I was talking to an associate who expressed concern about the new Google Service Agreement and I wanted to post.  He was concerned that the new agreement could be read as Google taking license with people’s stuff…not so.

The part that seems to cause everyone heartache on the Google agreement is this:

“When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

Various lobbying organizations and elected representatives keep trying to make technology providers who offers tools like Google Docs, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and any other web organization that offers software on-line legally accountable for the content they transmit.  So, if JimTechBoy posts copyrighted material on Facebook, or YouTube, instead of you being responsible, Facebook and YouTube is responsible.

This is an awkward, monolithic way to try and handle piracy.  The violation of sharing copyrighted material was by JimTechBoy when he copied the material and posted it, but Jim’s hard to find, he doesn’t have as much money as Google, so the lobbyists and legislators are trying to find ways to make the carriers responsible.

Problem is, doing so would end those carriers abilities to pass on content.  The new Google agreement clarifies language and makes Google more protected against such issues.  The license you give by posting your content is necessary, if you don’t grant Google a license, they cannot share your content in any way…

Free distribution of information is imperative to our global culture, and even our local relationships now.  Trying to restrict it because a few people break the law will further damage our economy, our ability to relate to the world and one-another and negatively impact all my clients.

So, I’m in favor of companies like Google protecting themselves carefully.  Does not mean they are going to suddenly start stealing anything.