Why should you read the Terms and Conditions?

Scroll, scroll and scroll some more, look for the ‘Agree’ button and sign your life away. Terms and Conditions are in fact, a contract. They are a contract between you and the company you are using. So, when they are so important… why do most people never read them? The reason is a simple one: they are very long!

Let’s take Apple’s UK terms and conditions for its iTunes service for instance – they consist of 20,000 words! The average novel is 100,000 words long, so iTunes T&Cs would take you half-a-day to read and would undoubtedly be considerably less interesting!

But you might like to know that If you “buy” a song or a movie, and the record label or studio house revokes its license with Apple, then the song or movie in question may disappear from your account. The iTunes small print states you are not obliged to get a refund.

Also, you maybe interested to know that Apple’s iTunes EULA expressively forbids you from using iTunes to create missiles, biological and chemical weapons, as well as nuclear weapons! Presumably, even mad scientists and tyrants need to listen to music while they work…

Terms and conditions explain the nature and extent of the relationship between you and the company – website or software provider – which you are engaging with, so once you have agreed there is a little comeback.

Terms and Conditions explain the way in which the services provided can, at certain points, be no longer valid.

For instance; in Amazon Web Services (AWS) terms and conditions, section 57.10 ‘Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems’ has a very specific validity clause – you might like to know that this section does not apply during the Zombie apocalypse…

Section 57.10 “Will not apply in the event of the occurrence (certified by the United States Centers for Disease Control or successor body) of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.”

No joke!

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