Yesterday I wrote about Google’s new web browser: Chrome. Everything looks great, until you get to the EULA. In that EULA you (in no uncertain terms):
… 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. … You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.
Wait, what did that just say?
By writing a blog post, or uploading an image to Flickr you are giving Google permission to use it however they want. Without any attribution. Without any compensation. Anywhere in the world. Forever. And you can’t revoke it.
Oh, and it applies to everything you read and/or look at through the browser as well. And to cover their backsides, they say that you have “all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant [Google] the [license].
Don’t believe me? Go read the EULA, sections 11.1 and 11.4.
One of Google’s Philosophies is to “do no evil” – in fact, it’s number 6.
Yeah, by simply installing and using Chrome, you’ve just given Google the right to steal anything you type into, upload through, or even look at using their web browser.
Think everybody does this? Think again.
Other than Facebook (they are “evil” too, for the same reasons. Go read their EULA), most companies avoid this kind of jargon in their EULAs.
It’s worth noting that others have tried:
- Microsoft tried this years ago with MSN messenger. Users gave Microsoft an irrevocable perpetual license to all IP that passed through MSN messenger.
- AOL did the same thing with a version of AIM.
In both cases, users revolted (Facebook users, why haven’t you revolted?).
Some people argue that Google’s not doing anything with their EULA that isn’t there in other EULAs. That simply not the case, no clause even close to that is in the Firefox terms of service.
Can you imagine the field-day the US DOJ would have if Microsoft tried to slip that by in the Internet Explorer EULA?
Just don’t do it!
If you haven’t downloaded Chrome yet: DON’T!
If you have already downloaded it: DON’T USE IT! UNINSTALL IT!
As web users we need to send a clear message to Google: our data is our data; we’re not giving you any license to do anything you want, without:
- Obtaining express permission to use the property in question
- Attributing the creator/owner in a manner consistent with today’s Copyright and/or Creative Commons licenses
- Compensating the creator/owner in a manner consistent with today’s Copyright and/or Creative Commons licenses (i.e., royalties)
Google, how dare you?!
(Hat tip to Mike Dopp for pointing this out!)