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Internet Brothers: Helpware for the Cybercommunity - Our Opinions

Flash! July 7, 1999 - Score one for the little guys. Today Yahoo/GeoCities capitulated to boycott action thrown against them by modifying the offending clauses of their Terms of Service. Eliminated was the paragraph dealing with content ownership (see below), and in its place "Yahoo does not claim ownership of the Content you place on your Yahoo GeoCities Site."

To their credit, Yahoo also offered the following to their members: "We applaud your passion about personal publishing on the Web and truly believe that GeoCities is your community, created through your efforts, with your content. We look forward to a continuing dialogue so that together we can build the best Internet community experience available."

Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves

July 4, 1999 - Have you looked up the word thievery in your thesaurus lately? You might just find the word Yahoo! listed as a synonym now. The former GeoCities world wide web community, recently purchased by Yahoo! has been pilfered by the corporate giant lock, stock, and content. Worst of all, you have to agree to allow them to steal your prized web development, or be locked out of your own site. For millions of Geocities patrons, this has been the final act in a growing feud. Here is what the hullabaloo is all about, the new Yahoo! Terms of Service, grandfathered to include sites already in existence on GeoCities:

From Yahoo/GeoCities Membership Conversion "Yahoo does not own Content you submit, unless we specifically tell you otherwise before you submit it. You license the Content to Yahoo as set forth below for the purpose of displaying and distributing such Content on our network of properties and for the promotion and marketing of our services. By submitting Content to any Yahoo property, you automatically grant, or warrant that the owner of such Content has expressly granted, 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 (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed." - Excerpt, Yahoo's Terms of Service, Section 8

Geocities Featured Page


Internet Brothers has been through a lot with GeoCities since we first signed up in 1996. We were selected a Featured Site in 1997. We suffered through, and tolerated the various interstitial popup ads and floating watermarks. But GeoCities never tried to downright steal our content. Yahoo! wants our words, our graphic art, our photographs, our programming, our heart and soul. They won't get it!

You will begin to see some of our original content migrated here, the Internet Brothers permanent home. Most of it will simply die. But they can't take from us the many friendships we made along the way; people who signed our Guest Book, the many beautiful web awards we were presented by caring individuals, the hundreds of emails we received; and they can't take our dignity.

If you have a web site on Yahoo/GeoCities consider joining us by moving it elsewhere. If you can't afford your own domain, there are many other free hosting services to choose from. Voice your outrage by writing to Yahoo!. Stand up for your own property rights. It may be hard at first, but you'll feel a sense of David vs. Goliath, and you know how that turned out.

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