Does Google owns the content you post on Google+?

It is only two weeks since Google+ is launched and it is taking the web by storm. As the service grows and more people start using it, Privacy concerns if any need to be addressed by Google. We will talk a bit about one of the terms of service for Google Services and products which applies to Google+ too.

We will talk about what the Google terms say about the copyright of content, photos, videos etc that you post on Google+. If you read Google terms of service for its services, clause 11 which talks about the copyright and any other rights of the contents posted by you. Have a look at what the clause says:

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.

Out of the quoted terms from Google TOS, I have highlighted few sentences. Even though Google says that you retain the copyright, it also goes on to say that ” you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services”.

I cannot find any clause either in Google+ Privacy policy or anywhere else which supersedes the clause mentioned here. I am not a legal or privacy expert, but whatever that I can understand, it simply means that Google can do anything with the content we post they want. May be someone can correct me if I am wrong here.

I would love to hear some thoughts from anyone who is using Google+ now. Or may be someone from Google can clarify the position of Google.

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