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> From: Declan McCullagh
> Date: Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:33:17 PM US/Pacific
> To: politech [at] politechbot [dot] com
> Subject: FC: Vonage forbids dirty talk with your wife, from IP list
> Reply-To: declan [at] well [dot] com
>
>
>
>> Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 11:16:50 -0700
>> From: Brad Templeton
>> Subject: Vonage forbids dirty talk with your wife
>> To: Dave Farber
>> Cc: jeff [at] pulver [dot] com
>> Organization: http://www.templetons.com/brad
>>
>>
>> I’ve been a reasonably satisified Vonage Voice-over-IP customer,
>> though
>> I think the focus too much on being just like a regular telco for
>> my tastes.
>>
>> However, in looking at changing my service, I actually went and read
>> their most recent terms of service. Here’s what I found…
>>
>>
>> 1.3.1 Prohibited Uses:
>> You agree to use the Service and Device only for lawful purposes.
>> This means that you agree not to use them for transmitting or
>> receiving any illegal, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing,
>> defamatory, obscene, sexually explicit, profane, racially or
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> ethnically disparaging remarks or otherwise objectionable
>> material of
>> any kind, including but not limited to any material that
>> encourages
>> conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, give rise to
>> a civil liability, or otherwise violate any applicable local,
>> state, national or international law. Vonage reserves the right
>> to terminate your service immediately and without advance notice
>> if Vonage, in its sole discretion, believes that you have violated
>> the above restrictions, leaving you responsible for the full
>> month’s
>> charges to the end of the current term, including without
>> limitation
>> unbilled charges, plus a disconnect fee, all of which immediately
>> become due and payable. You are liable for any and all use of the
>> Service and/or Device by any person making use of the Service or
>> Device provided to you. If Vonage, in its sole discretion
>> believes
>> that you have violated the above restrictions, Vonage may forward
>> the
>> objectionable material, as well as your communications with Vonage
>> and your personally identifiable information to the appropriate
>> authorities for investigation and prosecution.
>>
>> We’ve gotten used to such lawyerish language in a lot of online
>> contracts for things like web hosting and message boards that
>> are exposed to the public. But now it’s suggested that to get
>> a phone, you should agree not to talk dirty on it, or tell ethnic
>> jokes, or let anybody who you let use the phone do so? Give rise
>> to a civil liability? We all do that every day.
>>
>> Now, I realize that Vonage has not been granted common carrier
>> status, and may not even have applied. It’s an Enhanced Services
>> Provider. But I would hope there is something we could do about
>> this sort of “legal creep” where EULAs forbid everything the lawyer’s
>> can think of.
>>
>> I’m not even sure why they want the ability to cut off your phone if
>> you talk dirty on it. I can see them wanting to avoid any liability
>> on themselves for your illegal actions. A simple, “You agree not
>> to use or allow the phone to be used to violate applicable law” should
>> have done the trick.
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