For various arcane reasons I was inspired recently to browse the TOS (terms of service) for the big closed garden IM networks, AIM, MSN and YahooIM. Some parts are very interesting, some are simple legalese.
- Can I use 3rd party clients like Gaim, Miranda, etc for these networks?
You can only use the software provided by the respective service to access their network.
Restrictions on Access to or Use of AIM Products
You may access AIM Products only through the interfaces and protocols provided or authorized by AOL. You agree that you will not access AIM Products through unauthorized means, such as unlicensed software clients, and that you will only use AIM Products in conjunction with AOL authorized products and components.
You agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes, any portion of the Service (including your Yahoo! ID), use of the Service, or access to the Service.
Section 17 (end of second paragraph)
You agree not to access the Service by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Yahoo! for use in accessing the Service.
Seciont 3 (last paragraph)
You may only use Microsoft software or authorized third-party software to sign into and use the Service. You can find a list of authorized third-party software at http://messenger.msn.com/Help/Authorized.aspx.
Interestingly, you can only use MSN to discuss personal affairs. The moment you discuss work related topics you violate the TOS. See section 3 first paragraph
We provide the Service for your personal use. You may use the Service while you are at work, but you may not use the Service to conduct business without a separate written contract with Microsoft.
Anyone else out there found interesting restrictions on the closed garden networks? Interesting being defined as non-intuitive.