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Google's Got Charity On Its Mind With Project10to100 Or Has It?

Google Inc. has announced a new initiative called Project10^100 . Its home page says "Project 10100 is a call for ideas to change the world by helping as many people as possible." Here's what Andy Berndt, Managing Director, Google Creative Lab has to say about this intiative on google blog from Google Inc.

And The Reactions..

I was reading Thomas Claburns this article on InformationWeek's in which Thomas says "If you have a good idea, a really good idea, the sort of brilliant idea that might win Google's contest -- a way to produce a $0.01 straw that removes all impurities from contaminated water, for example -- why give that valuable idea away when you could commercialize it? You could start a company to support your idea, provide jobs to people, and help humanity at the same time."

Thomas gets pretty much bashed up by most commentors in the article and you gotta salute InformationWeek for approving those comments but i feel sorry for Thomas since he mentions a valid point and still gets bashed, a point that has not been addressed by Google Inc.'s terms and service agreement for this particular initiative.

Concerns that are raised(or should be raised if they are not raised yet)

1. Will Google make or can make its own commercial product from the ideas  submitted?

2. What happens to the ideas that are not selected, can Google or its partners or employees use     that data to spin off products for commercial interests without the original creator getting     anything?

3. Google gets publicity worth a billion dollars, while the guy who gave the idea, gets "Good     Karma"(as mentioned in the faqs here)

4. If something of commercial interests spins off the ideas(winner or not) do they get anything at     all out of it?

5. Why are the orginal creators not part of the implementation plan?

6. Why isn't this sounding like a incubation thing when it is in a way?

7. There seems to be something about this things that is "half baked" and "hurried"?

Anyways the better part and the most interesting are the Intellectual property rights, it says

Google Says:

As between you and Google, you retain ownership of any intellectual and industrial property rights (including moral rights) you have in and to your submission.

Which means:

If you already have an IP right you retain them, for most submissions, they will just be ideas and will not hold any IP rights. So to answer the question, Do i own the idea?. Well, No.

Google Says:

As a condition of participation, you grant Google, its subsidiaries, agents and partner companies, a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non- exclusive license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, publish, distribute, publicly perform, create a derivative work from, and publicly display your submission and the proposal provided therein (1) for the purposes of allowing Google, the advisory panel and users to evaluate your idea for purposes of the call for submissions, (2) in connection with advertising and promotion via communication to the public or other groups, including, but not limited to, the right to make screenshots, animations and video clips available for promotional purposes and (3) for the purposes of putting your submitted proposal into effect.

Which means:
Google can take your idea, modify it, claim it, use it. Ok not just Google but even its partners, employees, door cleaners, chef etc etc. Ofcourse there are chances they won't but this atleast is not taken care off in the terms of services.

Google Says:
3. You agree that Google has final authority regarding this call for submission and the selection of the ideas to be considered for implementation. You acknowledge that your submission might be similar to ideas submitted by other participants and/or proposals independently developed by Google, and that Google does not need to recognize your submission should your idea not be the source of the proposal or proposals ultimately implemented. You further acknowledge that even if your proposal is selected by Google, Google is not compelled to implement your proposal in its entirety, or at all. Google reserves the right in its sole discretion to incorporate your proposal or any other ideas into the project or projects finally selected for implementation.

Which basically means:
We can take your idea and develop on your idea and commercialise it. They also mention that Google might choose not to implement even the winning idea. After all the billion dollar publicity, 10 millions dollars could land back to google bank account.

What Worries Me
I am actually worried, not about the ideas that win, but about the ideas that will not see the light of the day(and those will be millions of commerically viable ones being submitted). I get a feeling those will indeed be used for building a commercial product without the original creator getting anything. Not even acknowledgement.

Just to be fair here, it could be that none of this happens and Google doesn't use any of those ideas. But i still feel the idea winners should atleast get some monetary benefit and the ideas that don't win should be protected.

Google inc. could have used an outside neutral agency like KPMG to validate the process and make sure the ideas that do not win get disposed off in the right way and not become the personal property of Google employees or owners.

What Ideas You Should Submit:

Lastly i would say you should only submit your ideas in the contest if you have a philanthropic idea that's non commercial but would benefit a lot people and is difficult to implement by yourselves.

That's the only way everyone can benefit from this contest. DO NOT SUBMIT YOUR COMMERCIAL IDEAS.

But you know what, i get a feeling, Google has a lot of legal issues coming its way next year. Wonder why..hmm..still wondering...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Google Project 10100 Help idea & vid.s:

Affordable WheelChair - Gravity Driven
Health, Energy and Environment Concerns


Web : http://sites/

I hope it helps.

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