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Monday, 08 September 2008 15:11

Lazy Ass Google Lawyers: All Your Chrome Files Were Belonged To Us

In the mad rush to download and install the Google Chrome browser, who actually read the End User License Agreement before agreeing to it? Thankfully a few people did, and discovered that Google had claimed legal ownership of everything displayed by it. But it is the reason why that really makes you want to spit blood and feathers...

It really did not take long for the doubts about Chrome to start surfacing. Doubts about claims that it is the fastest, smallest and safest web browser client when compared to the big two of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, for example.

It did not take too long for the first privacy concerns to appear either. Although, I have to admit, the manner of this particular Google faux pas took me and a lot of others by surprise.

Previous Google privacy stories have included the search giant admitting there is no such thing as complete online privacy, running into road blocks over Google Street View and the Big Daddy of them all: the YouTube to Viacom data giveaway.

This one, however, was different. This one was a blatant snatch and grab of copyright ownership from everyone.

Of everything! Everything that an end user viewed using the Chrome browser that is.

A clause buried within the EULA stated:

"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."

Whoa! Hold on a minute. Yes, quite, exactly what people said when the clause was highlighted by eagle-eyed legal types.

The response from Google was to change it pretty damn quick after being flooded with complaints.

Even the Google giant knew it wasn't going to get away with this one for long.

OK, so why did Google have this Chrome copyright clause there in the first place? Are any other big names on the Internet doing the same thing? Find out on page 2...


And the reason for the clause? You will love this. According to Rebecca Ward, Senior Product Counsel for Google Chrome:

"In order to keep things simple for our users, we try to use the same set of legal terms (our Universal Terms of Service) for many of our products. Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don't apply well to the use of that product."

Yep, you read that right. The problem occurred because lazy ass bastards in the Google legal department have been cutting and pasting terms and conditions between products.

Mind you, as Valleywag points out, Google is not alone in the stupid terms and conditions hall of shame.

How about Facebook which still has this little beauty alive and running:

"By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise..."

Know of any more? Name 'em and shame 'em here...

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