Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Chrome

So Google's got a new browser out called Chrome. I haven't tried it yet because work blocks the site (not Google, just the d/l site).

But here's some things from their license agreement ("Services" refers to any Google software or application essentially). The meaty stuff comes further down - section 9.4 and 11.

2.3 You may not use the Services and may not accept the Terms if (a) you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google, or (b) you are a person barred from receiving the Services under the laws of the United States or other countries including the country in which you are resident or from which you use the Services.

So if you're under 18, you can't use Chrome or any Google product?

5.3 You agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Google, unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with Google. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services through any automated means (including use of scripts or web crawlers) and shall ensure that you comply with the instructions set out in any robots.txt file present on the Services.

But it's open source... where does the line get drawn? Can I embed it into another application? Can I access core components from another app without explicitly launching the browser? (Much like Windows uses IE for its Help files).

5.5 Unless you have been specifically permitted to do so in a separate agreement with Google, you agree that you will not reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade or resell the Services for any purpose

Is this superceded by the Open Source license?

8.3 Google reserves the right (but shall have no obligation) to pre-screen, review, flag, filter, modify, refuse or remove any or all Content from any Service. For some of the Services, Google may provide tools to filter out explicit sexual content. These tools include the SafeSearch preference settings (see http://www.google.com/help/customize.html#safe). In addition, there are commercially available services and software to limit access to material that you may find objectionable.

This is a browser... this does not mix well.

9.4 Other than the limited license set forth in Section 11, Google acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms in or to any Content that you submit, post, transmit or display on, or through, the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with Google, you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights and that Google has no obligation to do so on your behalf.

This sounds good... but what's Section 11?

11. Content license from you

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. 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. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.

This sounds less good. What is "content"? If i write this post through Chrome, is that content? Is my login name content? Password? What if I submit an article as my job? How about if I send confidential corporate data via a webmail application? Are these all content? Doesn't section 11 pretty much wipe out 9.4?

10.2 You may not (and you may not permit anyone else to) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise attempt to extract the source code of the Software or any part thereof, unless this is expressly permitted or required by law, or unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google, in writing.

10.3 Unless Google has given you specific written permission to do so, you may not assign (or grant a sub-license of) your rights to use the Software, grant a security interest in or over your rights to use the Software, or otherwise transfer any part of your rights to use the Software.

Again - how does this mesh with the Open Source license?

Now, this is Google's universal EULA (End-User License Agreement), but it clearly doesn't work well with a browser application that is sitting on your desktop. The general nature of it applies to their online services (Calenders, GoogleDocs, Blogger, YouTube, etc.) in fact, I think 9.4 was introduced after YouTube and Blogger users complained about section 11.

I won't be downloading Chrome, even though it sounds pretty great, until this gets cleared up.


David Gerard said...

"We are so, so happy with Google Chrome," mumbled Mozilla CEO John Lilly through gritted teeth. "That most of our income is from Google has no bearing on me making this statement." - http://notnews.today.com/?p=57

Dr. Pauly said...

Thanks for thorough breakdown. I'll be joining you on the sidelines.