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California Bill Would Safeguard Consumers' Rights To Criticize Firms Online 160

Posted by samzenpus
from the say-what-you-will dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about a California bill that aims to protect online reviewers’ rights."The proposed law appears to take aim at online licensing agreements that consumers often enter into with companies when they click through the many boilerplate terms and conditions of various online services. Buried deep in the small print of a number of these contacts are provisions stating that consumers agree not to write negative reviews about the service provider. 'If merchants think that our First Amendment free speech rights need to be curtailed, they should say so upfront and in plain language,' Pérez explained of the impetus for his bill, as reported by the Times."
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California Bill Would Safeguard Consumers' Rights To Criticize Firms Online

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  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:09PM (#47040789)

    The First Amendment protects us from prosecution by the government. It doesn't protect us from civil matters with private companies. This Pérez guy should know that.

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:14PM (#47040813) Homepage Journal

      Actually, there's certainly a case to be made that sense contracts are enforced by law, prohibitions are what laws can contain are essentially prohibitions are contracts.

      For example, it's well understood that the 13th amendment prevents you from signing yourself away as a slave.

      • by sumdumass (711423) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:56PM (#47041207) Journal

        lol.. It's not quite that simple. The 13th amendment makes slavery and/or involuntary servitude illegal in the US and jurisdictions the US controls and grants congress the power to enforce it. Theoretically, you can sign yourself away as a slave in a foreign land- if it wasn't for the US government maintaining a claim of jurisdiction over US citizens wherever they go. (granted this jurisdictions is somewhat limited)

        On the other hand, the first amendment says congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

        In this case, it is pretty clear what the intent was. Congress is not to make any laws. It doesn't say that you cannot contract your speech rights away with a third party or that the loss of free speech in any way is prohibited.

        Now I know I left the religious freedoms portion off and I did that because it gets ignored quite a bit under the guise of separation of church and state which is no where in the first amendment.

        • "it is pretty clear" means "I have no idea what actual judicial interpretation includes"

          Thanks for the clarification.

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            Why don't you put up some references to this supposed judicial interpretation?

            I'm sure that you will be able to find quite a bit of it easily from how confident you think you are.

            Go ahead, do some research, I'll wait.

            • Let's take a completely random supreme court cases where the first amendment was cited(seriously, randomly selected from wikipedia)

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

              Oh look, that has jack shit to do with congress, because that's not how the fucking thing is interpreted.

              Do you feel stupid? Because you look stupid.

        • On the other hand, the first amendment says congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

          In this case, it is pretty clear what the intent was. Congress is not to make any laws. It doesn't say that you cannot contract your speech rights away with a third party or that the loss of free speech in any way is prohibited.

          Nonetheless, numerous rulings by the Supremes have e

          • by uncqual (836337)

            See incorporation doctrine [wikipedia.org] for more info on why most individual rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights can also not be infringed on by subservient governments. Prior to the early 1900's though, the Bill of Rights was understood to restrict only the Federal government.

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            Note, for the people who aren't local to the US - the sheriff is a county-level official, in no way associated with Congress. Hell, the sheriff isn't even associated with the State government.

            State governments are independent from the Federal government, but local governments are subordinate to the state government. That is, the Federal government is, well, Federal. State governments are unitary. That means that the US government cannot remove a state governor from power, but a state government can remove a local mayor, town council, etc from power and even get rid of the legal town entity entirely.

        • by tragedy (27079)

          lol.. It's not quite that simple. The 13th amendment makes slavery and/or involuntary servitude illegal in the US and jurisdictions the US controls and grants congress the power to enforce it.

          Actually, it's not that simple either. The 13th amendment makes certain types of slavery and/or involuntary servitude illegal in the US and jurisdictions the US controls. Basically, hereditary slavery is out. So, if you're currently a slave, your children aren't automatically slaves. The 13th amendment still allows for you to become a slave either temporarily or permanently as a result of any conviction for any crime. That includes being sold to private citizens effectively as property. The only real protec

        • by mjwx (966435)

          On the other hand, the first amendment says congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

          In this case, it is pretty clear what the intent was. Congress is not to make any laws. It doesn't say that you cannot contract your speech rights away with a third party or that the loss of free speech in any way is prohibited.

          Free speech in it's purest form means the govern

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          On the other hand, the first amendment says congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

          In this case, it is pretty clear what the intent was. Congress is not to make any laws. It doesn't say that you cannot contract your speech rights away with a third party or that the loss of free speech in any way is prohibited.

          Yes, but in order to enforce that contract somebody would have to take you to court, and courts don't exist but for the laws that establish them. Congress isn't allowed to pass a law that creates a court that has the power to restrict somebody's freedom of speech, thus the courts that exist today aren't allowed to restrain people's speech. So, sure, you can put something in a contract restraining their speech, but no court is Constitutionally allowed to enforce such a clause.

      • There's also the (sadly ignored in our delightful era of clickwrap contracts that you agree to in the process of opening them up to read them...) fact that contract law is intended to be a codification of agreement between parties, not some sort of magic ritual. Even if you are contracting about something entirely banal and otherwise permissible, the rule isn't "a signature's a signature, regardless of how I befuddle you into getting it". It's not...exactly news... that people don't read the zillion pages o
        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          I do read the EULAs much of the time. And whenever I find a clause that I disagree with I end up agreeing anyway because it's nearly impossible to get a refund and completely impossible to negotiate new terms.

          This is like after college when I was at a job interview and I had to sign a piece of paper saying that I give up my right under a specific California law before I could start the interview. I needed employment, it was impractical for me to ask for a postponement while I paid to consult with a lawyer

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The problem is that EULAs shouldn't be able to over-ride constitutional rights, especially as a means of trying to cover up a bad product. If you buy a product and it is bad - doesn't work as advertised, poor quality, or whatever - you have the First Amendment right to, for instance, open up a personal blog and write a review of the product. What they're trying to do is quash bad reviews before they can pop up.

      • by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:40PM (#47041057)

        It's even worse than that. The article gives the example of a company, KlearGear, trying to charge a couple because they left a negative review of the company. The wrinkle in this case: The negative review was posted three years before the lawsuit and before the "you can't criticize us online" text entered into the EULA. So the companies don't just want you to agree to whatever is in their EULA, they think you accepting the EULA means you also accept any future version of the EULA no matter what restrictions get added on.

        In the case of the couple, the charge was sent to a collections agency which hurt the couple's credit rating. They, in turn, sued KlearGear to have the debt declared null and void. When KlearGear didn't show up to challenge the suit, the judge ruled in favor of the couple. What would have happened had KlearGear had a better legal team, though? Even if they didn't win, they could have easily tied the couple up in court for months or years, forcing them to bankruptcy with legal fees, until the company settled out of court with the couple. (Perhaps dropping the original fee in exchange for no precedent being set against the company and maybe even some token amount that wouldn't even cover the couples' legal costs.)

        I agree that agreements can over-ride constitutional rights in some cases. For example, if I sign an NDA, I'm restricting my freedom of speech in a certain regard. However, these agreements should only be done on when something needs to be kept under wraps (details of a new product shown to reviewers early, for example), not as a matter-of-normal-business instituted when anyone has even the slightest business association with the company.

        • by dkf (304284)

          It's even worse than that. The article gives the example of a company, KlearGear, trying to charge a couple because they left a negative review of the company. The wrinkle in this case: The negative review was posted three years before the lawsuit and before the "you can't criticize us online" text entered into the EULA. So the companies don't just want you to agree to whatever is in their EULA, they think you accepting the EULA means you also accept any future version of the EULA no matter what restrictions get added on.

          How would a court even begin to believe that sort of thing might be conscionable?

          • "In agreeing to these terms, you also agree to all future modifications of this TOS/license/EULA/etc." Many have language like this to let service providers and the like change their contract and auto-enroll people in the new language. I'm not sure how much legal muscle there is there, but a court doesn't even need to get to the point of a ruling. If a big enough company wanted to, they could tie someone up in court for years and then settle out of court. Their target would be bankrupt (or nearly so) an

            • Anything like that in the UK would fail the Unfair Contract Terms Act immediately, given it is a contract of adhesion.

        • When someone has a good experience with a company they might recommend the business to friend if they ask, but if they have a bad experience and they are mad they will tell everyone post it on facebook and twitter anyone else that has ever had a bad experience with that company will comment on it and then it will get shared with there friends and their friends. Three years later it'll still be there at the top of a google search for company name.

          This is what companies want to avoid but something like this i

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Ultimately, I think that company was just shoddy. I suspect they didn't even bother checking the facts before sending out the collection goons. They didn't defend themselves in court and no one answers their toll free phone number. It was a default judgement (thus no precedent is set, no victory against others who try the same thing).

          It's a bit of harrassment really. You need no evidence whatsoever before you can hire a collection agency to try and extort money out of someone.

      • by meerling (1487879)
        There has already been one case where a federal judge declared that no eula can take away your rights, no matter what the text of the eula says. It was a few years back and I'm not going to waste the time to try and look it up, but for those of you that don't get headaches looking at legalese, feel free to find a link to it.
      • The problem is that EULAs shouldn't be able to over-ride constitutional rights

        It is not just EULAs. When I took my daughter to see a pediatrician, the pile of forms I was asked to fill out contain one that said I could not post any online reviews of the doctor. Since medical care is already very opaque, with little upfront information about doctor quality or even prices, I declined to sign it. The pediatrician saw us anyway, and seemed to be a very good doctor.

        I live in California, and I really hope this law is written broadly enough to outlaw this kind of crap whether it occurs o

      • by uncqual (836337)

        You can often enter into a contract with another party that restricts you from exercising the full breadth of your enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights.

        For example, it's common in legal settlements that one, or both, parties are prohibited from revealing the terms of the settlement and, if they do, the offending party suffers financial consequences.

        Another example, when you work for a company, you are almost always prohibited from publishing their internal trade secrets.

        The EULA's don't override constitu

    • by fermion (181285)
      Suppose a EULA stated that as part of the website, the firm had the right, whenever they were in town, to stay at your house and borrow your car, and you would have to put in some hours working for them at the trade show, or doing door to door work, or making appoints with them, all for no pay. If you refuse, you will be taken to court for breech of contract, a civil matter.

      Even though there is no specific constitutional case against this, it only says that the government cannot commandeer a citizens pla

      • >working for them at the trade show, or doing door to door work, or making appoints with them, all for no pay. If you refuse, you will be taken to court for breech of contract, a civil matter.

        One of the basic elements of contract law is that the contract, to be enforceable, must have legal subject matter. Since indentured servitude is specifically banned by the constitution, such a contract would be unenforceable.

        • by uncqual (836337)

          If "some hours" was a named (and, perhaps, "reasonable" - not 1E100 for example) number of hours, this wouldn't be indentured servitude. Generally the consumer received consideration [wikipedia.org] (such as the use of the covered software) so there really isn't "no pay" in a broad sense. However, the arrangement described might fail to meet labor laws (minimum wage and the like).

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Your first mistake and probably the biggest mistake is in thinking the Constitution gives you rights. Nothing in the US constitution gives you rights, you have rights bestowed upon you by your creator and the constitution specifically limits government from taking those rights from you. If you would have paid attention in your US history classes, you would know that instead of inventing whatever you think fits the bill when you decide you need to know something.

        With little exception, the US constitution doe

    • The First Amendment protects us from prosecution by the government. It doesn't protect us from civil matters with private companies. This Pérez guy should know that.

      Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

      Congress makes laws. Corporations do not.
      A contract limiting one's freedom of speech is entirely unenforceable, presuming our government is functioning properly.

      If you sign an NDA, a "I won't post a bad review" clause, or whatever else, and then proceed to blab, you cannot be convicted of a crime. There is no crime and according to the First Amendment there can be NEVER be a crime based on speech. I am perfectly aware that our government is fucked up and we throw people in jail for speech.

      You CAN be sued

      • by Mitreya (579078)

        You CAN be sued for any ACTUAL damages DIRECTLY related to your speech, IF it was defamatory / libelous.

        Not disagreeing with you...
        However, you can be SUCCESSFULLY sued for actual damages, blah blah. Without that, you can STILL be sued albeit unsuccessfully. An eventually-lost lawsuit would still cost you a lot of money to defend yourself. Maybe more money than whatever damages you are accused of.

        • >An eventually-lost lawsuit would still cost you a lot of money to defend yourself. Maybe more money than whatever damages you are accused of.

          Correct, and not just in cash, this can mean missing a day or more of work. Most of us are simply not in a position to defend ourselves from frivolous lawsuits.
      • A contract limiting one's freedom of speech is entirely unenforceable

        Not true. NDAs are enforceable. A contract for legal representation almost always restricts what your lawyer can disclose about your case. Military enlistment contracts are also enforceable, and they significantly restrict your right to say, for instance, that your commanding officer is an idiot.

      • by jc42 (318812)

        Congress makes laws. Corporations do not.

        Of course not; that's why they give bribes (uh, I mean campaign contributions) to Congressional candidates (or to their "unaffiliated" support groups) to get the laws passed.

    • The First Amendment protects us from prosecution by the government. It doesn't protect us from civil matters with private companies. This Pérez guy should know that.

      It does a lot more than that. There have been many legal precidents set since the constitution which expand it's protections. For example, a person is protected by the 1st amendment from Liable suits unless they can prove you intended malice with your statement. i.e. You lied about a Doctor prescribing the wrong medication just to hurt his business.

      Personally, I think the 1st amendment should apply in all cases. You should not be able to give up the right. Gag orders and NDA's should be illegal.

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        Of course the first amendment should not apply in all cases. BTW, did you ever find that kiddy porn you were looking for the other day?

        Oh and BTW, no one thinks you search for kiddy porn. But if the first amendment applied in every situation, they could.

    • The First Amendment protects us from prosecution by the government. It doesn't protect us from civil matters with private companies. This Pérez guy should know that.

      The distinction is not, in practice, as clear cut as that: Who sets the bounds of what can and cannot be contracted? The state. Who provides the force behind a contract if one party fails to comply? The state. Who decides what constitutes sufficiently informed and consensual 'agreement' for the purposes of contractual validity? The state.

      It is true that a civil suit for breach of the no-saying-mean-things clause is not the same as the state passing a no-saying-mean-things law; but if the state permits c

    • Ehh...yes and no. A bit differently than what you said, the First Amendment protects us from Congress enacting laws that abridge our right to free speech, which is not the same as protecting us from prosecution. Even so, it's understood that our right to free speech is not established by the First Amendment, but rather protected by it. That is, our right to free speech exists independently of the First Amendment. We'd have it regardless of the Bill of Rights, though we may not be able to exercise it in prac

    • by Xicor (2738029)
      yes, but civil matters are totally ignorable if not for the government support. if the government says 'fuck civil matters', there wont be anyone to punish those who don't pay their dues.
    • The First Amendment protects us from prosecution by the government. It doesn't protect us from civil matters with private companies. This Pérez guy should know that.

      Except our government is pretty much run and owned by private companies now. So we should treat private companies much like we do our government. They're practically one and the same at this point.

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      Yes, obviously he does. If the First Amendment applied, he wouldn't need to pass a law.

  • You're free to do what you want, and the government won't interfere...

    Except for the literally tens of thousands of inane and pointless restrictions placed upon you by the one sided contracts that you must sign to take part in modern life.

    Want a job so you can pay your expenses?
    Better sign over your right to intellectual properties you create.
    Want to get to that job?
    Better sign over numerous detailed and unnecessary rights as part of your car loan.
    Want to have shelter?
    Here comes Mr. Landlord or Mrs. Deed Covenant.
    Want to use basic tools to communicate?
    Sure, we'll add limitations to your rights to random websites too.

    • by lgw (121541) on Monday May 19, 2014 @04:09PM (#47041323) Journal

      Sure, if you want other people to do things for you, they might have some rules before they'll do those things. That's not a problem in and of itself, and isn't at all the point of this proposed law.

      What you can't do is secretly add terms to a contract. Most states have rules about "boiler-plate contracts". If you stick an unusual requirement into a 30-page apartment lease, which otherwise looks like a customary lease, the burden of proof is on the landlord (the writer of the contract) to demonstrate that the renter knew about that clause. Because of that, you'll sometimes see leases where you have to initial a specific paragraph here and there to show you really read it before signing the lease, where those paragraphs weren't industry-standard.

      This is that same idea for EULAs. You can't hide stuff in them - there's no "meeting of the minds" if you do - so wonky "you can't criticize us" rules should need the company to call special attention to them. It would be great to see state laws clarifying this sort of thing.

    • Want a job so you can pay your expenses?
      Better sign over your right to intellectual properties you create.

      You seriously have a problem with that? You think an employer should pay the overhead of your salary, your health care, your office space, and your computer, and then not get the resulting work created?

      • by fnj (64210)

        On the company's time? No.
        Using the company's equipment after hours? Not if the company wants to be small minded.
        On your own goddam time after working hours and using your own goddam equipment? That belongs to the individual, and not a goddam chance in hell any of it belongs to the company! (subject to details such as making improper use of company confidential information and the like)

  • by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:26PM (#47040913) Homepage

    A better idea is to legislate that these licenses are non-binding.

  • by kruach aum (1934852) on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:27PM (#47040915)

    Not that I'm defending people who write contracts here, but the notion of plain language is not unambiguous. What counts as plain is dependent upon the reader's level of fluency, and because not all native speakers of a language have the same level of fluency the notion of 'plain' differs from person to person. The reason clauses of a contract or often not plain is because of the use of specialist language. However, that specialist language has a specific function: reducing ambiguity. In order to make a contract more plain, more commonly understood language needs to be used, but more commonly understood language is necessarily more ambiguous, and thus open for interpretation. If there's one thing no one wants it's that their rights critically depend upon the interpretative powers of another person. This is why the words "In a 5-4 decision, the supreme court..." inspire such dread.

    • In the UK we have Crystal Mark [plainenglish.co.uk] which aims to assess published materials by organisations for their ease of reading. From their site:

      What we look for

      Things we look for include:

      • a good average sentence length (about 15 to 20 words)
      • plenty of 'active' verbs (instead of 'passive' ones)
      • everyday English
      • words like 'we' and 'you' instead of 'the insured', 'the applicant', 'the society' and so on
      • conciseness
      • clear, helpful headings with consistent and suitable ways of making them stand out from the text
      • a good typesize and clear typeface
      • plenty of answer space and a logical flow (on forms).

      It's vague, but it's better than nothing. Then again, we also have the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contract Regulations which would make this kind of "No saying bad things!" clause utterly ununforceable :)

  • By reading this post, you agree to refrain from downmodding this message or any other message that I may post here in the future.

    (Lessee ... where's the font-size control here ...)

  • Wait until the online EULAs require mandatory arbitration before you can post something derogatory.

  • Fight fire with fire (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 19, 2014 @03:33PM (#47041007)

    You know how many online ordering sites have a comment box? How about entering, "By accepting my payment, you agree to make your EULA null and void."

    • You know how many online ordering sites have a comment box? How about entering, "By accepting my payment, you agree to make your EULA null and void."

      You win the Internet today. And why not put in your own T&C while you're at it? For example "In the event buyer finds product unsatisfactory for any reason, you agree to refund all payments (including shipping) and pay return shipping costs."

      Best method: post a link to your T&C so the likelihood of them reading them is the same as the likelihood you read theirs.

  • by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Monday May 19, 2014 @04:18PM (#47041379)

    Rather than allowing EULAs written by companies, we should just have standard EULAs, for common types of products, and declare all other EULAs nonbinding.

    I understand the need to have contracts that are nuanced, but for the kinds of contracts that you "agree" to simply by opening a box, should be standardized and devoid of any nefarious language.

    I should not be able to send a letter to someone that says "By opening the envelope this letter arrived in, you agree to write me a check for $10,000, and failure to do so within 30 days will result in litigation" (and have it be enforceable). For the same reason, companies should not be able to have custom EULAs that are implicitly agreed to by opening a box or envelope.

    Sure we can put the responsibility on the consumer to read every EULA for everything he/she buys from an OS to a bluetooth headset, but this is just a waste of everyone's time. We already invalidate stupid EULAs for being stupid. Lets just go one step further and make an implied boilerplate EULA that everyone is aware of and doesn't include anything shady.

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      Agreed: but lawyers don't like it. Let me explain:

      First, let me restart this another way:
      What you call "standard EULAs" are really just "laws" and there is lots of stuff like that today. This is why, for example, the Fair Credit and Reporting Act states certain things in it. That way, when you sign a credit card slip, there is some standardization in what the cardholder agreement can and cannot say. It is why when you buy a house, most of the contracts are about the same. Without such laws in place, th

      • I don't know if this is a feature unique to lawyers, but as a software engineer, I can honestly say that as a profession, we don't attempt to make software more complicated for the purpose of keeping ourselves employed. Even though it is true that software gets more complex over time, it is actually for the purpose of making more work for the computers, and less work for engineers. Software engineers are more productive now than at any point in the past. The amount of work that modern tools allow 1 engin
        • by MobyDisk (75490)

          Many times I've thought that if legislators thought about laws the way software engineers thought about programs, the law could be simpler. Ex: Tax tables wouldn't be tables - they would state the formula. Redundant laws would be refactored. I can think of a few cases where there have been propositions on the ballot that I rejected because they shouldn't be new laws, but refactoring of old laws. My friends don't seem to get it. Some quick examples:

          • The Maryland constitution now lists the particular plac
          • Or a recent example in the news of legislators trying to make laws against the "knockout game". We already have laws against assaulting people, I don't think specifically prohibiting assaulting people as part of a game serves any additional purpose besides scoring political points with frightened Fox News viewers.
            • by MobyDisk (75490)

              In Baltimore City it is illegal to sell illegal drugs to a minor. The stated reason for this law: prosecutors have an extra charges to bring against the defendant, so they have more to plea bargain with.

    • by Pfhorrest (545131)

      Let's do one better than that:

      You have a standard set of rights and responsibilities. They can be conditional (e.g. if X then you must Y, unless X you may not Y, etc).

      Nobody can change anybody else's rights or responsibilities, in any way, including by mutual agreement. You cannot sign away your rights or responsibilities. You can only change which conditions in fact obtain, and consequently which conditional rights and responsibilities may or may not apply to you.

      In other words, fuck contracts in general.

    • The approach I see as most viable is an online service where EULA's (and contracts in general) can be uploaded or constructed and presented to end users in a predictable format.

      General advantages:
      - Changes could be easily highlighted
      - Individual articles could be translated into everyman-speak
      - Reuse of individual articles is possible, allowing compilation of a EULA out of existing (annotated) articles
      - Links to public information concerning the judicial validity of or court cases surrounding certain articl

    • by sribe (304414)

      Rather than allowing EULAs written by companies, we should just have standard EULAs, for common types of products, and declare all other EULAs nonbinding.

      We should not have EULAs at all. The notion of a one-way non-negotiated "contract" which supersedes the relevant consumer protection, defamation, etc laws is complete bullshit.

      • By "standard EULA" I was referring to something which would have protections for both buyers and sellers. It would not be negotiated between each pair of buyers and sellers, but it would be negotiated legislators who are elected by the general public.

        The difference with current laws protecting customers and sellers is that I could imagine a system where there are several standard EULA's which are customized for particular types of products and industries. The proponents of EULA's say that the flexibility

  • If someone can't ask me what I think of Product/Service without me worrying about some asshole suing me to death over my experiences/opinions, then fuck it, let's stop pretending we live in a free country. Yes, speech should have consequences, but there's a huge difference between libel/slander and expressing a mother fucking opinion.

  • I told the clerk at the grocery store yesterday that I actually found a tiny piece of clam in my Campbell's Clam Chowder. I asked if i should call Homeland Security. It was clear to me and her as well that finding a bit of a clam in their soup was so unusual that perhaps Homeland Security should investigate and find out just why somehow they accidentally added a tiny piece of clam to their Clam Chowder. Now I am in legal jeopardy for reporting that which I really did say in public? D

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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