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Google responds to Drive copyright concerns

Search giant defends itself over claims online storage users end up surrendering their copyright.

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Cloud search firm Simplexo has raised concerns over who owns the copyright of documents stored in Google Drive and Amazon Web Services' (AWS) online storage offerings.

The firm's chief technology officer, Simon Bain, said the terms and conditions of services provided by Google and Amazon are a legal minefield.

Bain picked on the part of Google Drive's terms and conditions that states: "When you upload or submit content to our services, you give Google a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative workscommunicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content."

He then went on to express his displeasure at Amazon's user agreement.

Bain gave an example in AWS' terms and conditions, which states: "You consent to our use of your content to provide the service offerings to you and any end users.

"We may disclose your content to provide the service offerings or to comply with any request of a governmental or regulatory body."

In light of this, Bain said business uses should take a close look at the terms and conditions before signing up.

"If you value your creative work, then take a close look and ask yourself this question: are they fit for purpose in the corporate world? The answer has to be no."

Simplexo's decision to voice its copyright concerns comes follows on from its earlier attack on Google, where it claimed Drive users would be forfeiting their privacy rights an allegation the search giant swiftly denied.

IT Pro was awaiting a response from Amazon about Simplexo's claims as this story went to press.

However, a Google spokesperson said the firm's user agreement makes it very clear that Drive account holders retain the copyright on any documents they upload.

"You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours," the spokesperson told IT Pro.

"Your fantasy football spreadsheets are not going to end up shared with the world unless you want them to," the spokesperson added.

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