Google have just released Chrome, their long awaited browser to rival the likes of Firefox, IE and Mozilla. Yay Google, right? Wrong.
Tap The Hive have done some digging on Chrome’s EULA (End User License Agreement) and have pulled up some very curious clauses within it, namely the content section. If you download Chrome and have a nose through the legal stuff that you would normally click past, you’ll find that if you use Chrome to upload any content you’ve created, Google will automatically own that content.
Yes, folks, clause 11.1 says the following:
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.
To put this into context, if I wrote this blog post in Chrome, Google would own it. If I created a piece of music and uploaded it to MySpace using Chrome, Google would automatically own it. If I painstakingly created a great piece of art using Photoshop and uploaded it to my blog using Chrome, Google would own it. Think about how much you do in Safari / Internet Explorer / Firefox. With clause 11.1 in mind, would you be willing to do as much, knowing that it could potentially be used as a promotional tool for Chrome?
Do no evil? Yeah, right.
Not only does this raise interesting privacy questions for personal Internet users, it raises interesting IP questions for brands who are just beginning to embrace the engagement, content, interaction and conversation potential of the Internet. Consumers have already jumped over one hurdle in choosing to interact with brands online and giving brands ownership over content they created. Now they’ll need to consider whether or not they are comfortable with Google owning content they’ve created and the potential for this content to appear as a part of promotional materials for Chrome.
As the Register astutely points out, this will be a big no-no for copyright sensitive sysad folk, especially in the finance, business services and advertising sectors.
I think I’ll be sticking to Firefox.