Old news by now, but within an hour or so of my post yesterday (and entirely coincidentally, lest I think I have any influence whatsoever anywhere in the world), Google put out a statement that they were going to be pulling back on their Chrome EULA. What I still don't understand is who the megalomaniacal lawyer/s were that thought this was ever a good idea in the first place. This doesn't strike me as a case of accidentally re-purposing one EULA to another.
I mean, this isn't a rarely used application that prints certificates for Cubs World Series attendees. It's a friggin' browser, for Pete's sake. We've all seen way too many cases where Legal and PR don't get together up front, and end up having to endure a firestorm on the back end. But, this is a rare hiccup for Google Legal, one which the PR team is gonna have a tough time erasing anytime soon. The good news for them is that most of the world A) doesn't read EULAs; B) doesn't care about EULAs; and C) lives outside of the geek realm y'all and I live in and probably hasn't even heard about this, so impact is relatively limited.
And now, the interesting coincidence.
As you likely know, Google Alerts is an awesome clipping service. Alerts are typically in my inbox within 15-30 minutes of something hitting the Internet--not just the wire, but generally anywhere on the Internet. That's awesome. I have an alert set up for "mike coop", with my name in quotes to ensure that when my name shows up, I get a ping. This obviously wouldn't work if my name was John Smith, but having a fairly unique name makes it easy to A) ensure that my blog entries have properly posted; B) keep an eye on anyone referring to me, more of a precautionary measure than anything else; and C) see what my fellow Mike Coops are up to, whether we're talking the race car driver, the alderman, or others.
When I post a new item on my blog (hosted by Blogger, who's owned by Google), I typically receive a Google Alert within a half-hour. Yesterday's post on Chrome? Nada. No alert whatsoever. Kind of interesting.
Somewhere, Oliver Stone is nodding.