jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur


Having heard the rumblings of the latest controversy, I just wandered over to LJ, and was presented by the Gigantic Wall of Text in the Little Tiny Box that is the new Terms of Service. Some offhand thoughts:

First and most importantly -- the TOS refers a couple of times to "Article 10.2 of the Federal Act of the Russian Federation No. 149", which is a bit mysterious, so I did a little digging and found this translation of the Act in question. Note that Article 10.2 is not the same thing as subsection 2 of Article 10 -- keep scrolling further down. The following is my personal read of this stuff, but please bear in mind that IAverymuchNAL.

In general, this stuff is only officially relevant if you have 3000 user views in a 24 hour span, at which point you are officially a "Blogger". I suspect most of us have never crossed that line, but it's unpleasantly arbitrary.

If you do cross that line, it basically says that you are going to get put on A List in the official Russian government. More importantly, you are legally liable for your words under Russian law, and while I don't know the extent of that, I would bet that the freedom of speech protections are a heck of a lot less useful than those in the US.

Granted, I don't know how relevant it is to the average American citizen if they get indicted in Russia. But under the circumstances, I'm less than comfortable rolling those dice.

Based on sections 8.3 of the TOS, I believe the same is true for any community that passes 3000 views in a single day, which I suspect is rather more common, and that the Community Moderators are liable for what gets posted in the community. ("Community Owner shall be responsible for the Community, including the Community rules, the Content posted within the Community, the actions of Community Supervisor and Moderator.") IMO, the upshot there is that communities should get the hell out of dodge.

It is bloody damned weird that the English TOS you are signing is officially unofficial -- you're actually agreeing to the Russian text, and the document says quite plainly that the English translation is not legally binding.

Section 9.2.6 ("User may not ... without the Administration’s special permit, use automatic scripts (bots, crawlers etc.) to collect information from the Service and/or to interact with the Service") seems to likely outlaw DW's backup-your-LJ feature, so I'd recommend doing it sooner rather than later if you haven't already.

It's worth noting that nothing in the TOS itself is obviously malign or ill-intentioned: far as I can tell, it's a fairly ordinary TOS that is somewhat twisted by the implications of the Russian legal code. But it does drive home that LJ is now a Russian service, governed by Russian rules, which are pretty hostile to anything that might be considered a threat to public order by the Kremlin.

Personally, I think I'm going to agree to the new rules, but I may stop cross-posting there after this, and limit myself to reading the few folks I care about who haven't jumped over to here. (Now I just need to figure out how to cross-post this stuff to Facebook without having LJ in the middle -- time to look into the current relationship of FB and RSS feeds...)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-05 11:28 pm (UTC)
aishabintjamil: (Default)
From: [personal profile] aishabintjamil
I flagged two other items of interest from the new TOS.

1. There's a chunk of text in there which says that if you get hacked, you're responsible for whatever the hacker does/posts. I think it's *probably* meant to deal with sharing of passwords with non-account holders, but it can be read much more broadly. Given that I don't control their security, I'm not happy with that concept.

2. In much less important news, it says they can decided to add advertising at any time. I expect this means that those of us with free accounts from long ago who were grandfathered out of the advertising on free accounts will shortly cease to be. I'm already seeing ads on the page where I manage my friends list.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-06 12:01 am (UTC)
ckd: (cpu)
From: [personal profile] ckd
On issue #1, this is exacerbated by the removal of https support from most of LJ.

On issue #2, AIUI it also says they can show ads to non-logged-in users on any page, even those of paid/permanent account holders.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-07 01:38 am (UTC)
ckd: small blue foam shark (Default)
From: [personal profile] ckd
It used to, at least for the login page.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-06 03:56 am (UTC)
alexxkay: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexxkay
If you do figure out a simple, non-LJ means of DW->FB crossposting, please share. I think many people want (only) that bit of LJ functionality at this point.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-11 01:36 am (UTC)
laurion: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurion
My workflow is to use Wordpress. I don't think anyone actually reads my postings on my wordpress site, but it does trivially crosspost to DW and to FB (and twitter, and so on and so on.)

Plus, I always have my own backup of my own stuff.

Of course, I will continue to rail against FB day in and day out because it is way too easy to lose/miss things in there without easy chronological streams and poor results from searching.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-11 11:11 am (UTC)
laurion: (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurion
Oh, I agree, which is why I cross post as well. And for the social communication I'm fine with it and what it is. I mostly rail against it being used as an official communication channel for organizations.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-06 02:02 pm (UTC)
tpau: (Default)
From: [personal profile] tpau
having read it in both languages, meh. it is a very standard ToS. not being IN russia, you don't really face much consequences


jducoeur: (Default)

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