MacWeek successfully clarified last week's debate concerning Apple's iTools membership licence, reporting that Apple has changed the wording of the membership agreement. The revision followed growing concern regarding rights to content in a paragraph of the legal agreement.
iTools is a selection of Internet-based services for OS 9 users. These services include a free e-mail account, Web page hosting, and 20MB
storage space on Apple's servers. While available only to US citizens, people worldwide have availed themselves of the services in a number of ways.
Macworld.com reported a provision in the agreement to use iTools that opened a floodgate to worldwide criticism. Hidden in the Copyright and Intellectual Property infringement section of the iTools agreement lurked a clause which seemingly gave Apple unlimited rights to use any
content posted on iTool's public areas. The paragraph originally read:
"By submitting or posting content on public areas of iTools, you are representing that you are the owner of such material or have authorization to distribute it. You hereby grant Apple a worldwide,
perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sub-licensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise all rights, under copyright, publicity and related laws, in any media now known or not currently known, with respect to any content you post in any public site within iTools."
Responding to the hail of criticism, the company changed the wording in this section of the agreement to read:
"By submitting or posting content on areas of iTools accessible by the public, you are representing that you are the owner of such material or have authorization to distribute it. You hereby grant Apple a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish any such public area content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting the area on which such content is
posted. Said license will be in effect only as long as you are an iTools member, and will terminate upon removal of such content from the public area, or when you are no longer an iTools member, whichever happens first."