Google+ Wants to Use What You Post Forever

Guy Burns has done a quick, non-lawyer comparison between the supposedly evil Facebook’s and the supposedly “do no evil” Google’s social media policies.  It’s an extremely ugly comparison for Google.

From Guy’s public Google+ post:

Google’s rights to use your IP: perpetual and irrevocable
Facebook’s rights to use your IP: revokable (sort of)

Google+ Terms of Service, section 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.”

Facebook Terms of Service, section 2.1
“For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (“IP content”), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (“IP License”). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

Google is dangerously overreaching, in my opinion.  They are asserting that they have the right to use whatever you post — apparently regardless of what limited circle of friends you initially limited your post to.  This means there is no privacy or security on ANY posts.

Not only can Google use what you write, photograph, or draw, they can adapt, modify, publicly display, etc., etc. your work for their benefit.  Forever.

This is not reasonable, by any stretch of the imagination.

I strongly advise writers, artists, photographers… anyone who produces anything creative, to refrain from posting it on Google+ unless/until Google+ modifies their Intellectual Property Term of Service.  (See section 11 and all of the Google+ terms online.)  I won’t be posting creative pieces nor photographs on Google+ myself while the current terms are in effect.

I also strongly advise people against posting anything to any Google+ circle that they don’t want their mother, their boss, or their future spouse to see.

With no circle privacy settings honored, something you wrote to a limited group of people, may be broadcast inappropriately.  When your mother is looking up dolls as gifts for the grandchildren, she can be confronted with a Google+ social networking ad that suggests she buy a “Blow Up Doll like Your Son Said He Likes.”  Won’t that be a fun discussion for you and mom to have?

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