No, you can’t unilaterally opt out of Facebook’s terms and keep using it

Facebook has updated its terms of service and data use policy recently and the changes have upset many people. I’ve started seeing more declarations of users’ intention to opt-out of provisions of Facebook’s terms and conditions. These sorts of declarations seem to be legally binding with their fairly legalistic language but they don’t work exceptContinue reading “No, you can’t unilaterally opt out of Facebook’s terms and keep using it”

Using Netflix in South Africa is illegal

South Africans continue to be frustrated by the paucity of legitimate and convenient TV and movie download or streaming options. At the moment DSTV and a limited South African iTunes store are the primary options. Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be enough so more and more consumers are looking to popular video rental service, Netflix, for their entertainment needs. The problem is that Netflix content isn’t legally available in South Africa and its likely for the same reason that the local iTunes store lacks TV and some movie content: licensing restrictions.

Instagram’s new content license (it still doesn’t own your content)

Rian van der Merwe posted a tweet asking me to comment on the changes to Instagram’s Terms of Service: @pauljacobson I thought you might be able to shed some light? b.elezea.com/post/221145426… — Rian van der Merwe (@RianVDM) April 30, 2012 //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Rian posted the new license from the terms on his one blog and IContinue reading “Instagram’s new content license (it still doesn’t own your content)”

Is Pinterest a den of copyright thieves?

Background A debate whether Pinterest is flouting copyright laws by allowing its users to post, or “pin”, images and videos to the site is raging online. If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it is one of the hottest new social networks that encourages users to share stuff they find on the Web. Pinterest’s focus isContinue reading “Is Pinterest a den of copyright thieves?”

Injecting sanity into UK copyright law

British lawmakers are exploring measures to ease an increasingly absurd music licensing restriction as part of a broader copyright reform initiative. According to the New York Times: While taking action against file-sharing, the government is offering a quid pro quo by moving to liberalize the rules on personal copying. Surveys have shown that most BritonsContinue reading “Injecting sanity into UK copyright law”

What Dropbox’s revised Terms of Service mean for you

When Dropbox amended its Terms of Service it sparked a controversy about the popular file sharing and cloud-based storage service’s apparent user content grab. As with virtually all controversies about expanded content licensing provisions, many users feared Dropbox was claiming ownership of their content. This is not correct at all but the amended license provisionsContinue reading “What Dropbox’s revised Terms of Service mean for you”

What Twitpic’s Terms of Service really say about your copyright

The Web is abuzz about indications that popular Twitter-based photo sharing service, Twitpic, recently amended its Terms of Service to give itself the right to sell your photos and videos (“your content”) or otherwise take ownership of your content. This rumour has, understandably, sparked outrage and inspired a series of posts and tweets about howContinue reading “What Twitpic’s Terms of Service really say about your copyright”

Looking to the left of copyright

I just watched a terrific video interview with Neil Gaiman in which he talks about his experiences with what some may consider piracy on the Web. His story is not new to me and a number of popular authors and artists have had similar experiences including Paulo Coehlo and Nine Inch Nails. The story isContinue reading “Looking to the left of copyright”