Google Video Search
April 14, 2005 8:07 PM   Subscribe

So Google is now accepting video submissions to their Google Video search. But according to this blogger, Google's terms of service (which you have to create an account to view) are excessive. And I think he might be right.
posted by JPowers (21 comments total)
Hearsay sucks!
Link to the actual terms of service
posted by zerokey at 8:23 PM on April 14, 2005

But d00d! Google isn't evil!!!
posted by kenko at 8:24 PM on April 14, 2005

Here, here. Thanks for assist zerokey.
posted by JPowers at 8:27 PM on April 14, 2005

While I don't have much issue with this as it is completely voluntary (and similar to distributing your own music via CD Baby and ITMS.

There ARE 2 things that bother me, though.

1. Every instance of the word will is presented as wil l. Misspellings in binding terms make me wary.

2. item #7 states: Proprietary Rights; Required Notices. Nothing contained in this Agreement conveys any ownership right to Us in any of the Authorized Content, or other materials provided by You. You acknowledge that as between You and Google, Google owns all right, title and interest in and to the Program and the Uploader and portions thereof, including without limitation, all intellectual property rights.

Are they referring to your video? Or are they referring to the google produced software? I hate legalese!

(JPowers , anytime :)
posted by zerokey at 8:40 PM on April 14, 2005

Someday I'll learn to close all of my parentheses. *kicks rock*
posted by zerokey at 8:41 PM on April 14, 2005

zerokey : " Are they referring to your video? Or are they referring to the google produced software?"

It says, basically, "This agreement doesn't say anything either way about us owning your content or other materials. It does say that you agree that our uploading program and other Google produced programs are owned by Google, including the intellectual rights to the software we made."
posted by Bugbread at 8:46 PM on April 14, 2005

Oh please.

I know Google-hating is fashionable now. But this guy's analysis is totally bogus:
By accepting this Agreement and uploading Your Authorized Content to Google, you are directing and authorizing Google to, and granting Google a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive right and license to, host, cache, route, transmit, store, copy, distribute, perform, display, reformat, excerpt, analyze, and create algorithms based on the Authorized Content.
In other words, “we can do anything we want with your content.”
Uh, no. Let's actually read what it says...

host, cache, route, transmit, store, copy, distribute, perform, display

All of those are necessary for Google to host your content and play it for people. If you don't want them to have these rights, how are they supposed to host your damn video?

As for

reformat, excerpt, analyze, and create algorithms,

"Reformat" to me means "change to a different format". That could mean making it available using different codecs (Real, WMV, QT, MPG, etc.), or changing the size of it. Would I want a service hosting my vids to let people watch them in different sizes and with different players? Sure.

"Excerpt" -- this is necessary to let them make a teaser or even a thumbnail available.

"Analyze" -- pretty much any type of data processing they might perform on your video is "analysis". They are a search engine company, i.e., a data analysis company. This is what they do.

"Create algorithms" -- see previous.

OK, back to Jacobian:
Google reserves the right to display advertisements in connection with any display of Your Authorized Content.
In other words, “we can make money from advertising your content.”

In other words, Jacobian wants them to offer him a free service and pay for it... how? Advertising is their fccking business model, idiot.
You may use the Uploader for the sole purpose of providing Your Authorized Content to Google. […] You may not use the Uploader for any other reason, including but not limited to […] (ii) modifying, adapting, translating, or reverse engineering any portion of the Uploader; […]
In other words, “If you create your own version of a video upload that runs on Linux or Mac, we’ll sue you.”
No, dumbass. They are saying YOU CAN'T STEAL THEIR CODE. Make your own fccking video uploader code for whatever platform your Microsoft-loathing ass wants. Just DON'T STEAL GOOGLE'S CODE.

His other two objections are just as overheated, baseless and paranoid. If Google has 2 billion hits on a particular clip, and it ends up costing them more money than they can afford, they reserve the right to change the revenue split. BFD. Basically, they reserve the right to not give bandwidth and server space away for nothing. If you don't want to charge for your content, and you don't want to pay them, what will happen? Obviously, they will stop making it available.

The last clause he picks out is confusing -- he presents it without context -- but it clearly doesn't say "We will sell your name and address to spammers" as he claims.

posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:50 PM on April 14, 2005

In the intro paragraph they define "Program" and "Uploader" to be the whole google video effort and the uploader app, respectively. So I interpret item 7 as saying, "You aren't buying our uploader app or our amazing googly business methods or anything like that. We still own those things. Likewise, we *don't* own your uploaded videos; you still own them [although you've granted us irrevocable and perpetual permission to do various things with them]." Uh, on preview, what everyone else said.

One thing I like about this T&C is the way they don't assert that they can change them without notice. They send you an update and you have to explicitly accept the new terms. Google's evilness level may be rising but they're still less evil than my bank, for example...
posted by hattifattener at 8:56 PM on April 14, 2005

The one thing I've noticed about the TOS that I don't like is the word "perpetual" in the section about their rights to use your content.

If I want to pull my video from Google at some date, I'd like to be able to terminate their rights to show it... if not instantly, then within a reasonable period of time (say, 90 days).
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:58 PM on April 14, 2005

I deleted everything I just wrote because on preview Artifice_Eternity summed it all up beautifully. This TOS is actually fairly readable as far as these things go. It seems some people are just looking to find something to hate in TOSes.
posted by Falconetti at 9:17 PM on April 14, 2005

I wear a rubber band on my wrist that says "GOOGLE IS EVIL" because it is hip and fashionable!
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:22 PM on April 14, 2005

Artifice_Eternity: good points - I don't like 'perpetual' either. However, reverse engineering (mentioned in the UA) isn't stealing code, it's writing something from scratch to emulate the same functionality. So you can't write your own googlevid uploader for any platform.
posted by Sparx at 9:44 PM on April 14, 2005

After reading Jacobian's blog entry, I came into this thread ready to post a scathing dismissal of his fears. I was relieved to discover that plenty of others felt the same way and had already done so. It is encouraging to be reminded that such trendy, kneejerk criticism is not universal and there are cool heads that can still look at things from both sides.
posted by TheCowGod at 9:51 PM on April 14, 2005

Who hates google? And by the way, I hate those rubber wrist bands!
posted by Dean Keaton at 10:16 PM on April 14, 2005

Legalese is intentionally vague. Too vague for our good. Google likely has no ill intent, but the TOS leaves them a lot of wiggle room.

"Perpetual" is a bad word in this TOS, but unless someone creates a video with lasting appeal using this, it's doubtful it'll ever matter much.

Can't really blame Google for covering their own asses, but lawyer-speak generates distrust for good reason. Best thing Google could do for us is post some sort of statement of intent. That, and the privacy statement needs serious clarification, if only to calm the more privacy minded.
posted by Saydur at 10:22 PM on April 14, 2005

Who hates google?

A number of folks I know started getting paranoid about Google when Gmail came out. "They scan your mail messages!" Well, yes, but so does Yahoo, to look for spam. "But Google does it for advertising!" Yes, it's done by machines, to place targeted ads, and they're not actually spying on your e-mail content. "But Google is too powerful! Everyone uses them for searching the web now!" Well, then use someone else's search engine if you want.

I've tried to show people how cool Google Maps is. One of my friends agrees with me. A couple others -- the ones spooked by Gmail -- freaked out when they found out about the satellite photos.

To me, the sat photos are cool and empowering. Used to be only governments had access to them... or people/companies with lots of cash. Now we can all see them. But they're not real-time, and they're not super-hi-res, so I don't see any privacy concerns.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:34 PM on April 14, 2005

I grow more wary of Google all the time, but.


*golf clap*

That, my friends, is how it's done.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:37 PM on April 14, 2005

Damn that evil Google. Forcing us to use their free and useful services!
posted by acetonic at 4:06 AM on April 15, 2005

So according to this idiot his problem with the legalese is that google wants a non-exclusive royalty free license to the material that they're going to host.

Kind of like Matt has for our postings here?

If you're going to upload something to google and the intention is that your material will be available to the masses a license to the material by google is in order. If they don't have this license then they're guilty of copyright violation, though I don't know what would happen in court seeing as the copyright holder was foolish enough to upload it.
posted by substrate at 4:58 AM on April 15, 2005

It strikes me as an awful lot of fuss over stuff that nobody's ever going to watch. Personally I can't imagine anything duller than someone else's "personal projects" in the challenging medium of home video.

What with digicams and video editing software creative expression comes all to easily these days. Makes me nostalgic for the 70s and 80s when you really had to want to produce self-indulgent crap that no-one wanted to see.
posted by rhymer at 9:46 AM on April 15, 2005

I agree with others: excellent summary, Artifice. I would have left off the "Asshat" because, as others have mentioned, legalize inspires a kneejerk--but understandable--reaction.

I'm interested that they've already baked in a revenue share as well. They're thinking very long-term. First, 70% sounds pretty good for the content owner in a retail environment. Second, isn't this the shot-across-the-bow for pricing this kind of video content, a la the $.99 song?
posted by ssukotto at 9:53 AM on April 15, 2005

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