The software ‘terms and conditions’

Software companies¬† – and websites – which give people complex ‘terms and conditions’ to read are not just being a little ignorant – they are insulting their customers.

Let’s go through what this is saying, as an imaginary conversation between me, the software company, and you, the customer.

You know and I know that you’re not going to read this.

But I can force you – or very strongly encourage you – to tick a box to say you’ve read it as a condition for going forward with my service because – that’s very easy to do with software.

I get some advantage from this over you (otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it).

So I’m basically happy to exploit your laziness / trust for my own benefit and give you nothing back. Although I take it we’re still friends, because this is what everybody else does, isn’t it?

Imagine the owner of your local public house doing something similar – I’ll serve you beer if you sign this long legal document – to illustrate how ridiculous it is. Yet somehow because we’re in the software realm we’re conditioned to accept it. Does that mean that software programs people to act like morons?

Do these terms have any legal weight? I don’t know, how can you sue someone for not reading something it is obvious they’d never read. But you can still go ahead and do everything you said you had the right to do, and its pretty hard for someone to stop you.

Far better – I would have thought – to scrap the lot of them unless they really add something and people really have a chance to consider them.

 

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