Dropbox TOS – In Praise of Clarity

Earlier this month, Dropbox spawned a new kerfuffle in internet-land with changes to its Terms of Service (TOS). The outrage was fast and furious.  A nice deal of blog and Tumblr and other commentary zeroed in on changes Dropbox announced to its TOS before the 4th of July holiday, and in particular how this or that provision “won’t hold up in court”.  See for example J. Daniel Sawyer’s commentary here. Sawyer was referring to language in the TOS for cloud-server services granting ownership rights to Dropbox or other cloud services. At least I think that’s what he was referring to, because the Dropbox TOS did not actually grant those ownership rights to Dropbox.  Dropbox’ TOS – like similar TOS for SugarSync and Box.net – granted limited use rights to enable Dropbox to actually provide the service.  Here is the offending provision: … you grant us (and those we work with to provide the Services) worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable rights to use, copy...

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