Google, the internet information mogul, is getting a lot of press lately. It’s latest creation, Google+ is still in beta and early prognosticators are suggesting it poses a competitive alternative to facebook and LinkedIn. Perhaps that’s why it is attracting a lot of attention. Not all nice.
I’m not a Google zealot nor am I a detractor. But I do recognize the enormous player they are in the online information dissemination business. For that reason, I looked at their TOS and Code of Conduct to see, for myself, what may (or, may not) be a source of concern as many allege these days.
Google’s TOS (Terms of Service) says:
“You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.” I’m no lawyer, but that’s pretty darned clear that content providers are recognized as retaining their rights by Google. It then goes on to state:
“By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google 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.”
At first glance the ‘You give Google license to reproduce . . .” seems disconcerting. BUT . . . if you look at the last sentence, it provides a rationale . . . and a reasonable explanation: “This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services”.
While I appreciate the concern people have upon hearing, ‘You grant Google a license to reproduce, adapt, modify, etc.” I don’t think it’s part of a Machiavellian plot to rule the content of the people (you and me) who make the Google service possible.
Finally, and this is more pragmatic than anything else . . .
“If not Google, Who?”