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Who Owns You? Google Owns You

April 26th, 2012 - 5:09 am

Thinking of uploading your stuff to the new Google Drive? First, you might want to read from their terms and conditions:

Your Content in our Services: When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide licence to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

The rights that you grant in this licence are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This licence continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing that you have added to Google Maps).

Don’t be evil!

More seriously, I expect an uproar big and loud and sustained enough to force Google to back off and — like Dropbox and Sky Drive — let you keep your own rights to your own stuff.

Or, just keep being evil.

UPDATE: It might not be quite so evil as it first appeared. We have this from CNET:

That means that Google can’t use your content for commercial purposes without your consent. However, the TOS also states that, “you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones.”

For content that is yours, Google can’t re-use it for its own purposes. But it can use content you upload in order to serve you. This can include integrating services together (like reading your scanned pictures in order to OCR them), and it can include analyzing your files to target advertisements to you. Google already does this in GMail. Google doesn’t currently serve ads in Google Docs (now called Google Drive), but it may, according to its license agreement, use data about the content you upload to target ads to you anywhere on the service.

So Google can’t sell you, but it will use your files to help selling to you.

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