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Bloggers vent outrage over Apple News T's and C's

The launch of Apple News looks set to upset potential publishers if initial reaction to the service's terms and conditions is anything to go by.

Bloggers have complained that they have been spammed by Apple with an email inviting them to join the service. Nothing wrong with that (aside from the unsolicited correspondence), you might say, but the problem is, complainants grumble, that acceptance of terms and conditions is assumed unless individuals actively opt out.

Again, this is not entirely unusual, but one of the terms makes for interesting reading. "If we receive a legal claim about your RSS content, we will tell you so that you can resolve the issue, including indemnifying Apple if Apple is included in the claim". But this is not the only clause that has raised the ire of bloggers.

Would-be publishers also find that they automatically agree to allow Apple to display ads next their content without any payment being made. As well as missing out financially, bloggers also have no control over which ads are associated with their content. The BBC reports that some bloggers are concerned that "they would be bound by the agreement perhaps without ever having seen it or actively consenting to it".

What is perhaps more worrying for content creators is that Apple will simply go ahead and repurpose online articles unless specifically told not to.

"If you do not want Apple to include your RSS feeds in News, reply NO to this email and we will remove your RSS feeds."

Anyone who does not see the email (it could well end up in the spam folder or fail to arrive at all) could find that their content is being reused without permission. It's something that blogger Mike Ash has taken exception to. In a blog post entitled I Do Not Agree To Your Terms he says:

"First, I want everybody to know about the ridiculous stunt Apple is trying to pull here. I'd have been perfectly happy if they had just sent me an e-mail saying they were going to include my feed, and if I didn't like it I could e-mail to opt out. I'd even be happy if they didn't even give the option to opt out! After all, having an RSS feed in the first place is an implict opt-in to that sort of thing.

Apple is yet to issue a statement about the complaints.

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