12.20.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Reader’s Article: Google’s Chrome EULA Disappoints

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Google at 3:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chrome logoSummary: Thoughts about Chrome from a legal perspective

ONE OF OUR readers has composed the following assessment of Chrome and what it means to the users’ freedom.

I thought it would be nice to try out Chrome for Linux but decided not to because of the binary EULA. I’d like to have a way to watch YouTube without installing Adobe’s Flash. EULAs always put a bad taste in my mouth, surely Google’s would not be so bad? Nope, like most EULAs this one is poorly worded and demands a surrender of rights contrary to many nations’ laws.

http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/eula_text.html

The misleading term “intellectual property” shows up many times. This neologism reduces the justification and powers of copyright, patent and trade mark law to one weak minded confusion. Powers appropriate for one set of laws are transfered to the others while the purposes are forgotten. It has no place in law, contracts or intelligent discourse. The contract also uses the insulting and disrespectful phrase “content” to describe works.

http://www.fsf.org/licensing/essays/words-to-avoid.html

The two most most shocking clauses demands recognition of software patents and surrender of fair use rights.

8.1 You acknowledge and agree that Google (or Google’s licensors) own all legal right, title and interest in and to the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in the Services (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist).

7.2 … You may not modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on this Content (either in whole or in part) unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google or by the owners of that Content, in a separate agreement.

The source code terms are a lot better, so I have to wonder what the Google people were thinking above. The general license terms look like free software but specific portions include a confusing variety of MIT, BSD and even a deceptive license from Microsoft.

http://code.google.com/chromium/terms.html

Overall, I don’t think I’d get what I wanted, which was a dedicated, fast browser for Google services that understood flash without being obnoxious. If Chrome really is free software, people will make it work from source code and it will soon end up in repositories. I’d rather wait than sign away free use and agree that software patents are legitimate.

Speaking for myself, I avoid Chrome because I believe people need to empower Free software vendors like Mozilla and projects like GNOME and KDE. Using their Web browsers is the latest one can do.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

17 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    December 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Gravatar

    “The source code terms are a lot better, so I have to wonder what the Google people were thinking above”
    Google isn’t the only one making this mistake, Mozilla itself made it once too, and SUSE is another example I remember being covered on BN. I nowadays use Firefox mostly, with occasional use of Chrome sometimes.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    December 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Gravatar

    “deceptive license from Microsoft”
    Looks like only WTL, which was Windows-only open source that came from Microsoft, and was part of what tied Chrome to Windows, until Sergey Brin was irritated at the lack of a Mac version. Now Chrome for Mac and Linux in beta.

    your_friend Reply:

    The Microsoft Permissive License is also included in some of the source code. Is there any Microsoft license that does not violate software freedom? The FSF opinion page on various licenses has one Microsoft Public License, which they urge people not to use because of it’s weak copyleft provisions. Notice that permissive and public share the same letters, MPL, as the Mozilla Public License. The name space collision is most likely intentional as are OOXML and many other phoney open things from Microsoft.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, Subsonica has pointed this out

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    According to Wikipedia, Microsoft Permissive License was renamed to Microsoft Public License when it was submitted to the OSI.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 20, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Gravatar

    …until Sergey Brin was irritated at the lack of a Mac version…

    I think that he still uses GNU/Linux actually.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    That claim comes from interviews with Sergey Brin I have read. I don’t think it really matters, as both are non-Windows platforms and are similar in many ways too.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I vaguely remember what he said and it was not about Apple. Unless you can find the source of course…

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    Here is one source:
    http://valleywag.gawker.com/5044780/google-cofounder-on-no-chrome-for-macs-its-embarrassing

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It seems like it’s the WSJers (Murdoch’s) who complained, not Brin.

    ‘”But you don’t have a Mac version, baby, so no,” Swisher tells him in this clip, excerpted from Swisher’s longer interview. “I know, I know, it’s embarrassing,” says Brin.’

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I should add: on another occasion I believe that Brin actually wrote (proactively) about needing Google Earth for GNU/Linux, which he appears to have used on his desktop for over a decade.

    whatever Reply:

    At Google I/O in May (I was there), he spoke a lot about Chrome and Mac. Eric uses Mac for sure — I think Sergey is 50/50 Mac/Linux. I’ve never seen him at an even using anything but a MacBook Pro unless it was specifically for a demo.

    Not that it matters, the lack of a Mac version was hugely embarrassing as much of Google HQ uses Mac. I know a lot of Google people and only a handful use anything but Mac OS X — or at the very least they use Mac hardware. Even with Pinkerton (co-creator of Camino, the first Mac-native implementation of Gecko that predated Safari and outperformed Firefox for Mac until Firefox 3 — ironically both original Camino debs now work on WebKit. Scott at Apple, Mike at Google) on the team, the Mac version had no excuse for being so slow to go beta. I mean, it’s so similar to Safari as is (the web inspector is exactly the same as web inspector in Safari, right down to the glyphs and buttons. And that’s true for all platforms), just with differet JavaScript engine a d extension support that amounts to essentially GreaseMonkey.

    As for the EULA, whatever. I mean they say don’t be evil, but it’s not like they don’t want to track every aspect of your online activity so they can better sell ads against what you use.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Well, the EULA does matter though.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    “Eric uses Mac for sure — I think Sergey is 50/50 Mac/Linux. ”
    And as I said, it didn’t matter which one, because it was not actually about Chrome for Mac, it was about Chrome for non-Windows platforms.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    But Schmidt was also in Apple’s board for a long time.

  4. seller_liar said,

    December 31, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Gravatar

    The google logo is very similar of freemansonry

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’m sure Brin and the lads never intended for this to happen back in 1998 (in a students’ garage).

    http://neatorama.cachefly.net/images/2008-02/logo-google.gif

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League - Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?

    We take stock of "captured states" that voted in favour of unlawful "Strike Regulations"



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 26, 2021



  3. Beatriz Busaniche Speaks Up in Defense of Richard Stallman

    Beatriz Busaniche sent us this comment in July 2021. She wrote it originally in Spanish. Here are both the original text and our translation to English.



  4. Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  5. Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] Sounds Legit

    When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators, litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)



  7. [Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

    As it turns out, political 'double-dipping' isn't just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia



  8. Romania's Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

    The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes



  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League - Romania

    Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 25, 2021



  11. [Meme] “Social Democracy” at the EPO

    Some comments on the current situation at the European Patent Office from Goran Gerasimovski, the new EPO Administrative Council delegate for North Macedonia and Social Democratic candidate for mayor of Centar (a municipality of Skopje)



  12. [Meme] António Campinos Visits the OSIM

    António Campinos visits OSIM Director-General Ionel Muscalu in February 2014



  13. [Meme] [Teaser] Meet the President

    Later today we shall see what Romania did for Battistelli



  14. Links 26/10/2021: Latte Dock 0.10.3 and Linux 5.15 RC7

    Links for the day



  15. Gemini Protocol's Originator: “I Continue to Care About This Project and I Care About the Community That Has Formed Around It.”

    'Solderpunk' is back from a long hiatus; this bodes well for Geminispace, which grew fast in spite of the conspicuous absence



  16. Bulgarian Like Bavarian Serfdom

    Bulgarian politics seem to have played a big role in selecting chiefs and delegates who backed Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful proposals, which treat workers almost like slaves and ordinary citizens as disposable ‘collaterals’



  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League - Bulgaria

    Today we examine the role of Bulgaria in Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO (as well as under António Campinos, from 2018 to present) with particular focus on political machinations



  18. Links 25/10/2021: New Slackware64-current and a Look at Ubuntu Budgie

    Links for the day



  19. Links 25/10/2021: pg_statement_rollback 1.3 and Lots of Patent Catchup

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part III — A Story of Plagiarism and Likely Securities Fraud

    Today we tread slowly and take another step ahead, revealing the nature of only some among many problems that GitHub and Microsoft are hiding from the general public (to the point of spiking media reports)



  21. [Meme] [Teaser] Oligarchs-Controlled Patent Offices With Media Connections That Cover Up Corruption

    As we shall see later today, the ‘underworld’ in Bulgaria played a role or pulled the strings of politically-appointed administrators who guarded Benoît Battistelli‘s liberticidal regime at the EPO



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 24, 2021



  23. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  24. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO



  26. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

    Links for the day



  27. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  29. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  30. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts