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Google Owns Your UseNet Post

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the boiling-boilerplate dept.

The Internet 174

michaelmalak writes: "Google Groups, the deja.com replacement, now supports posting of articles. But be careful, because in posting you grant Google a "royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive license." I noticed that UseNet volumes went down significantly when Remarq and then Deja went down. Then volumes went down again in the traditional slowing accompanied by college summer recess. If volume is to pick up, it will likely come from those using Google's posting service, rather than an unreliable or unavailable (esp. in the case of AOL) ISP news server. So it would seem UseNet is not going to die, it just got bought out like everything else these days."

The paragraph reads in full:

"By posting communications on or through the Service, you automatically grant Google a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, edit, translate, distribute, perform, and display the communication alone or as part of other works in any form, media, or technology whether now known or hereafter developed, and to sublicense such rights through multiple tiers of sublicensees."

Individuals also have the right to nuke their own posts, though, and to specify 'X-No-archive: yes.'

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174 comments

Re:"NONE EXCLUSIVE" makes this OK. [Re:And why not (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#194309)

CHRIST, man it's "non", not "none". You got it wrong every fucking time.

Linux is ILLEGAL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#194310)

http://www.salon.com/tech/log/1999/06/07/linux/

no joke!

Usenet is going to die off! (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 12 years ago | (#194312)

This is great news, though! Maybe that'll keep the Internet from imploding upon itself from increased demand!

--
Forget Napster. Why not really break the law?

There is no copyright. You posted to public forum! (1)

root (1428) | more than 12 years ago | (#194313)

From the clause, I can see no change of copyright or any other IP, but Google is granted non-exclusive rights to the post. (Non-exclusive meaning the copyright holder can still do whatever he likes with it, even sell it on).

Not quite. ANYONE can do anything with the post. Not just the "copyright holder". Why is that in quotes? Because there is no copyright on USENET posts!

It's the nature of the beast. When you voluntarily post to a PUBLIC forum, you are then and there decreeing your words to be in the public domain, yes? Thus, copyright no longer applies. And neither does "default" copyright apply because you physically placed your words into a PUBLIC forum. You knew what you were doing. You clearly chose to relinquish eternally all copyright to your article.

Wanna stay copyrighted and propietary? Post your words on your own web page and put a link in the newsgroup. Note that the link will be public domain, so don't whine about "deep linking" violations. Of course few to none may read your words then. Want a wide audience? Pay the price. Give up the (C). And welcome to real life.

-1 Flamebait (1)

maggard (5579) | more than 12 years ago | (#194315)

Once again /. posts an article that is both inflammatory & innacurate.

Why can't the readers rate the lead article postings the same as the follow-ups?

In the meantime, is /. going through some sort of cash-crunch, gotta up those pageviews? It's almost as bad as when PC Mag's Fred Langa bashes Linux just to get some action going.

Re:-1 Flamebait (1)

MushMouth (5650) | more than 12 years ago | (#194316)

Really they should post "We don't understand legal terms, but it may be bad. ATTACK!!!", This is so f^#!ing par for the course here, the worst part though is that many of the readers are too lazy/stupid/ovine to actually get the facts straight, unless of course it is an already blessed company (google).

Re:Alternate Licenses? (1)

Art Tatum (6890) | more than 12 years ago | (#194318)

Actually, why not just put a small Free Content license at the bottom of your post giving *everyone* the right to distribute and modify?

usenet backups/archives (1)

emptybody (12341) | more than 12 years ago | (#194323)

So, how many universities out there ever thought to backup their news servers?

Wouldn't it really frost Google if a distributed usenet archive were to rise from the ashes?

I have some massive Hardware and Diskspace just sitting around gathering dust now that the internet bubble has burst. Anyone care to make some archived posting donations?

Re:UseNet is supposed to be distributed (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 12 years ago | (#194324)

If you don't want Google to be the only one doing this, why don't you create your own archive? They're the ones spending the bucks for it, and obviously other companies didn't find it financially worth the effort. Just be happy that there's a company doing this instead of raising all these paranoid issues about them. They're not some fucking charity for you to leech off of, and if there's no way for them to make money off of it, they might as well shut the whole damn thing down. And the minute they did, I bet you would be here bitching about the lack of any good usenet archives. I'm really not trying to offend you, but this whole story is one of the more ridiculous ones that Slashdot has posted lately, and that's freakin' saying something.


Cheers,

Re:Alternate Licenses? (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 12 years ago | (#194325)

Why don't you just use the X-No-Arvhive header instead of messing around with all that bullshit you just wrote?


Cheers,

Re:distributed usenet archive project? (1)

Zico (14255) | more than 12 years ago | (#194326)

I think Google uses about 3600 servers, maybe 4000. Good luck.


Cheers,

Embrace and Extend? (1)

xixax (44677) | more than 12 years ago | (#194331)

UseNet has grown to the point that smaller ISPs seem to offer quite sucky newsfeeds on account of the volume. A couple of years back, a group of us had problems with articles expirng before they made it off the ISPs news spool. The only way to reliably propagate articles was to go via Deja. This suited the ISPs because it was a lot less hassle to them than chewing more disk/bandwidth.

Now we already have the situation where UseNet is Deja (Google) for most people. Where does Google get its news from now? How about a year from now when (hypothetically) they have the lions share of traffic? Will they resist the urge to set up policies that cement their position?

For example, giving preference to articles originating from Google or affiliated ISPs (negating the need for ISPs to maintain their own spools)?

I am concerned that we'll see a UseNet where posting outside Google affiliated channels is as good as posting to /dev/null, and a public infrastructure becomes a private asset. Taking the cost of maintaining news spool from ISPs is a great way of achieving just that. Imagine if M$ then bought UseNet from Google and "enhanced" it.

NOTE: I am *NOT* saying that this is happening now, but I cannot see why it couldn't happen.

On a side note, can I set up a web-proxy that honours "no proxy" and claim that any Google traffic passing through it is using my faciltiies to improve their customer's enjoyment of the service, and therefore I get a non exclusive licence to Google/usenet too?

Xix.

Re:And why not (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 12 years ago | (#194332)

Usenet is exteremly popular, if a profit can be made from it, then Google has the right to make one. They can charge you a fee if they want, you don't have to go there. An example, if you decided to post an entire prog that you yourself created, Google owns it. What you say on Google, they own it.

So if you post the DeCSS code via Google, whom do the laywers target? If not Google, what if we _all_ posted it using Google?
--

you don't get it (1)

nobody/incognito (63469) | more than 12 years ago | (#194336)

google is not asking for a transfer of copyright or anything of the sort -- they are simply asking for a license to publish your post.

it seems to me that google is doing the minimum possible to make sure that they have the right to publish your post. what's wrong with that?

nobody

Re:And why not (1)

stu72 (96650) | more than 12 years ago | (#194343)

Nobody has a right to make a profit.

Individuals have a right to the pursuit of happiness, which may include the pursuit of profit, but no one has to "right" to succeed in that pursuit.

Re:Who owns Slashdot posts?? (1)

Sadfsdaf (106536) | more than 12 years ago | (#194347)

Jon Katz ;-]

hehe seriously though, supposedly it's supposed to be you. I qoute-
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest © 1997-2001 OSDN.

Re:Usenet volume down? (1)

Sadfsdaf (106536) | more than 12 years ago | (#194348)

Also, as we're on news server issues, why has the RIAA etal left news alone? I guess because it's de-centralized?
Duh! Because the RIAA employees/executives/lawyers need their pr0n!

How does this get posted? (1)

CaseStudy (119864) | more than 12 years ago | (#194352)

Timothy, if you don't understand what "royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive license" means (and that's understandable given the number of terms of art involved), get someone to explain it to you before posting claims about it. As has been pointed out already, such a license does not transfer ownership of the post, but simply means that you can't try to collect royalties a la Tasini v. New York Times (holding that a database of articles is a separate entity, requiring separate royalty payment). I believe recognizing the incorrect claim about what a license does falls within the concept of "basic fact checking" (which is why this is addressed to timothy and not michaelmalak).

In addition, the flamebait headlie (okay, that started out as a typo, but it's too apropos to change) is unnecessary, as the fact that Google Groups now has posting capability is sufficiently newsworthy in itself. A title like "Google Groups Implements Posting" would be a a more fair headline, and would have made a more interesting discussion possible.

Finally, a suggestion for the Powers That Be: would it be possible to add a -1, Incorrect moderation (here the article itself deserves it, but many posts do as well)? Some things that are posted aren't actually trolls or flamebait, but are just misinformed.

Isn't a license like this neccessary? (1)

SClitheroe (132403) | more than 12 years ago | (#194355)

They are in the business of archiving, indexing, and offering search capabilities of newsgroups. Obviously, they aren't laying claim or ownership of posts that don't originate from their servers, but at the same time, they need to have some sort of legal statement in order to grant themselves the ability to perform the services they are offering.

What it boils down to is that if you don't like the terms, use an external (to google) news server. But if you do use their services, realize that anything you post is going to published, is going to be indexed, and is going to be availble for them to use.

Given the state of usenet, this is hardly a burdensome request on their part.

Re:Arguing With Yourself? (1)

nycdewd (160297) | more than 12 years ago | (#194360)

"how gay" ---- How trite, and how lame... And no, you ignorant fool, I would not post filth like the self-styled "JewHater" does. You are quite blind to the fact that I am trying to draw him out of his mindless screed and get him to examine his circular (circular in this case is synonymous with pointless) reasoning. Nuances and subtleties are lost on you just as they seem to be lost on "JewHater".

Passport, anyone? (1)

EvlPenguin (168738) | more than 12 years ago | (#194364)

Well, it seems like a similar case to that of Passport [slashdot.org] .

But regardless, is this really a bad thing? If you are using their servers and bandwidth, then why shouldn't they be allowed to set forth whatever policies they want? If you don't like it, don't use it. Why is this such a hard concept?
--

What a bunch of clueless losers (1)

taustin (171655) | more than 12 years ago | (#194365)

Aside from the fact that copyright license can only be done in writing, with a legal signature, your headline doesn't even agree with the body of the store.

Giving someone a license to reproduce a copyrighted work does not transfer ownership.

Morons.

Am I paranoid? (1)

skybird0 (176892) | more than 12 years ago | (#194366)

But how do I know that anonymous remailers and web proxies are not actually sting operations run by government agencies?

Re:I'm confused (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 12 years ago | (#194368)

I would say that google is even more evil than microsoft, since they are using a FREE operating system as a tool for their nefarious purposes.

I suggest that we all get together, seceede from the United States and form a Free country, where every aspect of life is ruled by the GPL. If the entire society is free, than nobody can ever infringe on Linux or Usenet!!!

Who owns Slashdot posts?? (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 12 years ago | (#194369)

I'm curious, who owns a slashdot post? Since this a public forum, and many posts are archived for extended periods of time, I would like to see the Slashdot license.

It is the correct policy!! (1)

tester13 (186772) | more than 12 years ago | (#194371)

I can not see how this I really that any different from what has always been going on. It seems like all they are really asking is for you not to sue them for infringing on your intellectual property.

I wouldn't worry about this at all, to the average /.er who understands the idea of Usenet nothing has changed. Imagine what would happen to Goggle, and all other newsgroup providers if they were responsible for removing and policing content!/p?

Isn't this just like the Yahoo! debacle of old? (1)

Akardam (186995) | more than 12 years ago | (#194372)

You know, the one that said the same thing about everything you posted to your Yahoo! homepage?

I may be wrong, but I think they rewrote it to say clarify that it only referred to spanning your page over multiple servers.

In any event, this doesn't worry me in particular. Why? Because, don't you essentially grant those rights to everyone when you make a posting to UseNet? It's a public channel of communication, dude! And in this case, you're using Google's resources to accomplish it!

The fact that they're offering a method to remove/dissalow archiving in the first place seems to me a very good indicator that Google is playing as fair as it can under the circumstances. And if, in the end, you still don't like it, go use your ISP's newsserver.

So what? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 12 years ago | (#194373)

As long as it's a non-exclusive license, who cares? I mean, if they didn't have the ability to do this, then how could they archive usenet? As long as Google doesn't try to tell other archivers that they can't keep copies for their own purposes, I don't see a problem here.

Still, I wonder what would happen if someone tried to assert copyright and ownership over their own usenet posts. Could you append a (C) notice in your .sig and expect that to stand up in a court somewhere? Could you fire off a cease and desist order to Usenet servers and archives the world over demanding that your posts be removed and deleted? What about individuals who might happen to keep a personal copy of your post for whatever reason?

I guess the really big question is how much are they going to charge you for the service of erasing the historical record of your public speech? And, once this sort of revisionism becomes a commodity that anyone can buy, who'll be the biggest spenders?

----

They're not doing anything wrong (1)

kmweber (196563) | more than 12 years ago | (#194376)

You don't have to use Google to post to Usenet, but if you choose to you've got to follow their rules. What's wrong with that? It's no different from me saying that while I don't think smoking should be illegal, if you enter my house you can't smoke. You don't have to enter my house, but if you do (provided I allow you to) you've got to follow my rules.

Use a third-party premium news service (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 12 years ago | (#194378)

>If volume is to pick up, it will likely come
>from those using Google's posting service,
>rather than an unreliable or unavailable (esp.
>in the case of AOL) ISP news server.

You forgot to mention that there are numerous companies whose sole business model is to provide you with Usenet access. Forget Google, and forget your ISP, get one of the premium news services.

Shaun

Get over it! (1)

PhunkySchtuff (208108) | more than 12 years ago | (#194379)

All this license does is cover Google when they do the good things they do, like archive the post, reformat it in html, index it for searching, store it on their servers.
If you don't like it, post your message from one of those other unreliable hosts.
-- kai

Verbing Weirds Language.

GROW THE FUCK UP! (1)

Siqnal 11 (210012) | more than 12 years ago | (#194382)

UseNet is not going to die, it just got bought out like everything else these days."

Good.

What the fuck is wrong with that?

Bandwidth costs money.
Hardware costs money.
A building full of H1B workers costs a little money, too.

What the fuck is wrong with the people in this cuntry, that they expect everything to be fucking handed to them on a fucking silver platter?

If you think Google|Microsoft|AOL|Intel|Digital Convergence is so wrong, then fucking do it yourself, for FREE!

You're right about the RIAA, though. They suck.

--

Re: Only Usenet? (1)

kastlyn (255695) | more than 12 years ago | (#194390)

Just curious, and too lazy to dig through whatever terms of service I didn't read when getting an account... but does Slashdot 'own' my postings here in this manner?

From the top of the comments page for any story:
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. Slashdot is not responsible for what they say.

What do you think?

And why not (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 12 years ago | (#194392)

Usenet is exteremly popular, if a profit can be made from it, then Google has the right to make one. They can charge you a fee if they want, you don't have to go there. An example, if you decided to post an entire prog that you yourself created, Google owns it. What you say on Google, they own it.
But then again, MS technically owns all the progs you write when you run windows <shrug>.

Re: Profit != Happiness? (1)

Husaria (262766) | more than 12 years ago | (#194393)

Money does not buy happiness, but it can make my happy to have that nice mp3 player from thinkgeek.
I can make a profit if i want to, just have to put some effort into it. But if being happy is being profitable, so be it.
Its how the market works. Just a thought

Re:Silly Land Grab (1)

chuqui (264912) | more than 12 years ago | (#194394)

> Why would Google make this request? I would guess to defend themselves legally

Another reason -- by doing so, they eliminate a poster's right to demand that a message be removed from the archive, since by posting it, you've given them right to store it there in a way that can't be revoked. Given the size of their data store, this removes a potentially huge administrative headache.

Re:first (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 12 years ago | (#194396)

No, you neither...

Strange thing, but am I the only person to care more about my usenet posts being sufficiently anonymous than about giving away my rights of ownership? Like, oops, I just noticed I posted a brilliant idea, give me back my copyright? You should have thought about that before hitting submit I'd say.

Re:And why not (1)

xeeno (313431) | more than 12 years ago | (#194397)

Indeed. What's the big deal about this? The only wierdness I could see resulting from this would be that by google claiming ownership (non-exclusive) of a post they also claim a part of liability in case some retard with a lawyer and a grudge has a beef with one of google's posters.
As for usenet dying, since when? As long as there is an alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.* and an alt.*.warez heirarchy, usenet will thrive. These two heirarchies easily consist of 80% of the volume that newsfeeds contain, anyway.

::sigh:: (1)

neurotik (315576) | more than 12 years ago | (#194398)

So let me get this straight. Music and source code should be free, but everyone should own exclusive rights to their usenet posts. Riiight...

Re:Only Usenet? (1)

number one duck (319827) | more than 12 years ago | (#194401)

Agh, I feel quite the fool. I'm so adept at filtering out copyright notices that I didn't even realize that that was down there.

Google is going to make trillions from this (1)

CrazyJim0 (324487) | more than 12 years ago | (#194402)

By using a super computer analyzing usenet posts, they'll determine analytically which Startrek captain is the best.

Re:All your Usenet posts are belong to Google! (1)

4minus0 (325645) | more than 12 years ago | (#194403)

ahem that should read: "continues to make moronic plays on phrases..." but, since an AC FUCKWIT here is too stupid to realize this, he continues to make moronic plays on phrases that blah blah fucking blah.
maybe before you trash someone else's spelling you should pay a little more attention to your own, you mook.

OK... (1)

President of The US (443103) | more than 12 years ago | (#194405)

So don't post through Google if you don't like it. They are putting up a clear and simple statment about their policy. I say that they re being very fair. And it's not like you can't find a million other servers through which to post to the Usenet.
-----------------------

Sorry, but that's just silly... (1)

Chasing Amy (450778) | more than 12 years ago | (#194406)

> The problem comes in only if the prediction I made comes true: that Google Groups grows to
> become the primary way for people to post to UseNet due to continuing decay of ISP support
> for UseNet.

Umm, who cares if Google, AOL, or MSN, or my local dentist becomes the primary way to access USENET? By its nature and design, there will always be other ways to access USENET since USENET is not controlled locally, nor could it be unless the whole system were redesigned from the ground up, in which case it would be something other than USENET and the old USENET would go on.

See, ISP support for USENET is unimportant. I know of *no* ISPs which have good USENET support. No one I know of who cares enough about USENET to be a major contributor actually uses his ISP as his primary access. We use "premium" USENET services for pay, and/or free accounts through big servers that offer remote accounts. That's because few if any ISPs have good feeds with high retentions.

USENET is not and will never be the Internet, so it is understandable and reasonable to get access from someone other than your ISP. Google is merely one way to do this, and as far as I'm concerned it promotes involvement by lamebrains who couldn't otherwise get real access.

Google is essentially a web-based frontend for the newsgroups, which doesn't even explain to users what USENET is, how or why it's different from the Internet, or that USENET isn't just a bunch of chat room type thingies hosted at Google. Serious USENET users already pony up a small, very affordable unless you're well below the poverty line, monthly fee to a commercial server for a good feed and long retention. For example, I have had at times an account with Altopia, Easynews, or The Slurp (back when it offered individual accounts, which it no longer does).

In addition, I know of a few free servers which offer free SLIP accounts with access to news feeds.

None of this is going away any time soon. Just because one free service has offered free accounts which now have more restricvtions, has no impact whatsoever.

And as far as I'm concerned, I wish Google/Deja would have stopped allowing free posting privileges. In my experience, for every guy like you who probably uses his account for positive contributions, there are a couple hundred AOL type guys who have no idea what USENET is who use their accounts for bandwidth-and-storage-wasting me-toos and attempts to meet "13 year old" FBI agents.

I wish USENET were only the domain of people who know what NNTP is. It may be elitist and politically incorrect for me to say it, but it's my honest opinion and if it were the way things are, if services like Google didn't allow free and simplified Web-based posting, then 90% of the clueless and always will be clueless contingent wouldn't bother with USENET, leaving it for the clueful and willing-to-learn-cluefulness and the spammers who would dry up a bit since most of their target audience--lamers who don't know better--wouldn't be there anymore.

other options (1)

rabbits77 (453747) | more than 12 years ago | (#194409)

other free UseNet options are avaiable at http://newssearch.pilum.net . Just do a keyword search for groups you are interested in and you'll get a list of freely accessible servers that carry that group sorted by a number of useful criteria(message count, speed, posting ability, etc) .

Re:They're just covering their ass... (1)

m08593 (455349) | more than 12 years ago | (#194411)

Since most USENET posts still aren't posted through Google, it seems like that's not much of a cover.

Re:Incorrect Story Title (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 12 years ago | (#194413)

Ah ok, I had missed that part.

Still, this is not nearly as problematic as them actually *owning* your posts would've been. If Google had claimed ownership, that brings up a host of bad situations, such as you having to obtain Google's permission if you wanted to release a book containing your posts (which would now be posts owned by Google).

Yes. PUBLIC newsgroups and PUBLIC television. (2)

root (1428) | more than 12 years ago | (#194414)

When you voluntarily post to a PUBLIC forum, you are then and there decreeing your words to be in the public domain, yes?


I suspect the radio and television networks would disagree with you here...


Only the private broadcasters. Giving up copyright has nothing to do with the medium being a boradcast one. I never said that. It all comes down to the charter of the forum you are posting in.


The newsgroups were CREATED AS PUBLIC FORUMS. Accepting this is a precondition of participating.


Fox was created as a PRIVATE BROADCASTER.


When the newspaper editorial section states that "all your submission are belong to us" and you write something to them, you have no copyright protection because you knew you were waiving them before you sent them in. Ditto your words on RADIO AND TV call-in programs.


Ditto USENET.


It's the same thing.

Isn't that why you posted? (2)

iabervon (1971) | more than 12 years ago | (#194415)

The only issue I see is that Google can modify your posts, which most free sites do anyway (adding advertizing blurbs, etc).

If Google wasn't allowed to publish (etc) your posts, they couldn't propagate your posts. In fact, Google does most of those things to posts made through other news servers, too, since they reformat them in HTML and serve them to Google users.

Another Troll Story (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 12 years ago | (#194422)

It seems to me that Slashdot has been consistently posting stories that misrepresent the facts in the case in order to attract postings to it's site.

This story - Google now owns your post - in actuality no such thing - Google actually is only taking a license to use your post, and the recent story on the TIVO patents both grossly distort the true situation.

The major misrepresentations seems to consistently involve intellectual property issues, which we know that editors have a strong bias against.

It is time for the Slashdot editorial staff to wake up and present their readership with a more factual repesentation of these issues. They are not serving their readership or their cause with these stories.

Re:UseNet is supposed to be distributed (2)

Xofer D (29055) | more than 12 years ago | (#194424)

This is really simple, and it doesn't stem from the place you think it does.

Whenever someone asks Google to see a message, Google must redistribute the message . In order to do this legally, they must have license to redistribute it, copy it, etc. The easiest way to do this is to put it in their TOS that this license is implicitly granted. It absolutely boggles me how people expect others to honour their copyright on original works one day, then turn around and demand that they break copyright later.

Re:Claranews or others? (2)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 12 years ago | (#194427)

I use
Claranews [claranews.com] . It's a good server with an annual fee.

You get what you pay for.

Supernews [supernews.com] is pretty decent, too. It's a bit more expensive now than when I last subscribed to it (used to be $10/month), but my cable-modem service provider [lvcm.com] outsources Usenet to Supernews so it's part of what I pay for that.

take two (2)

joq (63625) | more than 12 years ago | (#194432)


Didn't slashdot touch off on this a few months back http://slashdot.org/articles/01/02/22/0124253.shtm l [slashdot.org] ... IMO, I think Usenet is solely trying to protect another company from ripping something they purchased, they have every right to, however for them to even attempt to go after every nickle and dime site mirrorring archives would be costly for them.

So I see this solely as something of a warning to companies who may think of making money of some sort in the future nothing more. Aside from worthless jokes, cheesy porn, and millions of 31337 hax0r3r posts 98% of which make no sense, I've found Usenet useless 95% of the times, and have found better private mailing lists for my needs, so I see no big deal with this news.

Murder, Genocide, MKUltra, and stolen Uranium [antioffline.com] .. born in the USA

Usenet Posts, IMO, are in the public domain... (2)

smoondog (85133) | more than 12 years ago | (#194433)

If you post to usenet, and think your messages aren't being submitted to the public domain, you are crazy. You can probably copyright your post, so others cannot claim it was their own or reword it in anyway, but good luck enforcing it. You certainly cannot prevent anyone from using your post pretty much at will.

Anyway, if you have the arrogance to think your post is important enough to be valuable and you can't find your own news server to post to (including the other free servers like newsone.net) you probably shouldn't be posting to usenet anyway....

-Moondogy

Re:And why not (2)

Andrew Dvorak (95538) | more than 12 years ago | (#194434)

There are plenty of other services that allow you to post to usenet without licensing your text to them (ie. most Internet Service Providers). Google shouldn't be kicked in the face for not being the company you - or anybody else - (probably) thought it was or expected it to be.

Currently, it appears that Google has no formal business plans to financially exploit what its users write. This contract/license just happens to give Google the legal wedge should they find a way to do this. There's nothing that obligates you to agree to the contract -- just don't use their service.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has nothing in its Windows licences specifying that you must agree to licence work created for the Operating System (OS) to Microsoft. If they did, it would be awfully foolish, given their previous Anti-trust difficulties -- let's not also forget that it is the software authors who help Microsoft keep many of their users. Although, Microsoft may own some system and dll files your app may need - including the OS, itself - it owns no more of your app than, say, the authors of GTK do (if your app makes use of the GTK).


Re:license != owning (2)

Andrew Dvorak (95538) | more than 12 years ago | (#194435)

Relevant post [slashdot.org]

If you use their service to post to Usenet, you ARE agreeing to their contract, and are obligated to follow it.

I suspect that this clause of their contract is the exchange of "property" required for any contract to be considered legally binding. You receive their service in exchange for licensing them your posts. This would validate other parts of the contract, as well, in the eyes of the law.


Re:One thing I like about this. (2)

HeschelsGyrus (121302) | more than 12 years ago | (#194441)

When it was still DejaNews, they blocked access from Anonymizer addresses. Don't know about other anonymizing services, though.

Re:Silly Land Grab (2)

AMuse (121806) | more than 12 years ago | (#194442)

If you don't pay to use their service, you're not a customer.
--------------------------------------- -----------

Using the DMCA against Google (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#194443)

It's quite possible that you could use the DMCA against Google, if you posted to USENET by means other than Google, and Google then appended advertising to your posting. Sending a DMCA "notice and takedown" order to Google's backbone provider might be interesting.

Oh for god's sake (2)

gonerill (139660) | more than 12 years ago | (#194446)

What a troll! As has already been pointed out by numerous others, Google is claiming a non-exclusive license to your usenet posts. It doesn't own them. I'd only add that it's irritating in the extreme (a) to see this coming from /., which of all organizations should know a lot more about Licensing than this stupid story indicates; and (b) to see this crap slung at Google, the company which freely provides the best search engine on the web, and which is no doubt the first choice of basically everyone reading this story. Time for me to go back to K5 [kuro5hin.org] .

Re:Only Usenet? (2)

djrogers (153854) | more than 12 years ago | (#194447)

Are you too lazy to read the bottom of every single page on this site too?

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest © 1997-2001 OSDN.


sheesh...

Re:Someone should give some background (2)

shepd (155729) | more than 12 years ago | (#194448)

http://webreference.com/roadmap/map08.html

That should answer your question.

TTYL + HAND!

Oh no! Whatever will we do! (2)

electricmonk (169355) | more than 12 years ago | (#194449)

Well, I can't possibly think of a solution to THIS little dilemma. Perhaps you should just use your ISP's news server instead, hmm? You know, you don't have to use Google for posting any more than you have to use AOL Instant Messanger to chat online. Sheesh people, this is NOT the end of the world.

--

Usenet volume down? (2)

_ganja_ (179968) | more than 12 years ago | (#194450)

"I noticed that UseNet volumes went down significantly when Remarq and then Deja went down. Then volumes went down again in the traditional slowing accompanied by college summer recess.

Do these volumes include binaries? Working for an ISP that handles 90gig of new volume a day, I'm more than a little surprised.... The biggest attraction for usenet now are the binaries posts it seems, 90Gig isn't just students posting Linux support questions. Also, as we're on news server issues, why has the RIAA etal left news alone? I guess because it's de-centralized?

Seriously where do the news service providors stand legally, they own the servers and people download copied software / music off those servers. I realise the articles don't orginate from a single news providor and I guess news providor's are counted legally the same way as telephone companies, but if 2600 can be found guilty of something for just linking how long before this changes. I recall a case in the UK where a news providor was found guily of libel for just carring an article, how much safe ground does usenet have against the MPAA & the RIAA?

IS this that bad when it's in English (2)

_ganja_ (179968) | more than 12 years ago | (#194451)

It seems that there is a knee jerk reation to licenses on /. if we put this in English it isn't that bad:
By posting communications on or through the Service, you automatically grant Google a:

Royalty-free = You're posting it on usenet, if you wanted royalities in the first place this isn't such a good idea.

Perpetual = Its on going, they don't have to renew this "license".

irrevocable = You can't take this license away from google, of course there going to put this in there.

non-exclusive = You can license what you post to third parties regardless of google's license.

reproduce = As soon google's news server distributes it to it's news peers, it's reproduced.

modify = One of the same freedoms the GPL grants.

publish = In essence when someone does a search on google and your post is returned, they are publishing it and again if you didn't want people to see it why post it?

edit = Correct your spelling.

translate = Provide an additional service so the article you posted can be seen and possible help more people.

distribute = Send to other news peers.

perform = If you post guitar tab / a play for people to perform, why can't google do the same?

All of the above are things would would expect to happen if you posted information to usenet, I think Google are just ass covering a bit here. Maybe it's to stop newbies complaining that don't understand usenet. For people that post to news and understand it, you generally know what you post is for the world to do with as they please.
Furthermore, you still retain the copyright to whatever you post, so they don't "own" it, you've just given them a license to use it as they please. The only problem I could see is that Google could license your post to third parties without your consent but really if you had get rich plans by licensing something would you really post it for the world to see for free? Is this such a small price to pay for a good free service and guess what, if you don't like the license, don't use the service.

Alternate Licenses? (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#194452)

Well since many/most folks here do not access Usenet via Google . . .

Each post made outside of Google should have a signature file specifically prohibiting use by Google, specifying costs to be assessed for licensing by google, etc. (say $500 per incident) and in general prohibiting any "license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, edit, translate, distribute, perform, and display the communication alone or as part of other works in any form, media, or technology whether now known or hereafter developed", and prohibiting any effort to "sublicense such rights through multiple tiers of sublicensees" without prior agreement of the original poster or their heirs.

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

Silly Land Grab (2)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 12 years ago | (#194453)

Why would Google make this request? I would guess to defend themselves legally - too pull a CYA in a sense. But it doesnt make sense. Surely I can post to news servers WITHOUT using Deja. If I post to news.someisp.com it is available to DejaGoogle users - WITHOUT the AYBABTU-License... so, here Google has the AYBABTUGoogle posts mingled w/ the 'other' posts.

Now, Ive never used Deja - so it may be more than a interface to the NNTP network that I am accustomed to using w/ PAN and whatnot*.

How does Google possibly need to make this AYB-Style Land Grab when it wont do them any good because the rest of us can go on posting our aol-suckzors libel-insipiring posts from elsewhere && google serves them up to their users JUST AS IF THEY HAD BEEN POSTED via DejaGoogle....

This dosnt make sense*. Google dosnt appear to gain much by doing this - except a shitload of pissed off users wondering how the heck they get off making demands of the users who are supposed to be 'customers.'

*Is Deja not simply a NNTP client?

Re:Another Troll Story (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 12 years ago | (#194454)

Seriously. This is the dumbest one yet. I mean, come on - if Google didn't have a "non-exclusive right" to your posting, it couldn't post it on usenet!

Harrumph.

Re:But newsgroup charter sez "posts are pub domain (2)

scowling (215030) | more than 12 years ago | (#194455)

Because your rhetorical newsgroup charter does not prevent me from posting to the newsgroup, it does not bind me against posting there and keeping ownership of my post.

It's not a contract unless I sign it and/or otherwise agree to it.


--

uuhhh.... (2)

unformed (225214) | more than 12 years ago | (#194456)

IMO, i believe Google is doing this to prevent somebody from suing them for distributing someone else's information, and making it available in a format it was not originally intended. By posting information on Usenet through, you're relinquishing your claim to that information.

Just playing it safe when anybody will suee anybody for any reason whatsoever....

Re:So what it really means is.. (2)

eggboard (315140) | more than 12 years ago | (#194457)

From the clause, I can see no change of copyright or any other IP, but Google is granted non-exclusive rights to the post. (Non-exclusive meaning the copyright holder can still do whatever he likes with it, even sell it on).

Google is protecting their backside. If they don't ask for a non-exclusive right when you post through this service, there is a potential for a lawsuit later if they create archives or do other things with that material. If I were in their shoes, I'd ask for a non-exclusive license, too, in order to continue be able to post.

Slashdot has at least an implicit (if not explicit) non-exclusive right to your words when you post here.

When I ran an early Internet marketing mailing list from 1994 to 1996 (www.i-m.com), I foolishly didn't initially make a condition of posting, and this, in turn, led users later to threaten me with lawsuits if I produced any for-profit or for-free versions of the list outside the archive. I eventually shut down the list, as I had better things to do than hire lawyers and sort out copyright issues.

Only Usenet? (2)

number one duck (319827) | more than 12 years ago | (#194458)

Just curious, and too lazy to dig through whatever terms of service I didn't read when getting an account... but does Slashdot 'own' my postings here in this manner?

"NONE EXCLUSIVE" makes this OK. [Re:And why not] (3)

Forge (2456) | more than 12 years ago | (#194459)

I read the license grant and all it translates to is "If you are as anal retentive as the Church of Scientology and decide that your self incriminating usenet post should no longer be found in our archive or published in our future "best of usenet" miniseries, we will have a leg to stand on.

The key term to look for in there is "none exclusive".

That term essentially means you still own your post and you can sell or give it to anyone else as you see fit. It also says that if someone else builds a competitive service we can't challenge them on the notion that your posts belong to us because the license grant is NONE EXCLUSIVE.

In short Google is not behaving badly and have simply written up the bare minimum document needed to save their asses.

One thing I like about this. (3)

PureFiction (10256) | more than 12 years ago | (#194460)

Currently, it is rather difficult to post something anonymously to a newsgroup. Especially if your only newsgroup access is via your ISP.

So, by using anonymizer.com or something similar to log into google groups and then using google to post to a newsgroup, you have a much better chance of remaining anonymous.

Re:Silly Land Grab (3)

p3d0 (42270) | more than 12 years ago | (#194463)

Deja/Google is an NNTP archive, not just a client. Google wants the right to archive and distribute posts made using Google's own service (ie. resources). I think that's a fair trade.

Nothing to see here folks. Move along.
--

Modify = Attach Ads to (3)

bmasel (129946) | more than 12 years ago | (#194465)

What they're getting fo now, is clear authority to append their selfpromotion, and any outside advertising payload, to your post.

Re:They're just covering their ass... (3)

electricmonk (169355) | more than 12 years ago | (#194466)

Now, they could be planning to take all the Star Trek porn fanfic that's being posted through their interface and make millions selling it in their own compilation, but I think that's unlikely...

Yeah, that only happens on little pissant sites like Slashdot. *cough*JonKatz*cough*

--

Republican Plot! (3)

Anna Gram (455420) | more than 12 years ago | (#194468)

Since GOOGLE GROUPS is an anagram of LOG RUSE: GO GOP! It's obvious this whole thing is a republican plot. GOOGLE GROUPS is also an anagram for GO SPLURGE GOO. obviously something to do with Usenet porn.

Incorrect Story Title (4)

Trepidity (597) | more than 12 years ago | (#194469)

As you noted in the write-up yourself, this agreement merely forces you to grant Google a non-exclusive license to use your post (in exchange for them allowing you to posting it via their service free of charge). This explicitly means that Google does not claim to own your UseNet posts; you still retain ownership and full rights to do whatever you want with it. They can just also use it without your permission (but as they don't own it, they can't do things like force you to pay them to use your own post, or sell your post to someone else, and so on).

I'm confused (4)

s20451 (410424) | more than 12 years ago | (#194471)

I thought Google were the good guys, because they used a Linux server farm. Now it turns out that they're acting like a business, which makes them the bad guys, right? Can one of the mages at Slashdot please tell me what the orthodox line is on Google? Still clean? Or worse than Microsoft?

And are there any incensed iconoclasts out there pledging to create an Open Source, GPL'd search engine and news directory?

license != owning (5)

Gumber (17306) | more than 12 years ago | (#194472)

Just because I grant Google a license to my post, doesn't mean they own the post, just like the fact that I have a license for Microsoft Office 200 doesn't mean that I "own" Microsoft Office 2000.

That google demands a license in order to post using their service may be unfortunate, but it isn't really suprising given the state of Intellectual Property law in the world today. Without the license, they would be subject to unreasonable liability.

And yes, what about posts made elsewhere that end up on Google groups. I really have no idea. Maybe Google will claim that they assumed the post was redistributatble given the nature of usenet an assumption they couldn't necessarily reasoably make for a posting made through their own service.

Check out eTin! (5)

GrBear (63712) | more than 12 years ago | (#194473)

I'm not one to usually get excited about spam.. usually quite the opposite, however I received one advertising eTin.com [etin.com] a, free & totally anonymous, Usenet service. They have a decent interface, and very fast server(s).

They don't retain binaries for much more than 3-4 days, but they keep everything else indefinately.

Like all good things, I'm sure they'll start charging after they get you hooked.. but it's a much better alternative to Google in the interm.

Cheers.

GB.

Re:Am I paranoid? (5)

outlier (64928) | more than 12 years ago | (#194474)

This [timesofindia.com] can either calm or fan your paranoia.

The CIA has invested $1 Million in Safeweb, and uses it for its own agents (and I believe they use triangleboy [triangleboy.com] when in the field.

So, if they trust it, then why shouldn't you... Of course, if they have a stake, whose to say they don't have a bit of insider access...

"The issue is not whether you are paranoid, the issue is whether you are paranoid enough."
- Max, "Strange Days"

Contrary to the rumors of Usenet's death... (5)

JordanH (75307) | more than 12 years ago | (#194475)

It's alive and quite well...

Usenet did fine before deja.com, it'll do fine after google.com is gone.

Somehow, I don't think it's a problem that some ISPs don't allow newsgroup access.

As long as you can find people like Dennis Ritchie [google.com] ,John R. Mashey [google.com] (actually, he seems to have abandoned Usenet in January, but his Farewell is there...),John McCarthy [google.com] ,Bjarne Stroustroup [google.com] and Larry Wall [google.com] posting frequently, I'll keep reading.

Somehow, it doesn't bother me much that what passes for common wisdom here is that Usenet is effectively already dead. I don't read much about sporks or petrified women on Usenet.

UseNet is supposed to be distributed (5)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 12 years ago | (#194476)

What exactly is the problem here?

The problem comes in only if the prediction I made comes true: that Google Groups grows to become the primary way for people to post to UseNet due to continuing decay of ISP support for UseNet. UseNet is supposed to be distributed, not centralized in a corporation. We have seen the effects of this already. Frequent posters who relied on deja.com were suddenly silenced.

And now that Google can take posted articles out of context and publish them without attribution -- and if Google becomes the dominant UseNet entryway in the same way Windows is the dominant OS -- then it puts a chill, or at least a corporatized spin, on UseNet.

So, yes, there are alternatives to Google Groups today, but tomorrow UseNet may be nearly fully controlled by and dependent upon a single company.

The real reason why USENET is fading away: (5)

green pizza (159161) | more than 12 years ago | (#194477)

The 'cluedness' of the average USENET poster has gone down the tubes. Sure, it's always been a great place for newbies to get some help from the veterans, but lately things have gotten out of control. Cross-posting is rampant, trolls are everywhere, and spammers think folks care about their offerings. Technical discussion has given away to politics. Less than 18 months ago comp.sys.sgi.* was full of interesting chatter, these days half of the posts are by folks asking how to install a (completely unaccelerated and very unfinished) Linux port on an SGI MIPS machine they bought off eBay for $50. The true engineers, developers, and scientific users have pulled completely out and rely on private mailing lists.

Google didn't kill USENET, lamers did.

Re:There is no copyright. You posted to public for (5)

jmsaul (209095) | more than 12 years ago | (#194478)

It's the nature of the beast. When you voluntarily post to a PUBLIC forum, you are then and there decreeing your words to be in the public domain, yes? Thus, copyright no longer applies. And neither does "default" copyright apply because you physically placed your words into a PUBLIC forum. You knew what you were doing. You clearly chose to relinquish eternally all copyright to your article. No. Work does not go into the public domain unless (1) the content wasn't copyrightable in the first place, (2) the copyright runs out, or (3) the author explicitly states that it is in the public domain. Posting to a public forum does not put your work into the public domain. It does give other people an implied license to do the kinds of things you might expect them to do with your posting -- such as quoting part of your message in a response, like this one -- but it does not make your posting public domain.

...And welcome to real life.

Welcome to the way the law actually works.

They're just covering their ass... (5)

mech9t8 (310197) | more than 12 years ago | (#194479)

...from potential lawsuits. Any one of the millions of posters on Usenet could potentially sue them for including their posts in their archives. Including that clause just make it less likely that something like that will happen.

Usenet posts are a fairly grey area when it comes to copyright law... Google's just being safe. Now, they could be planning to take all the Star Trek porn fanfic that's being posted through their interface and make millions selling it in their own compilation, but I think that's unlikely...
--
Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.

Re:UseNet is supposed to be distributed (5)

Nurgster (320198) | more than 12 years ago | (#194480)



And now that Google can take posted articles out of context and publish them without attribution -- and if Google becomes the dominant UseNet entryway in the same way Windows is the dominant OS -- then it puts a chill, or at least a corporatized spin, on UseNet.


Where does it say it can publish them without attribution? The copyright doesn't change hands, and even under license, the copyright holder must be credited.

The clause in question only means that Google has automatic permission to re-use the post without having to ask the copyright holder, not claim ownership of it.

So what it really means is.. (5)

Nurgster (320198) | more than 12 years ago | (#194481)

"In exchange for using this service, Google can re-use your post."

From the clause, I can see no change of copyright or any other IP, but Google is granted non-exclusive rights to the post. (Non-exclusive meaning the copyright holder can still do whatever he likes with it, even sell it on).

What exactly is the problem here?
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