Reading This Blog is Subject to Terms and Conditions!

English: Law - Books

Terms And Conditions for Accessing This Site (Law Book Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Where and when had we gotten so CYA? Was it just a way to give lawyers more work? The whole Internet thing seems to have given explosive growth to the now-ubiquitous legalities.

I went to download some new tunes the other day, and was informed that the terms of the Terms and Conditions (T&C) had changed, and I had to accept or reject said T&C to continue.

Good Lord, I just wanted new music, but now had to wade through a 1000 pages of legal jargon to do so!

OK, not a 1000, but still.

I canceled out.

“Legally,” all this stuff says, we have to read it all before accepting–but how many of us do so?

(Hand raised) I do.

Do you really know what you’re agreeing to? Are you certain there’s no embedded clause in there that says you’re not signing away your first born or your soul? Or worse, that “they” now have a right to track every little thing you do to “better market” to you (and you wonder why you have so many Viagra and lingerie ads…)? Oh, sure, there’s the now-standard “don’t do bad stuff to our stuff” jargon, but, really, isn’t that already part of existing law? I mean–and correct me if I’m wrong–but doesn’t existing law already make it a crime if you commit a crime?

When we visit a doctor’s office, do we have to sign T&C’s like these? When we talk to a police man or woman, do we have to sign anything? Drink from a public water fountain, buy groceries, or phone a friend–what do we sign? Don’t we all understand we could catch a disease, eat spoiled food, or our phone service could go down and our friend could give us faulty advice?

If we talk to a stranger on the street, or eat in a restaurant–where are our ubiquitous T&Cs we need to sign in order that we understand that if we throw a punch, poison the food, or defame a company or person, we’re headed for court and/or jail? That when we talk with anyone, what they say or do might not be exact or perfect or even correct?

When you stop by this or any other blog (and I do thank you for doing so!), you understand–it’s a given–that anything here is my opinion, and my opinion only, unless I cite sources. That I might well be full of shit, but I might also have something interesting to say. Perhaps I’m even (occasionally) entertaining.  My “Running Off at the Mouth” pretty much says it all, I think (though I just changed the subtitle to my blog header to put you and all the lawyers all better at ease), and thank your religious deity I don’t make you read and click off on any T&C every time you visit here.

So, those of you out there smarter than me on this stuff:  is all this jargon really needed?  Is it really necessary to inundate all our lives with yet more stuff that I’d wager most people do not read–yet are wholeheartedly agreeing to? If any of us break any law, if any of us misuse anything in the public or private disinterests, we’re all gonna be pinned to the wall and held accountable. Why the heck do we need to have pages and pages of legal jargon to wade through every time we access something on the internet?

Maybe we all just like the misery. Like being kicked in the face.

[Added Aug 31:] BTW, check out this related article from Kristine Kathryn Rusch.

Click here to accept.

About fpdorchak

Upmarket paranormal fiction author. I write gritty, Twilight Zone-like fiction. Please check out my website:! Thank you for stopping by!
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3 Responses to Reading This Blog is Subject to Terms and Conditions!

  1. HoarseMan says:

    I saw an interesting infographic the other day that showed exactly who made up the infamous ONE PERCENT. Internet lawyers were down a ways on the list from surgeons and hedgefund theives. They must have upped the ante and started charging by the word.

    Then again, when you’ve got idiot people who sue over coffee that’s too hot or “I shot myself with the freakin’ gun you sold me” the poor little corporations-as-people are just trying to protect their $1,000 a yard silk clad asses, $6,000 shower curtains, and cocaine-sniffing trophy bimbos. (I’m relatively sure there is somebody out there who can find something in this comment to sue ME over.)

    Besides, why cite real sources when you can just make sh*t up. Pretend you are a politician, an advertising director, or — oh yeah, corporate lawyer.

    It’s not really LYING you know, just being economical with the truth.

    ttfn, Ron HoarseMan

    • fpdorchak says:

      Yet how is any of that any different than asking anyone on the street–a cop, a doctor–any PROFESSIONAL–a question? We don’t sign our lives away when we do that? They just give us their opinion and we take it at face value. And if you slander, libel, or whatever someone, you still get to meet head-on with The Law. Steal another’s work or reverse engineer it. I’m just not “getting it,” I guess….

      • fpdorchak says:

        And further, does reading and signing these things make it any EASIER to find the criminals doing all the illegal behavior outlined in all these agreements? Is some software “tracking device” appended to all our user accounts, so they can monitor when we “do evil” (you know, besides the “marketing tracking devices,” and isn’t THAT somewhat ironic that we’re not tracked for evildoing, but we are for marketing purposes, given all the professed blanky-blank concern…), and swoop down in and capture those of us illegally using said applications in a wrongful manner?

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