Google: We’d Never Do That! Even Though It Said We Would

September 4, 2008


Here’s an update to yesterday’s post about Google’s Chrome browser. Read the first post to get you up to speed.

As of yesterday afternoon, Matt Cutts from Google is covering his butt is saying that there was an error when “copying and pasting” the terms for the EULA for Chrome. We didn’t mean to do it, he cries.

Alright, I’ve got another conspiracy theory misconception to dispel. After reading through the Chrome Terms of Service, some people are worried that Google is trying to assert rights on everything that you do on Chrome… I knew that Google didn’t want to assert rights on what people did using Google Chrome, so I asked the Chrome team and Google lawyers for their reaction or to clarify (probably several other people pinged them too). Here’s what I heard back from Rebecca Ward, the Senior Product Counsel for Google Chrome:

“In order to keep things simple for our users, we try to use the same set of legal terms (our Universal Terms of Service) for many of our products. Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don’t apply well to the use of that product. We are working quickly to remove language from Section 11 of the current Google Chrome terms of service. This change will apply retroactively to all users who have downloaded Google Chrome.”

Oh, HAHA. So we’re “conspiracy theorists,” huh, because WE don’t implicitly “trust” Google? OF COURSE Google would NEVER DO such a thing, even though it was a legally-binding contract! How can it be a conspiracy theory to take the EULA Terms of Service at face value as they were written? As I said in an Entrecards forum:

Whether or not Google’s pseudo-lawyers copied and pasted some “boilerplate” terms, it is considered a contract in a court of law. If you agree to the terms, you agree to the terms as they are. The “Oh I thought it meant THIS” doesn’t hold up under contractual law. So as it is– with these current TOS– Google retains the RIGHT to use, modify, publish, and distibute any creation of yours while you use this browser. If it were to come down to legal nitty-gritty: you are agreeing to these terms of service as they are, and you are contractually obligated to obey them, and Google retains the right to enforce them AS THEY EXIST RIGHT NOW.

Contracts and law don’t take into account what you “intend” to mean.

Matt Cutts did amend his blog post and apologized for being “snippy,” as he called it. And the company is changing the EULA.

But don’t you guys at Google have proofreaders? You know, READ and CHECK the terms of service that WE Little People are forced to uphold? And would you have ever checked on your “error” if We Little People had not made such a stink?

And I’ve still got to ask: WHY would Google use that kind of phrasing- the right to use, modify, publish, distribute the user’s copyrighted works royalty-free, without restraint, and forever and ever–  for ANYTHING? Or am i *just* a “conspiracy theorist” for questioning and challenging that holy dogma?

5 Responses to “Google: We’d Never Do That! Even Though It Said We Would”

  1. Lidian Says:

    I’m with you, Rebecca. And it really puts me off Chrome – I’ll be sticking with Firefox.

    You put it beautifully here- nothing to add!

  2. CyberCelt Says:

    Beware of G@@gle. Question everything. If they have a lawyer and not some freeware program to write their contracts, the lawyer should have caught this. Unless big G did not want it caught.

    Good catch. Keep them on their toes. If they have toes… LOL

  3. Lisa Says:

    Yeah. A little scary. If you download it and use it, let us know how it goes. I’d be really curious. Right now I use Firefox and love it. But I’m always game to try something new.

  4. Holly Says:

    I didn’t even check out chrome after reading that. I just decided to let everyone else try it. I’m happy with Firefox and i really don’t think we need another browser.


  1. My Year in Review 2008 | Freaky Frugalite - October 17, 2012

    […] posts, that got a lot of strong reactions: Are You Posh or Non-Posh? Just another reason why I Hate Google. We got our new kitten, Olivia!!! OMG She is ADORABLE!!! My older cats are monsters, though. Vet […]