Thursday, August 30, 2007

Whose rights online 2.0?

When a user-generated Web 2.0 site such as says that users are responsible for content of their submitted links, many might say Livejournal is being hypocritical. Some blog owners should modify Livejournal’s /any web 2.0 site's ToS and put them on their own blogs.

The background of this story : Recently, Livejournal deleted by mistake hundreds of users’ accounts as suspected pedophiles.

This ‘responsibility clause’ raises two important issues:
1. Livejournal is not the only web 2.0 site that has clause. You can find variations, if not exact copies on other web 2.0 sites as well. Here is Digg’s ToS, for example.

2. While one might argue that web 2.0 sites are making handsome advertising profits from user-generated data, without bothering to share, we must not forget the underlying economic realities of any web 2.0 outfit.

Batting for the web 2.0 sites' cause, a commenter on Slashdot explains it best:
This is not about "your rights online". LiveJournal is a private company, not a govenrment agency.

Their web site is private property, and it is not a monopoly.

To speak of 'rights' on their web site is sort of speaking about rights at K-Mart. You don't have any. If you don't like what K-Mart does, you leave and go to their competitor.

If LiveJournal does something that you find intolerably stupid, then quit and go post on their competition's web site.

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