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Oculus Rift has some shady stuff in their terms & privacy policy

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Shocker, the Facebook owned Oculus Rift VR device has some pretty concerning stuff in its terms and conditions.

Starting note: I'm really not surprised by any of this since Facebook own it, but it's still not good.

First up is this absolute gem:
QuoteBy submitting User Content through the Services, you grant Oculus a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual (i.e. lasting forever), non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free and fully sublicensable (i.e. we can grant this right to others) right to use, copy, display, store, adapt, publicly perform and distribute such User Content in connection with the Services. You irrevocably consent to any and all acts or omissions by us or persons authorized by us that may infringe any moral right (or analogous right) in your User Content.

You of course still own it, but they get to do literally whatever they want with your content. They also pass that right onto others. Don't agree with how they used your content? Tough as far as they are concerned.

I am surprised such terms are legal (I always get surprised by things like this, the world is a crazy place), and I imagine they will get a bit of flak for this. It seems very anti-consumer, and friendly to no one buying it.

Their privacy policy is a bit of a gold mine too, as they collect lots of information. Information like so:
QuoteInformation about your physical movements and dimensions when you use a virtual reality headset.


For what purpose? Here it is:
QuoteTo market to you. We use the information we collect to send you promotional messages and content and otherwise market to you on and off our Services. We also use this information to measure how users respond to our marketing efforts.

How long will it be before you get adverts across the internet based on stuff you've done on your Rift device? This creeps me out quite a bit, especially considering the information they are collecting.

Considering who they share it with, not long:
QuoteSharing Within Related Companies. We may share information within the family of related companies that are legally part of the same group of companies that Oculus is part of, or that become part of that group, such as Facebook. For a list of our related companies, please see https://www.oculus.com/en-us/related-companies/.


You can see their full terms here. You can see their privacy policy here.

To top it all off, what people are installing to use Oculus VR is always on and phoning home.

Thanks Gizmodo.

I'm actually a little glad they dropped support for Linux right now, as their terms are a little bit scary to me. I certainly wouldn't buy one with terms like this that's for sure. I really hope the Vive terms are nicer.
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Cheeseness 4 April 2016 at 10:11 am UTC
There was some stuff in their user agreement that I found pretty unacceptable back when Linux builds of the DK1 SDK became available. Sadly, it seems like they've been on this trajectory since before Facebook got involved.
wvstolzing 4 April 2016 at 10:13 am UTC
'Shocker' indeed.
rustybroomhandle 4 April 2016 at 10:21 am UTC
How they're going about things is bad for the medium as a whole. Their insistence on having a store and platform exclusives is pretty dang awful too.
Pecisk 4 April 2016 at 10:22 am UTC
Question - can you use OR while being offline? If not, then what's the point?
neowiz73 4 April 2016 at 10:40 am UTC
QuoteTo market to you. We use the information we collect to send you promotional messages

spend $600 US just so they can give you awkward ads in your VR experience. umm... no thanks
Not that I've even considered the Oculus Rift anyway, my money has been on the Vive since Valve is involved.
But after reading over some of this about Oculus, I'm totally put off by the product.

I'm not to concerned about the Gen 1 models anyway, eventually it will be a little cheaper and have more features not to mention plenty of games by the time Gen 2 comes out
wvstolzing 4 April 2016 at 11:11 am UTC
What do they mean by 'user content'? Does the Rift have something equivalent to 'Tilt Brush' (which I find more interesting than any VR game, actually), such that people can create their own '3d artworks' and exhibit them somewhere public? Otherwise what VR 'content' are they talking about? User-edited levels for VR games?

That they're collecting information about this, though, is gloriously absurd:

Quotephysical movements and dimensions when you use a virtual reality headset

So suppose a VR version of Super Hexagon comes out, where you control the little triangle with your neck movements ---- and before you know it, next time you're on whatever ad-ridden website, you'll be confronted with ads for neck pain relief medication, special padded pillows, and the like.

Play a game where you need to move your hips to and fro (not that the Rift can capture that movement), and get ready to close some porn pop-ups next time you're web browsing.
BlackBloodRum 4 April 2016 at 11:21 am UTC
Yeah.. that's pretty much facebook standard. Fun fact also, a friend takes a picture of you, post it on their feed, Facebook can use that picture for marketing etc with, without your permission. Even if you, as a non-facebook registered user are the only person in said picture.

And people wonder why I refuse to use Facebook, I've never had a Facebook account, and I never will.

But the large majority of people are sheep and are quite content with giving up all their privacy rights to their OS (Win10), Facebook, Google, etc. Most people couldn't give a damn what these companies know about them or use their pictures, movements, other information for.
Beamboom 4 April 2016 at 12:14 pm UTC
They became irrelevant the moment they sold their soul to Facebook.

Vive is all that matters now. I can not wait to read the first reports on Vive performance on Linux. If it runs well (and I expect it to!) we only got the technically most high-end alternative on our side.
All right, so it's costly, but at least we don't have to glance over at the flashy toys the Windows gamers can play with. Cause we got the most flashy toy already.


Last edited by Beamboom at 4 April 2016 at 3:28 pm UTC
Swiftpaw 4 April 2016 at 12:21 pm UTC
And that's one reason I'm more interested in the Vive. Hopefully their self-written "laws" will be more respectful, even though corporations should not be allowed to write "contracts" with consumers as all consumers should be protected under the same laws.
TheRiddick 4 April 2016 at 12:41 pm UTC
You can take them to court over this sort of thing btw. Here in Australia this would be illegal if they tried it, however that doesn't mean they can't just take your content and do whatever they want with it overseas. It will be interesting to see the fallout of this in the coming years, it will be VERY bad PR for them!

Allot of companies do this sort of thing now just to cover the basis's legally so no issues can arise. However if they stole something someone made and said person wanted to challenge them on it, they probably wouldn't have a leg to stand on. You can't 'truly' make a contract for a product that essentially says 'all your base belong to us', and if you do pray no one in your company is ever stupid to push it too far.


Last edited by TheRiddick at 4 April 2016 at 12:46 pm UTC
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