Bree and I need to share files with each other. It’s a simple, blatant fact–we write together, how can we not? We’ve long searched for a service that would allow us to do so conveniently, and with a minimum of fuss. We thought we’d found that with Dropbox, especially after many, many writers counseled us to use it, but it appears it might be a rights problem.
From their Terms of Service (emphasis mine):
Your Stuff & Your Privacy
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.
We sometimes need your permission to do what you ask us to do with your stuff (for example, hosting, making public, or sharing your files). 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. This license is solely to enable us to technically administer, display, and operate the Services. You must ensure you have the rights you need to grant us that permission.
Uh, holy shit. What? Honestly, the way this is worded (especially the part in italics), it could be nothing but their attempt to make sure that you know they’re watching you, making sure you don’t do anything that threatens their service. BUT. But nothing about the language specifically limits them to that, even though they say that’s all it’s for–technical administration of the service. And you know what they say about giving someone an inch.
I’m not comfortable with giving someone these rights with my professional work, both published and in-progress. So long, Dropbox. Looks like it’s time for us to research other options.