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posted by hubie on Sunday March 31, @11:45AM   Printer-friendly
from the cloud-is-just-someone-else-rummaging-through-your-data dept.

The hosting provider Vultr had tried to quietly change its Terms of Service (TOS) to try to pull the same trick which Microsoft has pulled with its GitHub project and hope that no one would notice. That is to say they are trying to grab "perpetual, irrevocable" license to use content hosted there in any way, including modifying it and commercializing it "for purposes of providing the Services to you." They've since backpedaled — but only a little. Most the reaction from Vultr regarding the negative push back has been spin.

I suppose the hip kids would say this is enshittification, but it’s certainly a betrayal.

According to their new Terms of Service:

You hereby grant to Vultr a non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, fully paid-up, worldwide license (including the right to sublicense through multiple tiers) to use, reproduce, process, adapt, publicly perform, publicly display, modify, prepare derivative works, publish, transmit and distribute each of your User Content, or any portion thereof, in any form, medium or distribution method now known or hereafter existing, known or developed, and otherwise use and commercialize the User Content in any way that Vultr deems appropriate, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties, for purposes of providing the Services to you.

This is unacceptable. No other hosting company does this.

Vultr Just Betrayed Us, Michael W Lucas' blog.


This is very similar to changes that Github made to their TOS in 2017. Since then, Github has been rebranded as "The world's leading AI-powered developer platform". The language in their TOS now clearly lets them use content stored in Github for training AI. (Probably this is their second line of defense if the current attempt to legitimise copyright laundering via generative AI fails.)

Vultr is currently in damage control mode, accusing their concerned customers of spreading "conspiracy theories" (-- founder David Aninowsky) and updating the TOS to remove some of the problem language. Although it still allows them to "make derivative works", so could still allow their AI division to scrape VPS images for training data.

the vulture in the coal mine, Joey Hess' blog.

Hosting providers seem to be adding a new disaster to deal with.

(2022) Give Up GitHub: The Time Has Come!

Original Submission

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Give Up GitHub: The Time Has Come! 51 comments

From Software Freedom Conservancy

Those who forget history often inadvertently repeat it. Some of us recall that twenty-one years ago, the most popular code hosting site, a fully Free and Open Source (FOSS) site called SourceForge, proprietarized all their code — never to make it FOSS again. Major FOSS projects slowly left SourceForge since it was now, itself, a proprietary system, and antithetical to FOSS. FOSS communities learned that it was a mistake to allow a for-profit, proprietary software company to become the dominant FOSS collaborative development site.

SourceForge slowly collapsed after the DotCom crash, and today, SourceForge is more advertising link-bait than it is code hosting. We learned a valuable lesson that was a bit too easy to forget — especially when corporate involvement manipulates FOSS communities to its own ends. We now must learn the SourceForge lesson again with Microsoft's GitHub.

GitHub has, in the last ten years, risen to dominate FOSS development. They did this by building a user interface and adding social interaction features to the existing Git technology. (For its part, Git was designed specifically to make software development distributed without a centralized site.) In the central irony, GitHub succeeded where SourceForge failed: they have convinced us to promote and even aid in the creation of a proprietary system that exploits FOSS. GitHub profits from those proprietary products (sometimes from customers who use it for problematic activities).

Specifically, GitHub profits primarily from those who wish to use GitHub tools for in-house proprietary software development. Yet, GitHub comes out again and again seeming like a good actor — because they point to their largess in providing services to so many FOSS endeavors. But we've learned from the many gratis offerings in Big Tech: if you aren't the customer, you're the product. The FOSS development methodology is GitHub's product, which they've proprietarized and repackaged with our active (if often unwitting) help.

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  • (Score: 2) by Frosty Piss on Sunday March 31, @12:00PM (3 children)

    by Frosty Piss (4971) on Sunday March 31, @12:00PM (#1351094)

    Never heard of them, but certainly wouldn't host with them. Whatever made them think no one would notice?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Sunday March 31, @12:09PM

      by looorg (578) on Sunday March 31, @12:09PM (#1351096)

      Was about to ask the same. Vultwho? I guess I'm just that out of touch with the cloud people. That said I do understand them, they see a lot of other companies monetizing their users and their data and they figure they have users and data so why should they open up an extra income and just let the AI people trawl thru it. After all if the Reddit people could do it, and Github to MS and Google doing it to everyone they probably figured that people was ok with it or at least they wouldn't moan to much about it ...

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by canopic jug on Sunday March 31, @12:39PM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 31, @12:39PM (#1351098) Journal

      Vultr's hosting was pretty popular in certain circles, until this incident. Many who had been hosting there are the kind of people that really do read the fine print. Vultr can backpedal on this but they will be a long time in recovering lost market share and lost reputation.

      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
    • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Wednesday April 03, @05:57PM

      by bart9h (767) on Wednesday April 03, @05:57PM (#1351506)

      I chose them to host my VPS because they offer OpenBSD images, *and* the ability to install any operating system from an iso. In fact, I ditched the system they provided, formatted the virtual drive, and installed from scratch with an OpenBSD installation iso image.

      Maybe it's time to switch to [] but the latency is not as good.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by gtomorrow on Sunday March 31, @01:48PM (1 child)

    by gtomorrow (2230) on Sunday March 31, @01:48PM (#1351101)

    Like the old fable of The Farmer and The Viper []. They're called Vultr. Seriously, what did anyone expect?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Gaaark on Sunday March 31, @08:31PM

      by Gaaark (41) on Sunday March 31, @08:31PM (#1351131) Journal

      The Farmer and the Viper is one of Aesop's Fables, numbered 176 in the Perry Index.[1] It has the moral that kindness to evil will be met by betrayal and is the source of the idiom "to nourish a viper in one's bosom". The fable is not to be confused with The Snake and the Farmer, which looks back to a situation when friendship was possible between the two.

      I like that: Farmer and Viper bad...Snake and Farmer good.

      What? Fables is dumb.

      What about Snake and Farmers' daughter? (Hint: COULD be very nice...if I'm the snake, lol)

      Fables is just dumb. :)

      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 2) by DadaDoofy on Sunday March 31, @03:13PM (1 child)

    by DadaDoofy (23827) on Sunday March 31, @03:13PM (#1351107)

    This just goes to show there is big money to be made from suckers who blindly click "Accept" to any TOS they encounter. Not only are these people lazy, they falsely believe they are somehow entitled to legal recompense when they suddenly realize what their stupidity has cost them.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by aafcac on Sunday March 31, @03:22PM

      by aafcac (17646) on Sunday March 31, @03:22PM (#1351108)

      The real issue is that court courts expect that people will have the time and expertise to understand the terms that are being presented. Oftentimes the terms are blatantly illegal, but the cost of suing over it is more than what you could recover.

      Auto renewal authorization is probably the worst as you may not have an alternative and they could just add easily pause service while waiting for payment to be updated.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday March 31, @04:01PM

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday March 31, @04:01PM (#1351112)

    This is unacceptable. No other hosting company does this.


    The problem with this sort of stuff is, one company does it, nobody says anything, then all the others take notice that the sheeple don't complain and they all start doing the same.

    That's how you get companies who sell you any old garbage and you can't sue them because you agreed to binding arbitration, Amazon that can remove books you've purchased from your ebook reader willy-nilly, car manufacturers putting you under surveillance and selling your data to insurance companies without your consent, parts pairing, and all kinds of other anti-consumer behaviors that nobody complained about and are now the norm.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, @05:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 31, @05:16PM (#1351117)

    for purposes of providing the Services to you.

    They're not claiming they're going to use it for themselves, they're not claiming they will profit from it beyond what you pay them, they're not going to give it to others to do any of the above, and the clause quoted is not offset by any other conditions. They are doing this *TO PROVIDE YOUR SERVICE*.

    Something happened where the powers-that-be went into extra cover-ass mode and made sure they can do _everything required_ to _provide the service that you requested_.

    Nothing about this is stealing your copyright, reprinting your material outside of the service provided to you, or etc. This is a non-article is a defamatory sort of way.

  • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday April 01, @10:02PM

    by acid andy (1683) on Monday April 01, @10:02PM (#1351248) Homepage Journal

    Some joke about vultures picking flesh off the bones of their customers.

    If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
  • (Score: 2) by Goghit on Wednesday April 03, @02:21AM

    by Goghit (6530) on Wednesday April 03, @02:21AM (#1351440)

    Looks a lot like some notetaking software (Goodnotes) I downloaded from the Apple Store a couple of days ago. Read the TOS/EULA and noped right out at that paragraph. Don't give a crap what their intentions were, I'm not playing that game. Couldn't find the uninstall button fast enough.