Never sign anything that you don’t read. Never agree to an end user license when you don’t know what it says. Watching the google monsters gobble up the internet makes you long for the days when the tech world grew to Bill Gates dreams.
Bill got rich, often with buggy bloated code. But he was a real innovator and the technology he and his guys brought to the world changed the world.
The octopus at Google is based on a whole different philosophy. They are the kings of “Reintermediation”. Their only accomplishment is to get in between searchers and content, between writers and readers. Nothing new is created. Nothing new is contributed. Their only skill is capturing a part of the transaction and information costs for themselves. But this week they outdid themselves. They released a new slick browser. They suggest that it is faster and more efficient than Firefox or Explorer. (we have our doubts, which we’ll discuss on another post) but here’s the catch.
THEY OWN EVERY THING YOU EVER WRITE OR POST OR CREATE USING THEIR BROWSER AND THEY CAN SELL IT TO ANYONE THEY WANT TO AND THEY NEVER OWE YOU A DIME.
oh please bring back the old king bill.
Here’s more from Gizmodo:
So, are you enjoying the snappy, clean performance of Google Chrome since downloading yesterday? If so, you might want to take a closer peek at the end user license agreement you didn’t pay any attention to when downloading and installing it. Because according to what you agreed to, Google owns everything you publish and create while using Chrome. Ah-whaaa? Update: It was a copy & paste mistake, apparently, and the offending language is being removed as we speak. Thanks, Googe!
Here are the juicy bits in question:
11. Content license from you
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.
11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.
Well, I guess I shouldn’t have used Chrome to put some posts up yesterday, because I certainly do not have the rights, power or authority to hand over my work from Gawker to the Googe. Oops! You’ll have to pry the rights to my posts from Nick Denton’s cold, dead hands, Google.
In any case, it’s a pretty unnecessary and unreasonable thing to put in the EULA for a browser, of all pieces of software, which makes it pretty questionable. Why in the hell would Google want ownership of every single blog post or email written in its browser? It’s so unreasonable that it borders on the insane. I can’t really imagine Google actually invoking this and suddenly publishing heavily edited entries from your LiveJournal for profit, but I think a lot of people would feel much better about hopping on board with Chrome if this little piece of sketchy legalese was axed.
What say you, Google overlords?