Google trashes their own “Do No Evil” policy with Chrome

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.

Sounds pretty “evil” to me. And I’m not alone, djlosh is a lawyer (no, he’s not my lawyer) that gets paid to know this stuff, and he’s on board. Check out his post over at TapTheHive.com .

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:

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:

  1. Obtaining express permission to use the property in question
  2. Attributing the creator/owner in a manner consistent with today’s Copyright and/or Creative Commons licenses
  3. 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!)

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  2. “any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

    How is posting a photo on Flickr using Google’s Services? Are you saying the EULA includes the browser as one of Google’s services?

  3. Ah, I see that it does. However, I fail to see how Google could confirm that you’ve used Google Chrome to submit a picture to Flickr. In order for Google to try and use content you submit, they would have to be able to prove that you used their browser to do so. My blog doesn’t have any indication of which browser (if any) I’ve used to post the content.

    My opinion is this is a storm in a teacup…

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