Geez. My head is spinning. Anyway, BoingBoing reader Adam fields points us to a new "Orkut community" (one of many online affinity groups within the social networking service), called "Orkut Paranoia" (link requires free membership). Adam says, "This formed out of some interesting discussion we've had about what's going on... summarized in this blog post:"
1) Orkut claims irrevocable unlimited license rights to everything you post. Most people don't understand what that means. One example of this is that many of my friends have posted pictures that I've taken. This is probably not a problem, generally, but they've granted Orkut a license to use them without consulting me, and created a legal tangle should I have a problem with that, forcing me to have to perform a legal struggle with Orkut, because of their unwitting actions. I think this is rude behavior on the part of Orkut, but their prerogative to demand.
2) Orkut may share personal information with Google in an unrestricted way. Google is unwilling (so far) to discuss what use they may make of that information.
I suspect that Orkut is a way for Google to gather personal information about their clientele for marketing purposes, and to try to form a more solid relationship beyond "I just use Google for search because it's convenient". This is not terribly nefarious, but the kind of data that could be collected to do so has wide potential for abuse, and people should be aware that that's what's going on. Some may not care, but many people I know are signing up without reading or understanding the implications of the above three points.