April 4th, 2017

wolfinthewood: Wolf's head in relief from romanesque tympanum at Kilpeck, Herefordshire (Default)
I have been chewing over the new LJ Terms of Service/User Agreement now being imposed on users with free accounts. Here are some passages of note:

Copyright

a) "3. Terms ...

Content means User`s information within the Service, including any information published during the process of Registration, in Blogs and Communities as a note or comment as well as sent by User in private messages using the Service."


b) "9. Content ...

9.1.2. In respect of any Content which constitutes intellectual property, User provides to the Administration a non-exclusive (simple) license to use his/her Content in order to provide the Service by reproducing his/her Content as well as by making it public for the entire period the Content is posted on the Service. If User participates in any rankings or if User’s Content is used in any editorial projects of the Service, User provides to the Administration an additional authorisation to modify, shorten and amend his/her Content, to add images, a preamble, comments or any clarifications to his/her Content while using it, and in certain cases based on the Service functions, an authorisation to use User’s Content anonymously."

Contrast the old Terms of Service, as retrieved today from the Google cache:

"No Control or Liability for User-Generated Content on the Service: LiveJournal claims no ownership or control over any Content posted by its users. The author retains all patent, trademarks, and copyrights to all posted Content ..."

It is, among other things, noteworthy that the new ToS seem to imply that Sup Media, the owners of LiveJournal, can make content public at will - including, presumably, locked posts, and even private emails. This may just be very clunky drafting, but I don't want to take that for granted.

Applicable laws

"9.2. The User may not: ...

9.2.8. perform any other actions contradictory to the laws of the Russian Federation and/or any other applicable laws, including those applicable in the jurisdiction of User’s residence."

Under the Russian Federal law entitled "The protection of children from information harmful to their health and development" there are prohibitions on disseminating information "​​that promotes unconventional sexual relationships", understood to mean lesbian and gay relationships, where it might be seen by children: that is, anyone under the age of 18.

(There is an English translation of that law, plus amendments, here. The English is a bit wonky in places, but it was the best I could find.)

Advertising

a) "5. User Details

5.1. The technical data transmitted to the Service by the User’s software as well as any other information transmitted by the User to the Service shall be available to the Administration and may be used at its own discretion legally, including targeting the advertising to User."

b) "12. Advertising ...

12.5. The Administration may send to User information related to the Service as well as third-party advertising using the email address provided by User."

They are going to:

i) profile us to serve us targeted ads

ii) probably sell our data to third parties - I imagine the wording would cover that

iii) use the LJ email service to send us spam emails from third parties.

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At the moment I am locked out of my account until I tick the box to 'accept' their click-wrap agreement. I didn't want to do that until I had researched it and thought about it.

It is a Catch22 situation: in order to gain access to delete one's journal/posts, one has first to agree to grant Sup Media, the Russian owners of LiveJournal, rights that I, certainly, have absolutely no wish to grant them.

It is an interesting question why Sup Media feels the need to freeze users out of their accounts until they expressly agree to the terms of the new ToS.

The old ToS, dated December 12, 2010 and still accessible in the Google cache, state at the end:

"LiveJournal may revise the TOS found at this URL, in whole or in part, without notice. By using this Site, you hereby acknowledge and agree to be bound by any such revisions and should therefore periodically visit this page to determine the current Terms of Service to which you are bound."

But those ToS are in the name of LiveJournal, Inc; the new agreement is with Sup Media. I am guessing that makes some kind of difference.

It may also be the case that the aggressive insistence that users signify their acceptance of the changes in the ToS is because they represent a drastic departure from what we have been used to. Moreover, I take this to be a signal that Sup has every intention of taking advantage of them.

I am not leaving my posts on LJ. I shall have to tick that bloody box, but then I shall immediately delete them all individually. Mercifully I have never been a really prolific poster. And they are all archived over here.

Apparently I can use Semagic, which I have installed, to speed up the deletion process.

I need to delete my LJ emails from the server.

After that I shall decide whether I am going to keep the account on LJ as a reading account or delete it completely. There are still people over there I have been following for years.

On the other hand, I realy don't fancy the idea of getting spammed by Sup.