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Chrome EULA Update…

.. and I’d like to think its as result of the angry email I sent to google as I uninstalled their new open source browser Chrome, based on the WebKit engine, two days ago. 🙂 Back then, part of the EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) explicitly stated that by using the browser, anything you type into it (i.e. search queries, comments and presumably blog posts) becomes the exclusive property of Google.

Old Section 11 of Chrome EULA

11. Content licence from you

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that 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 that 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.

More worryingly, section 11.4:

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above licence.

After The Register broke the news, many people just like me, promptly uninstalled Chrome. Google yesterday responded apologetically saying that they had never intended for the EULA to be interpreted in such a way, and issued an update.

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services.

This rapid turn around is welcome, but it does make me wonder… if Google had any intention of enforcing the content appropriation their initial EULA made way for, by simply updating the EULA and not issuing updated binaries is the purported functionality still present? I guess only in-dept analysis of the code will tell, it is an open source project after all.

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  1. September 6, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    New fancy browser from Joe Schmoe.. I would only glance over the EULA.
    New fancy browser from a mega corporation.. I would go over with a fine toothed comb.

    The unintentional interpretation excuse is a bit hard to swallow considering Google’s legal resources, but my opinion may be biased somewhat.

    I don’t see how Google would ever consider enforcing the original EULA as it would officially violate their unofficial motto : “Don’t be evil”. Unless that was just a PR thing.

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