Some super-sleuthing resulted in this post which identified that the Google Aps terms of service says;

“… you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt, modify, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services…”

Now the conspricists among us would say that Google, in its plans for galactic domination, is intending to take all our private data and crate some leverage from it, steal our business ideas and generally subvert our IP.

However we need to look at it dispassionately. Google is in the business of selling advertising – every sevrice it provides is in the pursuit of that aim (directly or not). I see it more as over zealous lawyers trying to fit a few more words in legal agreements, perhaps they’re paid by the clause, rather than anything dodgy.

It does have to be said however that this is sometimes what happens when an enterprise gets so big that it forgets about its vision, its customers and simplicity.

Compare if you will the Zoho terms of service;

“We assure you that the contents of your Account will not be disclosed to anyone and will not be accessible to employees of AdventNet. Neither do we process the contents of your Account for serving targeted advertisements”

Perhaps the Google gang needs to re-read “How to win friends and influence people”

Hat tip to Zoli for pointing this discussion out!

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • Falafulu Fisi |

    Now the conspricists among us would say that Google, in its plans for galactic domination.

    Ok, Ben, tell me one good reason, of why Google plans for galactic domination is something to viewed as Evil? Businesses are aspired to dominate their field and Google is no difference. It is you & me who granted Google that status. Have you heard of free-choice? Yep, they are there of where they are, because you & me are using Yahoo or Microsoft search engines, but because we’re both happily grant Google that domination by keep using their products. The short answer, is just stop using the bloody Google services, and that domination will disappear. In the free market, if I don’t want a product from vendor A , I will find a similar product or a better one from vendor B. There shouldn’t be any moaning while keep buying that product or keep using that service.

    BTW, I am a little puzzle, that sometimes , you promote in your blog here about business growth, and at the same time, you seemed to be a bit disturbed by Google’s growth. So, correct me if I am wrong here, you like a moderate business growth, but not a galactic growth? If I am in business myself, I would choose to adopt the latter, because if I don’t dream about galactic growth in my business, then I might as well shut shop and open a Burger Fuel franchise takeaway shop, since the likelihood of galactic growth for such a business is moderate or almost zero.

    is intending to take all our private data and crate some leverage from it

    What is wrong with using that data to improve their service? After all, that is how they make their money.

    steal our business ideas and generally subvert our IP.

    Why on earth that you want to give your business ideas or IP to Google? Do you publish your IP on the internet for everyone to see or you reposit those ideas with Google? Why you are willingly giving away those ideas to Google and moan about it? I just don’t get it.

  • I’m not sure you understand where I’m coming from – I disagreed with the original post’s contention that the TOS issue was an example of Google’s inherent dodginess. I believe that they’re using the data to improve their service which i have no problem with.

    I also have no problem with them scaling and becoming dominant – hey I use their products and they work great and people will stick with them while they have the best product offerings on offer.

    If you read the post carefully you’ll note that I said that the conspiricists among us would think Google was trying to subvert our IP – in the next paragraph I gave reasons why i don’t believe this is the case at all.

  • Falafulu Fisi |

    Sorry Ben, I had mistaken your position. I misinterpreted your statement : conspiracists among us , as you’re one of them (conspiracists).

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