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Plot Device
07-03-2011, 04:59 PM
I have a few different Google blogs. One of them I used for the exclusive purpose of posting bits of my novel for review by a select group of readers. Over the course of about 3 months, I posted a new chapter almost every week of my novel. And I got excellent feedback from a pool of about 40 readers, all telling me what worked and what didn't. It helped me refine my book and get it ready for publishing.

I am now ready for querying.

If I can successfully get the book published with a traditional publisher, could Google come knocking on that publisher's door with some kind of legal claim to my book since I "published" it via Google before I published it via that traditional publisher?

Maryn
07-03-2011, 05:09 PM
Was the blog open to the public?

My understanding--I'm no lawyer--is that if you've posted work online at a site open to the public, it has been published in the legal sense, and it's unlikely a publisher will want to buy second publishing rights, even if you take it down today. That's why AW is passworded.

What disclaimer, if any, does Google post when you have a blog there? We'd have to see the language to know if they could make a claim.

The odds are hugely in favor that they would not, but whether they could not depends on what you agreed to when you signed up for and used their blogs.

Maryn, who doesn't post WIPs in public

Plot Device
07-03-2011, 05:25 PM
Was the blog open to the public?

My understanding--I'm no lawyer--is that if you've posted work online at a site open to the public, it has been published in the legal sense, and it's unlikely a publisher will want to buy second publishing rights, even if you take it down today. That's why AW is passworded.

What disclaimer, if any, does Google post when you have a blog there? We'd have to see the language to know if they could make a claim.

The odds are hugely in favor that they would not, but whether they could not depends on what you agreed to when you signed up for and used their blogs.

Maryn, who doesn't post WIPs in public




Okay. To try and get to the bottom of this, I just googled the phrase "google owns my blog." It provided the following search results:

http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy&hl=en&source=hp&q=google+owns+my+blog&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=ec1e072e3830fc0f&biw=709&bih=389





Those search results prompted me to click on this one link which landed me here:

http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thread?tid=52f4352227b43f70&hl=en

where we read a question posted by someone named "Soccer_mom"


"Who actually owns my blog? Do I or google? And, can I sell my blog if I own it?"





The Number One answer to her question was posted by nitecruzr who said:



Google owns the blog, you own the content. If someone else copies the content, you get to prosecute the theft. If someone else copies the content, and publishes it in a Blogger blog, Blogger / Google may remove the content, and / or the account used - if this protects their interests, though not necessarily yours.

You may not sell the URL, nor may you sell access to the content.

http://www.blogger.com/terms.g (http://www.blogger.com/terms.g)

"7. No Resale of the Service. Unless expressly authorized in writing by Google, you agree not to reproduce, duplicate, copy, sell, trade, resell or exploit for any commercial purposes (a) any portion of the Service, (b) use of the Service, or (c) access to the Service."





And nitecruzr's answer included a link which landed me here where I dug up the following quote (emphasis original):

http://www.blogger.com/terms.g




6. Intellectual Property Rights. Google's Intellectual Property Rights. You acknowledge that Google owns all right, title and interest in and to the Service, including all intellectual property rights (the "Google Rights"). Google Rights are protected by U.S. and international intellectual property laws. Accordingly, you agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter, modify, or create derivative works from the Service. You also agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor or copy any content from the Service. As described immediately below, Google Rights do not include third-party content used as part of the Service, including the content of communications appearing on the Service.

Your Intellectual Property Rights. Google claims no ownership or control over any Content submitted, posted or displayed by you on or through Google services. You or a third party licensor, as appropriate, retain all patent, trademark and copyright to any Content you submit, post or display on or through Google services and you are responsible for protecting those rights, as appropriate. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services which are intended to be available to the members of the public, you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, publish and distribute such Content on Google services for the purpose of displaying and distributing Google services. Google furthermore reserves the right to refuse to accept, post, display or transmit any Content in its sole discretion.

You represent and warrant that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the rights granted herein to any Content submitted.

You may choose to submit, post, and display any materials on or through the Blogger service or Blogspot.com under a public license (e.g. a Creative Commons (http://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fcreativecommons.org&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNHfXAufI2FbP5-GLKDxTKe66Qg4Vg)license), whether by manually marking your materials as such or using Blogger service tools to do so. For avoidance of doubt, Google is not a party to any such public license between you and any third party. Also, for avoidance of doubt, Google may choose to exercise the rights granted under (a) the public license or licenses, if any, you apply to your materials or (b) this Agreement.





So I guess I own my stuff! :)

(And per your suggestions, Maryn, perhaps I should take my stuff down now.)

muravyets
07-04-2011, 12:01 AM
Plot Device, when you say you have a select group of readers giving feedback as you write, do you mean this blog is open to the public and you have about 40 regular visitor/commenters? Or is the blog private, accessible only by password, and the readers are invitees to whom you have given limited access?

If the first, you may not want to do that with something you intend to sell later (posting promotional excerpts of a finished work is different, I think).

If the latter, you may be fine.