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 Any Legal bods out there

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Ms Mockinatrix
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:14 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I wonder if you wonderful people could help out here with some legal advice. This is a free UK dating site, where members can add photos of themselves etc. You get a profile picture and then gallery pictures.

The site has added a new option, without notification, to the gallery pictures. This new option is to enable other members to send a picture from your gallery to their mobile phone for the cost of 50p + network charges.

Their T&Cs say this:

[Owner's Name] and [Site Name] do not sell, trade or rent your personal information to other companies but from time to time may want to share data with other reputable companies both within and outside the European Union who may have interesting offers and information for you.

Are photos classed as personal information?

Are they allowed to effectively sell your photos without your permission? Is permission implied by being a member of the site? If so, that would apply to only new members, what about existing before the change?

Are they allowed to implement such a change without notification?

By taking your own picture, you automatically own the copyright to your photo, by placing it on a public site are you reliquishing your copyright?

Can't think of any other questions right now, I'm sure I've missed something really obvious.....

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Jammy
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:36 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm not a legal bod, nor do I play one on tv. However, I do follow this issue pretty closely, so I'll throw in my 2 cents.

Quote:
By taking your own picture, you automatically own the copyright to your photo, by placing it on a public site are you reliquishing your copyright?


There's the rub. I'll bet they have something buried in their ToS that says, in effect, that anything you upload becomes their property, or that they claim the right to x, y, and z anything you upload. Also, they may claim they are not selling the photo (which is apparently freely available on their website). Instead, they are charging for the service of sending the photo to the cell phone.

Since "nobody reads them anyway", companies have been getting away with some very absurd abuses in their Terms of Service, Terms and Conditions, and similar documents over the past decade. The legality of such documents is starting to be questioned (especially ones where you just check an "I Agree" box without ever having to see the terms you are agreeing to). I have no idea if there might be potential for a class action suit in the case you mentioned, but bitching about this company loudly on privacy forums or dating site forums might be a way to find out.

Good luck if you choose to fight this! It is a very worthy type of fight!

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Ms Mockinatrix
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:54 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks Jammy, some of us have been trawling the T&Cs and of course it's all in legalese.

I can see nothing that applies to photos....

Copyright, Trade Marks and other Intellectual Property Rights

* All copyright, design rights, database right, patents, and any rights to inventions, know-how, trade and business names, trade secrets and trade marks (whether registered or unregistered) and any applications therefor ("Intellectual Property Rights") in xxxxx.co.uk belong to and vest in xxxxx, or are licensed to Xxxxx unless otherwise specified. All such rights of Xxxxx are hereby asserted and reserved.
* You may not and warrant that you will not:
o hack, attempt to hack, distribute, modify, transmit, re-use any or all of Xxxxx.co.uk or the information contained therein for any purpose other than as set out above;
o make any public or commercial use without Xxxxx' prior written consent;
o provide hypertext links, URL Links, graphic links, hyperlinks or other direct connection for profit or gain to Xxxxx.co.uk without Xxxxx' prior written permission;
o display, publish, copy, print, post or otherwise use Xxxxx.co.uk and the information contained therein for the benefit of any third party or web site without Xxxxx' prior written consent;
o process or otherwise use the information contained on or within Xxxxx.co.uk for any illegal or immoral purpose nor use or process the same unfairly.
o You must retain all copyright notices and other proprietary notices contained on Xxxxx.co.uk.

Privacy and Data Policy

* Xxxxx.co.uk makes a commitment to protecting your privacy and promises only to use information collected about you in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
* When you sign up to Xxxxx.co.uk, Xxxxx may ask you for certain information and you may submit personal data to Xxxxx.co.uk (for example your name, mobile telephone number, postal address, email address and other contact details). Xxxxx may also record which services you are interested in as well as user traffic patterns and site use. This information will be kept securely in accordance with an internal security policy and may be used to:
1. process your Communications and to enable your use of Xxxxx.co.uk and the services;
2. provide you with an up to date, efficient and reliable service;
3. help fraud prevention;
4. open and run your account;
5. administer prize draws;
6. generally run the Xxxxx.co.uk website;
7. tailor and personalise the content of your use of the Xxxxx.co.uk site and communications sent to you by Xxxxx in a way that is designed to be relevant to you;
8. moderate the Forum and in this respect all of your information reasonably necessary for this purpose including your IP address may be transferred to a reputable third party for this purpose; or
9. permanently bar a user from using the Xxxxx.co.uk website at Labwork's sole discretion where that user has breached these Terms.
* By submitting your data you agree to this use.
* Xxxxx will never collect sensitive information about you without your explicit consent. However you understand and accept that collection of some sensitive information may be required for the effective and most beneficial use of Xxxxx.co.uk.
* Xxxxx may use the data it collects about you in order to request third party ads which may be of interest to you. No personally identifiable information will be passed to any third party in order to perform this. If you wish to opt out of this please email us.
* Xxxxx use third party companies to serve ads to users of the Xxxxx.co.uk website. Where provided, their privacy policies are linked to below:
o otpmedia

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'please i beg you in the name of God stop this trash OK, I do not ask you for any gift now, I ONLY NEED YOUR HELP FOR THE TRANSFER IF YOU WILL SINCERE WITH YOUSELF .
bye bye for now.' Phina Mendy or as I like to call her Imabit Bendy <--- at last!

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JMRazor
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 7:37 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Those actions would violate U.S. copyright law (and likely do violate UK laws as well). Your copyright is your copyright until you sell it or assign it to someone else (leaving aside some technical possibilities). Since the 50p is clearly not related to transmission charges, it can only be for the cost of your picture, and therefore is clearly for a commercial purpose, which likely takes it outside the general exceptions (e.g., criticism, education, etc.). Even on the internet, you cannot download or distribute property that belongs to others without the owner's permission. Merely posting your picture to a website, by itself, does not relinquish the copyright.

So, unless there is some other disclaimer that you're not aware of (and query whether that disclaimer would actually be enforceable), I'd say this looks like copyright infringement.

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Ms Mockinatrix
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Thank you JMR, I have passed this back to the members of the site.

There is much furor! and the peasants are revolting lol

The silence from any Mod or the site Owner himself is deafening and is quite telling, I think.

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'please i beg you in the name of God stop this trash OK, I do not ask you for any gift now, I ONLY NEED YOUR HELP FOR THE TRANSFER IF YOU WILL SINCERE WITH YOUSELF .
bye bye for now.' Phina Mendy or as I like to call her Imabit Bendy <--- at last!

I am wall to wall entertainment (apparently so says Mr. E)
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the vampire
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ give them a good whipping, that'll open their mouths!

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Ms Mockinatrix
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:01 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

And the result of the peasants revolting:

First, apologies for any concern the new "send to mobile" feature has caused.

I have removed the facility for the time being, due to the concerns raised by members in this thread.

If the facility is reinstated, there will be a clear option to opt out.

I will try and answer some of the points raised in the remainder of this post:

The idea of this feature is that as members form relationships on this site, they may reasonably want a copy of that persons photo on their phone.

There are many ways to transfer a photo from the internet to a mobile phone, and [3rd party] provide one solution, for which they take a fee.

As with any other service you see promoted on the site, xxxxx.co.uk also take some sort of fee from [3rd party] - this is what keeps the site free and means you don't need to pay a subscription.

As to the legal issues raised - this is something I will seek clarification on.

Finally, thanks to everyone who took the time to add their concerns to this thread, and the related thread in Serious Topics. I might not read every bit of feedback that I should, but I have read both these threads and taken the comments on board.

Am feeling slightly victorious being one of the first to shout about it not being 'right'.

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'please i beg you in the name of God stop this trash OK, I do not ask you for any gift now, I ONLY NEED YOUR HELP FOR THE TRANSFER IF YOU WILL SINCERE WITH YOUSELF .
bye bye for now.' Phina Mendy or as I like to call her Imabit Bendy <--- at last!

I am wall to wall entertainment (apparently so says Mr. E)
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thud419
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:03 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Well done.

I am not a lawyer either, but I am in the UK, and I have had contact with the Data Protection Act. I know CCTV pictures are classed as "Sensitive Personal Data" and are more highly protected. It seems possible that simple pictures taken from a certain site may be too.

Whichever, they have to tell you how they are using your personal data. They have not told you about this feature, and therefore they are infringing the DPA. In fact it is a little concerning that they don't say they will pass any of your data to third parties for dating purposes. Surely that is the whole point of the site? Or do they manage to get you together without any identifying info, and what extra you pass is up to you? If so it seems reasonable that they shouldn't use that data for anything at all without you telling them they can. In which case the terms and conditions are spread throughout the website's User Interface.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:13 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Quote:
The idea of this feature is that as members form relationships on this site, they may reasonably want a copy of that persons photo on their phone.

Why should this be necessary? All the two people have to do is share their photos privately. Frankly, even if I had established a relationship with someone else from that site, I'd be a little offended if that person went to the site to get a pic of me for his phone, rather than treating me with the dignity and respect I deserve - and ASKING me for a pic.

Besides, I could give him pics I'd never post on the site. Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:31 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Titania wrote:
Why should this be necessary?

To make money.

The original problem was not: how can we enable people to carry each other's pics around. It was: how can we get people to send lots of SMSs and charge them for it.
A nicer feature would be that you could send your pics to your loved one's phone.



Titania wrote:
Besides, I could give him pics I'd never post on the site.
Oh, don't be shy.

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larry
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 2:41 am Reply with quoteBack to top

At the end of the day it is all about the $$$

On the other hand I believe that the next decade will see a complete redefining of "copyright" and many changes to the law taking place around the world. It is all part of the internet age we live in.

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