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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 CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @05:48PM (#46783137) Homepage Journal

    General Mills... 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

    It might even be worse than that, according to an interview I heard on NPR earlier - the language of General Mills' new terms appears to include merely purchasing any of their products as a method of forcing you to waive your right to sue.

    Of course, they also said one could "opt-out" by sending an email to the company... Anybody got a list of everybody's email addresses?

    "Everybody" as in, every-fucking-body.

  • by PaddyM (45763) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @05:55PM (#46783231) Homepage

    IANAL, but can I send them this? Note that I would include my name and birth year per their legal requirements if I decide to send it.

    Any attempt to contact me via phone, email, or newspaper, constitutes acceptance of these legal terms. Any coupons for products produced by your company that are sent to me without my explicit request or that show up in an advertisement on the internet confirm your agreement to these terms.

    I do not agree to binding arbitration. I do not agree to any terms which General Mills has proscribed. I hereby agree to ignore any response, and only to send bills in the amount of $100,000.00 to General Mills if I receive a response. If I currently have any existing customer relationship with General Mills I hereby declare that relationship null and void. Any coupons from General Mills which arrive in my mailbox or in my email will result in a $10,000.00 per coupon recycling charge.

    ANY attempt to reply to my email will cost General Mills $100,000.00. There are no exceptions. If you disagree, if you think these terms are unfair, the only acceptable way to avoid payment of these terms that I have proscribed is to change your legal terms: http://generalmills.com/Legal_... [generalmills.com] to something compatible with US Constitutional law.

    Again, I am not bound by your legal terms. If your legal team finds some way that I am inadvertently bound by your legal terms (e.g. member of a particular website, that I was not aware was owned by General Mills), then General Mills owes me $100,000.00 and is required to remove me from that website at its own expense. If after that removal, you find that I'm still somehow related to General Mills in anyway, that will be another $100,000.00. So get it right the first time! Because I explicitly requested not to be bound by your legal terms and this notice serves as a record of that statement per your own legal terms.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:03PM (#46783285)

    Little did they know that there is a EULA that comes along with my purchase. If they sell me a product, they are agreeing to a long list of provisions which they are free to look up on my Web site.

  • by mirix (1649853) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:05PM (#46783313)

    I imagine I would want to kill myself if spent my time liking cereal on facebook, EULA or not.

  • This is actually a really good idea -- someone should create the OpenEULA -- a license agreement that individuals can sign on to, that indicates what conditions apply when a vendor accepts their payment. An organization that hosts the OpenEULA could even do things like get a credit card with the logo and references to the agreement on it, to make it completely legit (if the vendor accepts the card, they accept the liability should they breach the card's contract).

    Anyone up for kicking this off?

  • Small claims court (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:47PM (#46783643)

    I think small claims court is an under utilized weapon that we have. Everyone wants to sue big. We need a lot of people to start nickle and dime these companies in small claims court. In my state it costs $35 and claims could be up to $3000. The company can send only one person and it cannot be a lawyer. We can file in our local towns and they would have to travel there. Odds are, they will settle.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:50PM (#46783663)

    Wrong, GM will use it as a way to bash people into submission. When someone talks about suing and gets noisy enough, GM will send them a very powerful letter explaining to them in the most confusing way possible that they're already agreed to not sue them and that suing them would break this contract which would result in a counter suite from GM. That is enough for most people to back off. They aren't legal experts and have no way to defend themselves from a seemingly massive lawsuit.

    If the person continues to push on, GM will go "oops, we didn't actually mean that" and things will continue 'normally.'

    This is why we still need to fight against the slippery slope. While many things companies claim aren't legally enforceable, most people don't have the resources to claim otherwise so whatever the company says goes. As power always corrupts, companies will say more and more (which is what is happening with all the new you can't sue us clauses). We've let EULA get too strong because we're warn out from actively fighting them at every power grab.

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortexNO@S ... t-retrograde.com> on Thursday April 17, 2014 @07:27PM (#46783953)

    Little did they know that there is a EULA that comes along with my purchase. If they sell me a product, they are agreeing to a long list of provisions which they are free to look up on my Web site.

    I did that for HTTP. You'll find our binding agreement in your server logs. In the HTTP user agent header:

    (By continuing to transmit information via this TCP connection beyond these HTPP headers you and the business you act in behalf of [hereafter, "you"] agree to grant the user of this connection [hereafter, "me" or "I"] an unlimited, world wide and royalty free copyright for the use and redistribution of said information for any purpose including but not limited to satire or public display, and agree that any portion of an agreement concerning waiving of my legal rights made via this connection is null and void including but not limited to agreements concerning arbitration; By accepting these terms you also acknowledge and agree that these terms supersede any further agreement you or I may enter into via this connection, and that the partial voiding of agreements will be accepted as a contractual exception regardless of statements to the contrary in further terms agreed to by you or I via this connection. If you do not agree to the terms of using this connection you must terminate the connection immediately. If you do not or can not agree to these terms you do not have permission to continue sending information to me via this connection, and continuing your transmission will be in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.)

    You can add such a clause simply by using any of the various User-Agent switchers for your favorite browser.

  • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Thursday April 17, 2014 @07:45PM (#46784093) Homepage Journal

    The intention is to convince the reader that they can't sue for the dead rat they found in their canned corn, so they won' t try.

    A former employer shipped rat-enhanced corn once, and was both sued and fined for doing so. They became very thorough about warning the employees to watch out for furry critters in the plant (;-))

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