September 2009
Skype's EULA (12 September 2009
Update to Skype's EULA (15 September 2009
A Good Mailer for Mac OS? (21 September 2009
The Problem of Computerized Search (26 September 2009

Skype's EULA

12 September 2009

I was looking at the End User License Agreement to which Skype wants people to assent. I noticed the following odd provision (Section 3.2.4):

You hereby grant to Skype a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable and transferable licence to Use the Content in any media in connection with the Skype Software, the Products and the Skype Website.
And what is "Content"? According to Section 1, it
means any and all content consisting of text, sounds, pictures, photos, video and/or any type of information or communications.
People have to give Skype a license to use what they say via its service? People want Skype to transmit sound and images, not use it "in any media".

Perhaps I'm being too cautious here. Section 3.3 of their Terms of Service states that

Skype does not control, or have any knowledge of the content of any communication(s) spread by the use of the Products.
Certainly, Skype has always claimed that they can't peek through their own encryption to hear what is said on Skype-to-Skype calls. But what about voice mail? SkypeOut and SkypeIn, which permit connections — obviously, unencrypted — to the regular phone network. Are they truly asserting they have license to use what is said on such calls "in any media"?

Possibly, their lawyers were too cautious or drafted the agreement inartfully. Maybe the intent is to give Skype permission to relay your calls over whatever channels are needed to deliver your communications. "In any media in connection with the Skype Software, the Products and the Skype Website" might mean they can use the Internet, the phone network, etc., to deliver your calls. On the other hand, "media" can refer to the press, and their own PR could certainly be seen as "in connection with the Skype Software, the Products and the Skype Website".

I hope I'm being too paranoid…