When we announced an upcoming revision to our Terms of Service last week, we aimed to explain the key changes in plain language and to make all our legal docs much clearer. It’s important to us that these terms are easy to understand, and your feedback has told us that we still have work to do.
Most of the concern we’ve been hearing has been about our licensing language. We’ve always believed your stuff is yours and yours alone, and we know that many of you, like us, make a living on your creative output. Photographers, programmers, designers, authors, students, journalists and musicians are just some of the millions of people using Dropbox every day to make their lives easier. The language in this clause was more technical than it needed to be. We understand why terms like “derivative works” and “sublicensable” could sound overly broad or out of place here.
We’ve never been interested in rights broader than what we need to run Dropbox. We want to get this language right so that you’re comfortable using Dropbox with no reservations: what’s yours is yours. Instead of trying to add clarifications to the terms, we’ve rewritten this part from scratch:
…By using our Services you provide us with information, files, and folders that you submit to Dropbox (together, “your stuff”). You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below.
We may need your permission to do things you ask us to do with your stuff, for example, hosting your files, or sharing them at your direction. This includes product features visible to you, for example, image thumbnails or document previews. It also includes design choices we make to technically administer our Services, for example, how we redundantly backup data to keep it safe. You give us the permissions we need to do those things solely to provide the Services. This permission also extends to trusted third parties we work with to provide the Services, for example Amazon, which provides our storage space (again, only to provide the Services).
We look forward to your feedback, and hope we’ve addressed your concerns.
– The Dropbox Team