Does Google’s Licensing Language Take Some of the Shine From Chrome?

Google just released its take on the browser with Chrome this week. Google has done an amazing job of re-inventing web search and email, and has had limited success in other areas. And the same issues that made its other releases not quite enterprise friendly are attached to Chrome as well.

What I’m talking about are pretty curious licensing terms that appear in the Chrome user agreement. This blog post sums up the language of the agreement nicely.  Basically, like with Google Docs, the company makes claims to the content that comes through your Chrome browser.

The wording is odd, and the blogger above feels it will probably be changed. After all, a web browser is a conduit…no content is necessarily created via a web search, so who is Google to lay claim to it? I think the wording might be a case of a boilerplate type license being used in the wrong product format.

Google is a company I respect for a lot of reasons. But I do question the licensing choices they have made in the past couple years. I understand that Google relies on traffic must pull relevant content from searches and text to generate relevant ads and subsequently revenue for itself…but it could look to licensing innovators like the Free Software Foundation to come to a more user- and business-friendly licensing model.

After all, it would be a shame for great products to not get off the ground due to licensing, not functionality issues.