Yahoo has been forced into a hasty retreat after Geocities Web site users protested at new publishing conditions that implied Yahoo would own the copyright for all material it hosted.
However, Yahoo found itself at the centre of a publicity nightmare after it relaunched the recently acquired portal as Yahoo-GeoCities, complete with new conditions of service, earlier this week.
These conditions included the clause that, "By submitting Content to any Yahoo property, you automatically grant...Yahoo the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content..."
But after receiving a storm of protest from Geocities members, Yahoo rushed to reassure Web site holders that it did not have designs on their content. It made some changes to the license and issued a statement to clarify its position: "Yahoo does not claim ownership of the content on your site. We never have."
Instead, Yahoo claims, Geocities site holders license their content to Yahoo for display and promotion purposes, for as long as they maintain a site with the portal.
Yahoo only has the right to reproduce, modify and adapt content for this purpose, according to the statement.
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