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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:TOS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vectronic (1221470) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:39PM (#24882379)

    No, the OP had it right, its just an "outbreak"... saying a sudden outbreak is redundant.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/outbreak [merriam-webster.com]

    Main Entry:
    outbreak
    Function:
    noun
    Date:
    1602

    1 a: a sudden or violent increase in activity or currency
    b: a sudden rise in the incidence of a disease
    c: a sudden increase in numbers of a harmful organism and especially an insect within a particular area

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3A+outbreak [google.com]

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/outbreak [reference.com]

    etc, etc...

  • Re:TOS (Score:2, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:43PM (#24882413) Homepage Journal

    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. I mean if they just took some boilerplate EULA, then obviously a lot of thought didn't go into it. But if they wrote it from scratch, then I'd think that they were trying to get away with something, or that not everyone at Google agrees on not being evil.

  • by Nick Driver (238034) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:43PM (#24882415)

    See.... nobody, not even Google themselves ever reads the freakin' legal boilerplate crap you have to click on to install software.

  • by TheRealMindChild (743925) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:46PM (#24882435) Homepage Journal
    Haven't you ever been lazy and just copy-and-pasted some code to somewhere else? Don't lie. That is probably what happened here~
  • But.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beaverbrother (586749) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:52PM (#24882451)
    It's open source. Just remove the terms of service and recompile.
  • Re:TOS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:56PM (#24882467)

    They took the standard EULA that they use for everything, and slapped it on - it was the easiest thing for the programmers to do at the time, no thought required, just use the standard legal mumbo-jumbo. An understandable mistake, and they've corrected it.

  • by lcoscare (1121345) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:57PM (#24882483)
    Can't we have a legal system that would just dismiss something so rediculous and unreasonable??? You know, something to protect the people?? They could have put "by agreeing, we will assume the deed to your house", and I'm sure the number of downloads wouldn't have changed.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @07:58PM (#24882489)

    Umm, nice try troll. It was a genuine concern. The clause had the potential to be a huge land grab. It's hard to say whether it was an accident or they really got the message but it's been fixed. It's not the only time it's happened. I seem to remember both Apple and MS trying that sort of thing in the past, it's a bit easier to believe that Google just made a mistake though.

    Firefox users are not going to switch to Chrome. It's just inane to suggest that's the case. It doesn't run on anything other than Windows at this point, and it looks like it's going to be a pain to be ported to anything else.

    On the resource side of things, they're going to have to make a significant amount of improvement to be competitive with Firefox on performance. Sure web surfing is apparently faster, but that's against the 3.0 release and neglects the impact of memory hogging and the tweaks coming down the pipe in 3.1.

    Or to put it another way, it's premature to suggest that Chrome is going to be stealing Firefox users. More likely they'll be stealing IE users away. Might very well slow adoptin of Firefox, but it's unlikely to make a significant impact.

  • Re:TOS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:00PM (#24882503)

    Umm, that's what a boilerplate is for. For pretty much any other service they have it would have been fine. Or at least in keeping with the competition.

    The only reason why it's a problem is because this is one of like two things they're providing where it's not appropriate. Google has a much larger number of projects for which a clause like that is pretty much mandatory to provide the service.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:03PM (#24882535)
    Almost any software program does that, why? Because the Windows registry is an absolute pain. Its like saying that apt-get remove still leaves some files behind. Unfortunately there isn't an apt-get purge function for Windows.
  • fire them indeed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by seanadams.com (463190) * on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:09PM (#24882597) Homepage

    The thing is, the language itself was not the most offensive part of this.

    What is most offensive is the way these bastards write these absurdly one-sided "agreements", assuming the benefit that if anything is unenforceable it will only selectively be struck, and just pass off their standard shit with every single product assuming nobody will ever read it.

    Good thing we have the internets to call them on it this time, but shame on them for doing it in the first place. And not just google, but damn near every tech company. The only reason they fixed it was because the high profile of the product. It's still evil.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:10PM (#24882601)

    It's never been used in court. There's no requirement that the courts approve every legal document before it's made public.

    This is already a major concern with EULAs, actually -- there are restrictions on how much you can really sign away, especially if it's a document that you don't sign, that nobody witnesses, that you only sort of have an opportunity to disagree with, and that everyone knows that nobody reads. Many clauses in EULAs are assumed not to be able to hold up in court. The likelihood that this one would be is slim at best (considering they have no way to track what information was posted using Chrome, that it's enormously wide-sweeping, and it's trivially circumvented by downloading the source and compiling).

  • Re:But.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jangchub (1139089) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:17PM (#24882647)
    Mod parent up. I played around with Chrome and was impressed at its speed (except for Pandora *vomits*) and was taken in by the minimalistic interface. I have no gripe with the awesome-bar or whatever lame title it has either. Once some extensions materialize for this (noscript/adblock) it's going to be a decent browser. I'm not too concerned about the memory usage as all my main machines are less than five years old. This might be a cake-and-eat-it-too situation if a community project forms to do as parent describes. It makes me wonder if someone at google is not only 'not being evil' but wants to do something benevolent.
  • by cdrudge (68377) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:28PM (#24882759) Homepage

    Sure I've copied/reused code. But when I do I usually make sure I understand what it does and works correctly. I also don't work for a mega corporation that has entire brigades of lawyers to get paid to look at these very things. Google apparently didn't understand what it meant nor had any of the many lawyers who get paid to look at these types of things actually look at it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:28PM (#24882765)

    That's not the only thing that prevents Firefox users from using chrome. The other two big things are the lack of add-ons and Windows exclusivity, both subject to change. As soon as Chrome has a decent enough equivalent to Adblock and Noscript, and maybe better keyboard-only navigation, I'll be all over it.

  • by Draek (916851) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:29PM (#24882769)

    The cynics may say that they only backed down from their powergrab due to the media attention, the optimists may say that they did it because Google always listen to their customers, and the rest of us may not care *why* they did it, either way we finally get a cool new browser to play with, without risking our privacy in the process, and there's one less stupid EULA in this world.

    Now, if only Apple would let me use iTunes to develop biological WMDs...

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:36PM (#24882835)

    Spamming every news and discussion board on the Net with fake hysterics over that simple cut and paste mistake was the only thing the Firefox fans could try to do to stop the flood of people dumping Firefox for Chrome?

    I still can't picture Chrome actually causing a 'flood' of people instantaneously dumping any browser. It's neat, but not that exciting.

  • by hahafaha (844574) * <lgrinberg@gmail.com> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:42PM (#24882863)

    Do keep in mind that the thing is barely in beta. They're not really releasing it to the public. Besides, it's basically unenforceable, since the code is under a BSD license.

  • by Al Dimond (792444) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:48PM (#24882903) Journal

    I'm not very optimistic about Chrome for Linux being much more than a careless port. I haven't tried all of Google's Linux offerings but I've used Earth, and it's pretty clunky (and always way behind the Windows version for features; as I recall, like with Chrome, it was Windows-only at first and they took their sweet time porting it). Furthermore, Chrome (according to the gmail blog... I don't have a Windows installation to test on) doesn't even run on Vista or 64-bit Windows. If they cared about making it a cross-platform app that would have been part of the architecture from the beginning and it should have been downright trivial to get it running on different versions of Windows.

    I'd be glad to have a browser keep its various tabs and windows separate. I'd be gladder if we hadn't turned the web into an application platform in the first place.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:08PM (#24883041)
    Then you apparently didn't make much use of plugins.
  • by prestomation (583502) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:26PM (#24883161)

    Ok, Ok, I'll stop

  • by Gyga (873992) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:29PM (#24883181)
    As long as IE uses MSN by default no one can complain. People actually have to take action to use this product. If Google were to force people to use Chrome in order to search it would be leveraging.
  • Yeah, nothing helps make sarcasm funnier like explicitly stating that it's sarcasm.
  • by gschwim (413230) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:52PM (#24883349)

    Really? Reasonable? The only reason they responded was for PR purposes. Corporate lawyers are paid to protect the interests of the company, not copy and paste boilerplate.

    They knew exactly what they were doing. The didn't get away with it. End of story.

    Just because something is "free" doesn't mean you have to give your rights away. What is this world coming to??

  • by RedWizzard (192002) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:04PM (#24883447)

    Firefox users are not going to switch to Chrome. It's just inane to suggest that's the case. It doesn't run on anything other than Windows at this point, and it looks like it's going to be a pain to be ported to anything else.

    The vast majority of Firefox users are running Windows. I don't see the lack of other platforms making much difference here.

    Or to put it another way, it's premature to suggest that Chrome is going to be stealing Firefox users. More likely they'll be stealing IE users away. Might very well slow adoptin of Firefox, but it's unlikely to make a significant impact.

    The factor you seem to be ignoring is that Firefox users are more likely to be early adopters. So I think they are more likely to at least try Chrome.

  • by retchdog (1319261) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:24PM (#24883549) Journal

    That's because MSN search quite frankly sucks. It's a reasonable decision from the perspective of marketing, not to even offer a bottom-barrel service as an option. If MSN were better, it would be an option.

    And Microsoft knows it. There's a reason MS tried to buy Yahoo!, and put forth such a serious offer that it caused a small political drama in the Yahoo! board of directors when Yahoo! refused...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @12:28AM (#24884419)

    The thing is, the language itself was not the most offensive part of this.

    What is most offensive is the way these bastards write these absurdly one-sided "agreements", assuming the benefit that if anything is unenforceable it will only selectively be struck, and just pass off their standard shit with every single product assuming nobody will ever read it.

    Good thing we have the internets to call them on it this time, but shame on them for doing it in the first place. And not just google, but damn near every tech company. The only reason they fixed it was because the high profile of the product. It's still evil.

    This is pretty amazing though, ANYONE can see that NOONE would get away with claiming ownership on everything created/posted/whathaveyou with a browser that's open sourced and they having explicitly said that you can do whatever you want with it. Yet people really put in an effort to bash the hell out for quite obviously messing up. Even after admitting this fact and amending it.

    I know this is slashdot, and Google-bashing is getting as good as MS-bashing, but christ people. Just use a bit of common sense.

  • Re:Google Chrome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fumus (1258966) on Friday September 05, 2008 @03:45AM (#24885467)
    More like a pokeball to me...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @04:00AM (#24885551)

    yea, i really couldn't see google using that part of the agreement to "steal the copyright of users" as everyone seemed to be suggesting.

    It makes no difference what you see. What's in writing and accepted is what counts.

    It's far too easy for sleazeballs to say, "Oh, that's just there because some lawyer was being over-cautious -- we'd never enforce that on you."

    The only correct answer to this situation is to say, "Then before we go any farther, you'll have someone with sufficient authority come over here, strike it out and sign off with an authoritative signature."

    If they won't, that funny feeling below your belt is someone tightening their grasp on your balls.

  • by Gyga (873992) on Friday September 05, 2008 @05:50AM (#24886009)
    Firefox, Opera, and Safari don't have a monopoly, and aren't controlled by Google.
  • Good Job... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771) <jaysyn+slashdot@ ... m minus math_god> on Friday September 05, 2008 @07:01AM (#24886387) Homepage Journal

    Good job Google, now I will actually give your browser a whirl.

  • Re:I don't buy it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:00AM (#24886959)

    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?

    Oh, for the love of God. Either you believe that they're actually providing the source or you don't. If Google was explicitly saying that this was the Chrome source code, you'd be crying, "But how do we know that's the source they really built it from????". Ridiculous.

  • Re:Google Chrome (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kalman5 (667417) on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:33AM (#24887285)
    It's icon is same as Microsoft Windows Media 9, look at what I have on my Windows Vista Uninstall dialog: http://img225.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chromevswindowsmediais8.jpg [imageshack.us]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 05, 2008 @08:45AM (#24887433)

    In verbal communications, sarcasm is denoted by inflection or tone of voice. In written communications there is no such thing, so "inflection" must be created. It has nothing to do with whether someone is stupid or smart. Take for example if I type:

    Because I hate vodka.

    Am I being sarcastic or am I being serious? Are you an idiot if you don't realise which it is? If I were to speak it, you would automatically know my by vocal inflection, but typed here it is impossible to know.

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