You may have read that America Online recently altered their Terms of Service for AOL Instant Messenger (and their other services). The good news is that the Internet community kinda flipped out, raised some Cain, and they changed/clarified their policy.
You can imagine that when it came out that the TOS in place since February read, “You waive any right to privacy” people were alarmed. IMming librarians should have been included in this group. There’s more to the old TOS that was scary. Read:
Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. 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. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.
That’s some frightening stuff. I haven’t read through the new TOS because they are quite long, but here they are if you’re interested. AIM Terms of Service.
From cnet: AOL clarifies IM privacy guarantee