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Re: [IGSROBIN] IGS Website

Robin, Diana and others,

This concern over the intent of Yahoo to control rights to materials
posted is something we must investigate further. It may turn out to be a
great deal of fuss about nothing as the website
http://docs.yahoo.com/docs/info/toshelp.html  suggests. On the other
hand, reading material there leaves questions in my mind. It is not
clear, despite what they say, that these privileges need to be invoked
to allow them to do business. Here are my comments to each of their
claims. I have marked their statements by a prefaced Y. My comments are
prefaced by an A.

Y You license your content to Yahoo! so that we can display the content
on your GeoCities site and promote the Yahoo! GeoCities services.

A Then why do other sites not find it necessary to obtain our license?

Y The license exists for as long as you continue to be a Yahoo!
GeoCities homesteader, no longer.
Yahoo! has the right to reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, and create
derivative works of your content only for the purpose of hosting your
GeoCities site and providing and promoting the Yahoo! GeoCities service.
Some people have asked if under these rules Yahoo! can do things like
publish a book or make a movie using your Yahoo! GeoCities homepage
content. We cannot.

A Then I'll be darned if I can justify that statement with the one that

Y By submitting Content to any Yahoo
            property, you automatically grant, or warrant that
            the owner of such Content has expressly granted,
            Yahoo the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable,
            non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right and
            license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish,
            translate, create derivative works from, distribute,
            perform and display such Content (in whole or part)
            worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works
            in any form, media, or technology now known or
            later developed."

A I think that gives them a pretty broad charter to do just about
whatever they want.

Y We intend for these rules to be legally binding on Yahoo!.   And, as
the lawyers say, to the extent that any of these rules conflict with or
modify the Yahoo! Terms of Service, these rules will prevail.

A This says nothing. I hope they intend to perform legally!

Y We have no intention of violating the trust that we've built with you
over the years.

A Then, why invoke this requirement?

Y We understand your recent concerns, but there are some very basic and
important reasons why an online company such as Yahoo! asks for such a
license. For starters, we use many computers to serve to the world the
millions of GeoCities home pages. In order to display your pages quickly
and not lose any of your content (say, in a computer crash), we often
need to copy your files onto more than one computer. Very simply, the
license assures that we can do this.

A I believe this happens already on other sites that do not demand the

Y In addition, if we choose to promote your page on the top of Yahoo!
GeoCities, or anywhere else on the Yahoo! network (even, for example, in
a marketing promotion of Yahoo!'s many services), we need to reproduce
the content. Again, the license assures that we can do this.

A They may require it for this reason. Then, the requirement should
explicitly limit them to this provision.

Y There are many times when we use other companies to help us serve web
pages on our global network. Sometimes information is changed as it is
served to the world. For example, if your page contains images in JPEG
format and the other company's service uses GIF format, your images may
need to be adapted to fit in.

A Then put this in as a specific and limited provision!

Well, that's it for their statements and my responses. I hope to get
more information from other sources. What do you think?

Thanks, Diana, for bringing this matter to our attention and thanks,
Robin, for providing the website above. I think we need as much
information as we can get to  sort it all out.

San Diego, California

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