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  #1  
Old Nov 6, '10, 6:34 am
DL82 DL82 is offline
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Default "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Is it a sin to tick the 'I have read and agree to the terms of use' button when installing software updates, buying goods online, etc. when you haven't actually read them?

Common sense says that reputable software providers and websites aren't suddenly going to slap you with some legal or financial trap in their terms of use.

Most of these sites offer you 10-20 pages of legal terms and conditions, which are almost always obvious (no stealing the programming code, no illegal copying, etc.) and identical to every other 'terms of use' agreement. Also, the way that contract law operates (at least in the UK) anything out of the ordinary or prejudicial in these terms (i.e. if on page 93 they said you have to pay the service provider $1000) would be considered invalid unless it had been flagged up for your attention.

I don't know anyone who actually reads these things before ticking the box.

Could it be argued that this is a case of mental reservation, that what I am really saying is "I have read [enough of the terms or similar terms in the past to know that I want to] agree to the terms of use"?
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  #2  
Old Nov 6, '10, 7:34 am
JerryS JerryS is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Technically, agreeing to the "I have read" part is a lie if you haven't read it.

However, I look at it more like a legal contract. I don't think the writer cares whether I have read it or not in almost all cases. Their attorney needs me to accept responsibility for the terms. By clicking and proceeding you are definitely binding yourself to the terms of the agreement, though. There is a small risk in not reading the fine print, but as you say, it is inconsequential in most cases. As long as you can accept the consequences, then I think you are acting in good will.
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  #3  
Old Nov 6, '10, 9:24 am
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phoenixrrt62 phoenixrrt62 is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DL82 View Post
Is it a sin to tick the 'I have read and agree to the terms of use' button when installing software updates, buying goods online, etc. when you haven't actually read them?

Common sense says that reputable software providers and websites aren't suddenly going to slap you with some legal or financial trap in their terms of use.

Most of these sites offer you 10-20 pages of legal terms and conditions, which are almost always obvious (no stealing the programming code, no illegal copying, etc.) and identical to every other 'terms of use' agreement. Also, the way that contract law operates (at least in the UK) anything out of the ordinary or prejudicial in these terms (i.e. if on page 93 they said you have to pay the service provider $1000) would be considered invalid unless it had been flagged up for your attention.

I don't know anyone who actually reads these things before ticking the box.

Could it be argued that this is a case of mental reservation, that what I am really saying is "I have read [enough of the terms or similar terms in the past to know that I want to] agree to the terms of use"?
Oh, come on now. You serious? You can't be serious....that mess has about 5 pages of legalese...and I'm no lawyer. So, I just figure if I use basic common sense, I'm good....like this site....they have rules and regs..did I read the whole contract? NO.

Now if I were going to purchase a house, rent a home, something pretty serious, yeah, I'd read the contract, and if there was something I didn't understand, I'd ask the people who want me to sign said contract to explain it to me.
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  #4  
Old Nov 6, '10, 10:05 am
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LemonAndLime LemonAndLime is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Interesting question. I don't think it would be considored a lie however because even if you did read it, unless you're a lawyer, you might not understand all of it therefore its unfair.

I can't remember the terminology, but I think this would not be considored a sin in the same way lying about your age isn't a sin if the person asking has no right to ask you that question.
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  #5  
Old Nov 6, '10, 3:37 pm
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didymus didymus is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

One of the big companies in the UK put up a trial version of a new game and incl. in the EULA that users were selling their souls.
Ages ago I downloaded some freeware and clicked on the EULA and a pop-up said "Wow! You read that in 0.27 seconds!"

Usually I look thru to make sure it just has the usual EULA-type stuff.

What you have to watch out for is the NON-privacy agreement.
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  #6  
Old Nov 7, '10, 6:50 am
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DL82 View Post
Is it a sin to tick the 'I have read and agree to the terms of use' button when installing software updates, buying goods online, etc. when you haven't actually read them?Common sense says that reputable software providers and websites aren't suddenly going to slap you with some legal or financial trap in their terms of use.

Most of these sites offer you 10-20 pages of legal terms and conditions, which are almost always obvious (no stealing the programming code, no illegal copying, etc.) and identical to every other 'terms of use' agreement. Also, the way that contract law operates (at least in the UK) anything out of the ordinary or prejudicial in these terms (i.e. if on page 93 they said you have to pay the service provider $1000) would be considered invalid unless it had been flagged up for your attention.

I don't know anyone who actually reads these things before ticking the box.

Could it be argued that this is a case of mental reservation, that what I am really saying is "I have read [enough of the terms or similar terms in the past to know that I want to] agree to the terms of use"?
I don't know if its a sin or not but its really stupid to agree to any contract terms without reading and understanding them.
You have no leg to stand on and no right to complain if repercussions arise from such stupidity.
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  #7  
Old Nov 7, '10, 8:45 am
Reservoir Dog Reservoir Dog is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

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Originally Posted by DL82 View Post
...Also, the way that contract law operates (at least in the UK) anything out of the ordinary or prejudicial in these terms (i.e. if on page 93 they said you have to pay the service provider $1000) would be considered invalid unless it had been flagged up for your attention.....
Would you elaborate on that?
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  #8  
Old Nov 7, '10, 8:59 am
DL82 DL82 is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

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Would you elaborate on that?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J_Spurling_Ltd_v_Bradshaw

The concept of the 'red hand rule' was established in this case, it basically says that the more unusual and prejudicial the contract clause, the more effort needs to be taken to bring it to the attention of the prejudiced party.

In effect, some terms of a contract are so prejudicial to the basic meaning of a contract (as in this case, a warehousing contract that said that the warehouse was not liable for failing to safely store the warehoused goods) that they can't be held to be valid. The same goes (I'm pretty sure) for a contract that says that the purchaser has sold his soul.

This is why when you see TV adverts for life insurance or debt management companies with dodgy practices, they have to both say and write in the advert that there are prejudicial terms. They probably tell you this 2 or 3 times when you phone up the company too.
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  #9  
Old Nov 7, '10, 9:33 am
Reservoir Dog Reservoir Dog is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DL82 View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J_Spurling_Ltd_v_Bradshaw

The concept of the 'red hand rule' was established in this case, it basically says that the more unusual and prejudicial the contract clause, the more effort needs to be taken to bring it to the attention of the prejudiced party.

In effect, some terms of a contract are so prejudicial to the basic meaning of a contract (as in this case, a warehousing contract that said that the warehouse was not liable for failing to safely store the warehoused goods) that they can't be held to be valid. The same goes (I'm pretty sure) for a contract that says that the purchaser has sold his soul.

This is why when you see TV adverts for life insurance or debt management companies with dodgy practices, they have to both say and write in the advert that there are prejudicial terms. They probably tell you this 2 or 3 times when you phone up the company too.
Thanks much. American contract law is somewhat similar approach in non-commercial contracts, especially real estate transactions, where there are often statutory guarantees and representations that, if they are going to be waived, have to be waived expressly. Big red typeface with check-the-box is a common method.

American jurisdictions that have adopted that part of the Uniform Commercial Code concerning warehousemen take a different approach altogether. The UCC prohibits the warehouseman from contracting away its duty of care.

Radio ads here commonly feature speed reading of the merchant's attempt to limit representations, warranties or guarantees. I've often wondered how effective those would be, if challenged.
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  #10  
Old Nov 7, '10, 3:42 pm
PrayHarder PrayHarder is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

I'm starting to think that we need to start a "Is this a sin?" section on CAF. But all these questions really break down to this: does it meet the three critera of being a mortal sin? Obviously if it does then you've sinned. If it doesn't, but you feel like it might be in the venial sin category, then confess it anyway. There is no harm to confessing something you feel bad about. It's not like the Holy Spirit keeps score and docks you points if you incorrectly confess edge cases.
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  #11  
Old Nov 7, '10, 3:46 pm
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phoenixrrt62 phoenixrrt62 is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

[quote=PrayHarder I'm starting to think that we need to start a "Is this a sin?" section on CAF.But all these questions really break down to this: does it meet the three critera of being a mortal sin? Obviously if it does then you've sinned. If it doesn't, but you feel like it might be in the venial sin category, then confess it anyway. There is no harm to confessing something you feel bad about. It's not like the Holy Spirit keeps score and docks you points if you incorrectly confess edge cases.[/QUOTE]

I say go for the 'is this a sin?' category. I find these posts rather interesting...
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  #12  
Old Nov 7, '10, 5:19 pm
Reservoir Dog Reservoir Dog is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

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Originally Posted by PrayHarder View Post
I'm starting to think that we need to start a "Is this a sin?" ....
I've discovered an activity which is not a sin.
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  #13  
Old Nov 7, '10, 6:04 pm
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didymus didymus is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reservoir Dog View Post
Thanks much. American contract law is somewhat similar approach in non-commercial contracts, especially real estate transactions, where there are often statutory guarantees and representations that, if they are going to be waived, have to be waived expressly. Big red typeface with check-the-box is a common method.

American jurisdictions that have adopted that part of the Uniform Commercial Code concerning warehousemen take a different approach altogether. The UCC prohibits the warehouseman from contracting away its duty of care.

Radio ads here commonly feature speed reading of the merchant's attempt to limit representations, warranties or guarantees. I've often wondered how effective those would be, if challenged.
Interesting about the red-hand clause, it makes a lot of sense -- but Silicon Valley and the movie industry basically have Congress in the pocket as far a "intellectual property law".
Ages ago I read a case, maybe 20+ years, that a program came with a EULA limiting liability to US$5.00 (red hand anyone?). The user loses all his data and sues for the time & trouble of restoring data, business lost &c but the court upheld the agreement.
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  #14  
Old Nov 7, '10, 10:24 pm
Reservoir Dog Reservoir Dog is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

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Originally Posted by didymus View Post
Interesting about the red-hand clause, it makes a lot of sense -- but Silicon Valley and the movie industry basically have Congress in the pocket as far a "intellectual property law".
Ages ago I read a case, maybe 20+ years, that a program came with a EULA limiting liability to US$5.00 (red hand anyone?). The user loses all his data and sues for the time & trouble of restoring data, business lost &c but the court upheld the agreement.
I was thinking the same thing, the red hand rule makes a lot of sense, especially for consumers. While the "I never read it" defense is typically failure, the fact that a EULA is a take it or leave it agreement (you can't line out parts you don't like and can't bargain), it wouldn't surprise me if a court, presented with the right kind of case and the right kind of plaintiff class and the right kind of defendant might find the EULA ineffective.
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  #15  
Old Nov 7, '10, 11:05 pm
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LilyM LilyM is offline
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Default Re: "I have read and agree to the terms of use" - is this lying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DL82 View Post
Is it a sin to tick the 'I have read and agree to the terms of use' button when installing software updates, buying goods online, etc. when you haven't actually read them?

Common sense says that reputable software providers and websites aren't suddenly going to slap you with some legal or financial trap in their terms of use.

Most of these sites offer you 10-20 pages of legal terms and conditions, which are almost always obvious (no stealing the programming code, no illegal copying, etc.) and identical to every other 'terms of use' agreement. Also, the way that contract law operates (at least in the UK) anything out of the ordinary or prejudicial in these terms (i.e. if on page 93 they said you have to pay the service provider $1000) would be considered invalid unless it had been flagged up for your attention.

I don't know anyone who actually reads these things before ticking the box.

Could it be argued that this is a case of mental reservation, that what I am really saying is "I have read [enough of the terms or similar terms in the past to know that I want to] agree to the terms of use"?
Well, if you read the heading, the bit where it SAYS the words 'Terms and Conditions', then you can with a clear conscience say that you 'read the Terms and Conditions'. Meaning you read that actual phrase.

Can you tell I'm a lawyer?
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