Microsoft should be feared and despised!

Posted 3 Apr 2001 at 16:27 UTC by csm Share This

After taking the time to read the Microsoft Passport Web Site Terms of Use and Notices I have had a belly full of them. The potential damage they can do with this license is staggering. I encourage everyone to take the time to read it, particularly the section entitled "LICENSE TO MICROSOFT". If you've ever had any doubts about the nature of that company, reading that section should put them to rest for good and all!

Read the whole story at my home site.

Nice overreaction, posted 3 Apr 2001 at 17:19 UTC by kelly » (Master)

All their license says is that you grant Microsoft a license to use any information you transmit into or through their Passport service. They're not claiming ownership. Can you read?

This is unfair, posted 3 Apr 2001 at 18:04 UTC by hub » (Master)

Their policy is completely unfair. What next ? They'll take total ownership of data you made with their software ? ... Oh wait. It is already the case since they make them proprietary...

Time for a Badvogato plan.

And continue not using MSFT products.

Re: Nice overreaction, posted 3 Apr 2001 at 18:31 UTC by csm » (Journeyer)

Sure... I can read... especially the part that says this:

" are granting Microsoft and its affiliated companies permission to:

1.Use, modify, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, publish, sublicense, create derivative works from, transfer, or sell any such communication.
2.Sublicense to third parties the unrestricted right to exercise any of the foregoing rights granted with respect to the communication.
3.Publish your name in connection with any such communication.

The foregoing grants shall include the right to exploit any proprietary rights in such communication, including but not limited to rights under copyright, trademark, service mark or patent laws under any relevant jurisdiction. No compensation will be paid with respect to Microsoft's use of the materials contained within such communication."

Is this the part you're asking if I can read?

Yes, that's the part..., posted 3 Apr 2001 at 18:39 UTC by kelly » (Master)

All that does is say that "If you post something to our service, you grant us a license to use it however we want."

Believe it or not, but virtually every online service that accepts member submissions does this. (The ones that don't are asking to get sued anyway.) The only vaguely interesting part is that Microsoft has explicitly indicated that this includes the right to commercially exploit any ideas publicized on its servers by its unpaid contributors. If anything, I give them credit for openly admitting that they are reserving this right; other sites reserve it anyway without explicitly telling you. Contrast Microsoft's ToS with, e.g. Yahoo's. Really not that much difference.

If this same license had been found on a website belonging to anyone other than Microsoft, it wouldn't be news, or at least this newsworthy. Y'all have Microsoft-bashing on the brain.

Really not that much difference?, posted 3 Apr 2001 at 19:19 UTC by brlewis » (Journeyer)

You agree to grant Yahoo rights on

Content you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Service

You agree to grant MSFT rights

By posting messages, uploading files, inputting data, submitting any feedback or suggestions, or engaging in any other form of communication with or through the Passport Web Site

What communication might I be making "through the Passport Web Site" that isn't intended for the public? I tried to look at their white paper but it required that I sign up for Passport first, which I don't want to do yet.

More Mindless Microsoft-bashing, posted 3 Apr 2001 at 19:58 UTC by kelly » (Master)

Indeed, Microsoft would have a license to use your HTTP headers under its agreement, which Yahoo doesn't claim. They might also be able to, say, post somewhere "John Doe's password on our service is snarfblatt" (a password being "data transmitted to their service"). If you send a customer relations email, they would be permitted to publish it.

So, basically, what they're saying is "We reserve the right to republish anything you say to us. If we do republish something you say to us, we won't pay you anything and you have no legal recourse in intellectual property law."

Again, I don't see what the big deal is. As far as I can tell, this is just more mindless Microsoft-bashing.

Wow, posted 3 Apr 2001 at 20:57 UTC by pudge » (Master)

How can it not be considered a big deal? Microsoft is literally laying claim to do anything it wants with any data transmitted through its servers. If I send mail to you at and it forwards to you at, according to Microsoft, they have the right to use my data and name for anything. Yes, their ToS is not limited to subscribers of the service, but to any form of communication using their site.

But we don't have to go that far. If you have a Hotmail account -- or any e-mail account that is not related to your job -- you should have a reasonable expectation that you can send me an idea you have via your account and Microsoft won't exploit it. If everyone followed Microsoft's lead, e-mail would be completely useless for businesses, artists, and anyone else who didn't run their own servers for mail and had some sort of valuable intellectual property.

Seems like a big deal to me.

yup, this does indeed look bad., posted 3 Apr 2001 at 22:33 UTC by ask » (Master)

It's surrealistic.

Bryan Smith wrote an interesting mail about it too.

The yahoo TOS explicitely say that you still own the data, you are just granting them the right to publish them when you make them "available for inclusion on publicly accessibly areas of Yahoo!".

that should learn you to read before you use, posted 4 Apr 2001 at 06:58 UTC by bagder » (Master)

I have to agree with the crowd saying that this is hardly surprising.

Fascist companies have licenses like this, that's part of life and their business policies.

Don't use services like this. Don't use services provided by bloated monopolies.

copyright / ownership loss of rights will cause serious problems, posted 4 Apr 2001 at 10:18 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

the counter-agreement issue is critical.

microsoft can potentially LEGALLY TERMINATE a project just because one of your users has used "the in'ur'ne'" through them, and THEY OWN XXXXING EVERYTHING THAT WENT INTO A CVS REPOSITORY.

if you ask me, that's _pretty serious_.

THINK. someone using ms-based services is actually wholly-owned by microsoft.

you think they'd agree to some open source license if you used _their_ services - THEIR services, to threaten THEIR competitive, proprietary products?

xxxx that!

In perspective, posted 4 Apr 2001 at 10:45 UTC by Seri » (Observer)

One of the thing sthat disturbes me about this license is this scenario.

Small band or solo artist wants to show of some MP3's of their music to their friends, they happen to be using Passport, lo and behold Microsoft now has full copyrights to their material.

Kelly writes: All that does is say that..., posted 4 Apr 2001 at 23:52 UTC by jhasler » (Journeyer)

> Believe it or not, but virtually every online service that accepts member submissions does this.

I know of no nntp server that does so.

> The ones that don't are asking to get sued anyway.

You are going to sue them for doing exactly what you told them to do? Not likely.

Possible explanations for the existence of these licenses, not necessarily in order of likelihood:

a) The lawyers involved are incompetent.

b) The managers involved believe themselves to be so incompetent that they expect to do something such as accidently publishing a private email on a Web page, and are unwilling to take their lumps when they do.

c) They are planning ahead.

It is NOT OWNERSHIP, posted 5 Apr 2001 at 11:42 UTC by pudge » (Master)

While I do agree with people who say this is serious and a big deal, listen up, Microsoft does NOT CLAIM OWNERSHIP. Microsoft does not claim copyright or ownership of any kind. They claim a right to USE your copyrighted material. They cannot shut down a project just because your copyrighted material passed through them, because they do not own it. They only claim rights to use it. Microsoft does not have copyright to a band's music; they only have the right to use that music in any way they see fit. Yes, there is a difference. In many cases the difference is not too significant, but it is a difference.

right to use, posted 5 Apr 2001 at 13:11 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

... so they have the right to use your code, mp3, and your name, and say,

"hi. see this code? it's GPL. it's written by XXX. it's DANGEROUS to use this code. you could violate your ms license agreement by being associated with it".

.... whoops :)

No Big Deal, eh?, posted 5 Apr 2001 at 15:25 UTC by pudge » (Master)

If it were no big deal, they wouldn't have changed it! :-) They said the ToS are old and should be ignored, and the new ones will specifically limit the claims to rights of use on communication directly with Microsoft, supposedly. This quote is great:

"I'm kind of stunned," [Jason Catlett, president of Junkbusters,] said. "I mean, if Microsoft doesn't know what's in its own terms of service regarding personal information, then what hope do its customers have for the privacy of their own information?

whew!, posted 5 Apr 2001 at 15:55 UTC by duff » (Journeyer)

If it were no big deal, they wouldn't have changed it!

Ah good. By the time I got around to reading this thread it had apparently already been changed. I was about to post a "what are you guys talking about?!?!?" message. :-)

Take it for what it is, posted 5 Apr 2001 at 16:11 UTC by exa » (Master)

It does not matter that the adversary is the blessed Microsoft or some other company. This shrink-wrap license has been discussed before on various sites and I think the general attitude must be a strong NO.

Let me offer my small analysis. Using shrink-wrap licenses are being constantly used in an arguably unconstitutional way to eliminate fair use of copyrighted work, by invoking the force of the state in an "unfair" way. Now, this use of private law is beyond the wildest imagination of those others who try to destroy fair use. It means that you are being granted no privacy at all. Why does this matter? Because the question here is not that your communication may be eavesdropped upon. The obvious threat is that your personal information, which is at the core of privacy of a respectable individual, is going to be used without your control. The term I think gives them a power over your private life that you do not even take notice of, for you would be inclined to think that *exactly the opposite* would be conveyed in that license. There would be a strong objection against the government exploiting personal information like this, so why give this privilege to a corporation, why lose another one of your freedoms?

It is like marrying someone, but under a special contract with a statement written in the smallest letters imaginable that goes like "I grant that video shoots of my sexual intercourses with my wife may be used freely by my wife". In effect, it does not look like a deal where there is a win-win situation, it is simply unacceptable and it is the duty of every Net user to deny this abuse of law, protesting their shameful services. If you do not take any action, the corporations will push the limits of invading your privacy further.


forward, posted 6 Apr 2001 at 21:37 UTC by Malx » (Journeyer)

From Netch
you at and it forwards to you at
In that case you is guilty, becouse you have no right to distribute this source code to anyone (including HotMail) given to you by authour.

If it would come to court - you whoud be wrong (not sender or MS).

suspicions as to why this is done., posted 12 Apr 2001 at 12:12 UTC by lkcl » (Master)

nuniabiz, on badvogato, just posted an article about how he was receiving specifically-targetted SPAM advertising at a hotmail account.

the account was only opened last week.

heather, who has only given out her emergency hotmail address to me, which was created last month, receives 17 messages in two weeks.


think about it.

read the xxxx-wit agreement carefully.

it says, "we can push your email address and the content around to absolutely anyone we please our fat little selves".

in other words, i suspect they're selling your email address and the content of your email - to anyone that gives them enough money.

anyone care to comment on this?

...they're selling your email..., posted 13 Apr 2001 at 01:24 UTC by jhasler » (Journeyer)

lkcl writes: in other words, i suspect they're selling your email address and the content of your email - to anyone that gives them enough money. anyone care to comment on this?

They aren't the only ones. Subscribe to a Yahoo mailing list and multipy your spam count tenfold.

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