Thursday, June 16, 2011

There ought to be a law!

I bought a $0.99 app for my iPad this morning. Before buying it, I had to agree to the new and changed terms of the iTunes legal agreement. This legal agreement is presented on my iPad as a series of FORTY-ONE PAGES, each of which requires scrolling to read. How many hours am I expected to study this agreement before accepting it? Sheesh.

It could be worse. These ‘agreements’ to use software used to appear onscreen in tiny type, sometimes laid out so that you had to scroll horizontally to read EACH LINE; and not accessible to copy-and-paste. Double Sheesh.

Companies ought to be required to make it easy to review the legalese we’re agreeing to before buying or downloading software. If you weren’t born yesterday, you know that some of these agreements bury nasty terms in them, such as claiming ownership of content that you upload.

Finally, no one should be allowed to write a contract that says that the other party agrees to any future changes the contractor wishes to make. “Real” contracts generally say the exact opposite: “This is the only contract between X and Y, and it cannot be changed without written consent of both X and Y.” Triple Sheesh.

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