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Fine Print Says Game Store Owns Your Soul

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the anything-to-beat-this-level dept.

United Kingdom 262

mr_sifter writes "UK games retailer GameStation revealed that it legally owns the souls of thousands of customers, thanks to a clause it secretly added to the online terms and conditions for its website. The 'Immortal Soul Clause' was added as part of an attempt to highlight how few customers read the terms and conditions of an online sale. GameStation claims that 88 percent of customers did not read the clause, which gives legal ownership of the customer's soul over to the UK-based games retailer. The remaining 12 percent of customers however did notice the clause and clicked the relevant opt-out box, netting themselves a £5 GBP gift voucher in the process."

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Legally owns.... (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857302)

for sufficient definitions of "unconscionable contract".

Re:Legally owns.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31857416)

"unconscionable contract"

wouldn't this void all current contracts?

Re:Legally owns.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31857490)

Only the parts that are unconscionable.

Re:Legally owns.... (2, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857738)

Hardly. It's only unconscionable if it's unexpected by the signing party. Lets face it consumers expect to bend over in uncomfortable ways for telecom companies and software companies. It would almost be unconscionable for a contract to consist solely of "Here's the thing you bought, do what you like"

Re:Legally owns.... (2, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858086)

There are some things that a court could be expected to say are reasonable in a contract. Three-figure monetary penalties are one example. "Your immortal soul" isn't.

Re:Legally owns.... (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858210)

Only if the court accepts that such a thing actually exists and has a value to be considered.

That's going to be one interesting court case, especially when the time for evidence comes.

Re:Legally owns.... (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858454)

That's going to be one interesting court case, especially when the time for evidence comes.

Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks?...

Re:Legally owns.... (3, Funny)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859078)

Two words: penis envy.

Re:Legally owns.... (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858484)

You've been modded funny, but just think, what happens if a court makes a legal ruling that:

a: Souls do not exist and so a contract for one can't be arbitrated or enforced on that point.
b: Souls definitely do exist and are infinitely valuable because there is a God who redeems them via immortality.
b: Souls do exist, but they have only a finite value that can be controlled by the government because no religion that says they are immortal is true.

How many of the people who gave you your funny will be laughing three tenths of a second after they hear the entire courtroom was taken out with a rocket propelled grenade and someone is hanging local government officials with the sign "Antichrist" (Or "Apostate of the Koran", or "Papist" or "Heretic" or whatever) around their necks? Hell, even Buddhists and Atheists sometimes kill over questions like this, and my own religion is full of aggressive nutcases (Yes, I'm a Protestant). The poor judge who has to deal with this will be walking on eggshells to avoid any ruling that even mentions whether souls exist or how much they are worth.

Re:Legally owns.... (0)

Mr Teddy Bear (540142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858560)

It is easier than you think... If souls exist, it is a religious issue. And most religions state that God owns your soul, not you. It isn't yours to sell. Contract invalid. If they don't exist, there is nothing to sell. Contract invalid. Even if you come to the point that the soul is something that is yours, there is no way for one to collect on such a deal. Thus... you guessed it... contract invalid.

Re:Legally owns.... (0)

Grapes4Buddha (32825) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858696)

Actually, not true. My understanding of Christianity is that your soul belongs to you. In fact it is the only thing that belongs to you. Your purpose on Earth is to use your Free Will to determine whether you will give your soul to Jehovah or Satan (and hence go to Heaven or Hell) when you die.

And since Jehovah Created you, you'd be a total dick to go to the Other Guy. Ingrate.

Re:Legally owns.... (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858788)

And since Jehovah Created you, you'd be a total dick to go to the Other Guy. Ingrate.

I love it when religion tries its hand at something so alien as this newfangled invention called "logic" (you know, created after the stone age, that's pretty new from a religious POV).

Now another internally consistent argument would say that since Jehovah created you including your soul, he has no use for souls, since he can apparently make them. Giving your soul to him would be like giving the shoemaker a pair of shoes for christmas.

Debunk me. :-)

Re:Legally owns.... (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858752)

Hell, even Buddhists and Atheists sometimes kill over questions like this,

[citation needed]

The poor judge who has to deal with this will be walking on eggshells to avoid any ruling that even mentions whether souls exist or how much they are worth.

Yes, he will. Maybe, just maybe, someone in there will realize just how crazy it is to kill each other over a word.
Once you have reached that stage, welcome to Atheism, it's a few more easy steps in the same direction. :-)

Re:Legally owns.... (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858604)

IANAL but IIRC only people with souls are allowed in UK courts.

Re:Legally owns.... (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857422)

for sufficient definitions of "unconscionable contract".

Or for sufficient definitions of 'joke.'

Re:Legally owns.... (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857658)

Meh, if GameStation wants to fight the devil over it when I get sent down to the cellar, I'm not seeing too many downsides. Unless GameStation is run by Cthulhu, in which case it's the greater evil.

Enforceable? (0)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857330)

Aside from the obvious fact that this was a publicity stunt, could they even enforce a contract claiming ownership over a mythical construct anyway? Doubtful at best.... how can i keep idle from ever showing up on the front page again?

Re:Enforceable? (2)

gabereiser (1662967) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857340)

Enforceable, probably not, deviously hilarious, absolutely....

Re:Enforceable? (2, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857446)

I can help you keep idle off the front page, but it's going to cost you something... precious: your Slashdot user ID. Mwahahahaha!

Re:Enforceable? (2, Insightful)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857642)

Totally offtopic, but why would a user with a four-digit id want the user id from a five-digit user?

Re:Enforceable? (2, Funny)

raynet (51803) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857858)

Maybe to feel younger again?

Re:Enforceable? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858640)

Totally offtopic, but why would a user with a four-digit id want the user id from a five-digit user?

Maybe they are slumming?

Back! Back, you 4-digiter! (3, Funny)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857888)

Return to the foul, eldtritch depths from whence you came, Beast from Beyond! The stars are not yet aligned and your time has not yet come! Back! Back I say! No Slashdot User IDs for you!

Re:Back! Back, you 4-digiter! (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858138)

AAAHhhhhhhhaaargh! Curse ye, I am foiled! I shall return to The Basement until my powers grow. You've not heard the last of me! *POOF* Cough, cough damn it, the package said these smoke bombs were non toxic.

Re:Enforceable? (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857708)

Aside from the obvious fact that this was a publicity stunt, could they even enforce a contract claiming ownership over a mythical construct anyway? Doubtful at best.... how can i keep idle from ever showing up on the front page again?

No these terms of sales just EULAs are usually not valid, neither in form nor in content.

Re:Enforceable? (2, Funny)

shentino (1139071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857716)

If I agree to sell my soul, am I then liable to God for conversion?

Re:Enforceable? (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858334)

"I am a professional medium. My Gift says you still have your soul. Please give to them what you agreed by contract or the clauses are null"

There has been more silly things defended in a court of law.

Re:Enforceable? (2, Interesting)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858340)

TFA mentions that this was done on April 1st.

I don't usually consider April fools jokes publicity stunts, but I suppose I can see how they could be taken that way.

Re:Enforceable? (0, Troll)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858980)

Contracts for imaginary property are enforceable, so why not?

No I read it... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31857358)

My soul has been pissing me off.

I mean for real, stop whining - I know - I'm slowly killing you with violent video games - give it a rest already.

Soul back please (2, Funny)

bakestyle20 (951118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857468)

Dear GameStation, I would like to inquire as to the price of my soul. ... and if you have a chance, could I have a quote on the soul of "1337gAm0r122" from your forums . Best Regards, Joe

OSR (Obligatory Simpson's Reference) (3, Funny)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857472)

"I'll throw in my sense of decency for an extra $5 - It's a Bart sales bonanza, everything must go!"

To bad I have my own soul clause: (1)

Logibeara (1620627) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857502)

"By agreeing to sell me this game your company hereby forfeits all owned souls to me; In the case of my soul ownership by said company, during this transaction, soul gains ownership of said company."

Make it readable (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31857532)

If you want me to read it, make it readable.

1. NO legalese
2. One page maximum length

Putting a 30 page wall of text full of legalese and word games does NOT constitute a useful document. I'm paying for a product, not to play lawyer.

Re:Make it readable (5, Insightful)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857620)

Funny thing about legal documents: It doesn't matter if you read them, understand them, whatever. Only that you sign them.

Re:Make it readable (1)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857674)

good thing there wasn't any signing involved.

Re:Make it readable (1)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857772)

Sign, accept, whatever. The doc in the article was the usual, "Using this means you accept these terms" kind of thing.

Re:Make it readable (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858140)

The kind of thing that's never been tested in court - most likely because they know it would never stand up in court expressly because it's common knowledge nobody reads them. One of those kind of things, you mean?

Re:Make it readable (2, Informative)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858368)

The kind of thing that's never been tested in court

Except it has been tested in court. Many times.

Step-Saver Data Systems, Inc. v. Wyse Technology - EULA Invalid
Vault Corp. v. Quaid Software Ltd. - EULA Invalid
ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg - EULA valid
Microsoft v. Harmony Computers - EULA valid
Novell v. Network Trade Center - EULA valid

Re:Make it readable (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858234)

By reading this statement you agree to all terms and conditions.

You will pay me $1,000,000 CAD

Doesn't seem too fair, but you read it. $1,000,000 CAD please

Re:Make it readable (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857736)

I've never signed an EULA, have you?

BY REPLYING TO THIS POST YOU AGREE TO PAY ME THE SUM OF ONE HUNDRED US DOLLARS.

Somehow I think I'll have a hard time suing you when you respond and don't pay me.....

Re:Make it readable (1)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857852)

My point was that they don't -want- people able to understand them. I'm sorry that I overestimated your intelligence and didn't explicitly spell that out.

Re:Make it readable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31857942)

Ka-ching!

Re:Make it readable (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858214)

My point was that they don't -want- people able to understand them

Whose fault is that? The company or those that keep doing business with it in spite of the legalese?

I'm sorry that I overestimated your intelligence

Wow, how witty. Did you have to think real hard to come up with that and the AC sock puppet reply?

Re:Make it readable (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857874)

It doesn't matter if you read them, understand them, whatever. Only that you sign them.

On the contrary, there must be "meeting of the minds"—agreement by both parties regarding the terms of the contract—before a contract is considered valid or enforceable. However, it is typical for the signature line on a contract to explicitly state that you have read it and understand the terms. Why should anyone doubt your own word on the matter? Aside from cases of coercion or misrepresentation by the other party, your statement that you read and understood the contract is rightfully the final word on the subject.

Re:Make it readable (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858376)

Funny thing about legal documents: It doesn't matter if you read them, understand them, whatever. Only that you sign them.

It's a very good idea for you to act as if this is the case when considering whether or not to sign something, but its not actually true in many cases.

Re:Make it readable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858024)

I'm paying for a product, not to play lawyer.

That's right. If you want to play Lawyer, you'll have to buy it. $95.99. Also, the expansion pack for Lawyer is $50.00, or you can subscribe to updates for $6.66/mo, deductible from your credit card account.

Lawyer: You got the briefcase! Quad litigation! Fun! Excitement! Lawyer!!!

Re:Make it readable (2, Funny)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858158)

On the bright side, you don't need your soul to play lawyer.

Re:Make it readable (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859186)

Wouldn't having one be a detriment to your progress?

Re:Make it readable (2, Insightful)

samkass (174571) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858596)

I think every software review needs to include reading and understanding the EULA in the "time to install" and "time to update" metric.

When the review hits the stands that "Windows 7 takes a week and $200 in lawyers fees to install" maybe something will change?

Good Riddance (5, Funny)

organgtool (966989) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857540)

If they can find a way to collect it they can have it

Invalid contract. (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857640)

You can't claim ownership over something non-existent such as the soul. It doesn't exist.

And no, there is neither God nor immortality of souls.

No soul to sell. (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857694)

Considering that I do not have a "Soul" I fail to see the threat.

Would you like my pet Unicorn with that?

Re:No soul to sell. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31857934)

Considering that I do not have a "Soul" I fail to see the threat.

Would you like my pet Unicorn with that?

I'm sorry, I just have to ask: Are you THAT insecure in your belief system that you not only have to constantly remind others (well, let's be honest, remind yourself) about it, but also do it snidely? Because seriously, I don't think I've ever seen any group brag about their religious beliefs as much as atheists do.

Re:No soul to sell. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858088)

Apparently you don't know any Christians, especially Baptists. Always thumping that book. At least they're not fucking as many children as the Catholics.

Re:No soul to sell. (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859138)

...Because seriously, I don't think I've ever seen any group brag about their religious beliefs as much as atheists do.

What? :) Look around you sometimes. You seriously missed all the churches/etc.? I can see two of them (plus some monument for worshipping) only through my window. Built by funds funneled from poor people led to believe in a fantasy (sadly, in my place there still isn't much use for them; they aren't converted into buildings of public utility, as is more or less the norm in two countries I have behind the border); loudspeakers disseminating words and songs from the inside. Even that's nothing compared to bells (not puny ones...I if'd do such a racket at such hour every day, there would be certainly o considerable fine involved...only first few times), "faith inspired policies", creating a caste of untouchables...I guess all those things become invisible when camp you were brough into since infancy is behind them, eh?
Me...I wouldn't care, wouldn't respond if not for all getting in my way.

Already Gone (5, Funny)

MrTripps (1306469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857710)

I sold my soul to rock 'n roll a long time ago. Suckers!

Suckers! (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857724)

The company store already own's my soul!

So, even by accepting your terms, YOU STILL F*CKING LOSE! /cackle

Does this still apply (1)

RandomFactor (22447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857734)

If you split it into seven pieces and secret them around the world?

Re:Does this still apply (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857754)

Does it matter? Are you going to enforce the contract against he who shall not be named?

BTW, I love your username and the fact that you wound up with a prime number for a UID.

Re:Does this still apply (1)

RandomFactor (22447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857896)

Started out as a physics joke combined with my bridge partner's opinion of my bidding style :-)

"aint no soul" blah blah (2, Interesting)

thredder (1211746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857800)

Funny how everyone picks up on the 'aint no such thing as a soul' and no one comments on how this is quite an interesting way of showing how nobody ever reads the terms (me included), and encouraging people to do so. ... of course, on the other hand you could call it cheap cynical publicity... as if reading the terms and conditions ever made a difference.

Er no (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857828)

thanks to a clause it secretly added to the online terms and conditions for its website.

      Er no, no it doesn't, thanks to a clause I secretly added to our agreement. They can come to my house and read it if they want.

      After all, if the law allows a party to state implicit agreement to a contract and/or modify said contract - the law applies to EVERYONE, including the other party of the contract.

Sign in blood. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858004)

Everybody knows that to transfer the rights of the sould you will have to sign the contract in blood, or it is not valid. I can still make a legal contract.

-- diablo

Some folks will be REALLY offended (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31857946)

OK, it's a joke. But selling one's soul is a cardinal sin in some significant religions. Want to bet that more than one priest hears this about in the confessional? And some folks will not be amused.

Re:Some folks will be REALLY offended (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858118)

Completely agree, for the most part this might draw some notice and respect form the gaming community, but I would be surprised if this did not make a few religious groups very upset.

Re:Some folks will be REALLY offended (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858314)

Something game related makes religious people upset? That's NEVER happened before!

Re:Some folks will be REALLY offended (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858184)

Good. We're not here to amuse the remaining dumbos who have remained in the mental iron age.

Re:Some folks will be REALLY offended (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31859148)

As apposed to today's age where people think the physical universe just created itself from thin air one day.

Ah... the great irony of our age. The dumbest group of people Earth has known continually telling themselves how uber intelligent they are.

You might want to grab a 3rd grade science book and learn why the physical universe could not possibly have created itself. That whole matter is never created or destroyed thing gets into the way of your "just came to be from nothing" theory of utter stupidity.

Re:Some folks will be REALLY offended (1)

Azarman (1730212) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858568)

I don't think this is a worry, I know it is a sin to sell ones soul however to sell a soul I am pretty sure that you need to be fully aware and want to "sell" your soul (since the God type is more worried about you straying from their path hence the whole clause). I doubt god(s) (depending on your play style) will really count some earth bound virtual text as a solid agreement for your soul. Also if that is not the case then game station is currently holding a lot of sin, maybe they will be the new Saviour? Like Jesus who died for our sins, game station just steals the soul which has the sin's attached, nice hack but I am sure it will be patched

Re:Some folks will be REALLY offended (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858964)

They shoulda read the small print then. As usual, nobody to blame but themselves.

serves you right ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31857994)

sucks if you actually own one of those fugly kia's ...

Soul you say? (1)

Eggbloke (1698408) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858060)

What if I don't believe we have a soul?

12% (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858078)

I am surprised it was that high, I have never ready any of the terms and conditions I have ever agreed to.

Reminds me the recent sad Sony/Linux affair... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858094)

Reminds me the recent sad Sony/Linux affair...

Re:Reminds me the recent sad Sony/Linux affair... (2, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858496)

In Canada you can't be held to a contract unless your of legal age. Since the majority of the target audience of console games is under 20 most of the people agreeing to the EULAs can't be held accountable, at least in Canada.

Hopefully as a result of that the Sony EULA, you agree to by just taking your PS3 out of the box and starting it up, will be tried by a court. Maybe there's a couple of judges out that will agree EULAs are unreasonable for people to be able to read and just clicking an OK button isn't sufficient indication someone read or understood it. EULA should be something that an average member of the target audience can read and understand. Since according to all the statistics I've read about a large population of kids coming out of high school can't read, there would be no more EULAs

Sorry the pot I'm smelling from the school next to my house must be giving me crazy ideas.

NO WAY?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858258)

People aren't reading 65 page terms and conditions? Who would have thought...

Not "idle" (3, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858274)

This is an important problem. And this was a really great way to highlight it. Huge props for Gamestop for doing this, instead of profiting from it.

The real problem though, is not people not reading it. The problem is, that in practice it’s impossible to read all the terms of all the contracts.
First they are deliberately written in undecipherable legal code. Something that should be illegal, but isn’t because it’s so hard to define.
Then it’s way too much. You would have to read a multi-page small-font document, every time you pull out your wallet. (Yes, the terms can change in the two days between you going to the same shop to buy your food.)
And finally, the whole thing is also deliberately made hard to access. How often did you go into a building with house rules, or signed a contract that mentioned them or some other external document, but they never handed them to you, and even acted annoyed and insulted, when you pointed it out, and demanded the document?

It is 100% crystal clear that pretty much all companies do not want you to read any of it, for the very purpose of them biting you in the ass as soon as you trip over the tiniest irregularity. Or even without doing anything.

Most contracts basically go like this:
[big font] WE MAKE YOUR DREAM COME TRUE FOR FREE [/big font]
[tiny font] There is some hidden document in the lower drawer in the basement of a building on the other side of the world, that is part of what you sign [tiny font]
[hidden document] We give you NOTHING, but take from you EVERYTHING! [hidden document]

And that is no different than mob tactics. In fact I say it out loud, and call every major corporation on this world a criminal mob with the sole purpose of making as much money as possible, even when it means walking over more dead bodies than the Nazis.
Examples: Monsanto, Haliburton, Eli Lily, Shell, Elsevier.
They all have private armies. They all have revolving doors with every big government. They all make huge profits with lies, death and deception. ...hell, Microsoft is a silly small fish in that area, when compared to those. But still way above the line of acceptable moral behavior.

Re:Not "idle" (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858390)

I completely agree, and this is basically the first thing i thought when reading how they dump this in the consumer's lap for not reading. Sure, we *should* be paying attention. But if everyone actually stopped to read everything, and required someone to clarify every point that was hard to understand because it was so tightly knotted up in legal mumbo jumbo, sales would be held up. People would stop buying as much because it was too much of a pain. Companies need to realize they can't do something like this and say "haha stupid consumers!" when really it's "haha stupid corporations being shortsighted!" Seriously, get a grip, and stop wrapping everything in thousands of words of complete crap.

Re:Not "idle" (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858628)

I think you're overreacting a little bit. I've written terms of use for websites for some of my clients. They're usually not that big a deal. They say things like we're not giving up any copyright and you can't use our website for illegal purposes. And they're generally accessible via a simple link at the bottom of each page that says "Terms of Use" (there's also usually a one for "Privacy Policy"). The courts are well aware that the majority of users don't read these things. Heck, I'm a lawyer, and I don't generally read Terms of Use, EULAs, or the stack of documents that you sign when you buy a house. But they serve a valid and necessary purpose. They provide clarity about the parties' relationship, and if a person wants to do something other than just look at the webpage, they should read the Terms of Use to see what it says about it. That's why there are protections, both statutory and common law, for consumers. It lets us use form contracts without getting carried away. A very draconian, highly unexpected and completely-unrelated-to-the-transaction term like selling your soul would be voidable in pretty much every court that follows English common law tradition. This was a joke. Have a hearty chuckle and move on.

Re:Not "idle" (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859164)

You're brave. "I'm a Lawyer, but I don't read Terms of Use or EULAs", why are these things valid if everyone, including the people that can actually read and understand them, ignore them.

I'm a victim of the Sony PS3/Linux issue. I bought my PS3 to use Linux and play games. Now Sony is hiding behind the EULA saying they have a right to take away a feature people bought the original system for. I never agreed to let them remove anything, customer service keeps pointing me to the Maintenance and upgrade section of the EULA that say's they may change or update a feature to maintain the security of the system. NO WHERE does it say they can remove a feature.

I'm not asking for advice because 1) You shouldn't be expected to provide any and 2) It wouldn't do me any good. That being said, a lot of the Sony fanboys use the "You agreed to the EULA" as an be-all-end-all argument. I'm not upgrading my system, which means I can't use any new games or new BluRay movies on it. I've decided it's not worth wasting my time complaining about it anymore and I'm just not going to buy anymore Sony products, but I'd like to at least be able to feel personally vindicated. Do you personally think what has been done is ok?

Re:Not "idle" (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859198)

A hearty chuckle? Are you high? This instance was a joke of sorts, but it was do to, and make, a clear point. many coprorations aren't so jovial about it, and write all kinds of crap into the clauses that lock you into all kinds of things that if you actually read you wouldn't agree to. Not to mention most of these things give the company every right to fuck you siz was from Sunday, but you can't do shit about it but cry to an "impartial" (my ass) arbiter and hope that they are actually impartial and not taking kickbacks under the table to see it $Megacorps way.

Having a "hearty chuckle and moving on" is exactly what these corps wan the little sheeple to do, because it's good for business and nobody else.

You'll thank me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858282)

By posting this message on slashdot, slashdot hereby agrees to stop posting so much apple propaganda.

Your welcome!

Blood is required to sign a soul-selling contract (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858354)

Blood is required to sign a soul-selling contract. Without agreement is not valid :-)

NOT IDLE !! (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858366)

this is not idle. this is a very serious and important issue. it proves how useless and detrimental current legal contract system is. it is infeasible for any user/customer to sit and read 4-5 pages of text and then to weight it and then to agree. EVEN if you did that, chances are high that you would still fail to assess it properly, because most require extensive local legal knowledge. The article shouldnt have been in idle. its some important issue that affects everyone and every business.

Anonymous Coward (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858466)

This contract is not valid, the ritual to get a hold of a human soul is more complicated than a simple "click here". First and foremost, the contract must be signed with blood.

Joke's on Them (1)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858512)

Ha, joke's on them! I sold my soul on eBay YEARS ago, twice!

Anyone offended? (1)

Snart Barfunz (526615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858552)

I suggest you sue and claim the full value of your soul. Current consensus is that's about £5

So say souls are real (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858716)

And there is no such thing as an "unconscionable contract" when it comes to souls?

In fables, a lot of soul acquisition turns on trickery.

This would be a pretty major supernatural event.

The store owner could die and find he has major stroke in the afterworld.

Contract law needs to be redone (4, Insightful)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858742)

Specifically, there has to be a requirement any contract that is NOT signed by a lawyer for the both sides as well as the participants, must:

1. Be no more than 800 words (2 pages or so)

2. Contain no latin or other legal terms that the average High School Graduate does not understand.

If the contract is longer or uses other words, than non-lawyers can NOT be expected to understand them anymore than I could be expected to understand a page in French.

I'm Really surprised... (2, Interesting)

GigG (887839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858768)

I'm really surprised that 12% actually read the TOS enough to opt out of the soul ownership clause. I would have expected a much lower number.

Opt-out box? (1)

BoppreH (1520463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858888)

If the clause was on the terms and conditions, where was this "opt-out box"? Maybe it was just a checkbox (as in "send me the newsletter"), not an actual terms and conditions clause?

Re:Opt-out box? (1)

BoppreH (1520463) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858978)

I went there myself to find this out: GameStation Terms and Conditions [gamestation.co.uk]

By placing an order via this web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions. We reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act. If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction. Click here to nulify your soul transfer.

The link leads to an "April Fools, congratulations on being so vigilant!" page.

Government Intervention (1)

Wormfoud (1749176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31858908)

How would one tax such a transaction? Are some souls worth more than others, and how would that be determined? Weight or Volume?

ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31858958)

They can pry it from my cold dead . . oh . . wait . . nevermind.

Looks different to me ;-) (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859012)

"was added as part of an attempt to highlight how few customers read the terms and conditions of an online sale."

Interesting. To me it looks like an example of how retailers drown customers in excessive terms and conditions, leaving the retailer free to make unreasonable demands in bad faith if they so choose. I realise that GameStation were illustrating (in a humourous way, it was funny and good-natured) something that's worth knowing - that you are agreeing to whatever that says (in principle, subject to whether a court upholds the contract, you then have to abide by it). But really, if I want to buy a game in a bricks and mortar shop I just buy it, I don't have to wade through pages of T&Cs on my own time. That happens when I open the box ;-)

GameStation have moved their T&C page so that you don't even have to look at them during the order process, so it's not really surprising if people are treating their online shop like ... a shop.

Don't let the Teabaggers know about this shit!!! (-1, Flamebait)

leftie (667677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859050)

Thanks... now I'm gonna have to deal with Sarah Palin on Fox News ranting about that moosluum OBAMA trying to steal her soul with a clause it secretly added to the online terms and conditions for Dungeons and Dragons Online!

Good deal (1)

suprcvic (684521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31859084)

I actually think it's pretty cool that they rewarded the people who paid attention. Granted, I never read those things because what is the likelihood I'll ever run afoul of it, but the fact that they rewarded somebody for simply reading the agreement and opting out is cool.
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