1

If I make a Google Drive document publicly accessible, can others use that information as they wish or is there a license that applies? For example, if I record experimental data in a spreadsheet and generate a public sharing link, is this data now in the public domain available for any commercial and non-commercial use cases?

I chatted with the Google Suite support team about this but they did not know the answer...

  • Maybe you should post your question on Law. – Rubén Apr 14 '18 at 6:01
2

From Google terms of service:

You may not use content from our Services unless you obtain permission from its owner or are otherwise permitted by law.

So the answer is no: other people cannot use your work as they wish just because you shared a Google Doc. (The "otherwise permitted by law" includes things like Fair Use concept of U.S. copyright law.)

The absence of a license does not mean "can use that information as they wish"; it's exactly the opposite. License is a permission to do certain things; if there isn't one, then no permissions are granted.

(Compare to Stack Exchange, where the user-contributed content is published under a certain license. That license gives others permission to, for example, redistribute or remix the content. There is no such thing with Google Docs.)

-1

I am not a legal expert but making a document available via Google Drive would be the same as any other method of publication such as pinning it to a public notice board. I would imagine that you would still hold copyright on the document and its content. It may be advisable to include a dated copyright notice in the document though.

However, be sure that you have not infringed anyone else's copyright by including their material in your document!

Source: common sense!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.