Scared of the Peacock Revolution since 2006
Blog » Evilnesses
The launch of Chrome has publicised this particular evilness (single of evilnesses (which is a word, even if it gets a red underline) incase you were wondering). Don't get Chrome. It's just a rip-off of other browsers. Use Safari, which has a later version of the rendering engine, or ditch Safari (like I have) and go straight to the WebKit nightly builds.
Anyways, this particular evilness is to do with Google and a clause in their Terms of Service (ToS), which applies to almost every Google service (I think GMail and Chrome are the only exceptions).
The clause is in their general use ToS (http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS), and is most of Section 11 (Content licence from you).
Subsection 1 reads:
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 licence 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 licence 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.
With the main problem being with:
...By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence 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 part of the ToS (which it's highly likely you've agreed to) gives Google a license to any content you submit to any of their services, providing that it hasn't been revoked by the Additional Terms of Service for that particular service. For example, this doesn't apply to GMail, but to find the exception, you need to follow the terms link at the bottom of the page then read the legal notices, and there's no notice of it at all when you sign up. You're just presented with the standard ToS and links to the program and privacy polices.
Google does not claim any ownership in any of the content, including any text, data, information, images, photographs, music, sound, video, or other material, that you upload, transmit or store in your Gmail account. We will not use any of your content for any purpose except to provide you with the Service.
So, even if they do have a license to publicly display your entire mail box, they wont provide it to advertisers. Doesn't that make you feel so much better?
The only actual exception to section 11 I've been able to find, is for Chrome. This likely due to the massive uproar about the entire '"Google has rights to everything you insert or view" part of the ToS. This has been replaced with a modified version, which simply states:
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.
The next subsection of Section 11 (11.2) states:
You agree that this licence 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.
So, Google has the right to give all that content it has rights to due to 11.1 to any company, organisation or individual that it has a relationship with, so long as it's for the provision of syndication. Now, as Google Ads are supposedly related to the current content, does that mean that Google can give all that content to advertisers to increase the syndication between the advertising and the content on the page?
Also, the content only has to be used in connection with providing syndication services, so they can send all that nice juicy data about you to many different companies, and then only need to use it in connection with syndication back to some service provided. This could mean only using a small amount of data provided for syndication and using the rest (which I don't think is covered by Google's policies anymore) for their own 'research'.
The other two subsections aren't so bad:
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 licence 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 licence.
11.3 means that Google's allowed to change things like encoding and add slashes to get your content to be abled to be stored in places. 11.4 just means you're allowed to give Google the right to all the stuff you give it. (Covering their arses if you post plagiarised content).
And now for some context. This basically means that Google has rights to do whatever they want to all your blog posts in Blogger, photos in Picasa, videos on Youtube. Luckily Google Code has it's own ToS which states Google has no license to your content, otherwise there'll be a lot more angry geeks raging about this horrible clause.
And on a semi-related note, my Google ranking is slipping (it got really good once I started using my full name on my blog, though I need to change the populateDefaults() method for the author field). I'm going through links to here and creating back links.
If you're still using my old URL as a link (simon.geek.nz/lifetype/index.php?blogId=1), could you please change it to simon.geek.nz, and if I somehow miss you when I finally get around to adding in all those links, or if you want me to hurry up with your particular site, then let me know.
It'll be nice if I could overtake my Wakoopa profile, my interview with SS and my page on the BWA site. Be even nicer if I could end up first (am currently 13th)
Enough writing for one day. The content may even be longer than the sidebar for once.