(It seems to me that honesty means not only obeying law, but *reading & understanding* contracts, even on the internet, before we sign or click "I agree".)
- Those contracts are legally binding, at least in the USA, as has been found in courts multiple times.
- So, often I choose not to do business with entities whose contracts are too long, have terms I don't like, include other documents by reference, etc.
- It also seems like we should not *write* contracts that specify, nor *agree* to do things, that we know almost no one will do, and which we ourselves do not.
- Common examples include words like "you agree to re-check the terms every time you use the site, since we modify them from time to time".
- Or using words like "indemnify", which are unfriendly and any attorney should know are not understood by the laypersons they want to agree to this.
- If an attorney responds "But it just means ...", then I wish they would say *that* simpler thing instead, or state it clearly in non-expert (8th grade?) terms.
- Who are your customers? Attorneys only? Those who mastered a minimum of high school language plus legal-specific terms? Do you want to be honest and kind?
- Would you use the same level of language difficulty in your sales materials, as you do in the terms to which you legally ask customers to agree?
- Site operators and executives, I wish, would not simply defer to their lawyers, but care about honesty and the Golden Rule and remember who works for whom.
- I think terms like that violate both honesty and the Golden Rule of treating others the way we (or they) would want to be treated...
- ...because we know practically no one reads or follows them, including the lawyers who write these things, which again, seems less than honest of them.
- (It would also be nice, surely it could be possible with some careful thought, to make them shorter (yet clear)! Wouldn't that be more friendly and kind?)
- (And it would also be a good Golden Rule improvement to consistently make it easy for someone to save a copy from the browser. Often it seems this is impeded.)
- (Maybe later we all could come up with some more standardized agreements for these situations so we know what is in it and don't have to read it every time.)
- I welcome discussion on this topic, especially if you can make clear that you understand, then explain where I am mistaken. See the page footer to contact.
- A related discussion on Hacker News (aka HN), mentioning resources to check on licenses and agreements, or diff them (see changes over time).
- A related discussion on slashdot.org where a minority of comments are somewhat interesting, like the one with "IAAL" in its text.
- Should public servants obey the law? Yes. Should you and I? Yes. Please consider the SPEED LIMIT, and TURN SIGNALING in advance!
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