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It is definitely worth reviewing the most recent AIM Terms of Service.

Reprinted without permission:

Content You Post ...
Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. 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. [Emphasis added.]

Content You May Use
AOL, its vendors and AIM users who lawfully post content such as information, software, games, communications, photos, video, graphics, music, sound and other materials ("Content") on AIM Products own the property rights to that Content. ...

AIM Products
For purposes of these Terms of Service, the term "AIM Products" shall mean AIM software (whether preinstalled, on a medium or offered by download), AIM services, AIM websites (including, without limitation, AIM.COM and AIMTODAY.COM) and all other software, features, tools, web sites and services provided by or through AIM from America Online, Inc. and its business divisions (e.g., Netscape) (collectively "AOL") and AOL's third-party vendors.

This means that anything you say or transmit over the AIM protocol -- whether using the AOL Instant Messenger client, Trillian, GAIM, or any other client which uses the AIM protocol -- can be used by AOL and its affiliates (etc.) in any way they wish, without any right to privacy, or any say in how this "Content" is used.

If you cherish your privacy, or your right to your own intellectual property, then be cautious before posting anything (private conversations or personal property) over the AIM client, or the AIM service using other clients (such as Trillian or GAIM).

I'm personally thinking of not using AIM any more.. and switching to other services. (Note that ICQ and other services are owned by AOL.)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2005 12:10 am (UTC)
It sounds like it should be okay if you don't say anything of interest over AIM. Like if you have a fabulous multi million dollar idea, or if you're roleplaying a really innovative and interesting story don't do it over AIM.
Mar. 13th, 2005 03:32 am (UTC)
mya mya. Ya, I'm sorta caught in the middle.. I mean, obviously I won't be doing any of that. But I really dislike this little passage about, "You waive any rights to privacy." I don't suspect that they're snooping over my shoulder, but that sort of thing is just not right..
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


Gorotsuki Tenshi

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