AOL Owns You

This news has been all over the place this weekend. As mentioned on Slashdot and Metafilter, among other sites, AOL has altered the terms of service for their AOL Instant Messenger. Basically, you don’t own anything you say in your IMs anymore. AOL does.

Here’s a choice quote from the Terms of Service:

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.

It’s not much of an issue for me, since I haven’t seen anyone I know on AIM in almost six months (that might just be that everyone has changed their screen names to avoid me, but I choose to believe I’m not that much of an asshole), but I wanted to throw this out there for those of you who are using the service regularly.