Click to Agree

Friday, December 05, 2008


So one of the jurors in the MySpace trial reads every terms of service agreement she encounters, but does anyone else? And if not, why not? New York Law School professor James Grimmelmann explains why companies have them and why we think we can ignore them.

Comments [10]

nabes from NYC

Interesting, Chris!

In fact NPR would be wise to include a property rights clause in the paperwork between it and their affiliates and contributing programs like TIB that treat intellectual property with the utmost respect and professionalism and transparency.

As a photographer, I resent WNYC's usually uncredited usage of images freely mined from and even submissions from its own photo contests!

Dec. 12 2008 11:41 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Now, what I found funny was that this is the week I finally pulled myself together to get serious about editing what I hope to submit to "This I Believe" and so I began to follow the trail to find the suggested length and before I could get there I had to accept what amounted to a terms of service agreement, signing over rights to use the piece into perpetuity, which I expected, and an offer of $200, which made me uncomfortable.

That seemed to sum up several segments of the program, anyhow. There are enumerable ways to cyber-bully.

Dec. 11 2008 04:02 AM
David from Wolverhampton

The worst example was when I was buying some home contents insurance online. After filling in forms for 20 minutes I was provided with a 56page pdf of terms and conditions. Unsurprisingly I took the time to check that what I thought would be covered, was actually covered. I was then imformed that as I had been 'inactive' for for than 15 minutes my details had been wiped for security reasons.

To add insult to injury, after filling in the forms for a second time (and accepting the terms and conditions), it was decided I would have to speak to an advisor...and obviously the call centre had closed 5 minutes earlier.

Dec. 09 2008 04:35 AM
Lou G from Boston

I am waiting for a court case to strike down these silly "Terms of Service" agreements.

Seems like companies want to be on the web.....and want to control everything about it as well.

I have been told that those email legal discalimer footers that companies put on the bottom of email don't have any real weight behind them either.

Dec. 08 2008 10:47 PM
Conrad T. Pino from San Leandro, CA 94577

The lead juror is NOT alone. I read them or at least skim them to find other than the standard legal boiler plate.

I've read every line of every loan document I've ever signed especially mortgages. I read every line of every document I've ever witnessed.

When any document I've signed says I understand it then I understand it otherwise my signature would NOT be there.

We may be a small minority but some of us do read EVERY line.

Dec. 07 2008 05:34 PM
Don Perley from Burlington VT

1) One thing I have seen is a site/program that won't let you click the "I agree" box unless the terms have been scrolled to the end.

2) There's NO EXCUSE for "fine print" in terms or putting it in a midget window where you have to scroll through 20 screens. Those are artificial means to discourage reading them.

Dec. 07 2008 10:46 AM
chuck thompson from Anchorage, AK

Apparently I need to use my spellcheck more often, too.
I can't believe I spelled arcane with an "h."
Thank god bad spelling isn't a part of the TOS...

... or IS it?
Since no one ever reads these things, maybe it IS!

Dec. 06 2008 09:30 PM
Bobble from Still outside Newark "due to Conrail"

Chuck that's actually not a bad idea! (Of course a law requiring same is another option...)

Dec. 06 2008 08:26 PM
chuck thompson from Anchorage, AK

We should have Bobble read all those lines of archane TOS's for us and give us the Reader's Digest version.

Hell, I might even pay for such conveniences so it could be his new part-time job. ha!

Dec. 06 2008 01:14 PM
Bobble from Outside Newark "due to Conrail"

"365 billion dollars in lost time if everybody read all the online legal agreements they sign"

no worries there, i have that much time stuck on new jersey transit's raritan valley line every single day.

Dec. 06 2008 08:02 AM

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