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The 5 Most Laughable Terms of Service On the Net

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the until-you-cry dept.

The Internet 399

nicholas.m.carlson writes "According to these five terms of service and EULA, Google owns any content you create using its Chrome browser and can filter your Gmail messages if it likes. Facebook says it can sell its users' uploaded images as stock photography. YouTube can keep footage of your kids forever, even after you've deleted it from the site. And AOL can ban you for using vulgar language on AIM. Funny, right? That's why Valleywag calls them 'The 5 most laughable terms of service on the Net.'" Reader dlaudel writes, regarding the previously-mentioned Google EULA for Chrome, "According to Ars Technica, Google's EULA for Chrome was just copy-and-pasted from its EULA for other services, a practice that is apparently common at Google."

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Indeed. (-1, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865671)

Second Post. I RULE!

Wow. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865697)

I never knew there was a way to guarantee a first post...That makes your failure all the sweeter. Mmmmm, tasty failure.

Re:Indeed. (5, Funny)

Hecatomb00 (1350893) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865817)

Lol 3rd Pots! err opst ...stop Fuck it.

Content created with Google Chrome. By reading this post you acknowledge and agree that Google (or Google's licensors) own all legal right, title and interest in and to the post, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in the post (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). You further acknowledge that the post may contain information which is designated confidential by Google and that you shall not disclose such information without Google's prior written consent.

Re:Indeed. (2, Funny)

erica_ann (910043) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866161)

All your base are belong to Google

Verizon DSL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865717)

I skimmed the terms of use when I started my Verizon DSL account several years ago, and I'm quite certain it said something about downloading pornography being prohibited. Um, yeah, sure -- click "agree" to continue...

while funny, (5, Interesting)

mistahkurtz (1047838) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865719)

what happens if these companies decide to try enforcing the EULAs?

Re:while funny, (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865755)

It loses in court and EULAs die and the world becomes a happier place.

Re:while funny, (5, Funny)

SplinterOfChaos (1330441) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865973)

Such an optimist! May I have your autograph? I don't see people like you very often.

More realistically, they try and the consumer has no clue about their rights and they succeed. But even more likely, they never do anything.

Re:while funny, (5, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865857)

EULA's are really more for protecting them from liability than they are for trying to steal our junk.

I mean, vis a vis the Facebook thing, there are vast quantities of precedent regarding copyright and liability which make it a bit unlikely that they could actually follow through on some mass appropriation of content...Just as an example, say I'm a professional photographer and someone else puts one of my images on Facebook...does that mean that they own all the rights to my photo? Seriously unlikely; those laws have wicked teeth, and there are very specific things that have to occur for you to transfer rights to your own copyrights to a third party.

Re:while funny, (4, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866125)

a eula is a warm blanket that stockholders and potential investors curl up in, as most of them are very old and have only a vague grasp of what these con-sarnit tubes are about,
a little draconian business practice makes everything a bit easier to buy into.

Re:while funny, (4, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866253)

Another fun part, copyright is a strict liability issue. That means that no matter how well Facebook thought they had permission you can sue them anyway for up to $30000/work (as opposed to the 150000$/work for willful infringement RIAA/MPAA wants). That's one of the reasons you go with a stock photo agency - they usually offer some indemnity that their pictures really are cleared to use. Oh yeah and apart from that, there's the model release so unless it's only you in the picture they have to get that too.

No problem... (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866115)

I always make it a point to alter the EULA to my terms. Really, if a forced, non-negotiated contract can be valid, I've got them by the balls.

A simple yellow Post-It note with my terms stuck to the screen allows me to click "OK" to the presented terms.

I'm not sure how I'm going to get Google to send me all of their 2008 profits in exchange for testing their browser, though.

laughable? (4, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865721)

Not really. The google one's funny, although wikis which were made with a predominantly chrome-using user base might have a problem with it. The facebook one is blatantly taking a right that it doesn't have a legitimate reason to take.

AIM probably has that in case someone goes crazy swearing at some kids and a bunch of soccer moms get angry, and the youtube one is probably some CYA, since services like that can often store copies that are hard if not impossible to find.

Overall, the terms of service (like most ToS's) are overkill and not something that people would agree to if they actually read it. The problem is that they put them in legalese, which might as well be japanese for most people.

Re:laughable? (5, Informative)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865867)

The facebook one is blatantly taking a right that it doesn't have a legitimate reason to take.

From their EULA:

"By accessing or using our web site at www.facebook.com or the mobile version thereof (together the "Site") or by posting a Share Button on your site, you (the "User") signify that you have read, understand and agree to be bound by these Terms of Use ("Terms of Use" or "Agreement"), whether or not you are a registered member of Facebook."

My emphasis.

Re:laughable? (5, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866089)

So how do I read the Terms of Use?

Go to facebook.com? If I do that, I've already agreed to it!

Re:laughable? (3, Funny)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866177)

Doesn't mean its enforceable. What if I put a website up that had a TOS that said (which of course you had to go to my website to read.)

"By accessing or using our web site at www.youarenowmyslave.com or the mobile version thereof (together the "Site") or by posting a Slave Button on your site, you (the "User") signify that you have read, understand and agree to be bound by these Terms of Use ("Terms of Use" or "Agreement"), and are my personal slave forever."

Guess what, not enforceable. There are even more issues with EULA stored online (that you have to seek out to read) plus various things about contracts requiring negotiations and consideration.

Re:laughable? (2, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866093)

> The problem is that they put them in legalese, which might as well be japanese for most
> people.

And yet 99.999% click "Agree" without even attempting to read the terms. Only fools agree to contracts which they have not read and understood.

And most are not that hard to understand anyway. "It's legalese and so I can't understand it" is usually code for "I can't be arsed to make the effort to understand it."

Re:laughable? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866233)

I think in the case of EULAs, though, people have an intuitive understanding that they can not, or should not be held to the terms of the EULA just because they click OK. They rightly think, "Well, I bought it, and they can't make me agree to anything after the fact, so I'm just going to click OK without bothering to read what they can't enforce."

Or it could just be that people are stupid and lazy and we are correct to feel smugly superior to them.

Re:laughable? (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866323)

"The problem is that they put them in legalese, which might as well be japanese for most people."

You know what? Legalese is just English. Everyone can understand this stuff when you point to the sentences in question. It's just that people are too damn lazy to *read it*.

the most amicable terms of service in the universe (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865735)

love thy neighbor... greed, fear & ego are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & the notion of prosperity, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Re:the most amicable terms of service in the unive (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865847)

For more information, see http://slashdot.on.zoy.org/ [zoy.org]

Re:the most amicable terms of service in the unive (4, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865993)

WARNING: the above link leads to a nasty GNAA page, and it's the same one you all have seen, so don't click it out of curiosity.

Would you wizz on an electric fence?

Re:the most amicable terms of service in the unive (4, Informative)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866059)

Would you wizz on an electric fence?

It hurts :(

Re:the most amicable terms of service in the unive (3, Informative)

sulfur (1008327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866257)

Quite interesting, I clicked it out of curiosity after reading your post to see if it could do any harm since I consider myself protected enough by using Firefox on Linux with some restrictive settings. *Sigh*... The only way to get rid of it was to issue "killall firefox" - so much for the pop-up blocker. I guess using NoScript is not that paranoid after all.

Something tells me YouTube is not to blame (3, Insightful)

kitgerrits (1034262) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865743)

These days, laws force people that store data to keep a copy of that data for 'forensic puropses'.
OTOH, when posting anything to The Internets, don't be surprised if it shows up in some odd places (like a google search by your boss).

Re:Something tells me YouTube is not to blame (3, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866019)

I thought it might have something to do with data retention and backups. i.e. preventing someone from suing them because they still have a copy of a deleted video on one of their 2-month-old backup tapes.

Re:Something tells me YouTube is not to blame (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866105)

This is why anonymity is so important on the internets. If you hold a magnifying glass up to anyone's life you are bound to find something objectionable if you look hard enough. So, multiple identities and anonymity is the only way to remain safe online.

Re:Something tells me YouTube is not to blame (1)

geniice (1336589) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866277)

I suspect it is to allow them to use things like youtube screenshots in ads or create their own "mashups" of youtube content without haveing to worry too much about copyright. That particular term though does cause issues if you want to upload something derived from someone elses's copyleft material.

funny? (4, Insightful)

CaptainNerdCave (982411) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865745)

the DMCA is laughable too, and we're not laughing

Re:funny? (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865815)

the DMCA is laughable too, and we're not laughing

We are. HAR HAR HAR!
Sincerely yours,
the R.I.A.A.

Re:funny? (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865991)

the DMCA is laughable too, and we're not laughing

Seriously. So, is the chrome EULA "cute" because it's a Google product? I don't care if they copy and paste it - what if they try to enforce it on someone using their browser?

Re:funny? (1, Informative)

fuliginous (1059354) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866187)

Sorry but anyone who thinks that a billion dollar company copies and pastes licenses in that un reviewed manner is less than a half wit.

If people bother to read the term it says (translating for morons) if you use their services you are agreeing they have a right to do the things with your copyrighted work necessary in order to provide the service.

In short if you didn't grant such terms even to transmit your document (as an example) to the service because would be copyright violation.

I'm not saying there aren't potential holes to abuse but almost all reporting I have seen is just wrong.

Re:funny? (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866101)

MOD THIS UP!, Seriously I got a email from a campaign and just replied telling them my displeasure with the DMCA and to repeal it. Of course it wont do much but, if enought voices are heard maybe they will take notice.

For the apologizers (1)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865747)

Before anyone says something along the lines of the following...

But these are private companies, they can do whatever they want. It's there space.

..., please tell me when the last time Youtube told you it would hold your content after you deleted it. Oh right, you had to find that little minuscule footer link that most no one goes to. These are also posted when signing up, but they are in boring, long, law-speak that no one bothers to understand.

Re:For the apologizers (2, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865853)

The question should be: when was the last time YouTube said they wouldn't keep your home movies forever?

If you just make pessimistic assumptions until you are proven wrong by a legal document (ignoring the possible invalidity of many EULA clauses) then you don't have to worry about this stuff.

Re:For the apologizers (2, Insightful)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866165)

I definitely agree. Considering where your data is going and what might happen to it will almost always prevent these problems.

I think my main point is about the people on Youtube who don't read Boing Boing and /. Mostly, all of the videos on Youtube are crap that no one has to worry about. But there have to be some cases where someone makes a mistake. One may forget to edit something embarassing out, or leave something personal visible in the edge of a scene. Some YouTube users will assume that the delete switch can fix this. They probably have no idea that this information is going to stay in storage somewhere practically indefinitely.

Now, before I get caught up in the uber paranoid every-large-corporation-is-evil groupthink, it's probably safe to say that YouTube isn't going to do anything with this embarassing/personal information that the user thought was deleted. But the possibility is there and it's something to consider.

Re:For the apologizers (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866163)

Look, YouTube isn't going to keep your home movies. They're too busy making copies of the porn people upload before it's deleted, along with all the tv programs and movies that they don't want to be seen pirating via peer-to-peer.

They're supposedly changing the Chrome EULA (5, Informative)

Dude McDude (938516) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865751)

http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-chrome-license-agreement/ [mattcutts.com]

In order to keep things simple for our users, we try to use the same set of legal terms (our Universal Terms of Service) for many of our products. Sometimes, as in the case of Google Chrome, this means that the legal terms for a specific product may include terms that donâ(TM)t apply well to the use of that product. We are working quickly to remove language from Section 11 of the current Google Chrome terms of service. This change will apply retroactively to all users who have downloaded Google Chrome.

Rebecca Ward, Senior Product Counsel for Google Chrome

Re:They're supposedly changing the Chrome EULA (1)

Dude McDude (938516) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865787)

I guess I should have read the Ars Technica link. :-/

Re:They're supposedly changing the Chrome EULA (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865837)

They already have done.

Re:They're supposedly changing the Chrome EULA (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866151)

Why does it need "terms of service" at all? It's supposedly Open Source.

Re:They're supposedly changing the Chrome EULA (3, Informative)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866327)

Chromium is open source. Chrome isn't.

Re:They're supposedly changing the Chrome EULA (0, Redundant)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866179)

Just what is a "Senior Product Counsel"?

Google is making things up as it goes along and hoping you'll believe only the last thing they tell you.

They're keeping the data. And using it. And profiting from it. As long as you don't stop them. And how can you? Except by not giving it to them, by never using the Internet.

Re:They're supposedly changing the Chrome EULA (1)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866271)

So they copied and pasted the EULA from another product, without actually reading it? It sounds like they take their EULA about as seriously as most users do.

What's Funny One Day... (4, Insightful)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865757)

...is scary the next.

Granted, most people ignore the EULAs. But, what happens if the EULAs can actually be enforced?

No surprise. (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865771)

Everyone asks for whatever they think they can get preemptively to reduce their own liability. I mean, imagine Facebook loses all your pictures through some data breach. If they didn't have all the rights to 'em sewn up, this might be a problem.

Likewise the rest. If you have no rights, you can't complain when they get infringed on. The AOL thing is probably more along the lines of pre-justifying the banning of accounts.

Retroactive Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865783)

"the EULA will be corrected, and the correction will be retroactive".
That's nice, but I wonder... if it is possible to retroactively correct a EULA for the good of the user, can EULAs be retroactively modified to screw up the user?

1. Offer free software with very permissive EULA.
2. Once it's popular, retroactively change EULA to 'all your stuff are belong to us'.
3. Profit!

Re:Retroactive Correction (1)

iamhigh (1252742) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866137)

Damn AC, you need to have a "#.???" in there.

so what (1)

billsnow (1334685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865785)

the lease I signed with my landlord says he can kick me out, anytime, for whatever reason.

Re:so what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865953)

the lease I signed with my landlord says he can kick me out, anytime, for whatever reason.

Let's presume that your landlord wrote, in tiny paragraphs (to avoid suspicion), wrote that he has the right to take your life for no apparent reason. Dohttp://yro.slashdot.org/yro/08/09/03/2130233.shtml# you believe that simply, by agreeing to an EULA or a contract, that you can overwrite specific protections given to you by the government?

If so, I have some ocean front property I want to sell you on the cheap. Just agree to my shady EULA!

Re:so what (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866003)

Without notice? Your lease sucks.

Re:so what (2, Interesting)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866017)

And the scope of that is severely limited by very many state, county and city regulations, unless you happen to live in a libertarian "paradise". This is why contracts always have a clause like "If a portion of this contract is void due to conflict with laws, the remaining portions of the contract will still be in full effect." Contracts are not only legal instruments; like all human communication, they are also used to intimidate and establish a notion of security. Do yourself a favor and read up on the law; it takes about an hour at the library or online, and it can save you $thousands and a lot of pain...

For example, I remember reading in the Seattle city code (in the late 90s), that if you ask the landlord for permission and funding to do reasonable minor renovations to your apartment, and don't hear anything within 30 days, it is an implied agreement. You may proceed, and if you present receipts, the landlord is legally required to reimburse you for costs up to something like $200. (I am not a lawyer; this is not legal advice, simply my recollection of my own experiences.)

The difference is, the online realm doesn't have these community standards yet.

Re:so what (2, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866207)

and it's total BS. I actually had this conversation with a friend that owns some 350 properties. It was quite an eye-opener for me. Evicting is not easy, not swift, and not free.

In numerous cases, he has simply told them "be out of here in three days and so long as you haven't trashed the place I'll even give you your deposit back." In the long run it works out far better for him than the 2 or so months of lost rent trying to get them through the eviction process, plus the cost to serve the notice, the time to go to court, etc. Evicting you is the last option the landlord wants to take. (unless you are a complete terror)

He really doesn't like evicting people. From his discussions with other landlords, in most cases, the tenant never shows up in court. But for his experience, EVERY SINGLE TENANT has shown up for court, drives him crazy. Every one of them fought it.

There are quite a lot of laws on the books to make eviction a long process, and you as a tenant cannot waive those rights by signing anything. Although it is legally possible to sign away any of your rights short of those in the constitution, there are laws forbidding contracts from including the surrender of certain rights. It doesn't nullify the rest of the lease agreement, but that part that says he can kick you on the street without warning, that part of the contract is void.

Don't know if I consider these laughable (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865789)

Unless by laughable you mean that there was no reason for them to specify this sort of ownership in the first place since since we all understand, anything on the Internet is free-game for anyone.

However that said, they are dead serious about ownership and this is one of the main reasons I post no creative content on sites I do not own. When it comes down to litigation, who has the bigger pocket? Certainly not me...

Not ownership (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865821)

The Google EULA states that you grant them a non-exclusive right to store and reproduce your stuffs where necessary for the use of Google's services, which is a necessity because otherwise they'd be infringing on your IP rights by storing your files and serving them up to you. You retain copyright, ownership, blah de blah, as stated at the top of that part of the EULA. For Chrome, it's already been revised to only include the "you retain your rights" clause.

Licensing (4, Interesting)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865825)

Heh heh... Just the other day an acquaintance was telling me that his company won't use open source software because the GPL is "too restrictive" (huh?). So I suggested that he actually read the EULAs for the software they do use there. He just mutters something about communism and the conversation is over!

Re:Licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865907)

The GPL places absolutely no restrictions on end users. You can do whatever the hell you want with it (including modify it). Only if you modify and redistribute it do you run into major problems (within a company, on company machines does not count as redistribution at all).

Re:Licensing (2, Interesting)

drooling-dog (189103) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866147)

That's (sort of) my point. You'd be surprised what people believe - or have been led to believe - out there. The guy I was referring to thought that if his company used any FOSS, for any purpose, then everything they'd ever created would have to be open-sourced as well. Beliefs like this aren't at all uncommon, in my experience.

Re:Licensing (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866231)

No great surprise, at least not after reading the recent BBC interview with the Flat Earth Society. Well, I guess I've actually been a lot more despondent about human intelligence long before that, but I guess that really proved things for me.

one thing they have in common (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865839)

is none of them are legally enforcable

by reading this post and moving your mouse or touching your keyboard
you agree to assign all property to me forever

Re:one thing they have in common (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865895)

Exactly. My personal EULA is much shorter.
1: Hahaha.
2: I'll see you in court.

Problem (2, Insightful)

nickswitzer (1352967) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865861)

Most people don't actually read all of the Terms of Service, including myself. The problem is we don't feel that large companies (such as the ones expressed in the article) would take advantage of us in their EULA and just agree to anything. But if we did read and find it (such as now) are we going to stop using these services? Probably not.

Oh the 5 most...? (5, Funny)

euice (953774) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865871)

Tomorrow we'll see the 10 fastest ... and then the 20 worst ... and then the 100 funniest ...

And on the day I read a headline like "the 50 hottest nerds" on the frontpage, I'll digg that story. (and promote it on every other page I can find too).

Slashdot will need it, by then. Sigh..

This is why... (0, Flamebait)

beonarri (894655) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865879)

...I as an artist, don't like these services. I have no original things on Facebook, and I uninstalled Chrome because of the EULA.

Google Lawyer must be a plush job (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865881)

Copy-paste copy-paste copy-paste

Re:Google Lawyer must be a plush job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865989)

By plush did you mean furry? or luxurious and extravagant? I'm not sure how cutting and pasting fits either one of those criteria. Is this the part where you tell me that, for all intensive purposes, you've nipped something in the butt?

Re:Google Lawyer must be a plush job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866081)

I think it's a mute point

Re:Google Lawyer must be a plush job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866169)

Getting a lawyer's salary for cut-and-pasting would be extravagant, wouldn't it?

(Whatever their faults, it's hard to honestly say that lawyers are generally lazy.)

Has to do with offline backups... (3, Insightful)

KnightElite (532586) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865885)

I think that these kind of clauses in the TOS (particularly the YouTube one listed) have to do with the fact that they aren't going to go through all their data backups and guarantee they delete your video submissions, even if you delete it from the site. When you think of it in that context, it makes a lot of sense for them to cover their asses.

laughable (2, Insightful)

binarybum (468664) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865901)

not so much funny "ha ha" as funny "holy crap these companies are all run by people with God complexes."

Not Just At Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865903)

Failure to think is common pretty much everywhere.
Isn't it odd though, to spend years on this piece of software, tailoring it to do exactly the job you want, spending millions of dollars getting to the end. At which point they decide that they'll just stick any old legally binding document in with it. It just makes you think there's a group of software lawyers who show complete disrespect for their coding colleagues.
The same thing happened at Apple though, with the Windows Safari screw up, and there might be another answer as to why this shoddy practice goes through, and it's probably because the coders have such little thought outside of the function of the program that once they're done the just stick that thing they stick everything on. Of course they're probably right and most of these things come to nothing. But it's important to keep in mind these documents are something invented by comapnies-not by consumers and we all know who they're protecting.

Worst Story Submission Ever? (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865909)

The story submission makes assertions about the claims in the various user agreements and then 'supports' these claims by linking to the entire agreements, leaving it for you to sift through the masses of text yourself, to prove or disprove the claims!

Why not just say something like "User agreements are bad, go google up some EULAs and see for yourself!"

New. Low.

Glad I'm on /. (3, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865921)

And AOL can ban you for using vulgar language on AIM. Funny, right?

How's that for some sh---
[------ACCOUNT BANNED-------]

EULA? (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865925)

And all this time, I though EULA stood for:
Entirely
Useless
Languages
of America

Doh! . . .hit the any key to agree . . .

Re:EULA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866007)

And "ANY" stands for Annoying Non Yankees.

Nice summary (1)

LordSnooty (853791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865945)

You saved me the trouble of RTFA, which of course I usually do.

How about: up to 16 MBit/second (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 6 years ago | (#24865985)

ISP speed claims, "unlimited" amounts of download (until you read what the * means).

These are far and away worse than the petty restrictions placed in the examples cited in the article.

In order to find those ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24865997)

... someone would actually need to read them.

What Happens To All Of The Google APIs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866001)

and user applications when Google goes out of business?

I don't think so ... (3, Informative)

chrome (3506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866011)

9.4 Other than the limited license set forth in Section 11, Google acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms in or to any Content that you submit, post, transmit or display on, or through, the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with Google, you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights and that Google has no obligation to do so on your behalf.

Seems pretty clear to me. Why the rabble rabble?

Re:I don't think so ... (1)

chrome (3506) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866027)

Oh, they just fixed it. Yay google?

Re:I don't think so ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866249)

chrome (3506)

Aah! A browser that speaks!

EULA for Open Source? (4, Interesting)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866013)

"According to Ars Technica, Google's EULA for Chrome was just copy-and-pasted from its EULA for other services, a practice that is apparently common at Google."

Why the hell do they think they need an "EULA" or "TOS" for a supposedly Open Source program at all? Doesn't Google run these things pas their lawyers? Or do they and this is the result?

Re:EULA for Open Source? (2, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866131)

They're a search company and obviously used the first EULA their search engine found.

Re:EULA for Open Source? (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866133)

Chromium is the open-source project. Google Chrome is a Google product derived from that project, basically by slapping an additional licence or two on top.

Re:EULA for Open Source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866245)

Right, they're a huge company, the first likely intent with the EULA is to cover their ass, anything overreaching is likely just unintentional.

However, it is fun to throw on some tinfoil and imagine a world where google use their newly minted browser, that people are in no way compelled to use, in order to steal all the users' provoking blog posts and professional grade digital photos in order to start up a new business model to replace the one destroyed by losing the trust of it's user base.

How/why does Chrome have an EULA (0, Redundant)

TwistedSymmetry (1354405) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866037)

...Considering that it is open source?
Or am I missing something?

Legalese (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866085)

As you agreed in section 3(a) which references paragraph C(7) we are allowed all avenues in subsection (i) and (ii) of endorsement (A) and as a user of this you agree to be limited by Exhibit (D) with respect to Paragraphs (3),(7),and (11), but you may have additional rights as described in Part IV of this Agreement.

Please hit any key to agree . . .

Notable Omission (5, Funny)

creature124 (1148937) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866103)

I personally have always got a kick out of this particular clause from the iTunes EULA:

You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons.

from the EULA: (0, Redundant)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866123)

9.4 Other than the limited license set forth in Section 11, Google acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms in or to any Content that you submit, post, transmit or display on, or through, the Services, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with Google, you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights and that Google has no obligation to do so on your behalf.

Unless they changed it since the story was posted (which is entirely possible), Google makes no such claim.

From the EULA (1)

BigRare (187855) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866167)

"11. Content license from you

11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."

Oh wait... This... This is Slashdot. Forgive me I... I didn't realize where I was...

Anything odd about this TOS? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866183)

This [sourceforge.com] TOS needs commentary.

There are many choice tidbits, including this one from section 5:

SourceForge reserves the right to refuse or delete any Content of which it becomes aware and reasonably deems not to fulfill the Most Holy Purposes laid down by CmdrTaco and CowboyNeal....

Okay, maybe not, but what if...?

Why are these funny? (2, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866203)

These are, for the part, free optional services. Much of this has been discussed before. Google is in the business of selling ads, and so needs to be able to do as it likes to maximize the ad revenue. If it owns your stuff, then it can mine it as it wishes. As far as sites that allow the free display of pictures and videos, they need to recoup some bandwidth costs as well. One might to sublicense the content to other providers. Another might be the media. For example, I wonder if the pictures of the Republican Baby's Daddy were republished for free, or if there were some standard fee involved.

As far as deleting content, we all know that is BS. These users voluntarily unloaded the content. Not one forced them. They uploaded the content onto a free service and expect some privacy? That is like allowing some random house painters to paint you house for free, and expect all you stuff to be there when you get back.

I have much more sympathy for the TOS when a product is free than when the product has a real cost. The free service has to protect itself from intellectual theft and harassment by lawsuit. If a video sharing site did not own the content, or at least a license to it in perpetuity, then these services surely would be sued by young teen unmarried mother who was foolish enough to post a video of her naked baby running around the house, only to be chided by her mother that such pictures were not good publicity.

OTOH, the publicity of the TOS are good because they help educate the populous that nothing is truly free. The pictures, videos, and words you post can be used if and when there is a need for someone to so do. I am wondering if this is the year when a sex video has political ramifications. At least with words, you can say you were just playing around. So, I think as people get used to these free services, we will see a more sane approach to the situation. Honestly, this tech is just too new for social norms to have developed around them.

TOS that prohibit linking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866213)

How can "the 5 most laughable terms of service on the Net" not include mention of websites that claim in their TOS that you can't link to them without permission?

For example [technologyreview.com] : "You may not ... , link to, ... any content except as expressly permitted by the copyright laws, in this Agreement, or in the Site's Permission Services section."

For other examples, see dontlink.com [dontlink.com]

My favourite EULA (2, Funny)

DI Rebus (1342829) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866225)

Is for the Dunhill web site. Dunhill makes expensive stuff for people who earn bags of money. In their EULA, it says that you are not allowed to link to their web site unless you get written permission. You can read that http://www.dunhill.com/en/terms-and-conditions/ [dunhill.com] Be sure to forward that to a few people.

More ValleyWag spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24866237)

I love how the ValleyWag guys (Nick Carlson) posts (same story multiple times - see Firehose) to Slashdot to get their links up.

Google bashing gone wrong? (2, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866255)

This looks like a bashing that went wrong. Complain about Googles bad EULA and they turn around on a dime and change it to the better the very next day. It must be very very hard to run a smear campaign against a company like that. Sucks to be Microsofts astroturfers nowadays.

Facebook's EULA (2, Interesting)

PsyberS (1356021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866265)

What strikes me as interesting is that Facebook thinks they can sell your photos you upload. IANAL, but I am pretty sure that unless I explicitly transfer the rights over to them I maintain all ownership and copyright control over any photos (that I took myself) uploaded to them. I don't think a blanket EULA can revoke my right to the copyrights. Am I wrong here?

Easy Chrome Workaround (2, Informative)

Plekto (1018050) | more than 6 years ago | (#24866331)

Just go to their original open-source site and download it from there. No EULA at all other than the BSD one(which is fairly non-intrusive)

http://code.google.com/chromium/ [google.com]

You will need to compile it, though, but I suspect a compiled non-EULA version of it will be available for Windows very very soon.

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