MSN “Spaces”

Microsoft (a little mom&pop software setup in a rainforest) has discovered blogs, and now has their own weblog service, Spaces, which they describe as:

With MSN Spaces, you can easily create and manage your blog from your computer or your mobile phone. It’s a great way to share information and photos with your friends and family. And best of all, it’s free!*

(There’s always an asterisk or two with MS).

Before you get all excited and start your own weblog, a reading of the fine print is in order. Which is where Mr. Jones comes in. Leave it to a lawyer to read the fine print, and find it objectionable:

For materials you post or otherwise provide to Microsoft related to the MSN Web Sites (a “Submission”), you grant Microsoft permission to (1) use, copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, modify, translate and reformat your Submission, each in connection with the MSN Web Sites, and (2) sublicense these rights, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law. Microsoft will not pay you for your Submission. Microsoft may remove your Submission at any time. For each Submission, you represent that you have all rights necessary for you to make the grants in this section. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Microsoft may monitor your e-mail, or other electronic communications and may disclose such information in the event it has a good faith reason to believe it is necessary for purposes of ensuring your compliance with this Agreement, and protecting the rights, property, and interests of the Microsoft Parties or any customer of a Microsoft Party.

(Small print added for our occasional lawyer visitors).

There are alternatives, Blogger, for instance. I started there, and left, but it’s still better than letting MS have your blog.

Just say NO to Spaces.*

*Just kidding, in case some MS lawyer reads this and wants to sue me. I can have asterisks, too.