Google Pulls a Dropbox

Apologies to those who are already tired of this–it’s threatening to become a hobby horse. Looks like with Google+, Google is going where every stupid lawyer has gone before: claiming “a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.”

Ugh. I can tell you where my photo gallery WON’T be moving. I’m beginning to think that the phrase “Don’t Be Evil” is one of the more inventive demonstrations of the elastic nature of the English language.

Photofocus has full coverage. Check it out (because I’m frankly too annoyed to go through this all again). For those interested in my extended thoughts on the matter, read this post on the Dropbox mess, this post on how the economics of free online services actually work, and this post on perpetual licenses.

Meanwhile, I’m beginning to think we need a real test case for this kind of bullshit to either rule it out of order and illegal once and for all (in which case we can ignore these kinds of licensing terms), or make it clear that such clauses are enforceable (and under what circumstances) so that we know exactly what to avoid.

EFF? ACLU? Are you listening?

2 Responses to “Google Pulls a Dropbox”


  1. J. Sterling Smith
  2. Noble Bear

    I apologize if you’ve discussed this elsewhere, but I’m curious as to WHY a company would set up their TOS to be like that?