Saturday, October 18, 2008

Update to Google Chrome's terms of service

Whenever we release a product in beta as we just did with Google Chrome, we can always count on our users to come up with ways to improve it. This week's example: several eagle-eyed users and bloggers have expressed concern that Section 11 of Google Chrome's terms of service attempts to give us rights to any user-generated content "submitted, posted or displayed on or through" the browser.

You'll notice if you look at our other products that many of them are governed by Section 11 of our Universal Terms of Service. This section is included because, under copyright law, Google needs what's called a "license" to display or transmit content. So to show a blog, we ask the user to give us a license to the blog's content. (The same goes for any other service where users can create content.) But in all these cases, the license is limited to providing the service. In Gmail, for example, the terms specifically disclaim our ownership right to Gmail content.

So for Google Chrome, only the first sentence of Section 11 should have applied. We're sorry we overlooked this, but we've fixed it now, and you can read the updated Google Chrome terms of service. If you're into the fine print, here's the revised text of Section 11:

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.

And that's all. Period. End of section. It will take a little time to propagate this change through the 40+ languages in which Google Chrome is available, and to remove the language in the download versions. But rest assured that we're working quickly to fix this.

The new terms will of course be retroactive, and will cover everyone who has downloaded Google Chrome since it was launched. Posted by Mike Yang, Senior Product Counsel

Link - from The Official Google Blog
Running Hood to Coast
Making terms of service clearer
Search findings from the third presidential debate
What's new with iGoogle?

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