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The Courts Entertainment

Netflix Terms of Service Invalidates Your Right To Sue 206

Posted by timothy
from the but-you-agreed-didn't-you dept.
New submitter ebombme writes "Netflix has decided to go the route of AT&T and others by trying to take away the rights of their users to form class action lawsuits against them. A copy of the new terms of use states 'These Terms of Use provide that all disputes between you and Netflix will be resolved by BINDING ARBITRATION. YOU AGREE TO GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO GO TO COURT to assert or defend your rights under this contract (except for matters that may be taken to small claims court). Your rights will be determined by a NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR and NOT a judge or jury and your claims cannot be brought as a class action. Please review the Arbitration Agreement below for the details regarding your agreement to arbitrate any disputes with Netflix.'"
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Netflix Terms of Service Invalidates Your Right To Sue

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  • Not legal. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:44AM (#39388285)

    Next question.

    • yep (Score:4, Insightful)

      by poetmatt (793785) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:45AM (#39388293) Journal

      entirely non starter. Not enforceable either.

      So why is this news?

      • Re:yep (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 17, 2012 @09:24AM (#39388501)

        Completely enforceable in the US.

        US Supreme Court ruled that binding arbitration agreements are legal and enforceable.

        Still, not news, as every company will soon have this clause.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by bmo (77928)

          Nope. Not enforceable.

          Verizon got spanked for such terms in its contracts.

          You cannot sign away your rights.

          --
          BMO

          • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @02:06PM (#39390295)

            You have it exactly right. You cannot enter into a legal agreement where you sign away one of your rights. For instance, I couldn't sign a binding contract that said "you may not vote". Courts would throw it out.

            The reason why they add these clauses is because they are trying to trick people. Ever see the sign on the back of a large truck? "This Vehicle Not Responsible for Objects Coming from Road"? Or in parking lots at grocery stores. "Not Responsible for Damage Caused by Shopping Carts." Know why they have those signs? Because they hope you believe them. They're not true. It's up to the courts to make that determination after you bring suit. Of course the defendant is going to say "not guilty".

            It's a bluff, that's all. They are just hoping you believe it.

            • You have it exactly right. You cannot enter into a legal agreement where you sign away one of your rights. For instance, I couldn't sign a binding contract that said "you may not vote". Courts would throw it out.

              That's not what these clauses mean. They means that, under the terms of this contract, all disputes will be handled by an arbitrator.

              You can of course go to court anyway, but then you're in violation of the contract. At this point, the party you've now chosen to sue is basically unbound from the

          • by 91degrees (207121)
            Well, sorta yes, sorta no.

            If I offered a service, I might suggest that disputes are dealt with by arbitration, and you might agree. This would typically be legal, and often this is something both sides would prefer. In this case you are signing away your right to sue, and courts tend to be quite happy with this. Of course, in this situation, the chances are you have read and pretty much understood the terms.

            In this case though, it's not a negotiation. If you contacted Netflix and asked them to remo
        • Re:yep (Score:5, Insightful)

          by russotto (537200) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @09:33AM (#39388565) Journal

          Right, because the law explicitly makes arbitration legal. (See "Federal Arbitration Act"). The courts don't want to have to deal with actually providing justice (or even injustice) to pissants like us; better to fob us off on a "neutral" arbitrator hired by the other party who can deal out injustice without bothering the judges.

          • Re:yep (Score:4, Insightful)

            by errandum (2014454) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @10:00AM (#39388747)

            Arbitration doesn't work like this (at least where I come from). There are 3 arbitrators, one yours, one from them and one neutral, as in, agreed by both parties. So the "neutral" should be neutral. And even if it is only one, it should still be agreed by both.

            On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that you'll ever get a giant compensation via arbitration, and I believe that is what they are trying to avoid. It is also extremely more cost effective in terms of legal bills.

            Unlike most people, I do believe that most claims should be decided like this. Decisions would be speedier, there would be no legal system to abuse because you have more money and power than the common joe...

            Most people don't know what arbitration is... That's why they complain. It is actually a common clause in contracts between giant companies - and believe me, none of them want to lose money.

            • Re:yep (Score:5, Interesting)

              by russotto (537200) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @10:06AM (#39388791) Journal

              Arbitration doesn't work like this (at least where I come from). There are 3 arbitrators, one yours, one from them and one neutral, as in, agreed by both parties. So the "neutral" should be neutral. And even if it is only one, it should still be agreed by both.

              You might go to an arbitrator once or twice in your lifetime. These companies deal with them all the time. That means every arbitrator has no incentive to keep you happy and every incentive to keep the other side -- their repeat customers -- happy.

              Unlike most people, I do believe that most claims should be decided like this. Decisions would be speedier, there would be no legal system to abuse because you have more money and power than the common joe...

              Yes, decisions would be speedier all right.

              Most people don't know what arbitration is... That's why they complain. It is actually a common clause in contracts between giant companies - and believe me, none of them want to lose money.

              Giant companies can use arbitration effectively because they're already similarly situated.

              • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

                by errandum (2014454)

                You're forgetting that the decision on an arbitrator has to be agreed by both parties. If you feel you're getting the short end of the stick, simply don't agree to him and another one needs to be found.

                Your assumption that every arbitrator in the country will be corrupt is the reason why there is no progress and the courts are jammed. The man is not always out to get you. You can get a fair judgment.

                • Re:yep (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by russotto (537200) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @11:34AM (#39389387) Journal

                  You're forgetting that the decision on an arbitrator has to be agreed by both parties. If you feel you're getting the short end of the stick, simply don't agree to him and another one needs to be found.

                  How, as a consumer, am I to know anything about the arbitrator? I don't have a legal department to research these things. And in any case, all arbitrator are similarly situated -- they all hear a lot of cases where the plaintiff is J. Random Consumer who they'll never see again, and a few massive companies who they'll see again and again and again.

                  Your assumption that every arbitrator in the country will be corrupt is the reason why there is no progress and the courts are jammed.

                  It's not that every arbitrator in the country is corrupt. It's that the process is such that the arbitrator's interests naturally favor the corporation. If an arbitrator gets the reputation of being too consumer-friendly, the corporations (who can research these things) will stop agreeing to him and he's out of a job. If an arbitrator gets the reputation of always agreeing with the corporation, most consumers won't even know about it, and those few who do find out aren't significant enough to matter.

                  In any case, deciding disputes is the civil courts' JOB. If they can't do it, why the heck do we even have them?

                  • by errandum (2014454)

                    You need a lawyer. You'll be paying him and he should know the reputation of an arbitrator. In the end, if someone is known to favor big companies, no respectable lawyer will ever allow you to chose them.

                    That leaves those who are just. Because, if you won't choose those who favor big companies and, obviously, big companies won't chose those who favor you...

                    An arbitrator wins nothing by being partial.

                • by hazem (472289)

                  Doesn't "binding arbitration" mean that you agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator before he/she actually makes their actual decision? It's my understanding that you agree up-front to be bound whatever they decide. I don't think you get their decision then get to decide, "Nah, I don't like that, never mind.".

                  • Re:yep (Score:5, Informative)

                    by dgatwood (11270) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @12:51PM (#39389861) Journal

                    You are correct. What the GP was thinking of is called "mediation". Binding arbitration means that you agree to abide by the decision.

                    Worse, binding arbitration means that you lose the right to sue over afterwards. Once arbitration begins, your right to sue is gone. This is why binding arbitration should be limited to minor disputes over small sums of money. If that's not what you're dealing with, you are always better off getting a lawyer and going to court, challenging the binding arbitration clause as unconscionable.

                    At least in the state of California, mandatory binding arbitration clauses in contracts of adhesion (e.g. the Netflix contract) are almost always found to be unconscionable. Unfortunately, the recent Supreme Court decision undid all this, reversing some thirty years of fairly consistent case law in the name of federal preemption. At this point, the only way to get back our right to sue is to demand that Congress pass laws fixing this heinous abuse of justice.

                    Mandatory binding arbitration clauses in contracts of adhesion are way beyond unconscionable. They are a fundamental abrogation of the legal principles upon which this country was founded. The justices who made this decision should be ashamed of themselves for putting the profits of big corporations above the public's right to not get screwed by them.

                    • This is why binding arbitration should be limited to minor disputes over small sums of money.

                      Like $100/yr for Netflix that you can cancel at any time if you are dissatisfied?

                      Mandatory binding arbitration clauses in contracts of adhesion are way beyond unconscionable.

                      How do you square this with the above?

                    • So, in effect, "binding arbitration" amounts to a private court system. The fact that we actually have such a thing in place already scares the hell out of me - heck, even most libertarians would agree that government should be running the justice system, not some private party.

                    • by dgatwood (11270)

                      Remember, when you give all your personal information to a company, the damage they can inflict goes far beyond the amount of money you are paying them. For example:

                      • They could file a false claim about the client with a credit reporting agency.
                      • They have the client's credit card number, which they could bill for an extra thousand bucks.
                      • They have the client's email address, which they could sell to spammers.
                      • They have lots of information about the client that they could sell to an identity thief or leak throu
                • by errandum (2014454)

                  the decision is because you can chose your arbitrator.

                  you lose the right to sue because it is binding and you agree that whatever decision it reaches will be fair.

                  the decision on an arbitrator means, you can chose the person who will judge you and both parties need to agree on that

              • You might go to an arbitrator once or twice in your lifetime. These companies deal with them all the time. That means every arbitrator has no incentive to keep you happy and every incentive to keep the other side -- their repeat customers -- happy.

                True. In fact, I was reading something a month or two ago where someone was researching arbitration. They called up a few arbitration companies, pretending to be a corporation interested in hiring for arbitration, and the arbitration companies were all making guarantees about how sure they are that they would be able to rule in their favor.

            • "loser pays" clauses. While arbitration cannot take away rights of parties, it can add "rights." Loser paying for costs is a big disincentive to lawsuits.

              Of course, the reason federal law and courts like arbitration is there is no way the already crowded courts can possibly handle all the cases. Whine about consumer rights all you want, but 90% of civil cases in America use alternative dispute resolution (e.g., settlement, arbitration, etc) to reach agreement on cases instead of court trials. If they did
              • If they did not, raise your hand if you are willing to pay the taxes (not someone else pay, you pay) to build 900% more courthouses and pay for the staff to accommodate the increased caseload.

                That would be me here. Earning six figures, and I wouldn't mind income tax to be somewhat more progressive, if that's actually needed to have a functioning justice system. Though, in truth, we could get there simply by taxing capital gains the same way as any other income. Or ending a war or two.

                Of course, in practice, when U.S. gets mired in Iran this (or next) year, taxes will be raised to pay for that instead. Sigh...

            • by sjames (1099)

              The bias is intrinsic. You have 2 people before you. One has money spilling out of his ears and frequently needs the service you provide, the other is as poor as a church mouse and won't likely need your services ever again. Hrmmm, tough questing here, which one do you most want to like you?

              The free market is intrinsically unworkable for this sort of service.

              • by errandum (2014454)

                You have to people represented by lawyers. Those lawyers need to know, if they work in the field, that there is a bias from certain people to big companies / the little man. In the end the just ones will end up getting more jobs simply because they are the ones most agreed upon.

                • by sjames (1099)

                  The problem is that the systematic bias will tend towards the corporation. The best the individual will be able to hope for on the average is "not too blatantly biased". Meanwhile, by bringing the lawyers back in, there goes the supposed cost savings.

        • by poetmatt (793785)

          Uh, no. They said certain parts of binding arbitration agreements are enforceable if it doesn't create an undue burden. They didn't say you could actually give up your right to litigation.

      • by Guppy06 (410832)

        [citation needed]

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Wrong. The conservative majority on the Supreme Court made it legal last year, if memory serves.

      It will remain legal until we get an uninterrupted string of Democratic presidents for long enough that one of the current five Republican "justices" dies off.

  • who wrote this? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:47AM (#39388307) Homepage Journal

    Your rights will be determined by a NEUTRAL ARBITRATOR and NOT a judge or jury

    Kafka?

  • by FaxeTheCat (1394763) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:49AM (#39388313)
    The values i a Netflix subscription is just too small for a normal person to engage in a lawsuit. Even a class action suit would be off little value (look at history - only lawyers get any real money out of it). The real power for the subscribers is to stop the subscription. And you do not need to sue or go to arbitration over that.
    And of course, if they give bad service it is far more efficient to slashdot them over it than to sue anyway.
    • by jonsmirl (114798) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:55AM (#39388345) Homepage

      That's the real problem. The only winner in these class actions is the lawyers. They get $20M. The consumers get coupons and the service raises their price to collect the $20M and give it the lawyers.

      I got a check for $0.02 in a mortgage case when the class action lawyer took home $65M. Funny how the account servicing fee went up $0.10 a month after that. Probably cost me over $20 to recover that $0.02 I had been "cheated" out of.

      • by Shavano (2541114)

        I think what's needed is a cap on the fraction of a class action settlement or judgment that can go to attorney costs.

        • by rmcd (53236) *

          There are two issues addressed by class actions. First is compensating the consumers who've been harmed. Second is punishing miscreants and thereby providing firms an incentive for firms to behave correctly in the future.

          I would argue that in most cases the individual compensation is too small to matter, but add up all the compensation and the incentives for a firm can be quite important. A successful class action suit puts all firms on notice that misbehavior leads to lawsuits and penalties.

          It may not seem

          • by Shavano (2541114)

            The purpose of civil courts it to compensate people who are harmed by the actions of others.

            The purpose of CRIMINAL courts is to punish the guilty.

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Why. Are you going to start contributing to court fees when you sign up for a class action lawsuit, so you share in the risk?

          • by Shavano (2541114)

            Why should I ever opt in to a class action if the lawyers are going to get all the money?

      • ...the Devil ever pulled wasn't in making the world think he didn't exist. It was getting regular shmoes to willingly declare war on their own best interests. Like hating on government oversight of industry, hating on unions, and...hating on class action lawsuits.

        That's the real problem. The only winner in these class actions is the lawyers.

        The only people taking the risk are the lawyers. They don't win, not only do they not get paid, but they have to compensate their staff out of pocket. If you don't a

        • by jonsmirl (114798)

          I don't want these minor problems litigated in the first place. The mortgage case was over the rounding method used when the amount came to exactly 1/2 a cent. Do you always round up, or do you use the even/odd rule and round 22.5 up and 21.5 down. This really wasn't worth sending $65M to a lawyer to argue about. The costs passed onto me to pay for this unwanted lawyer far exceed the nickel or so I might have gained.

          • by Uberbah (647458)

            I don't want these minor problems litigated in the first place.

            Then you're in favor of companies making millions (or even billions) by ripping people off, so long as each individual amount is small.

            The costs passed onto me to pay for this unwanted lawyer far exceed the nickel or so I might have gained.

            Thanks for reminding me to address the other Gaping Fallacy in your first post, as I had forgotten it. This notion that accountability is a waste of time is nonsense in two different ways. First, if you don

            • by jonsmirl (114798)

              Yes, we should punish Citibank severely for not specifying which rounding method it was going to use in those hundred pages or so of legal fine print I got with my mortgage. Certainly this justifies harsh prison sentences for the CEO and board of directors. I bet they wished they'd added yet another page to that hundred page document - then they would have been safe from this idiotic lawsuit.

              It says my mortgage payment are due by the close of business. But it doesn't seem to specify a time zone. Could be gr

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday March 17, 2012 @09:01AM (#39388393) Homepage Journal

      There is more motivation than getting paid back in a lawsuit; there is also the goal of causing a company to change its behavior. And the threat of a lawsuit tends to mitigate their bad behavior preemptively; it's obviously not guaranteed to work, but it probably does help.

      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Moreover, a lot of the time you can't sue them on your own. If a company or service is big enough, a judge will say you don't have the "standing" to sue, which is a pile of horseshit.

    • by sarysa (1089739)
      I have to agree. The real potential damage by Netflix is so small, suing them makes little sense to begin with. That said, I find it amusing that they mention in the TOS that you can sue in small claims. A torrent of those could do a lot of damage, and would be difficult to defend. (Insufficient legal resources) Probably what the AT&T guy was going for.
      • by khallow (566160)

        The real potential damage by Netflix is so small, suing them makes little sense to begin with.

        There's still spite, the real or perceived ability to inflict harm on someone you don't like.

      • by iamhassi (659463)

        I have to agree. The real potential damage by Netflix is so small, suing them makes little sense to begin with. That said, I find it amusing that they mention in the TOS that you can sue in small claims. A torrent of those could do a lot of damage, and would be difficult to defend. (Insufficient legal resources) Probably what the AT&T guy was going for.

        I saw that. Small claims goes to 3 or 5 grand depending on the state. Netflix is what, about $10 a month? What could possible happen that I would need to sue for more than $3,000? "OH NOES TOy SToRy Z GON iz sue 4 10000000000!!!"

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @09:26AM (#39388517)

      The values i a Netflix subscription is just too small for a normal person to engage in a lawsuit.

      What if Netflix leaked your private information, including credit card, and decided to hide the fact for months until you are the victim of identity theft that takes years of aggravation to clean up? Is that enough value to seek a legal remedy?

      • by tgibbs (83782)

        What if Netflix leaked your private information, including credit card, and decided to hide the fact for months until you are the victim of identity theft that takes years of aggravation to clean up? Is that enough value to seek a legal remedy?

        You'd probably still do better in individual binding arbitration. In a class action suit, there is a strong incentive for the lawyer to settle, even if the benefit to the individual members of the class is very small, because the lawyer avoids the cost, time commitmen

      • They shouldn't have your credit card number in the first place. You should be using a virtual account number [wikipedia.org] for online credit uses.

        But I still think you have a good point about the private information. Especially your watched or rating history. In the wrong hands that could be fodder for some good character assassination no matter what's on the list. Even moreso if you had "Birth of a Nation" out for a month and a half for a college course...

      • I really do not think that in a case like that, that this clause would hold up. The type of lawsuit that a "binding arbitration" clause stops is one about interpretation of the contract. However, a lawsuit over the company doing something/allowing something to happen that everyone would agree was a violation of the contract (or not protected under the contract) and the only real questions in the suit is whether the company is actually liable for the events in question and how much that liability is, will us
      • by shentino (1139071)

        I don't think a contract can eliminate liability for tortious actions.

        And getting immunity from a criminal case? Dream on.

    • by tgibbs (83782)

      I agree. Class action suits over services like this just drive up costs for all customers, and are basically a scam to enrich lawyers. The members of the class receive a pittance, not even worth the effort to fill out the paperwork. Congratulations to Netflix for implementing arbitration.

    • Yeah, I don't get this at all. If Netflix starts pulling shenanigans I cancel my account and I'm out the $20 for the month, that's it. Why would I even think about bothering to sue them? This isn't like a cell phone situation where you're locked into a contract for two years and if they don't provide the service you think they promised you can't just cancel, so you have to sue them for redress.

  • If netflix decides one day to suddenly to perform some kind of shady spying on it's customers, I don't see how this "forced EULA" could have a snowball's chance in hell in court. SUE ANYWAY
    • by zAPPzAPP (1207370)

      A contract goes both ways.

      If they indulge in shady actions contrary to what they promise to do in the EULA, then they would have broken the contract.

      Wouldn't that relieve you of any bindings within it?

      • A contract goes both ways.

        If they indulge in shady actions contrary to what they promise to do in the EULA, then they would have broken the contract.

        Wouldn't that relieve you of any bindings within it?

        What they 'promise to do' in an EULA? They promise to do nothing most of the time. An EULA is basically just a big statement of "We very marginally grant you the right not to be murdered for looking at our software. For everything else, YOU GET NOTHING, GOOD DAY!"

  • by mykos (1627575) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:51AM (#39388329)
    I'd like to test this sometime and see if I can take someone's life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness from them.
    • by Hatta (162192) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @08:55AM (#39388351) Journal

      In the US it's common to take someones life and/or liberty because of their pursuit of happiness.

    • Well, fine print doormat. By entering these premises you give up all legal standing and agree to the following: list details. To what degree these are enforceable, I don't know. However, there are two styles of precedent for using it at your home.

      1) EULAs. This isn't any different than a EULA. Actually, if you have the doormat outside in a way it is even more open/free than an EULA. To be completely like the EULA you need to have it in a closed off foyer inside your house. Just change "by entering" t

  • EULA = broken (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    There is another matter here.

    The inclusion of such a clause would render the contract void in a number of jurisdictional, thereby voiding the whole EULA. Just another case of careful work by a contract lawyer being completely undone by their employer. See shrink-wrap EULA's contained inside of an opaque product package that you become bound to only after you open it, these are automatically void.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *

      Just another case of careful work by a contract lawyer

      Or in many cases, copy-pasting someone else's EULA.

  • The company should be fined and their head of legal sent off to federal "pound you in the ass" prison for even attempting to put this in an EULA. How can an EULA supersede law?
    • by Nyder (754090)

      The company should be fined and their head of legal sent off to federal "pound you in the ass" prison for even attempting to put this in an EULA. How can an EULA supersede law?

      Because Corporations are more important then people in the governments eyes?

      • Because Corporations are the most important people in the governments eyes?

        Updated for the current "corporations are people" insanity.

    • by Kjella (173770)

      How can an EULA supersede law?

      Because the law says you can [cornell.edu]:

      9 USC 2 - VALIDITY, IRREVOCABILITY, AND ENFORCEMENT OF AGREEMENTS TO ARBITRATE

      A written provision in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter arising out of such contract or transaction, or the refusal to perform the whole or any part thereof, or an agreement in writing to submit to arbitration an existing controversy arising out of such a contract, transaction, or refusal, shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of any contract.

      In short: "A written provision in (...) a contract (...) to settle by arbitration (...) shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, (...)", the last part might save you if you claim the whole contract is unconscionable but not for your average dispute.

  • Sue them for changing the terms.
  • by mallydobb (1785726) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @09:37AM (#39388589) Homepage

    then I as a customer have the right not to choose their service, simple as that. I really don't see how this can be legal, but I am unable (and unwilling) to be a person who brings this to court to test the waters.

  • Most contracts can be reduced to four single-syllable words that a six year old would understand:

    "You have no rights."

    Lawyers could also reduce all legal correspondence to:

    "You are screwed."

    Please make these changes. It would save everyone a considerable amount of time and make everyone significantly happier.

  • Every couple of months, Netflix puts up a notice on the website that I should click to agree to their TOS. At least once, I noticed that eventually the notice started to sound more urgent. But it always disappears in the end. :-)

    I wonder if their requesting that one click on "Agree" is an implicit admission that they cannot unilaterally change the TOS on us? Or is it that maybe that back when we signed up for Netflix (about 11 years ago), they forgot to put in a clause allowing them to change the terms u

  • by PDG (100516) <pdg@webcrush.com> on Saturday March 17, 2012 @11:13AM (#39389243) Homepage
    The AT&T case was unique in that the SCOTUS overrode a CA statute that was OVERLY generous to consumers (and completely unfair to businesses) and said the arbitration clause was valid. MA on the other hand will toss out such a clause (as they did in the Dell case) as it simply stripped a consumer's right to the court. So I repeat, the AT&T does NOT validate all arbitration clauses, all it did was invalidate enforcement of a CA statute that was superceded by the Fed Arbitration Action.
  • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @12:11PM (#39389643) Homepage

    I don't understand how any click-through contract is legal. When you buy a house, you make the offer in writing and anything you scribble in the margins takes precedent over what's typed. Handwriting ON BEHALF OF [COMPANY NAME] above my signature saved my butt more than once.

    There's no place to make margin notes in a click-through agreement, no negotiation and no consideration from the vendor. Click-throughs are not an agreement, they're hostage taking. It's not right making them enforceable.

    • Yes, this is known as "qualifying your signature". Even attorneys will tell you it's okay, but I've had more than one cop threaten to jail me if I continued "defacing the ticket".

      There's also a very good case for them being unenforceable due to being "compelled to contract". This case has not been made.

      The original meaning of the term involved any contract that was just too heinous, against the law or against the public morals. Modern America now uses the phrase to refer only to contracts which are too o

    • Consider e-mailing your qualifications to the company. They'll probably pass them on to Legal if anything, and you'll never hear about them again.

      Feel free to disqualify all sorts of things in that e-mail, and add all manner of qualifications as well.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday March 17, 2012 @12:21PM (#39389705) Homepage

    Is there any reliable source of data that rates company policies against some objective criterion? Something that's not just an unsorted collection of complaints or anecdotes? There's EULAlyzer [javacoolsoftware.com], which tries to do this by recognizing stock phrases. Anything else?

    Incidentally, Netflix won't even let you read their EULA unless you let them plant a cookie. That's tacky,

    If I could find something like that, I'd put it in SiteTruth, [sitetruth.com] and have it appear when you mouse over a link or search result. Currently we report the location of the business and, when available, the annual revenue and number of employees, with links to SEC and BBB reports. The goal is to provide consumers with data that allows them to tell how legitimate the company is. Data that doesn't come from the company. (Or from their social spammers. Most favorable crowd-sourced "reviews" are now solicited, if not outright fake.)

  • What do they want to do if they are afraid they'll get sued by their customers?
  • IANAL, but I'm fairly certain that you can not enter into a contract where you give up the right to go to court.

    My question would be, since that clause is not legal, does that invalidate just that part of the agreement, or does that invalidate the entire contract?

    We need a test case.

  • I wonder if the courts would be quite so gung-ho to support a EULA I clearly print on the back of a check with a line for agreement/endorsement below?

  • Are a constant surprise.

    That is the surprise is that the peasants haven't rebelled a long time ago.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.

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