Does anyone have intellectual property right concerns with Google Docs? I encourage my students to use Google Docs because we work in a computer lab twice a week. That way they don't have to worry about losing their changes, or forgetting to email the document to themselves, or any of those other issues that come up when one works on a document in more than one location. I also use Google docs for creating classroom material, such as PowerPoint presentations. I teach in three different classrooms, all with smart technology, and I can open my presentation in all of them, as well as at home on any of my three computers there, without having to worry about downloading and uploading and saving.
However, today one of my colleagues told me that he does not use Google Docs because their agreement states that they own the materials created by users. I'll admit, I rarely read the fine print, and I did not know this. Honestly, I'm not terribly worried because I'm pretty sure that Google is not interested in owning my students' research papers, or even in my PowerPoint presentations about the difference between active and passive voice (imagine a world where such a thing was in hot demand!).
However, I have started to use Google Docs for some of my creative work (I'm a writer) and, of course, I don't want anyone but me to own this work. Does anyone have any insights to this, or similar concerns? (My colleague suggested that were he to write a poem that later became famous, and he did so while using Google Docs, that Google would own the poem and the royalties thereof.) Are there things that one should refrain from creating in Google Docs because of this concern?