Writers need to be concerned about using Gmail to send their work out either as an attachment or posted in an email. Why? Although Gmail's TOS (Terms of Service) claims to take no ownership in email content, the fine print legalese tells a very different and far more alarming story.
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google 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. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.
11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
(Bold and underlining mine)
When this same clause was included in the Chrome browser there was an uproar and Google removed it, claiming to have made a 'mistake'. Yet the contract persists in Gmail right now.
This may be an alarmist view (and hopefully is), but what it seems to mean is that if you send a novel as an attachment to an agent or publisher (or anyone else) -- or store it in google docs for that matter --then potentially down the road google has the right to market that work without needing to pay you any royalties or even get your permission to use it.
I would like to see writers and other content creators band together to get this clause removed the way it was removed from the Chrome TOS.
Any others out there interested in fighting this too? Anyone care to comment on merits (or demerits) of my concern?