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Mixi revises ToU to exploit users March 4, 2008

Posted by fukumimi in Internet, Japan.
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New (revised) Mixi Terms of Use have been announced as coming into effect on April 1st. (Mixi is of course Japan’s #1 SNS site with 10million+ users)

By agreeing to the ToU (which all users implicitly do by continuing to using the service):

1. Users grant Mixi a no-royalty, non-exclusive rights (of replication, broadcasting, public transmission, display, distribution, translation, alteration, etc) to any content uploaded onto Mixi servers.

2. Users agree not to assert their moral rights against Mixi. [Moral rights include the right of attribution, the right to have a work published anonymously or pseudonymously, and the right to the integrity of the work. source:Wikipedia]

When the new ToU comes into effect, the terms will apply retroactively to content uploaded before the changes to the ToU.

What this means is that Mixi can take any content (not just diary or community posts but also private correspondance via the message feature), ignore any access controls which are in effect within Mixi and potentially profit from content created by users.

However, the responsibility for the content remains with the original content owner….

I wonder if the user community will revolt and cause Mixi to back down on this blatant attempt to exploit its user base. In any case, my Mixi account will be deleted by the end of March unless they reconsider this change to their ToU.

As a publicly traded company, you would think they’d think things through before they dropped a bomb like this which would alienate their users. I can see why Mixi wants to leverage (exploit, given the currently proposed terms) the potential of the user generated content created by its 10million+ community, but this seems to be a heavy handed and ill-thought out way to achieve it.

But I guess they are in good company. Gree (Japan’s #2 SNS)’s ToU isn’t much better in this area. Facebook’s ToU in this area is similarly dubious.

What part of “users should own their own data” don’t the SNS operator community not understand? Just imagine if ISPs or phone companies or the post office asserted similar rights….

Comments»

1. Chang W Kim - March 4, 2008

“In any case, my Mixi account will be deleted by the end of March unless they reconsider this change to their ToU.”

This is plain wrong. Mixi is probably thinking not many people would actually read the “small prints” – good old “insurance company” trick.

2. gkanai - March 4, 2008

My Mixi account will be deleted with all of my data before the end of March.

Additional discussion over at Matt Alt’s blog:

http://altjapan.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/03/mixi-on-the-roc.html

3. Global Voices Online » Japan: Mixi to claim rights over user content - March 4, 2008

[…] Matt at Altjapan and Fukumimi report that Mixi, Japan's largest social networking site, has announced that as of April 1st, […]

4. rick - March 5, 2008

Thanks for the heads up. I’ll have to let my wife know.

5. Blogosphere: Mixi’s new Terms of Use to allow it to sell crowdsurfed content? Japan Economy News & Blog - Business, Economy, Marketing and Economic Reports - March 6, 2008

[…] to Mixi’s site, the changes have been reported over at Slashdot’s Japan site. Blogger Fukumimi proves a good translation: By agreeing to the ToU (which all users implicitly do by continuing to using the […]

6. Global Voices Online » Japan: Mixi in hot water over terms of use revision - March 6, 2008

[…] fukamimi translates the most controversial part of revisions to the ToU, Article 18: By agreeing to the ToU (which all users implicitly do by continuing to using the […]

7. Q-TARO.COM » Beware! Mixi is going to exploit all your content and photos - March 7, 2008

[…] Beware! Mixi is going to exploit all your content and photos by Roy on March 7, 2008 16:58 Fukumimi, as usual, has a good write up about the impending Terms of Use bomb Mixi is planning to drop on […]

8. Japan: Mixi in hot water over terms of use revision at Global Voices Advocacy - March 9, 2008

[…] fukamimi translates the most controversial part of revisions to the ToU, Article 18: By agreeing to the ToU (which all users implicitly do by continuing to using the […]

9. Connor - April 15, 2008

Dear Shin,

I am not sure if my emails are getting through. Please shoot me an email at your earliest convenience at Connor dot D dot Shepherd at Gmail.com.

Thanks very much,
Connor Shepherd

10. Ryu Ken - April 21, 2008

They’ve been indirecly profiting from their users contents for years. They might as well make it explicit.

11. Review: Lang-8 … the site that makes language exchange work « The Cunning Linguist (Archive) - September 22, 2009

[…] 9, 2008 Following the recent announcement by Japanese social-networking website Mixi that all content posted by their users will become their intellectual property at the end of March, analytical blog Japan Probe has recommended language exchange site Lang-8 as an alternative […]


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