Friday 19 October 2007

Business Principles: There is no such thing as "Free"

When we sign up for so-called "free" Internet services, it is always important to read the fine print.

When we were looking into signing up for a popular image hosting service, the service provider makes it clear that they claim no ownership over any Content submitted.

However, to paraphrase:
By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Our Image Services, you grant Hosting Company an unconditional right to publish such Content through Our Image Services ... as well as use it in all of our other Hosting Company services. In addition, by submitting, posting or displaying Content which is intended to be available to the general public, you grant Hosting Company the right to do whatever we want with said Content for the purpose of promoting Hosting Company services. Hosting Company will stop doing this at our discretion if you remove the Content and stop using the Image Services.
The service really isn't free, is it?

The service provider finds something they like, and away they go.

The point of this post is straight forward: Whenever we acquire the services of a "free" Internet site there is a transaction involved. The service provider needs to generate revenue to provide those services.

It is up to us to place a value on the "cost" associated with the service.

If the cost is acceptable, then tick the "Accept the Terms & Conditions" and go. But, that cost should always be weighed before accepting them.

Here is an Internet search for some of the key words in the above paraphrased statement: Terms & Conditions Keyword Search (Live Search).

It is not too surprising to see a number of outfits out there peddling the same thing.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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