• laszlo

    Interestingly, Google’s own Groups Thread (cited in your article above) used to be public a week ago, but is now visible only after you sign in to a Google account. Hmmmm, interesting. What does that say about Google’s actions? (“Hurry, quick, we better seal that thread up before it spreads through the blogosphere and we get more bad press on our 13th birthday.”)

    Um, a little late for that.

    Cutting off data to developers and businesses that is offered for free, fine, I get that. Even Google had enough decency to give notice to SOAP API users well in advance that the service would be shut off. Did the Adwords API Team not get the same schooling as the other department. So…

    One would think that Google would be smart enough to at least give “courtesy” notice to those that have been PAYING for the data for years. There is this thing in the legal field called “bad faith” and a person or entity relying upon the behavior that was shown in the years past and I know a number of API developers that have relied upon Google’s past behavior for years.

    Besides, the fact that the usage was cut off without notice and then Google decided to give notice by email to developer AFTER they took action is documentary bad faith that shows their bad faith intentions.

    Someone slipped up big time. You see…

    It’s this kind of behavior that creates empassioned individuals to create a group that bands together filing a Class Action lawsuit against an entity.

    Bad faith actions carry punitive damages that can easily amount to many many millions of dollars to make an example out of the entity and assure that another entity doesn’t come along and do the same thing.

    Perhaps Google wants to be made an example on their unlucky thirteenth birthday so they can prove to the world that they “do no evil.” Perhaps this is their way of aching for a nice birthday gift.

    Besides the above, it is my understanding Google has failed to advise Adwords API users of any terms of use changes that may have occurred and that there would be any sort of quota imposed since their excuse to developers was low usage. If Adwords developers got together and compared notes and there was a huge influx of supposed “low usage” and that reasoning was found to be fraudulent, Google just exposed themselves to fraud (and further punitive damages). Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    In Google’s own slippery terms of service, it states:

    “Usage and Quotas. Google may, in its sole discretion, set a quota on your AdWords API usage based on, among other things, the AdWords spend history of the accounts under management by your Developer Token. You shall not attempt to exceed automated use-quota restrictions.” Wow — that’s being specific.

    California contracts (which their Terms of Service imposes) are supposed to be drafted with specificity, not ambiguity.

    “[M]ay… set a quota” is not actually setting one, thus, making the terms of service in and of itself Vague and Ambiguous that could lead to a court voiding the legal effect of that clause.

    Apparently, Google’s Legal Department was NOT involved here and actual employees made decisions that could have some serious ramifications should a civil class bubble up from somewhere. And I’m sure there are hundreds out there.

    And everyone has a copy of the email that Google Adwords API team sent to all of its developers that cite “low usage.” They even reinforced it with a follow-up email. Unfortunately, Google can’t recall that email back so they have committed to a “position” and that position could bite them in the butt more than they even care to know.

    It’s not like Google really needs any bad press on its, um, 13th birthday. And from what I heard, there is someone that is already in touch with a news station who wants to expose Google for being the careless wrecking ball they are. How unlucky for them…

    (And in the background, the crowd hears the Google paper shredders hum as they go into high gear.)