If you use Facebook, Twitter, or basically any part of the internet at all, sometime in the last 24 hours you’ve seen Microsoft’s newest tool, the age-guesser. Everyone’s sharing it, using it, and laughing over (or feeling insulted by) the results. But the tool’s rapid spread also accidentally highlights one of the biggest challenges of the digital age: the fine print.
Buried in the fine print of the Azure terms and services, as Fast Company points out, is a clause that might give Microsoft more power than you want them to have:
[B]y posting, uploading, inputting, providing, or submitting your Submission, you are granting Microsoft, its affiliated companies, and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses (including, without limitation, all Microsoft services), including, without limitation, the license rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate, and reformat your Submission; to publish your name in connection with your Submission; and to sublicense such rights to any supplier of the Website Services.
In other words: Microsoft now maintains the rights to use any image you uploaded in basically any way they want. And that “public performance” bit is basically an out that prevents you from suing on copyright grounds if they do.
You can read more on the fast Company web site at: http://www.fastcompany.com/3045825/fast-feed/read-the-fine-print-before-you-use-microsofts-viral-age-guessing-tool.