Thursday, September 4, 2008

Chrome repents, Google turns to the dark side

After all the bombardment of the new Google Chrome's EULA, Google has changed it:

You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
According to Rebecca Ward, the Senior Product Counsel (?) for Chrome, the error was basically a cut-n'-paste from a standard EULA for Google products, as many people had guessed.
Matt Cutts, Google Webspam team leader also commented there had been previous incidents with Google Docs, and even AOL and Adobe had similar problems.

But I think both of them are ignoring a bigger issue here:
If this clause was copied from a standard EULA, how many products still contain it?

My problem is not with the symptom, but with a deeper concern:
To protect themselves from legal pitfalls web sites today are drafting unreasonable EULAs.

To test my theory I read Blogger's EULA (I am well aware of the irony considering where this post is being published):
Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services
you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying and distributing Google services
I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that by publishing content in Blogger you basically lose control over it.
I know the web is open to anyone and everything is available forever, but this is one step too many.

Or as an anonymous commenter wrote:

Google is the new Microsoft

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