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Google Updates Chrome's Terms of Service 318

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:26PM (#24882241)
    Its icon looks like an anal bead.
  • by bigtallmofo ( 695287 ) * on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:27PM (#24882265)
    So far we've gotten an apology and a quick amendment that eliminates the offending clause. Now we just need for the group responsible for the oversight to be fired and one or two sacrificial killings and we'll call it even.
    • by TheRealMindChild ( 743925 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:46PM (#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~
      • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:28PM (#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 hahafaha ( 844574 ) * <> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:42PM (#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 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 nephridium ( 928664 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @02:22AM (#24884721)
              The Chrome browser binary you can download is *based* on the Chromium source code, which is free (see [] on instructions how to compile). The Chrome browser itself is NOT under the BSD license. I was quite disappointed when I realized that. - Just because they say "open source" somewhere doesn't make the Chrome browser itself open source.

              And what's this "installer" program to download the browser for you, why not just give us a download link to the browser itself? Furthermore, the browser will also *update* anytime it feels like it. Afaik there's no way to deactivate this *feature*.

              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 ;)
            • by Anonymous Coward

              IMO this is evidence that Google has not developed any kind of interesting OS, otherwise the Linux version would have been out first. WHY?

              Any OS developed by Google would surely be non-windows based and likely linux-based with their intimate development expertise on that platform.

              With independent processes running each tab, and a lightning fast JS execution engine, the logical approach for OS development would be an active-desktopesque interface for KDE or Enlightenment or Gnome etc.

              Instead of having multi

          • 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 eggnet ( 75425 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:07PM (#24883033)

        What does the tilde mean? I've seen it a lot lately.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by fishthegeek ( 943099 )
        Hmmm.... work for D-Link do you?
    • Well that sounds reasonable.

      Whenever a company can alter a previous agreement, declare all changes retroactive, and require me visit a webpage constantly as the method of notification, then reasonable is the first word that springs to my mind too.

    • fire them indeed (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ( 463190 ) * on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:09PM (#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 prestomation ( 583502 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:16PM (#24882641)

      "We apologise again for the fault in the
      TOS. Those responsible for sacking
      the people who have just been sacked,
      have been sacked."

      • by enoz ( 1181117 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:27PM (#24882755)

        "The directors of the firm hired to amend the TOS after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked."

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by darthdavid ( 835069 )
          A moose bit my sister once.
          • by prestomation ( 583502 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:23PM (#24883135)

            "No realli! She was Karving her initials Ãn the mÃÃse with the sharpened end
                of an interspace tÃÃthbrush given her by Svenge - her brother-in-law -an Oslo
                dentist and star of many Norwegian mÃvies: "The HÃt Hands of an Oslo
                Dentist", "Fillings of Passion", "The Huge MÃlars of Horst Nordfink"... "

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Ok, Ok, I'll stop

              • by LordEd ( 840443 ) on Friday September 05, 2008 @12:16AM (#24883945)

                Instead, this thread has been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.

                The Producers would like to thank The Forestry Commission Doune Admissions Ltd, Keir and Cowdor Estates, Stirling University, and the people of Doune for their help in the making of this thread.

                The Characters and incidents portrayed and the names used are fictitious and any similarity to the names, characters, or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional.
                    Signed RICHARD M. NIXON

                    JOHN GOLDSTONE & "RALPH" The Wonder Llama
                    EARL J. LLAMA
                    MIKE Q. LLAMA III
                    SY LLAMA
                    MERLE Z. LLAMA IX
                    Directed By
                    40 SPECIALLY TRAINED
                    6 VENEZUELAN RED LLAMAS
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                    14 NORTH CHILEAN GUANACOS
                    (CLOSELY RELATED TO THE LLAMA)
                    REG LLAMA OF BRIXTON
                    76000 BATTERY LLAMAS
                    and (apologies to)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gschwim ( 413230 )

      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??

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Good news, everyone! Those asinine morons over at the Box network who canceled us were fired for incompetence! Not just fired, but beaten up... and pretty badly, too! In fact, most of them died from their injuries!
  • TOS (Score:2, Funny)

    by fhic ( 214533 )

    Just when I want to start thinking about them as evil, they have an outbreak of common sense and do the right thing.

    Oh well. I still think they're too big and have too much of my data stored away, but I'll let go of the paranoia. Until the next time. :-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by suso ( 153703 ) *

      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.

      • Re:TOS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:56PM (#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.

      • Re:TOS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hedwards ( 940851 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:00PM (#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.

  • So do they... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Leptok ( 1096623 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:28PM (#24882273)
    relinquish rights to the stuff that may have been created before the update?
    • by Twinbee ( 767046 )

      Erm, assume yes, otherwise they'd get just a slightly bad image from the public maybe? (ignoring they'd do the moral thing anyway).

      Have to remember also, it's just as boring to write these things as it is to read them. Apparently they did a copy/paste of the old ones, hence the initial blunder.

    • The change is supposed to be retroactive, according to their blogger. Since Google is the party giving up a contractual right, they are barred from enforcing that right based on estoppel.

  • by GuyverDH ( 232921 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:36PM (#24882357)

    If you uninstall Chrome, it leaves a few google'isms behind...

    Like googleupdate and a few other registry entries... /sigh...

    time to reload Winbloze...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by QuantumG ( 50515 ) *

      So basically you're saying it doesn't pass Mirosoft application certification procedures?

      What a surprise.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by GuyverDH ( 232921 )

        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....

    • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:03PM (#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.
    • by Fastolfe ( 1470 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:09PM (#24882595)

      Did you file a bug?

  • good thing they can't change their terms of servitude anytime they want.
  • by Nick Driver ( 238034 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:43PM (#24882415)

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

  • But.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by beaverbrother ( 586749 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:52PM (#24882451)
    It's open source. Just remove the terms of service and recompile.
    • 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:But.. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:08PM (#24882585)

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

        2 main reasons. Right now, Chrome is essentially Windows only, and as we know, most people who use Windows don't care about EULAs. And secondly, Chrome isn't used much, right now people are wondering if it is the future or nothing more then a nice experiment, if Chrome stays around then expect Debian to fork it like they did with Mozilla. If it dies, expect a very small fork to continue development of it.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          I'm sure "Chrome" is trademarked, and Google would certainly enforce its trademark if it chose to. This would be one way to sort of enforce the EULA: Don't allow the recompiled versions to be called Chrome.

          Linux distros are undoubtedly going to want to compile their own version, in addition to wanting to be free of the EULA (which is non-free).

          I wonder what Google will do about this? They either have to ditch the EULA (at least for linux), or be content with a re-branded version of their browser being bundl

          • I'm sure "Chrome" is trademarked, and Google would certainly enforce its trademark if it chose to.

            So, just like Firefox a.k.a. Iceweasel.

        • expect Debian to fork it like they did with Mozilla

          Hmm, I wonder what they'll call it ... Rust?

      • Re:But.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jangchub ( 1139089 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:17PM (#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 lcoscare ( 1121345 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @08:57PM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:10PM (#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).

    • 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 [] 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 []. The interesting bits seem to start around page 23 or so, though my eyes glazed over fairly quickly.

      -- Laura

  • by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <> on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:08PM (#24882583) Homepage

    All this is scaremongering. Your confidential business data, bank account details, personal preferences in pornography, medical records and DNA sequence are strictly a matter between you and Google's marketing department, and no-one else. Remember, they're not evil! []

    • by CorporateSuit ( 1319461 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:46PM (#24883299)
      Don't forget their HR department. When I applied at Google, things were going pretty well until I started searching for things like: Farting on Coworkers. Forging a Resume. Stealing Company Secrets. Where can I get a plague rat in Santa Monica? AIDS tests in Santa Monica. California Law and 'giving AIDS to coworkers'. Can I get arrested for giving AIDS to my coworkers? Can Google be brought down from the inside? How to bring down a company from the inside. Define: Arson.
  • Legality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RockMFR ( 1022315 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:16PM (#24882637)
    The uproar and resulting change by Google has me thinking - what is the legality of all of this?
    • Would the Chrome TOS hold any weight at all in a court?
    • Would the former section 11 hold any weight? Could Google really have claimed a license to anything sent via the browser? (or whatever)
    • Under the current section 11, is there any way Google could still claim a license on future submissions via the browser?
    • The blog posting says this is retroactive. Would this statement hold any weight if Google went on to claim a license to anything sent via the browser?
  • by TheModelEskimo ( 968202 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:22PM (#24882709)
    Hmmm, let's see...

    1. Loudly complain about annoying features in the beta stage
    2. Watch as company removes said features because they're in vulnerable position
    3. Rinse and repeat on other products
    4. Realize why so many corporations fight for control of the media
    5. Start your own local newspaper
    6. ?
    7. Go out of business because nobody reads newspapers anymore, you moron
  • by Draek ( 916851 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @09:29PM (#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...

  • Endangered species (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    i tried Google chrome for 4 hrs, then i saw that everything was logged !!
    uninstalled & they asked why ?!
    back Firefox. at least i can reduce the amount of data that are being used via gmail or other g services.

    ex of Google analytic options:

    *** Share my Google Analytics data...

    With other Google products only
    Enable enhanced ad features and an improved experience with AdWords, AdSense and other Google products
    by sharing your website's Google Analytcs data with other Google s

  • What I don't get... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Thursday September 04, 2008 @10:25PM (#24883153)

    ... is why there are legal types out there that continue to slip these clauses or sections into legal agreements in the first place. Are they really that stupid that they think that as many times as these terms have been ferreted out and publicized that anyone is going to think "well, okay, I guess it's all right this time"? They don't understand that there enough people on the Internet that there will never be a time when there's no one looking for and exposing these sort of legal shenanigans.

    • They copy and paste the agreement from another product- it's easier than having to rewrite the legalese, and if any embarrassing mistakes like this are made? Like you said, the Internet(tm) will find them for you.
  • I uninstalled chrome for this exact reason and posted it in the "more info" box and said "retaining rights to everything created in the browser violates the 'Do No Evil' policy"

    I'm still not interested in installing it because they didn't change the bit about how they can send all usage data to them for monitoring, and that's just a bit too scary when you realize Eric Schmidt regularly meets with the head of the NSA.
  • Why is there an EULA in the first place? The only difference between Google Chrome and Chromium is a build switch [], 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

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