Google backtracks on Chrome license terms

Company says it is working to remove language that suggested it has a perpetual right to information entered in the browser.

Updated 2 p.m., with change in license terms.

Google said on Wednesday that it plans to alter contract terms that gave the search provider broad rights to use anything entered into its new Chrome browser.

"In order to keep things simple for our users, we try to use the same set of legal terms (our Universal Terms of Service) for many of our products," Google said in a statement provided to CNET News. "Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don't apply well to the use of that product. We are working quickly to remove language from Section 11 of the current Google Chrome terms of service."

As first noted by CNET News on Tuesday , Chrome's End User License agreement appeared to give Google a perpetual right to use anything one entered into the browser. Section 11 stated that although users retain copyright to their works, "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."

Google said the change, once it is made, will apply retroactively to anyone who has downloaded the browser.

All this is separate from the issue of what information Google plans to store on its servers . Provided that users leave on the auto-suggest feature in Chrome and have Google as their default search provider, Google has the right to store any information typed into Chrome's Ominibox, which serves as both search bar and address bar. The software maker told CNET News it plans to store about 2 percent of all such data, along with the IP address of the computer that entered the information.

Update: As of 2 p.m. PT, it looks like the terms have changed. Section 11 now reads simply: "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."

Click here for full coverage of the Google Chrome launch.

 

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