no idea where you get the idea that a privacy "policy" somehow limits a service "agreement".


      It's referenced in the agreement, so it's sort of part of the agreement.

      Plus they'd probably get in trouble for deceptive practices or something if they didn't honor their policy.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anony, 3 Nov 2015 @ 1:38am

    Re:Re:

    It's referenced in the agreement, so it's sort of part of the agreement.


    It's referenced as "for more information", regardless, it's a "policy" not an "agreement". They both can be arbitrarily, and retroactively changed. It's not a two way street- you can only back out of further exploitation, by not posting any more- they can change and pick whatever terms they want, and if you don't notice, to bad for you, cause you "agreed" by using there service.

    Plus they'd probably get in trouble for deceptive practices or something if they didn't honor their policy.


    Yeah sure, like At&t was right? They got punished with perpetual and retroactive legal immunity, and multi-billion dollar contracts.

    No business can do ANY of that.


    I think you fail to grasp how the gov and biz work together- the power of lobbying and money in politics, and the subtle interplay of laws/treaties such as CFAA, NAFTA, TPP, CISA, DMCA, PATRIOT...etc Every single one of those was written exclusively for big biz... Wether it's mainstream media, telecommunications, pharma, oil, insurance, the prison industry, military/industrial complex, the intelligence industry, the tech sector- all these areas of big biz are far more represented in us gov then actual citizens. They are represented to the detriment of citizens and the public interest. Due to the severe consolidation of published media, corporate agenda literally drives and colours the national news narrative.

    The gov, at least in theory, is bound to uphold the constitution- Corps have the ability to mostly ignore it, and they often turn that into a product that the gov can purchase. When you are agree to a TOS like this- you're agreeing to handing a dossier over to the gov, to be paid for with your own tax dollars. Where's that explicitly written in the TOS? and shouldn't it be explicitly written? ...it's not forbidden, so it's legal... That TOS is sufficiently vague as to allow for such. It's the corporate imperative to maximise profit for it's shareholders. You'll of course rarely hear about anything like this happening- proprietary trade secrets...intellectual property... there's been many many laws written expressly to hide and protect this sort of activity.

    28 Billion earned on customer data/spying by the telco's last year... Is it "reasonable" that you forgo all telecommunications to preserve your constitutional rights? You want to make that argument?

    Business's can't put people in jail?
    The private prison industry lobbies extensively for any and everything that's more likely to put and keep people in jail. Also- If a business sells data that the gov otherwise wouldn't be legally entitled to, and that data gets you falsely convicted and put in jail, does it matter if they where the ones that physically put you there?

    Business's can't take away your business.
    I doubt some of the victims of patent trolls would agree with you. Also, if the result of a corp selling your data is the loss of your business- does it matter if they where the ones that took it away?

    Business's can't kill you.
    You sure about that? I can think of quite a few examples to the contrary- but I'm already well into rant territory...sorry bout that...I'm board, can't sleep.
    will stop now.

    err- one more thing real quick. The CFAA is still somewhat untested in precedent case law...One common interpretation of it is that violating a TOS could be considered a felony. This is rather important as, if it is true, it means corporations could write enforceable law, wholesale, just by getting you to visit their web-site, or click through boiler plate legalese... so consider that, if you think corp's don't deserve the same scrutiny as the gov.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 3 Nov 2015 @ 4:03am

    Wasn't Snapchat the app that used to GUARANTEE pictures would be deleted within seconds after being viewed? Thus making it safe to use while being drunk/partially dressed/...?

    Why would anybody use them if they 'reserve the right' to keep your private information private?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Aaron Walkhouse (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 5:53am

    You all missed the point. including you, Mike!

    Notice what's MISSING in Snapchat's terms.

    The all-important boilerplate term "non-exclusive" is left out.
    This is most likely deliberate because the rest of it has just
    tricked you into thinking it was merely "boilerplate" that you
    don't have to read very closely.

    Now read it over again, only this time add "exclusive" to each
    point of their terms.

    It changes everything, doesn't it?  ;]

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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