Yahoo! and Geocities have merged
OK.... Let me begin by saying that eventually, caving in to pressure, at some point shortly after June 25, 1999, Yahoo! Geocities FINALLY revised their new TOS (terms of service), which had initially FORCED myself and SO MANY other sites to seek other webhosts, to include this passage:
7. CONTENT SUBMITTED TO YAHOO GEOCITIES
Yahoo does not claim ownership of the Content you place on your Yahoo GeoCities Site. By submitting Content to Yahoo for inclusion on your Yahoo GeoCities Site, you grant Yahoo the world-wide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting your Yahoo GeoCities Site on Yahoo's Internet properties. This license exists only for as long as you continue to be a Yahoo GeoCities homesteader and shall be terminated at the time your Yahoo GeoCities Site is terminated.
OK... The above passage seems to be very fair indeed, but hold on a sec... While they DID eventually "cave" in under the pressure of our boycott and DID do right by their "homesteaders" by "amending" their TOS to include the above quoted passage, I CAN NOT, nor will I and so many like me, EVER forgive the hassle, grief, and yes, in my case, even the timely loss of a chance of finding decent HOMES for many of the pets that were up for adoption due to Yahoo! Geocities' obvious GREED and WILL NOT EVER return my site to this server!
WHY am I fuming over this??? Well, what follows will explain what they were up to BEFORE the afore-mentioned "forced" amendment...
BEFORE THE AMENDMENT:
Put simply, GeoCities had claimed irrevocable rights to our pictures, our artwork, our original stories, personal writings -- EVERYTHING ON OUR, OR ANY GEOCITIES SITE! They could use our photos for their next advertisement, our graphics in their next promotion, our content in any way they chose and for whatever purpose they desired -- and they didn't have to pay us a cent!
There had been many words angrily posted to message boards by GeoCities customers reacting to Geocities' recent move to make all of us surrender ownership rights to every single thing that we have on any GeoCities-hosted web site.
Geocities customers are referred to as "Homesteaders".
"'Homesteaders?'…This is like moving into an apartment, then having the management company change the locks and refuse to give you the keys until you've signed over all the rights to your furniture," said one former 'homesteader.'
To all Geocities Webmasters/Webmistresses...
To all Geocities Site-owners...
Do as we did:
PROTEST THIS SEIZURE OF YOUR INTERNET REAL ESTATE! Move your site off Geocities and send the message that this type of action WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! For the sake of your friends and fellow webmasters, we urge you to notify everyone you can about GeoCities' behavior.
As reported by CNET, Yahoo executive producer Tim Brady has said that the company would "honor" the request of GeoCities users to if they wish to transfer their sites to another service. The CNET article also quotes a partner at a respected law firm as saying, "I find it a little surprising that [Yahoo] try to capture terms quite this broad. They have gotten more than they need."
Infonent.com has set up a discussion area for all OUTRAGED NETIZENS to discuss this action. You can read or join the discussion at: Geocities Webroom
Here is more information on what Geocities had done:
Paragraph 8 of Geocities' terms and conditions granted them a free license to use anything you put on their servers for any purpose they desire, all without paying you a cent -- or even giving you the credit. The license even lets them sell your materials to other people, alter your works in any way they want, and -- of particular concern for businesses -- even give your materials away to your competitors!
Click here to read the CNET article about Geocities terms
Click here to read the Internetnews.com article about Geocities terms