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biz-stoneTwitter co-founder Biz Stone (pictured) sent an email to the service’s users this morning, pointing to and explaining a revised terms of services document on the world’s most beloved oversharing site. Here’s the part you need to understand:

You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).

This clause allows you to prevent anyone else except Twitter from, say, re-publishing your tweets as a book, at least in the United States, without your express permission. It doesn’t prevent other people from re-tweeting you, or otherwise quoting you under our nation’s vague fair-use laws. Twitter, however, gets to re-use your tweets any way it wants. That includes sublicensing them to another party — one you may not love or trust as much as you do Twitter.

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