On rumors that Microsoft’s terms of service are anti-gun

by wfgodbold

Though the Firearm Blog and Lyle voiced their concerns about Microsoft being the latest in a line of companies to refuse their business to those engaged in lawful commerce in arms, I think their criticisms are, for the most part, unfounded.

The currently-in-force agreement incorporates the code of conduct that bans the sale of firearms and ammunition (the 2009 code of conduct referenced by TFB). However, MS has updated its terms of service (as of June 11, 2014), and the new terms–which go into effect on July 31, 2014 and replace the current terms–do not incorporate the reference to the 2009 code of conduct. If you wish to read the outgoing terms, they are listed halfway down the page under the heading “Archived Microsoft Services Agreement.”

The new terms also do not ban using the products to sell firearms or ammunition; instead of a long list of prohibited conduct, they have cut it back to general principles:

i. Don’t use the Services to do anything illegal.

ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.

iii. Don’t send spam or use your account to help others send spam. Spam is unsolicited bulk email, postings or instant messages.

iv. Don’t publicly display inappropriate images (e.g. nudity, bestiality, pornography).

v. Don’t engage in activity that is false or misleading (e.g. attempts to ask for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else).

vi. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to the Services or others (e.g. viruses, stalking, hate speech, advocating violence against others).

vii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g. unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, photographs and other Content).

viii. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.”

Those are all of the restrictions in section 3.6: “What type of Content or actions aren’t permitted?

So while it is technically true that the Microsoft Services Agreement–as it stands right now–prohibits using its products in conjunction with the sale of arms or ammunition, at the end of July it will not.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. Rely on it at your own risk. I wrote this mainly because I needed a break from studying for the bar exam.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: