Hello! How are you? Me, I’m keepin’ on and experiencing yet another bleed from my professional life into my personal one. This semester has sent me quite a few more requests for copyright guidance than last semester. Sometimes the answers to these questions actually involve contract law, which is a different beast entirely – as any electronic resources librarian can tell you. What companies put in their contracts can make allowances for more or less use than copyright law allows.
And, I hear you saying, yeah, so what. How is this a personal issue? Our memberships, customer accounts, use of software and apps are all regulated by terms and conditions or EULAs (End User License Agreements) that are meant to govern our uses and interactions (beyond just copyright). Some companies are putting crazy things in their EULAs now a days. Example one: Palmer vs. Kleargear, where-in Company A declares that they can hold you financially liable and take various actions against you, like ruining your credit, if you tell your friend they suck. That was an extremely simplistic summary but the truth is no less scary. Example two: EULAs that explain that your download of a free media player means your agreement that their constituent will take over all your browser programs and change the settings for your search and home pages (you know who you are!).
Given these happenings, I have been trying to be more mindful of what I am actually agreeing to by using websites and services. I had a read of Facebook’s terms and conditions (that were supposedly updated over the holidays), and decided that what they said was not for me. I couldn’t agree, and since using the service equated agreement, I have deleted myself from Facebook. I’ll miss all the friend creeping, but bye.