Apple tweaks iTools license
by Wendy J. Mattson, MacWEEK.com
(IDG) -- Apple on Thursday changed the wording of its iTools membership license agreement. The revision came in the wake of a growing controversy over the wording about rights to content in one portion of the legal document.
Unveiled last month at Macworld Expo San Francisco, iTools is a group of Internet services for Mac OS 9 users. The services include a free e-mail account, a personal Web pages and space to store files on Apple's Web servers.
While initial reviews of the services were positive, a Macworld.com report posted Wednesday described a provision in the iTools membership agreement that is causing some discontent.
A provision in the Copyright and Intellectual Property Infringement section of the iTools agreement, which members must sign, seems to give Apple unlimited rights to use any content posted on an iTools-hosted home page or other public iTools areas.
One paragraph of the agreement originally read as follows:
By submitting or posting content on public areas of iTools, you are representing that you are the owner of such material or have authorization to distribute it. You hereby grant Apple a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise all rights, under copyright, publicity and related laws, in any media now known or not currently known, with respect to any content you post in any public site within iTools.
The revised section now reads:
By submitting or posting content on areas of iTools accessible by the public, you are representing that you are the owner of such material or have authorization to distribute it. You hereby grant Apple a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish any such public area content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting the area on which such content is posted. Said license will be in effect only as long as you are an iTools member, and will terminate upon removal of such content from the public area or when you are no longer an iTools member, whichever happens first.
Apple is the not the first company to revise an agreement following protests from users over rights to content. Yahoo last summer changed its Terms of Serviceafter users boycotted Yahoo's properties, including GeoCities.com, about use of content.
Stephen Beale contributed to this report.
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