The initial agreement claimed rights over "any Content which you submit, post or display on or through" the browser. Google reworded the agreement on Wednesday, leaving those rights in the hands of Chrome's users.
A spokesperson for Google said its user agreements were re-used and the initial claim was an oversight. The initial End User Licence Agreement (EULA) claimed "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."
Rebecca Ward, senior product counsel for Google Chrome, said the problem arose because Google re-uses swathes of its Universal Terms of Service across all its offerings "in order to keep things simple for our users".
"Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that don't apply well to the use of that product," she said.
The amended article instead suggests that users "retain copyright and any other rights" that they already hold on the content they submit or display using the browser.The situation echoes last year's controversy surrounding the EULA for Google Docs, its online word processing and spreadsheet programs. Google initially claimed similarly wide-ranging rights, but eventually reworded the agreement in response to users' concerns.