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A Response From Dropbox

As you know, Dropbox are  changing their policies and like many, I was concerned over the section marked “Your Stuff & Your Privacy”. There you will find these paragraphs:

By using our Services you may give us access to your information, files, and folders (together, “your stuff”). You retain ownership to your stuff. You are also solely responsible for your conduct, the content of your files and folders, and your communications with others while using the Services.

By submitting your stuff to the Services, you grant us (and those we work with to provide the Services) worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable rights to use, copy, distribute, prepare derivative works (such as translations or format conversions) of, perform, or publicly display that stuff to the extent reasonably necessary for the Service.

You acknowledge that Dropbox has no obligation to monitor any information on the Services, even though we may do so.

So out of anger at the thought that all my stuff on Dropbox was now possibly compromised, I got in touch with the Dropbox Team to let them know I was not a happy user. I immediately received a response and they were happy for me to share their comments.

Dropbox Support, Jul-04 11:04 pm (PDT)

Hi Liam,

Thank you for writing to us and we understand your concerns about the section of our new TOS that talks about the licenses we need to run Dropbox. We want to be 100% clear that you own what you put in your Dropbox. We don’t own your stuff. And the license you give us is really limited. It only allows us to provide the service to you. Nothing else.

We think it’s really important that you understand the license. It’s about the permissions you give us to run the service, things like creating public links when you ask us to, allowing you to collaborate with colleagues in shared folders, generating web previews or thumbnails of your files, encrypting files, creating backups… the basic things that make Dropbox safe and easy to use. Services like Gmail, Google Docs and others do the same thing when they get these permissions (see, for example, section 11.1 of Google’s TOS).

We wish we didn’t have to use legal terms at all, but copyright law is complicated and if we don’t get these permissions in writing, we might be putting ourselves in a tough spot down the road. As we state in the TOS, “This license is solely to enable us to technically administer, display, and operate the Services.” We only require this to provide the features of Dropbox, and this license provides us the ability to do so. We think this is fair and strikes the right balance.

Thank you for writing to us and please let us know if you have any additional questions.


Dropbox Support, Jul-05 01:07 pm (PDT)

Hi Liam,

Please feel free to repost this information. We feel strongly that the more people are properly informed about this situation the better.


If you want to contact them about thier new TOS, send them an email on