Don't bother reading T&Cs, they're totally unenforceable

Opinion: Forget the Facebook storm


Oh no! Facebook changed its TOS and theoretically retains rights to everything I upload, even if I cancel my account! Quick everyone! Sign up to various meaningless protest groups and rant on your blog about how this infringes your civil rights. We need to man the barricades immediately to strike down this authoritarian freedom-grinch before it's too late!

Or, you could just train your cat to click Accept.

Terms of Service agreements and End-User Licence agreements are a legal farce. "By scrolling rapidly through this document and then blindly clicking this button, you are deemed to have agreed to everything in the preceding 150 pages." Well how do you know I

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did click Accept? How do you know it wasn't my partner or my five-year-old or my cat or the wind spinning the washing line and winding in the string that is attached to the hose which fills up the bucket which is attached to the pulley that presses the lever that clicks the mouse while I'm 4,000 miles away on holiday in Antigua?

Even if I sign my name in ink on a paper contract, it isn't necessarily enforceable. If I can prove that you added page three after I signed page four or you had your thumb over the word "not", for example. The trick of course, is proving you did do that. With paper documents, the presumption is that I read it all before I signed it because that's the tradition. With EULAs on the other hand, the tradition is precisely the opposite. Has anyone ever read a EULA all the way through before "agreeing" to it. If they have they are most certainly the exception.

EULAs are a gun pointed at us that has never been fired. And probably never will be fired because not even the person holding the gun knows if it is loaded or not. As soon as the trigger is pulled, the tiny amount of bluffing power they retain will be lost. Which means that EULAs can only be used to enforce terms that we don't mind abiding by anyway. Or to justify actions that we can't be bothered to complain about in the first place.

Which hardly sounds like a police state to me.