By now (all of 23 hours after the release of Chrome), everyone has probably heard of the weird/evil/stupid/nefarious/power-hungry (take your pick) end-user licence agreement (EULA) of Chrome.
There are several interesting passages, but it is section 11.1 that has garnered the most interest — it stipulates that the user grants Google an unlimited license to use any information he or she has written using Chrome (since I am using Chrome right now, Google is free to use this blog entry any way they wish).
There are numerous theories as to what Google is trying to accomplish with this part of the agreement. However, the only reasonable explanation is that this is a blunder. A colossal blunder, perhaps, but a blunder nonetheless. This portion of the EULA has been copied and pasted from another EULA where it perhaps made some sense. As to how Google could have made a blunder of this magnitude is anybody’s guess, but I would speculate Google got taken by surprise and actually did have to release Chrome in a hurry, ahead of intended release schedule.
The EULA bits in question must be a mistake. Google knows the hacker community well enough and they would have known that the EULA terms would be examined and made public very fast. They know that no-one in their right mind would seriously entertain the thought of using Chrome with a stipulation like section 11.1 — most of us could not, as using Chrome right now violates our employment agreements.
My prediction: the EULA will be amended within a week (I was tempted to say 48 hours, but this time they are probably going to do a thorough job).