Previously, on T&B, I’ve asked whether our blogs are our intellectual property or WordPress’s. It seems like Google has either a) answered that question or b) introduced further confusion into the issue.
So, not having read Google Buzz User Agreement particularly closely (or not at all), my question is: when did these posts become mine? Were they at some point Google’s, who’s now so nicely given them back to me? If so, when were they Google’s? Did I give up the ownership to my thoughts and words when I published them on Google Buzz? Or, were the posts always mine, but Google’s nice enough to offer me additional access points to them? Did two changes of ownership happen — mine to Google back to me — or did none happen? If it’s the latter, then am I right to think of the situation as my storage facility going out of business and offering to transport my property either to a new warehouse across the street or back to my own space?
Ah, those pesky contracts. Should’ve read them. Did you guys read your WordPress’s agreement?
Update 1/31/2012: I thought about the issue some more. Unless the Google’s contract included an assignment or transfer of copyright from the authors of the posts to Google, then the posts are the intellectual property of the authors. This assignment of right cannot have happened; it’s a big, formal step, and one should think non-binding under a click-through agreement. Of course, by using the service, one may have (and probably did) transferred/licensed some rights to Google.