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Major Suckage

Shoot the fucking lawyers at Danga/LJ. Their new ToS sucks boulders through cocktail straws.

* Registration "obligations": During registration, all users are required to provide accurate, complete and current information about themselves in all required fields. and Should LiveJournal.com suspect that your personal information is not complete, current, or accurate, your account may be subject to suspension or termination. So, essentially, pseudononymous users like me are fucked.
* Advertisements: No, they won't do it now, but they reserve the right to do it in the future, with or without prior notice, and you can't change your options if the do.
* Can't post "obscene, vulgar, hateful" stuff: Upload, post or otherwise transmit any content that is in LiveJournal.com's opinion to be unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive to another's privacy... , hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable; Great, there go most of my rants, and the childfree community will get fucked over, fast, by all of the trolls and whiners who don't like it.
* Sell you your own content back: LiveJournal.com also reserves the right, without limitation, to resell any portion of a user's LiveJournal back to that individual. Sure, you retain "copyright", but they own it??
* Post content about violence: ... This may include, but is not limited to, providing instructions on how to assemble bombs, grenades and other weapons or incendiary devices; Great, you can find this type of data in a public library in the US, on the ground in other countries, but it's forbidden on LJ??
* Volunteer Enslavement: ...LiveJournal.com member agrees that the intellectual content created as a result of volunteer work for LiveJournal.com constitutes intellectual property of LiveJournal.com and that all rights in said content shall vest in LiveJournal.com at the time that it is created. ... Well, I can't volunteer on LJ, even if I wanted to. Sure, they "get" Open Source... NOT!!!

Read the thing, with all of the lawyer talk for "we let you think you have rights, but buried in the legalese is your enslavement for the 'privilege' of being allowed to use our site, and the privilege of paying for it."


Edit: Yes, a lot of this stuff was there before, but now Six Apart will be doing the enforcing from a business perspective, and in a COPPA friendly environment. This makes a difference. My gut says that allowing kids onto the site will actually fuck over the adult content, and all posts, public or not, will have to pass kiddie standards.

No, I don't trust Six Apart.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 6th, 2005 07:47 am (UTC)
for the record, all this information was in the old version of the TOS as well. ;)
Jan. 6th, 2005 07:51 am (UTC)
Jan. 6th, 2005 07:51 am (UTC)
Except that all of things were in the old TOS as well, nothing has changed except to grant more disclaimers about liability and such. There is no real change. The only thing you should be worried about is how they enforce the TOS. IF Six Apart sticks to the same way of handling things that the current abuse team does, there will be few issues. If they decide to start cracking down on things that could technically have been hammered on before now with the old TOS, that's when you have to worry.
Jan. 6th, 2005 09:06 am (UTC)
The only thing you should be worried about is how they enforce the TOS.

Bingo. If it's just the old LJ abuse crew, then no worries.

But I doubt it will be. Six Apart has deeper pockets, thus more antsy lawyers, and thus a greater "need" to be strict on its ToS, especially with under 13s and COPPA included.
Jan. 6th, 2005 07:57 am (UTC)
Oh. Shit!!

We're royally fucked then.
Jan. 6th, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC)
Not necessarily. Most of what you're looking at was in the old ToS as well. You just may not have read it carefully.
Jan. 6th, 2005 09:02 am (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
heya -- i am here through a link on dubhain's LJ.

all of what you are complaining about is not new; it was already in the ToS you originally agreed to when you created your account.

and as far as i can see, nothing significant has changed about the registration information -- you can remain pseudonymous; they are not asking you for your name or address. what change there is regards users under 13, and for them the change is positive -- they were previously not allowed to have an LJ at all; now they can if their legal guardian permits it.

you must have never read the ToS before, if you're just now getting upset about it. LJ has in the past not enforced a huge number of those restrictions, and has generally decided in favour of free speech -- i know because while working in LJ abuse i've had to explain about a gazillion times to somebody why their ex-friend could say all those hateful, abusive, racially objectionable things, but as long as the friend didn't post identifying private information or actively threatened them with harm, we were just not gonna do anything about it.

yes, it's possible that could change. six apart comes from a totally different culture, and they might just reel backwards if they happen to investigate a single day's worth of abuse reports. until that happens, i wouldn't worry. if it happens, it might actually improve the service (i have no patience for all the assholes whose main goal in life seems to be to follow others around and make their lives miserable).

Jan. 6th, 2005 09:12 am (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
I read it, a couple years ago, knowing how it was being applied. The LJ crew generally didn't enforce a lot of the little details of the ToS, and just used them to hammer the assholes.

But I don't trust Six Apart not to fuck over all of us, start yanking journals because of dirty words, and make the site pass kiddie friendly corporate standards. I also expect them to change the registration info, to what they want on their own site.
Jan. 6th, 2005 06:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
Is the change for under-13 users positive? I'm at a loss as to why children should have an LJ account at all. Ideally they would be on a separate cluster, with a completely different TOS.
Jan. 7th, 2005 05:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
sorry, i should have said that i consider it positive. when i worked abuse, i really hated suspending the journals of kids just because somebody reported them (the journals themselves were usually entirely innocuous). why should children not have an LJ account? do you think people under 13 don't write journals? i wrote one from when i was 8. and in mmy early teens it would have been great to have a community of people interested in the same things, instead of feeling completely alone.

i basically have no problem with it at all, since the usual protections are already in place.
Jan. 7th, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
I think kids should be able to have online journals, yes. I just think they ought to be separated out, and monitored entirely differently. For example adults should be able to post nude pictures in their LJ; many parents would object to their children seeing that, and it wouldn't happen if it were on a separate service (under the same auspices). It's difficult for young teenagers and other kids to find the community of people interested in the same things they are, when they're dumped into the sea of everybody.
Jan. 8th, 2005 01:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
how would having journals on a different server farm prevent children from reading journals on the adult service? those two functions are completely separate; one can read livejournals without even having an LJ account at all.

what LJ does instead works (fairly) well -- adult content should not be visible to any random person who comes along. public areas of the service need to pass a PG-13 test; that is, you may not have full frontal nudies or graphically violent ones as your default userpic, and you may not have such images in your user info. if you have a journal for posting sexually explicit images, you have to control access to it and explicitly exclude children and teens under the legal age for viewing such images. child porn is altogether forbidden and will get your journal immediately suspended.

as somebody who was often not interested in what lots of other people my age were interested, i would have not liked to be shunted off into an age ghetto of some sort. school already filled that role, and to this day i think schooling by age doesn't serve a lot of children well. besides, how hard is it to find fellow "britney spears" fans in an interest search? :) and if one wants to yak without boring old adults, one can always create a community with an upper age limit, instead of a lower one like the sexually oriented ones. usually communities also find their own level of discourse, which has less to do with age than with ... i don't want to say maturity, i think it's more a cultural thing, though maturity might play a role.
Jan. 6th, 2005 06:50 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
Also here from dubhain's LJ.

Frankly, I think you're all overreacting. I don't think Six Apart particularly wants to mess with what is inarguably the most successful and popular blogging service online.

Here's the question that needs to be answered before freaking over TOS: who profits? Why is Six Apart buying LiveJournal? I notice a lot of people have hit the roof over this without asking this question. Once we actually know the motive, then we can hit the roof more constructively.
Jan. 6th, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
They also have apparantly gutted the Social Contract, renaming it "Guiding Principles", and the Social Contract was a big moderating factor on the ToS.

Having seen how Six Apart runs their business and treats their users, and knowing the history of tech buyouts and mergers, I am very, very far from optimistic.

Who profits? Let's see:
* Brad: gets to ditch the management and business angle, which he hates enough to risk selling his project for (that and a nice bundle of cash.)
* Six Apart: gets a big, dedicated, and entrenched user base, a code stack that is only partly open source, and a stack of highly optimized servers. IOTW, a potential cash cow, if they can just milk half of the user base with ads or nickle and dime fees (assuming the other half tells them to get stuffed.)
* The users: maybe get trackbacks implemented.

6A burned a lot of their own early adopters when they changed to a fee type software. They didn't add a lot of functionality, and their pricing model was awful for software that you had to install, administer and clean out comment spam on.
Jan. 6th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
I am sure there will be changes, and we won't like all of them. You're probably right about the ads, although you're also probably dead wrong on free accounts suddenly getting charged fees. They have so many free accounts that it's cheaper to slap an ad banner up at the top than it is to charge everybody even a nominal fee. Frankly, I could give a shit, I ignored banners before and I'll still ignore them; it's LiveJournal's server space, they just let me use it.
Jan. 7th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Major Suckage
yeah, that one is a much bigger deal IMO. i wrote an analysis of what all has changed, and it's pretty clear where LJ is headed now, and that is away from being, well, different from all the others -- forget open source, and forget freedom from ads. i doubt six apart is pouring joi ito's money into LJ just to take home as relatively little as brad did.

it doesn't phase me much because i never got all that attached to LJ; i prefer my journal on my own server anyway, and am mostly here to read all the people i know who happen to have LJs. but i can see why you would be upset about those changes.

i think there might be an opportunity for deadjournal here down the road, or a similar site who wants to run LJ as LJ was run before the sale.
Jan. 6th, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
Most of this was there to begin with. Speaking as a volunteer abuseling who's worked pretty extensively with the Terms of Service, there's not much new under the sun, here.

This is a comparison of old and new.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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