Terms and conditions

These are not the terms and conditions of this blog. Rather, the aim of this contract is to protect myself, the author of this blog, from legal clauses which I consider unethical.

It has come to my attention that "Click-Through" and "Browse-Through" agreements, those walls of legalese text followed by an "I agree" button and those "terms and conditions" links hidden at the bottom of web pages, are legally binding. I object to this.

By sending messages to my email address, you (the service provider) agree not to enforce the one-sided clauses of any contract you have imposed to me (the service user) through "Click-Through", "Browse-Through", and similar large pieces of legal text which the average user skips or ignores. In return, I agree not to abuse your service in any way. Common sense shall be used in deciding which clauses are one-sided and which actions are considered abuse.

For example, insisting that all legal disputes shall be handled by the justice system in which the service provider is located would be a one-sided clause. A clause insisting that legal disputes shall be handled by the justice system of the defendant, however, would not be one-sided, since either the user or the service provider could be the defendant.

An example of abusing a service would be for the user of a free service to take advantage of this free service in order to create a premium version of that free service, which the user would then sell to other users. In contrast, using a free service without paying would not constitute abuse, since the service explicitly advertises itself as being free to use.

1 comment:

gelisam said...

Since the above contract binds service providers when they send me email, I have added a link to this page at the bottom of my email signature. This is analogous to the "terms and conditions" link they add at the bottom of their web pages.

Unfortunately, most of those service providers only send "noreply" emails, so they might never see those conditions. I claim that this is their problem, not mine. Their decision to misuse the email protocol by discouraging and ignoring replies is just as foolish as the casual user's decision to use a service while ignoring its terms.