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Thread: Unacceptable Acceptable Use Policy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    17

    Angry Unacceptable Acceptable Use Policy

    I've always recommended VPSLink to others as technically fine, and also laudably permissive when it comes to what you can use their services for. The Acceptable Use Policy back when I first signed up (http://web.archive.org/web/200702180.../legal/aup.php) has a couple of iffy restrictions, but basically just says "Don't use our stuff to break the law, mkay?"

    Alarm bells started ringing for me when the email advising me of successful migration to the new data centre warned me "By maintaining your account, you are agreeing to comply with and abide by these Terms: http://www.vpslink.com/legal/index.bml". Like any good paranoid case, I checked to see if this meant the terms had changed. Executive summary: My god yes, and I'm not at all happy about the changes.

    Let's assume that this is enforceable; quite questionable since it amounts to a unilateral contract renegotiation without even an attempt at notification, much less conscious agreement, and purports to be an agreement to any and all future conditions VPSLink might wish to impose, again without reasonable notice ("A User's use of VPSLink's services after changes to the AUP are posted on VPSLink's Web site, under the Terms of Service section, will constitute the User's acceptance of any new or additional terms of the AUP that result from those changes.").

    The overall problem with this document is that the restrictions are so broad, so vague, and infringement is "as determined by VPSLink in its sole discretion", that there wouldn't be a single existing VPSLink customer that you couldn't argue already violates it's terms. Agreeing to this document therefore amounts to completely surrendering whatever legal recourse one might have if at any point a client feels that they have not been treated fairly by VPSLink.

    To address a few of the worst restrictions in detail, we can't:

    "Utilize the Services for or in connection with any activities or content determined by VPSLink, in its sole discretion [of course], to be related to gambling, adult, obscene or pornographic materials or content, harassment, defamation, libel and hate speech or other offensive speech or content [...]"

    What could be deemed obscene or offensive? God knows. Indeed if the employee or agent excercising VPSLink's discretion is some fundamentalist religious nutter my invocation of God in the previous sentence would count. Furthermore, my use of the phrase "fundamentalist religious nutter" is arguably "hate speech".

    I'm not fortunate enough to live in a country which legally recognises a person's right to free speech but I would say the majority of VPSLink's customers do, and I don't think this restriction would go down too well with most of these people, or their local courts.

    We also can't be good netizens and "use any BitTorrent tracking technology for downloads". I find loads of great legally redistributable stuff on jamendo.com and archive.org, not to mention free (as in freedom) software, and the only reason I haven't already mirrored my favourites and set up a BitTorrent tracker is sheer laziness. It's mind-boggling to think that I could set up a web page linking to any of this stuff without violating the AUP, but a BitTorrent tracker doing the same thing (only potentially using less of VPSLink's bandwidth) could lose me my account. Yes, BitTorrent is frequently used to violate copyright law - that's why "don't break the law, mkay?" was such an effective method of legal arse-covering. The only thing a blanket prohibition of BitTorrent does is expose the cluelessness of the lawyer hired to copy-and-paste this travesty together from other clueless companies policies.

    Even more ridiculously, we can't publish the "likeness of a person without that person's consent". Um, faces aren't copyrightable (http://boingboing.net/2006/11/02/mic...ok_sends_.html). I've made several websites for non-profit community groups who organise public events. I'm expected to tell them they can't post any of their photos of these on their site without first compiling a sheaf of signed release forms?

    We can't "utilize the Services in connection with any other disruptive, controversial or abusive activity, as determined [again] by VPSLink in its sole discretion". "Controversial"? What's "controversial"? Ah, I forgot, whatever VPSLink says is controversial. And what constitutes a "connection"? Again, that's for VPSLink to say.

    There are more vague, sinister, and/or just mystifying restrictions in here, and I encourage every VPSLink customer to read it - on a daily basis just in case it changes. It's about three times the length of the last version that archive.org has cached (http://web.archive.org/web/200808220...le-use-policy/).

    In effect, what this policy does is say in great big capital letters wrapped in blink tags that VPSLink is not the clueful, fair, and trustworthy company that I once thought they were. I'm saddened by this, and angry at the amount of time and effort I'm going to have to waste migrating all my stuff to a provider that doesn't threaten to screw me over at their "sole discretion".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    338

    Default

    Hmm, interesting. That does seem to be a bit overreaching.
    Note: my views are my own and do not reflect those of VPSLink

  3. #3

    Default

    Okay, that's it, I'm also moving my account to another provider when it expires.

  4. #4

    Default

    Ugh, and if these ridiculous terms of use wasn't enough, the migration has effectively locked me out of the control center: I can only log in at my.vpslink.com, and that just tells me that I need to use the new control center, which doesn't accept my credentials. If this is the level of technical incompetence that we can now expect from VPSlink, I am glad I am out of here.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    California
    Posts
    338

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UlrikRasmussen View Post
    Ugh, and if these ridiculous terms of use wasn't enough, the migration has effectively locked me out of the control center: I can only log in at my.vpslink.com, and that just tells me that I need to use the new control center, which doesn't accept my credentials. If this is the level of technical incompetence that we can now expect from VPSlink, I am glad I am out of here.
    Heres some info on how to reach them:
    Dedicated migration support email: transition@vpslink-inc.com
    Dedicated migration support telephone: 1-877-877-9669
    Hope that helps
    Note: my views are my own and do not reflect those of VPSLink

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    465

    Default

    actually considering the new owners are coming from shared hosting mostly. these terms are pretty standard. Hopefully they will correct a portion for vps servers but yes it is far reaching but I am not sure if it's worst than any of the larger providers.
    Happily on a Link3. Feel free to request a refferal code that takes a 10% lifetime discount off your hosting.
    Please open a SUPPORT TICKET AND CALL vpslink to resolve your vpslink problems FIRST
    I am a CUSTOMER Only. Any vpslink issues should be directed to Matt@VPSLink and/or Michael@VPSLink

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