~couchNerd ~serialOutrager ~puts2In42 ~makesPigsFly

Dropbox Online Storage Public/Shared Folders: A Word Of Caution

· by Shantanu Goel · Read in about 2 min · (248 Words)
Copyright DropBox End Users' License Agreement EULA Free Online Storage Public Folders shared folders SpiderOak

Update: In a thread about this post at Dropbox forums, it was brought to my notice that Dropbox has now changed its terms to remove the objectionable clause.

If you use dropbox (A popular online storage service with free 2 GB space), and use (or intend to use) its public or shared folders feature, then you must know something about the EULA (End Users’ LIcense Agreement). Yes, the one that you clicked “I Agree” on, without even reading one word of. Basically, you need to know the following lines:

While you own the content contained in Your Files, you hereby grant all other Dropbox users a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use and exploit Your Files in your public folder. In addition, you hereby grant Dropbox users who have been given access to your shared folder a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable, perpetual and irrevocable right and license to use and exploit Your Files in your shared folder.

What this means is that anything you share with anyone through dropbox falls into almost-public domain. This includes any pics, docs, source code, etc. So, be warned and use the service with care and descrition. :) PS: I searched SpiderOak’s EULA for similar terms but it looks clean to me. Are there any other services that you know having such hidden gotchas? (Although we must admit they are not so hidden after all, but it is us who turn a blind eye towards the terms)

Comments