Big companies are not immune from wordy Terms of Service changes that leave users scratching their heads, either. For example, Netflix recently changed its Terms to say that users can’t sue ’em while OnStar ominously updated its Terms in the fall to say it could track users without consent – something that sounded at the time like a huge violation of user privacy. Both companies could have certainly benefitted from a plain language explainer.
But before everyone jumps on the bandwagon of simple TOS pages, there is something important to point out here. If this did become a more common occurrence, most users would likely just read the basic version, which leaves room for the company to sneak the more questionable parts of the agreement into the legalese, knowing that few would ever spot it there.
As noted over on Hacker News (which spotted 500px’s TOS early this morning and now has an interesting discussion going), 500px’s simple Terms seem to leave out an important clause:
The license granted to 500px includes the right to use your Content fully
or partially for promotional reasons and to distribute and redistribute your Content to other parties, web-sites, applications, and other entities (…)
It’s the same sort of clause that once had professional photographers up in arms over Google+, for what it’s worth. And it could be just a miss on 500px’s part to leave something like that in the long version, but for its professional users (who do in fact care about these things), seeing it not mentioned in the simplified explanation is cause for concern.
In addition to the above clause, both versions also seem to lack details on how DMCA violations will be handled, we should note.
As San Francisco-based pro photographer Jim Goldstein of JMG Galleries explains, “the one pitfall [with using a basic version] is that a simplified version can never cover every intricacy of the original document. That does create some holes,” he says. “500px certainly deserves some credit for trying something new. I’m sure their tactic will make some lawyers a little uneasy and certainly will not placate the concern of every photographer out there, but I think it’s a start and a great idea.”
UPDATE: Aviary reached out to note they’ve been doing this for years. Awesome, guys. Who’s next?
Source : https://techcrunch.com/2012/04/12/500pxs-terms-of-service-are-kind-of-awesome/