Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

Google Fixes Terms and conditions for Google Chrome

, posted: 5-Sep-2008 09:08

After many posts and panicked reactions about the following clause in the licence for Chrome

"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."

On the official Google blog they have pointed out the following:

"Whenever we release a product in beta as we just did with Google Chrome, we can always count on our users to come up with ways to improve it. This week's example: several eagle-eyed users and bloggers have expressed concern that Section 11 of Google Chrome's terms of service attempts to give us rights to any user-generated content "submitted, posted or displayed on or through" the browser.

You'll notice if you look at our other products that many of them are governed by Section 11 of our Universal Terms of Service. This section is included because, under copyright law, Google needs what's called a "license" to display or transmit content. So to show a blog, we ask the user to give us a license to the blog's content. (The same goes for any other service where users can create content.) But in all these cases, the license is limited to providing the service. In Gmail, for example, the terms specifically disclaim our ownership right to Gmail content.

So for Google Chrome, only the first sentence of Section 11 should have applied. We're sorry we overlooked this, but we've fixed it now, and you can read the updated Google Chrome terms of service. If you're into the fine print, here's the revised text of Section 11:
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.
And that's all. Period. End of section."

And of course they are stating this update will be retro active and cover everyone who has downloaded Google Chrome since its launch.

Good on Google, whilst they might not do everything right, and occasionally scare the bejeezus out of privacy advocates / activists,
nobody can accuse them of not being proactive!

More information

Other related posts:
New Zealand goes live with its nationwide content filtering firewall
Michael Jackson, dies of Heart attack. aged 50
5.0 on the ricter scale earthquake in Los Angeles

Comment by Stephen Horsfield, on 7-Sep-2008 06:10

In your post, you quote Google as saying that "Google needs what's called a "license" to display or transmit content". However, in their revised terms that agreement is wholly removed. So, in effect, they are no longer acquiring the license that they say that they need.

So what's the truth? If they need a license to display or transmit one, why are they not requesting one (and in particular, one limited to the necessary actions to do so); if they don't need one, why did they originally ask for a license that was so much more than necessary for this purpose.

Frankly, their position is contradictory.

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