Mashable reports that Reddit has updated its user agreement to let it use user-generated content in anyway, even commercially..

You retain the rights to your copyrighted content or information that you submit to reddit (“User Content”) except as described below.

By submitting User Content to reddit, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute copies, perform, or publicly display your User Content in any medium and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so.

You agree that you have the right to submit anything you post, and that your User Content does not violate the copyright, trademark, trade secret or any other personal or proprietary right of any other party.

Please take a look at reddit’s privacy policy for an explanation of how we may use or share information submitted by you or collected from you.

While it is understandable that Reddit needs to ensure it has the ability to continue hosting user content legally, the updated policy empowers the company to use user-generated content even for commercial uses.

If we are using a service for free, is it fair for the service provider to make money in this way? After all, they need revenue to continue making the service available.