Before Using The Cloud Read The Fine Print

Who reads the fine print? Everybody, right? Sure. Like you read the EULA for every piece of software you install or the terms of service on every web site you visit.

But, others on the web are looking out for you by spending time actually reading those legal contracts which you are inadvertently agreeing to.

I just came across a post that compares the Terms of Service of 7 different cloud services. The blurb that got my attention is something like the following

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

That’s in Google’s version, the post (7 cloud services compared: How much control do you give up?) compare’s seven cloud services and in my humble opinion (I’m not a lawyer) Amazon Web Services (which I use) and SugarSynch (which I don’t) have the most favorable (to you) terms of service.

Most large companies have lawyers on staff who write this stuff and who, in the best interests of the company that pays their paycheck, try to make it as legally broad as possible.

Of course, in the U.S. with its Patriot Act, the government can demand access to all your files online, without a warrant, and the company storing your files not only can’t ask your permission, they can’t even tell you what the government is doing with your private property. But that’s a story for another day…

In the meantime, it’s still your responsibility to read the fine print.