Meeting calls Xtra terms 'unacceptable, crazy'

Xtra's new terms and conditions came under fire at a meeting of the New Zealand Computer Society's Auckland branch last night.

Xtra's new terms and conditions came under fire at a meeting of the New Zealand Computer Society's Auckland branch last night.

The issue arose after the ISP introduced a new clause which laywer Clive Elliott claims gives Xtra the right to sub-license subscribers' content.

"I don't want to switch ISPs, I just want it to tidy up its act a bit," says Elliott, an Xtra customer.

As Computerworld reported last week, the Xtra T&C page has been updated to include a clause that many took to mean the ISP was seeking control over end user intellectual property. Xtra hastily introduced a disclaimer; however, Elliott feels it doesn't go far enough, and meeting attendees agreed, describing the move as "unacceptable" and "crazy".

"Any court will look at the terms and conditions as they are written, and attribute as plain and as common a meaning to those terms as anyone else would."

Elliott says the agreement clearly allows Xtra to sub-license a user's content or intellectual property, which software developers in particular should be concerned about.

"That term, 'sub-license', is one that really stood out for me." The new terms also give the ISP the right to "redistribute" and "adapt" content. Elliott says despite Xtra denying it would ever invoke such a clause, the contract still stands.

One NZCS member suggested opponents of the new terms write to the ISP saying they consider themselves still bound by the previous contract.

The meeting organiser, Ian Mitchell, offered his own terms and conditions that he would like to see an ISP offer.

"There's no suggestion in Xtra's terms that it has any responsibility to provide a service to you, the end user. I want to see a contract that goes both ways."

While no formal representative from Xtra was present, one Xtra staff member did attend in an attempt to understand end users' concerns. He said he would convey those concerns to Xtra.

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