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  1. #1
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    A few important Gmail questions

    I am not sure if this is the right subforum to ask, but I figure here was the best bet. So here we go...

    1. The inactivity limit of Gmail is 9 months. Which means an account is deleted (and all stored email in it is gone) if you don't sign in for 9 months in a row. Now I remember vaguely there used to be an email service where you had to sign in within the week after creating the email account, in order to prove the account was set up with a serious intention. Only afterwards the general inactivity rule was valid, but after creating the account a sign in within the week was needed to keep the account.

    I am not sure anymore which provider that was. Could this be Gmail? Has anyone read anything about that or maybe opened an account recently and got any such notification?

    I hope it was NOT Gmail: I opened a new account two weeks ago, signed in 3 more times the same day that I created the account. Since then I have not accessed my PC much and didn't open the account again... Not sure if I should be worried?
    (FYI, I am writing this from work while keeping my private email private, hence I cannot exactly check right now, and even if I could I'd still be curious if such rule were valid or not)


    2. In the Terms & Conditions I could not find any other reference to inactivity apart from the standard 9 months inactivity limit. There was some content written though on intellectual property, but it was using very complex terminology such as Content, Services, etc.
    It is obvious the Gmail interface is their property. But if I send an article or drawing I made to a friend using Gmail, can Gmail claim ownership of the intellectual property of that article or poem or drawing? Or is any text (regardless what type of text) or graphic you made yourself and emailed to someone your own intellectual property which Gmail cannot claim?


    3. Does anyone know how long Gmail stores the data and IP addresses of the last sign-ins? Usually there's a link on bottom where you can see the dates and IP of the last sessions but it doesn't seem it stores this for months and months. The Terms don't indicate anything about that.


    Pity Gmail does not have a support team for free users, hence I have to ask on forums with people who are computer/internet savvy. Hope to receive an answer here Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    1: You're opening an account to use right? Why is this question relevant? Use the account, it'll stay open is how I see it... The expiration limits should be irrelevant if you're using the account.

    2: People use screenshots of Gmail all the time in articles with no problems, Google isn't exactly looking to sue a bunch of Joe Nobodies for making screenshots...

    3: I would imagine forever. I highly doubt they purge those types of records, or at the very least they have very high (many year) retention on them.
    Steven Crothers
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  3. #3
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    Think you're misinterpretating question 2. If I write an article, a poem or make a drawing, and send it to someone (an editor, a friend, ...) per email using Gmail ; can Gmail claim ownership of my writing or does the content of the email (including the article/poem/drawing...) remain my own intellectual property?


    As for question 1: yes of course I open an account for opening but this account is not for daily or weekly opening, more like once every 2 or 3 weeks or so. I signed in twice or thrice more the same day as opening the account, but now --more than a week later on-- begin to wonder which service it was that required an additional signin within the week following the creation of the account... The normal expiry limit is 9 months of inactivity just like other services have another inactivity limit. But I remember one service where --before the general limit is valid-- you had to sign in within the week of creation before the normal inactivity limit becomes valid. I am not sure which service that was (in the Gmail Terms I can only read about the 9 months inactivity limit)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit View Post
    Think you're misinterpretating question 2. If I write an article, a poem or make a drawing, and send it to someone (an editor, a friend, ...) per email using Gmail ; can Gmail claim ownership of my writing or does the content of the email (including the article/poem/drawing...) remain my own intellectual property?
    I think you have the same risk of Microsoft claiming ownership of a novel because the author used Word to create it. It's not really going to happen, and even in the very unlikely chance some claim was ever exerted, no legitimate court would hold it up. I think you're safe with gmail!

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit View Post
    3. Does anyone know how long Gmail stores the data and IP addresses of the last sign-ins?
    It's google, they store EVERYTHING
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  6. #6
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    Actually, at one point when I relocated and was without internet access at home for a 3 or 4 months, and I next signed in to Gmail, the last session's date and IP wasn't showing anymore. For sure Google knows, but it wasn't showing. Normally there is an option on bottom of the page showing the last session's date and IP, but apparently this is shown only for a limited amount of time, I'm curious how long.



    Any idea on questions 1 and 2? As a writer I take intellectual property very seriously so I rather be sure (instead of assuming) before sending my writings to an editor through Gmail.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit View Post
    Any idea on questions 1 and 2? As a writer I take intellectual property very seriously so I rather be sure (instead of assuming) before sending my writings to an editor through Gmail.
    In the UK if you write it it's yours, by your own line of thinking, if you sent it in the post the postal service could claim ownership, that's just not the case.

    Suggest if you're that worried about it you head down the library & bone up on copyright law, but I don't think you have anything to worry about

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit View Post

    1. The inactivity limit of Gmail is 9 months. Which means an account is deleted (and all stored email in it is gone) if you don't sign in for 9 months in a row

    Check this out...



    http://www.google.com/support/accoun...answer=1212172

    Google does not delete dormant or inactive accounts.


    -

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RajanUrs View Post
    Check this out...



    http://www.google.com/support/accoun...answer=1212172

    Google does not delete dormant or inactive accounts.


    -
    Very interesting. Thanks for posting. So they deactivate for non-use, but do not delete, in most cases...?

    -mike
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit View Post
    1. The inactivity limit of Gmail is 9 months. Which means an account is deleted (and all stored email in it is gone) if you don't sign in for 9 months in a row. Now I remember vaguely there used to be an email service where you had to sign in within the week after creating the email account, in order to prove the account was set up with a serious intention. Only afterwards the general inactivity rule was valid, but after creating the account a sign in within the week was needed to keep the account.

    I am not sure anymore which provider that was. Could this be Gmail? Has anyone read anything about that or maybe opened an account recently and got any such notification?
    That was definitely Hotmail and Yahoo Mail's policy in late 90s but I'm not sure if its still valid.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike - Limestone View Post
    Very interesting. Thanks for posting. So they deactivate for non-use, but do not delete, in most cases...?

    -mike

    I dont think they even deactivate but the 9 month inactivity policy has been mentioned in a few other forums so probably it was enforced earlier.

  12. #12
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    I signed in to the account, 2 weeks after creation, all worked perfect.

    Still wonder how long they display the last sign-in data though. Because another account I have was once unused for 4 or 5 months and the last session's date was not displayed on bottom of the interface like it usually does.

    As for intellectual property: it is explained in the Terms and Conditions of Google, but it is a bit complex for me to understand. They use terms such as Content and Service and then explain the intellectual property side of things. I must say the terminology is a bit too complex for me to feel secure that the poem or article I'd email remains my own property.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit View Post
    As for intellectual property: it is explained in the Terms and Conditions of Google, but it is a bit complex for me to understand. They use terms such as Content and Service and then explain the intellectual property side of things. I must say the terminology is a bit too complex for me to feel secure that the poem or article I'd email remains my own property.


    It is stated you retain rights to your content. (see below text in bold)

    Rest of the blah blah seems more like to cover themselves from any liabilities arising from claims of infringing on your content.


    http://www.google.com/accounts/TOS

    11. Content license from you

    11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.

    11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

    11.3 You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

    11.4 You confirm and warrant to Google that you have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the above license.

  14. #14
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    So Services is the mail service (webmail) that Google provides, and Content is the actual writing in the email? Do I understand this correctly?

    It indeed says that "You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services" ; but then they talk about licenses to distribute your content.

    Thanks for the answers so far, if only I knew how to interpretate these terms better ... to read AND understand the TOS one would almost need to have a lawyer sitting next to him to translate it into more easy to understand terms...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerrit View Post
    So Services is the mail service (webmail) that Google provides, and Content is the actual writing in the email? Do I understand this correctly?

    It indeed says that "You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services" ; but then they talk about licenses to distribute your content.

    Thanks for the answers so far, if only I knew how to interpretate these terms better ... to read AND understand the TOS one would almost need to have a lawyer sitting next to him to translate it into more easy to understand terms...
    your suggestion are helpful. please tell me how work without java.
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