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Do Lawyers Really Believe You Read All This and Agreed to It?

More and more we are forced to sign contracts for virtually everything that we get.  There are credit card basically contracts, service agreements, cell phone contracts, software licensing agreements (EULAs) and more.

These agreements are all one sided for the vendor of the service or product.  The net effect is to turn the customer into a serf pledging fealty to the Lord vendor.

One demonstrable result of these agreements is the number of unwitting homeowners in the United States who lost their homes due to foreclosure because the fine print in their mortgages allowed the banks to escalate payments and interest levels making payments impossible for the unwitting homeowners.

So many of us are seceding from our rights and economic freedom when we click that little “I agree” box or sign the credit card form.

We all trust that iTunes, Microsoft, the Royal Bank or whatever the huge institution we deal with will not totally screw us.  But if we take a moment and read the massive array of fine print that stretches out before us when we have two minutes to sign while we impatiently wait for the download, we would find out that we have agreed to more terms and conditions than anyone in their right mind would agree to.

When you buy music on line, for example, you purchase on the right to listen to that song and not transfer it to a friend.  When you bought a CD, you were not restricted from giving it to a friend.  Why the restriction?  Well, like the dog licking himself… because they can.

And being able to understand what these agreements?  Well, perhaps one should consult a lawyer before signing it.  Clearly the vendors have.  Make sense of this from iTunes:

Apple reserves the right to modify the Usage Rules at any time. You agree not to violate, circumvent, reverse-engineer, decompile, disassemble, or otherwise tamper
with any of the security technology related to such Usage Rules for any reason—or to attempt or assist another person to do so.
Usage Rules may be controlled and monitored by Apple for compliance purposes, and Apple reserves the right to enforce the Usage Rules without notice to you.

Basically, the vendor has the power to unilaterally change the conditions.  However, the user does not have a similar right.  Who would enter into such a contract?  Millions mindlessly do.

So let’s summarize this succinctly: lawyers enter into a state of self deception that by giving us a sheath of babble, they have advised us of our obligations to them.  May I quote from Dickens, “Then the law is an ass.”

Is the agreement a fair agreement?  Obviously not.  Customers must allow the vendor to walk all over them with little to complain about because they have signed away their rights.

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