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Google Businesses The Internet Your Rights Online

Google Updates Chrome's Terms of Service 318

Posted by timothy
from the credit-where-due dept.
centuren writes "In response to the reaction to Chrome's terms of service, Google has truncated the offending Section 11, apologizing for the oversight. The new Section 11 contains only the first sentence included in their Universal Terms of Service, now stating: 'You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.'"
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Google Updates Chrome's Terms of Service

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  • Re:But.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Repton (60818) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:04PM (#24882545) Homepage

    Why is this modded "Funny"? The code is under a BSD license. You can do exactly that.

    Heck, I'm surprised there's no community project out there to provide an EULA-free Chrome fork.

  • Re:So do they... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:18PM (#24882659)

    Yes, this change applies retroactively.

  • Re:So do they... (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:19PM (#24882663)


    The new terms will of course be retroactive, and will cover everyone who has downloaded Google Chrome since it was launched

  • by GuyverDH (232921) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:31PM (#24882795)

    while yes, that was implied, I was actually stating that google left major chunks behind, running and collecting information to send to the mothership...

    most applications may end up leaving an abandoned entry in the registry - not full paths in your local applications area, with entries in the startup....

    ie - and to a poster further down... yes - I submitted a bug report regarding the uninstall that didn't actually uninstall....

  • Re:TOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by conlaw (983784) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:34PM (#24882819)

    Corporations just don't copy and past legal stuff -- EVER.

    As a past member of three corporate legal departments, I'm ROFL at this quote. Most contracts start as boilerplate and only get changed through negotiation between the parties.

  • Re:TOS (Score:3, Informative)

    by jrp2 (458093) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:49PM (#24882907) Homepage

    While I believe that it could be a mistake on their part. The fact that it was "an oversight" doesn't make sense to me.

    Yes, I agree. Google employs many lawyers. One of them MUST have signed off on the TOS before it went live. This was a conscious decision. Corporations just don't copy and past legal stuff -- EVER. Someone in Google liked the original TOS.

    Kinda doubt it. Lawyers are rarely involved in the quality and release process. Not unless there is a debate or concern and they are called in by someone more involved with the product.

    They would have certainly approved a boilerplate at some point, and would usually be called in if someone actually noticed the problem and wanted to modify it. But I have never heard of any tech company including legal in the test and release process as a standard practice.

    Also, getting marketing, testers and developers to review doc is usually like pulling teeth. They would almost never more than glance at a EULA, warranty statement or something like that.

  • by Konster (252488) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:51PM (#24882931)

    It's available for download on their main page. This seems to me that they really are releasing it to the public.

  • by Mandelbrot-5 (471417) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:54PM (#24882951)

    I'm running xp-64 and run Chrome just fine.

  • by onlysolution (941392) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:54PM (#24882959)
    Chrome works just fine for me on Vista64 and integrates very slickly with Aero Glass. If you look at the build requirements it lists the Vista SDK, so frankly I'd be pretty amused if it didn't work on on Vista.
  • Re:So do they... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Evanisincontrol (830057) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:55PM (#24882961)

    [so do they] relinquish rights to the stuff that may have been created before the update?

    No, they said that this change would be applied retroactively.

    ...right, and since "retroactively" means [answers.com] "Influencing or applying to a period prior to enactment", that would make the answer yes, not no. How did this get moderated informative?

  • by vandit2k6 (848077) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:59PM (#24882993) Homepage
    What are you smoking. I am running Chrome on Vista fine.
  • Re:But.. (Score:0, Informative)

    by cac619 (714563) <ccarse&gmail,com> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:05PM (#24883025) Homepage
    http://code.google.com/chromium/ [google.com] There you go. No TOS.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:26PM (#24883159)

    Some people are trying to make it a new punctuation mark to indicate sarcasm.

  • The question is... (Score:2, Informative)

    by revealingheart (1213834) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @11:17PM (#24883511)

    Why is there an EULA in the first place? The only difference between Google Chrome and Chromium is a build switch [chromium.org], so anyone can reject the EULA and compile their own versions, even if they can't redistribute the Chrome builds due to trademarks.

    The BSD licence includes a disclaimer from liability when using the software, so no EULA is required for this. Google's online services have an EULA when you use them, but this isn't necessary for an open source browser.

    Maybe, Google are concerned about their privacy policy, when consent is required for data to be collected on users. And Section 10.2 of the EULA [google.com] isn't required for an open source browser, so it's possible for Chrome to include closed source code in the future, which the BSD licence permits.

    This makes me feel uneasy about using Chrome. I hope that Google don't get so caught up in collecting information on users, that they miss focusing on building a good browser.

  • by LauraW (662560) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @11:33PM (#24883597)

    Can't we have a legal system that would just dismiss something so ridiculous and unreasonable???

    This actually happened just the other day. A court in Washington state struck down [arstechnica.com] the AT&T long distance Terms of Service. The court ruled that the TOS was "'unconscionable,' meaning that no reasonable individual would have agreed to them had he or she realized their full scope." (quoting from the Ars Technica story).

    A PDF of the decision is here [wa.gov]. The interesting bits seem to start around page 23 or so, though my eyes glazed over fairly quickly.

    -- Laura

  • I don't buy it (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @11:39PM (#24883657)

    And how can we audit Google?

    Being the Google skeptic that I am, the first thing I did was read Google's EULA/TOS, in that convenient 100x100px box, saw the "offensive" clause, and didn't download the product.

    The thing is, who knows if the browser is actually "phoning home", or what other similar black magic is baked into there?

    Why's isn't Chrome's source readily available? Instead, "Chromium", the OSS project that Chrome is "based off of", is open. That's a distinct difference to me. Is no one else skeptical?

    Worse yet, if Google does indeed have some "Evil" in their product, what's stopping them?

    Best of all, my captcha was "utopians". How ironic.

  • by dennypayne (908203) on Friday September 05, 2008 @12:42AM (#24884153) Homepage

    If you use Privoxy [privoxy.org] you can have Chrome with ad blocking as well. Works like a charm for me. Credit to this blog [fritscher.ch] for pointing me in the right direction.


  • Re:But.. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @01:33AM (#24884447)

    Chromium [google.com] ..... is the open source community project - non EULA version

  • by Repossessed (1117929) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:21AM (#24884713)

    No, the *code* is under a BSD license, one of the things about BSD style licenses is that the binaries can have whatever license you want (see OSX).

  • by mr3038 (121693) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:30AM (#24885371)

    [...] right now following the instructions from the link [http://dev.chromium.org/developers/how-tos/build-instructions-windows [chromium.org]] requires you to use a non open source tool "gclient" to download about 500MB of source and then compile it using M$ Visual Studio [...]

    Actually, it seems that gclient is open source (python source with Apache License 2.0) and you can get source for it with a simple
    svn co http://gclient.googlecode.com/svn/trunk [googlecode.com] gclient-dev
    For more information, see http://code.google.com/p/gclient/wiki/StartingDevelopment [google.com]

  • by RegularFry (137639) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:37AM (#24885417)

    Urgh. You may be using a different Windows to me. Let me describe my last 24 hours in 5 sentences:
      - Uninstalled Visual Studio 2005.
      - Installed Visual Studio 2008 overnight.
      - Launch VS2008 to start a C# project; this fails, and VS2008 tells me I need to install it *again*.
      - Open the add/remove programs control panel, and click "Uninstall/change" on VS2008.
      - VS2008's update program crashes before giving me any options.

    I'm now wedged without a development environment, losing time and money, because of this "EXCELLENT" installer system. If I have to reinstall Vista to get past this, I'll be *most* displeased.

    Unfortunately google is one of the companies that thinks everything must be always done there way and hence the inevitable mess they left behind.

    Using this statement to defend Microsoft is unbelievably ironic.

  • by PReDiToR (687141) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:40AM (#24885431) Homepage Journal
    If you don't like the thought of Google watching your every move, you could always try Scroogle [wikipedia.org].

    More information here [scroogle.org] and here [scroogle.org].

    Firefox search plugin available too, but some links to it don't work.
  • by Orphis (1356561) on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:54AM (#24885523)

    I'd love to see a site dedicated to compiling daily builds of the Chromium source code

    You can download snapshot of the latest version of Chromium for XP from the buildbot here : http://build.chromium.org/buildbot/snapshots/chromium-rel-xp/ [chromium.org]

  • by atomice (228931) on Friday September 05, 2008 @05:15AM (#24885621)

    I'd love to see a site dedicated to compiling daily builds of the Chromium source code, maybe through in some forks by private fiddlers, because right now following the instructions from the link requires you to use a non open source tool "gclient" to download about 500MB of source and then compile it using M$ Visual Studio - and then hope it produces a working binary (oh, and have the time for this). So far I couldn't find anyone doing this and putting the binaries online yet - not even using google ;)

    As already mentioned the gclient tool is open source. Since its written in Python its distributed as source code anyway and the code is under the Apache 2.0 licence.
    As for 'hope it produced a working binary', I compile Chromium for the first time from SVN yesterday without any hitch whatsoever. And yes, my binaries are online.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday September 05, 2008 @07:41AM (#24886267) Journal

    One of the key differences between the BSDL and the GPL is that the GPL has a clause saying that you may not impose any conditions on the code not present in the original license. This is what made it incompatible with the Apache license (v3 allows a small list of extra conditions you may impose). The BSDL allows you to take the code and distribute it in source or binary form, with or without extra conditions, as long as you retain the copyright notice. This is one of the reasons why things that are dual-licensed under the BSDL and the GPL are stupid - the conditions imposed by the BSDL are a subset of those imposed by the GPL, so you can trivially include BSDL code in a GPL'd work - no one would ever choose to use the work under the GPL because it grants them no extra rights.

    If you take a BSDL work and distribute it under a more restrictive license, then people are unlikely to actually use your code unless you modify it first, of course, since they can get the less-restrictive-licensed version and use that instead. If you make changes, people have to decide whether your improvements are worth giving up some rights in order to use. One example of this is a FreeBSD-derived operating system whose name escapes me at the moment which is used for router platforms. It is provided in binary-only form, and costs a small amount (I think it's free for individual use). If it has features you need that aren't in FreeBSD, then you can either pay someone to add them to FreeBSD, or buy a license for this platform and then be locked in to a single supplier for support.

The goal of Computer Science is to build something that will last at least until we've finished building it.