Class action: publishers paid writers "sale" royalties on ebooks whose fine-print says they're "licensed"

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When you sign a publishing deal, the contract spells out different royalty rates for different kinds of commercial activity; you get so much every time a copy is sold, and significantly more from every licensing deal for the book. Read the rest

Norwegian Consumer Council broadcasts live, marathon reading of app Terms of Service

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As I type this, the consumer rights organization has been broadcasting its live-reading of terms of service for Instagram, YouTube, Kindle, Spotify, Snapchat and other popular apps for more than one day and eight hours. Read the rest

Airbnb stealth-updates terms of service, says it's not an insurer and requires binding arbitration

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The March 29 edition of Airbnb's terms of service requires that people who rent out their homes acknowledge that despite the company's widely advertised Host Protection Insurance program, "you understand and agree that Airbnb does not act as an insurer." Read the rest

Spacefaring and contractual obligations: who's with me?

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I keep having to sign contracts where I waive all rights "throughout the universe." Lately, I've been crossing out "universe" and writing in "solar system." Read the rest

Vtech, having leaked 6.3m kids' data, has a new EULA disclaiming responsibility for the next leak

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Last December, Vtech, a crapgadget/toy company, suffered a breach that implicated the data of 6.3 million children, caused by its negligence toward the most basic of security measures. Read the rest

Maryland's Attorney General: you consent to surveillance by turning on your phone

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Maryland attorney general Brian E Frosh has filed a brief appealing a decision in the case of Kerron Andrews, who was tracked by a Stingray cell-phone surveillance device. Read the rest

Inspired Christmas baubles for a surveillance business-model Xmas

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Remember when Internet Person JWZ began to append sarcastic messages to the "This building monitored by CCTV" sign that appeared without warning in his lobby ("FEAR THE UNKNOWN - MONSTERS ARE REAL" "DON'T SUSPECT YOUR NEIGHBOR: REPORT HIM!" "DRONE STRIKES AUTHORIZED 7PM - 5AM")? Eventually he got bored of it, but he's brought it back this Xmas, in Christmas Bauble form. Read the rest

Itunes terms and conditions as a graphic novel in many cartoonists' styles

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Artist Robert Sikoryak is creating a full-length graphic novel based on the terms and conditions for Apple's Itunes, a novella-length document of eye-watering legalese that you "agree" to without ever reading. Read the rest

Snowden broke a nondisclosure EULA in order to uphold his Constitutional oath

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The crooks that Edward Snowden outed (and their complicit overseers in government) like to talk about how Snowden violated an oath when he gave journalists documents that established that security services in at least five countries were breaking their own laws in order to pursue unimaginably aggressive mass surveillance. Read the rest

Yet another pre-installed spyware app discovered on Lenovo computers

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A factory refurbished Thinkpad shipped with Windows 7 and a scheduler app that ran once a day, collecting usage data about what you do with your computer and exfiltrating it to an analytics company. Read the rest

Oracle's CSO demands an end to customers checking Oracle products for defects

Oracle Chief Security Officer Mary Ann Davidson's deleted post on the company blog was called "No, You Really Can't," and it demanded that Oracle's customers respect the company's outlandish license-agreement terms, and stop checking to see whether the products Oracle sold them were defective. Read the rest

Satanic Temple required protesters to pledge their souls to Satan as condition of entry

The Satanic Temple -- a pair of fun-loving, non-Satan-believing religious freedom activists -- unveiled the statue of Baphomet they plan to put on the Arkansas State Capitol's lawn to complement its existing Christian iconography. Read the rest

Commercial prison messaging system's terms of service lands inmate in solitary

Jpay, a service for sending messages to prisoners with a literal captive market, no longer claims copyright in messages sent to and from prisoners. Read the rest

Senators announce "Aaron Swartz Should Have Faced More Jail Time" bill

Senators Mark Kirk [R-IL] and Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY] announced a bill that increases the maximum jail time for "obtaining information from a protected computer without authorization" -- which covers anything you do that violates the BS Terms of Service we all break all day long. Read the rest

IBM's banking security software demands the right to spy on you

IBM's Trusteer Rapport is a security package that many banks recommend to their customers -- but its latest license agreement includes this gem: Read the rest

World-beating email EULA

I amuse myself (and sometimes others) with my email sig, which makes you promise to release me from any agreements I've gotten into with your employer -- but it turns out I'm a rank amateur. Read the rest

If you don't agree to the new Wii U EULA, Nintendo will kill-switch it

When you bought your Wii U, it came with one set of terms-of-service; now they've changed, and if you don't accept the changes, your Wii seizes up and won't work. That's not exactly what we think of when we hear the word "agreement." Read the rest

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