Comments by a fellow WebTV user

TOS? Tripod?

by a fellow WebTV user, Dear B

TOS? Does that mean take out signatures? In essense it does, if you link to Tripod. After last week's rude awakening, it is obvious that changes are coming at many free homepage providers. Tripod was the first to enforce its TOS.

TOS means Terms of Service. Everywhere you go, you will find that there are terms of service that most of us don't bother to read, starting with WebTV itself. These are legal documents stating what those providing the service can and will do and what you are expected to do as the receiver of that service. It is the equivalent to a legal bible for any service on the internet.

In the past, with less internet users, these documents were ignored or overlooked by both the giver and the taker. Today, with an expected one million WebTV users alone by the end of the year, free homepage providers, such as Tripod, are not going to be ignoring anything; Tripod has determined it loses money. Both WebTV and computer users are guilty of not complying to the TOS on the internet at large. Tripod's enforcement of its TOS hurt both groups.

One of the major gripes, it appears at Tripod, is remote loading, by WebTV users specifically. Remote loading includes using Tripod web pages for storage space for images and sounds only and linking to Tripod in an email signature, with or without having a homepage there, plus remote loading on e-bay or using Tripod as a door or signpost to another homepage.

While the non-linking policy at Tripod was reversed with some exceptions, it is now time for all of us to be aware of and show respect for Tripod's TOS. It will ultimately affect us all including, but not limited to, what may happen at other free homepage providers.

Tripod took the unofficial position that they do want their web page owners to be able to promote their sites there. This may be done, at this time, through the use of banner gifs in guestbooks, and through the limited use of gifs in email signatures; however, they may yet change that position and can do so legally, without prior notification to anyone.

We, as responsible and concerned WebTV users, must educate and discourage the remote loading among ourselves. Will you consider helping? Do you have a gif site? Can you find a way to get the word across to those who use and take your gifs? They must transload and use wisdom in linking directly. Linking costs someone money.

We have proved a mighty team, we WebTV users, in the past. You are needed again, as a WebTV team member, to spread the word about and adhere to the TOS at Tripod.

This is only the opinion of one WebTV user and should not be considered as an official Tripod position about this subject

Thanks for reading this editorial

For comments or questions, contact Dear B

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