Why journalists should not use Google Chrome

Categories: Technology

Write for a living? Use the Internet as a means to distribute your work? Maybe you're excited to try the new offering from Google, a browser called Chrome. The search engine works so well, and the company's e-mail, document service and RSS reader offer nice integrated functionality and ease of use. So why wouldn't you try it?

How about because Google could claim distribution rights to work you do while using Chrome.

From Chrome's End User License Agreement:


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.

17.1 Some of the Services are supported by advertising revenue and may display advertisements and promotions. These advertisements may be targeted to the content of information stored on the Services, queries made through the Services or other information.

Forget selling your data to advertisers, which is the practice I objected to previously. Google could actually claim -- however speciously -- rights over portions of your writing. Sure, you retain copyright (which courts would agree anyway).

But just what does this mean? They have the right to distribute work in an RSS reader? To edit and re-package comments you make on blogs? To use portions of your articles on sites Google owns? 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" covers a lot of ground.

Whether you're a journalist of a hobby writer, this is something worth resisting.

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