Google now has a contest in which kiddies may doodle their own Google logo. The prize? They run your doodle for a day, plus you get a computer and a T-shirt. Your middle-class parents could probably afford those anyway. (And exactly one school district gets 10 grand in cash.)

Now, what does Google get? Unlimited rights to your work.

By participating in this [c]ontest, you agree and hereby grant Google permission to use, copy, modify and make available your submissions to the public (with or without attribution to you) for any purpose, such as, but not limited to, press and media communications, without further compensation to you…. If you are a winner, you agree that Google may use your name and likeness to administer and promote the Contest and to conduct media interviews and promotional events.

That means Google can change your doodle any way it wants (as by adding a swastika), remove your name from it, use it as Google’s permanent logo, turn it into a favicon that at least won’t be as ugly as the current one, attach somebody else’s name to it (even Osama bin Laden’s name), sell it at a profit, and talk about you to the press behind your back.

Do you want a computer and a T-shirt quite that badly? Do your hovercraft parents want that? Because they’re the ones who’ll be signing the consent forms for you, and – I guarantee you – they won’t have read the rules.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.02.22 12:58. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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