Google: 'We're sorry' over Chrome licence SNAFU

Chrome logo
Google is really, really sorry it made you think it was evil

Amid the fuss of the Google Chrome launch earlier this week a few eagle-eyed users spotted what looked like a serious chink in Google's 'Do no evil' ethos – a clause in the Chrome terms and conditions that appeared to give the company ownership of anything, such as blogs, created using Chrome.

The second part of section 11 of the T&C document (you know – the thing you never read but agree to anyway?) said Google would have rights to anything users "submitted, posted or displayed" using Chrome.

Slip up

Naturally, once the cat was out of the bag, conspiracy theorists had a field day, conjuring up visions of 'All your blog are belong to us' or worse.

Thankfully, today sanity has been restored after Google pointed out that the offending clause was actually a simple slip of the pen.

So, so sorry

Writing on the Google Blog, company lawyer Mike Yang explained: "You'll notice if you look at our other products that many of them are governed by section 11 ... because, under copyright law, Google needs what's called a 'license' to display or transmit content.

"So to show a blog, we ask the user to give us a license to the blog's content. But in all these cases, the license is limited to providing the service."

He continued: "For Google Chrome, only the first sentence of section 11 should have applied. We're sorry we overlooked this, but we've fixed it now."

Your base are belong to you

So, rest easy – Google will not be taking those cat photos you're posting to Flickr or appropriating any of the fine prose you crafted on Twitter during your lunch break.

You can trust them - after all, they do no evil, right?

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.