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Social Networks The Courts Your Rights Online

Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue 216

Posted by timothy
from the sue-you-sue-anybody dept.
sandbagger (654585) writes "The New York Times reports that General Mills, the maker of cereals like Cheerios and Chex as well as brands like Bisquick and Betty Crocker, has quietly added language to its website to alert consumers that they give up their right to sue the company if they download coupons, or 'join' it in social media communities. Who'd have imagined that clicking like requires a EULA?"
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Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

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  • by kruach aum (1934852) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @05:44PM (#46783109)

    They could also write in that if I click 'like' on a cereal facebook page I would have to kill myself, but that doesn't make it legally binding.

  • Re:11-11-11 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kruach aum (1934852) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @05:50PM (#46783173)

    The release date of Skyrim?

  • by OakDragon (885217) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:00PM (#46783257) Journal
    ...it just makes me want to sue them on principle.
  • This isn't news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ziggitz (2637281) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:00PM (#46783271)
    Until we hear about this actually holding up in court, which I highly doubt it will. Large companies are preemptively covering their asses in any way they can by flinging shit against the wall and seeing what sticks. I imagine that they've done this in several other ways that also wouldn't be likely to stand up in court, but if any one method does, then the payoff is huge so it makes sense to do it.
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya ... m minus math_god> on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:01PM (#46783273) Homepage Journal

    I fond not using facebook has worked best.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:08PM (#46783343)

    I know that it's said that ignorance of a contract is no excuse for breaching it.

    Of course ignorance of the existence of a contract is an excuse for "breaching" it. What you're probably thinking of is "ignorance of the law is no excuse". But just because GF says "buying a box of our cereal creates a contractual relationship" doesn't make it so.

  • Re:so? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:31PM (#46783531) Journal

    They don't pay as much for for preferential treatment as the other guys. Their only need for lobbying is to ensure farm subsidies are as high as possible to force down the market price for grain.

    Actually, the best way to force prices for grain downwards is to *remove* government subsidies, since most of them go towards paying farmers to limit their harvest output, thereby keeping per-bushel prices high.

    Same with any other non-processed food item - dump the subsidies, and farmers will have to increase production to make up for it. This in turn will force prices down for those food items.

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tompaulco (629533) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:32PM (#46783537) Homepage Journal
    The Like button has created a quandary for millions. It may be possible for you to "unlike" something, but that has not nearly the force of a "dislike" button. In order to get your voice heard at all, one has to "Like" the product to become associated with it. Then you can rant and rave about how bad it is. This makes about as much sense as clicking "Start" to shutdown your computer.
    The "Like" button also doesn't provide the expression one needs when confronted with a post such as 'My mom just died." What do you do? Like it? Not Like it? Dislike might be a better choice in this instance as well.
    Of course, Facebook wouldn't allow a Dislike button. That would be too negative.
    So, just don't use Facebook, or acknowledge the existence thereof.
  • by tompaulco (629533) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:33PM (#46783543) Homepage Journal

    Indeed. Good luck arguing in court that someone gave up their right to sue. The legal profession tends to be awfully sceptical of such measures, and none more so than judges. While it might stand up if, for example, all parties agreed to use some reasonable form of binding arbitration instead, it's hard to imagine the big company would get anywhere against the little customer under these conditions.

    Like locks on a door, this is only to deter the casual litigant. It wouldn't stand up in court, but if someone was to express an interest in suing, GM would reply with "you signed a document saying you wouldn't", and that would be good enough for 99% of the brainless slugs.

  • Send a message (Score:4, Insightful)

    by duke_cheetah2003 (862933) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:36PM (#46783565) Homepage

    Don't buy their products. Boycott.

    Corporations only listen to their bottom line, and we can make a lot of noise by simply not buying and encouraging everyone we know to do the same.

    Sadly, I was not a fan of General Mills' products to begin with. Fortunately, it'll make a boycott for me rather painless.

    But sending a message that this sort of behavior is unacceptable would be a good thing.

  • by PaddyM (45763) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:39PM (#46783581) Homepage

    You mean because their medicine makes my head hurt :)

    Seriously, thank you, I did not realize the proscribe is the opposite of prescribe in terms of the law.

  • by zippthorne (748122) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @08:02PM (#46784187) Journal

    ...What you're probably thinking of is "ignorance of the law is no excuse"...

    Which is it's own level of BS when you think about it. It's predicated on the idea that you're responsible for making yourself aware of the law, so that you won't violate it in ignorance. But today's body of law is so great that I'm not sure it's possible for a person to read it all within a single lifetime, let alone piece together all of the cross links and understand everything that applies to you.

    The authors and passers of the law bear some responsibility for violations when the law is so verbose and numerous as to be an impediment to understanding.

  • by geekmux (1040042) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @08:21PM (#46784309)

    Until we hear about this actually holding up in court, which I highly doubt it will. Large companies are preemptively covering their asses in any way they can by flinging shit against the wall and seeing what sticks. I imagine that they've done this in several other ways that also wouldn't be likely to stand up in court, but if any one method does, then the payoff is huge so it makes sense to do it.

    The problem with the shit-slinging tactic is there is not enough logic employed on either side of the bench to ensure that the shit slides off the wall, and not into a case of precedent, which is all it takes to ensure shit replaces logic perpetually and turns the entire process into a steaming pile of corruption.

    You know, kind of what we have today...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2014 @09:01PM (#46784529)

    ...GM would reply with "you signed a document saying you wouldn't", and that would be good enough for 99% of the brainless slugs.

    How is clicking Like akin to "signing a document"?
    Does clicking Like make a EULA popup for you to read?
    Does it even notify you that you agree to it's terms on some webpage?
    They would have to argue that anyone clicking like on anything would assume that they agree to something, which I don't think will hold up.

    What wonderful customer relations.
    You click "Like" and they respond with "Fuck You!"

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Friday April 18, 2014 @12:28AM (#46785393)

    Although big companies have been making inroads here against the little customer, which is indeed what has been encouraging big companies to add more and more of these ridiculous arbitration agreements. For example the article even mentions the AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion case which said that an arbitration agreement wording could be used to forbid going to arbitration as a class action.

    The trouble is that there's a growing movement of anti-legal-system thinking out there, especially on the right wing. They see lawsuits as a problem, and trial lawyers as bad people (but a trial lawyer on your side is a good guy, trial lawyers for other people are the evil ones). Combine this with a pro-corporate attitude, and this means that these sorts of arbitration agreements may have a lot of support in congress.

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