Twitter Updates Terms of Service – New ToS Effective Immediately

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Twitter has updated and posted new Terms of Service (ToS), which are effective immediately. The new Terms of Service more directly address the issues of spam, and make clear that what happens on Twitter can be used by Twitter, but still belongs to the user.

Explains Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, in a blog post this evening, “These updates complement the spirit of Twitter. If we’ve left something out, or the nature of the service changes, then we’ll revisit the Term – there’s a feedback link on the page. We’re in the process of sending an email about the revisions now. It’s important that everyone who tweets, develops apps, or is simply interested in Twitter understands that it’s not about the technology, it’s about how we all use the service that matters most.”


Many of the “don’ts” are direct nods to issues that have occurred or evolved within the past year, including hacking into Twitter’s system, and spamming via Twitter.

The section dealing directly with such social media ills states that:

You may not do any of the following while accessing or using the Services: (i) access, tamper with, or use non-public areas of the Services, Twitter’s computer systems, or the technical delivery systems of Twitter’s providers; (ii) probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of any system or network or breach or circumvent any security or authentication measures; (iii) access or search or attempt to access or search the Services by any means (automated or otherwise) other than through our currently available, published interfaces that are provided by Twitter (and only pursuant to those terms and conditions), unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with Twitter (NOTE: crawling the Services is permissible if done in accordance with the provisions of the robots.txt file, however, scraping the Services without the prior consent of Twitter is expressly prohibited); (iv) forge any TCP/IP packet header or any part of the header information in any email or posting, or in any way use the Services to send altered, deceptive or false source-identifying information; or (v) interfere with, or disrupt, (or attempt to do so), the access of any user, host or network, including, without limitation, sending a virus, overloading, flooding, spamming, mail-bombing the Services, or by scripting the creation of Content in such a manner as to interfere with or create an undue burden on the Services.

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Under a section entitled “Your Rights”, Twitter makes clear that while they are allowed to publish and rebroadcast your Tweets (your “content”), your content still belongs to you:

“You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

TIPThis license is you authorizing us to make your Tweets available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. But what’s yours is yours – you own your content.”

 

Interestingly, the new Terms of Service prohibit the use of the service by anyone under 18, and open the door to Twitter running contextual ads (think ala Adsense).

You can read Twitter’s new Terms of Service here.

If you want to compare, here below are the original Twitter Terms of Service:

Terms of Service

By using the Twitter.com web site, a service of Twitter, Inc., you are agreeing to be bound by the following terms and conditions (“Terms of Use”).
Basic Terms

1. You must be 13 years or older to use this site.
2. You are responsible for any activity that occurs under your screen name.
3. You are responsible for keeping your password secure.
4. You must not abuse, harass, threaten, impersonate or intimidate other Twitter users.
5. You may not use the Twitter.com service for any illegal or unauthorized purpose. International users agree to comply with all local laws regarding online conduct and acceptable content.
6. You are solely responsible for your conduct and any data, text, information, screen names, graphics, photos, profiles, audio and video clips, links (“Content”) that you submit, post, and display on the Twitter.com service.
7. You must not modify, adapt or hack Twitter.com or modify another website so as to falsely imply that it is associated with Twitter.com .
8. You must not create or submit unwanted email to any Twitter members (“Spam”).
9. You must not transmit any worms or viruses or any code of a destructive nature.
10. You must not, in the use of Twitter, violate any laws in your jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright laws).

Violation of any of these agreements will result in the termination of your Twitter.com account. While Twitter.com prohibits such conduct and content on its site, you understand and agree that Twitter cannot be responsible for the Content posted on its web site and you nonetheless may be exposed to such materials and that you use the Twitter.com service at your own risk.
General Conditions

1. We reserve the right to modify or terminate the Twitter.com service for any reason, without notice at any time.
2. We reserve the right to alter these Terms of Use at any time. If the alterations constitute a material change to the Terms of Use, we will notify you via internet mail according to the preference expressed on your account. What constitutes a “material change” will be determined at our sole discretion, in good faith and using common sense and reasonable judgement.
3. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason at any time.
4. We may, but have no obligation to, remove Content and accounts containing Content that we determine in our sole discretion are unlawful, offensive, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene or otherwise objectionable or violates any party’s intellectual property or these Terms of Use.
5. The Twitter service makes it possible to post images and text hosted on Twitter to outside websites. This use is accepted (and even encouraged!). However, pages on other websites which display data hosted on Twitter.com must provide a link back to Twitter.
6. We reserve the right to reclaim usernames on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those usernames.

Copyright (What’s Yours is Yours)

1. We claim no intellectual property rights over the material you provide to the Twitter service. Your profile and materials uploaded remain yours. You can remove your profile at any time by deleting your account. This will also remove any text and images you have stored in the system.
2. We encourage users to contribute their creations to the public domain or consider progressive licensing terms.
3. Twitter undertakes to obey all relevant copyright laws. We will review all claims of copyright infringement received and remove content deemed to have been posted or distributed in violation of any such laws. To make a claim, please provide us with the following:
1. A physical or electronic signature of the copyright owner or the person authorized to act on its behalf;
2. A description of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed;
3. A description of the infringing material and information reasonably sufficient to permit Twitter to locate the material;
4. Your contact information, including your address, telephone number, and email;
5. A statement by you that you have a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; and
6. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and, under the pains and penalties of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

Claims can be sent to copyright@Twitter.com or Obvious Corp, 164 South Park Street, San Francisco CA 94107. Contact the agent designated to receive and act on copyright violations under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

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The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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