April 12, 2012
Behold, a Terms of Service Agreement That Is Actually User-Friendly

In the post herein, I (“Author”) shall endeavor to produce a collection of words (“Content”) that shall demonstrate that Terms of Service (“TOS”) agreements are the digital incarnation of the devil (“Devil”) himself.
Actually, scratch that. I won’t try to prove how awful most companies’ Terms of Service are because you already know how awful they are. There are few things worse about the web than being forced to read thousands of words of dense legalese in order to upload a photo or send a message to a friend. The typical TOS — a legal necessity, but a human calamity — both enables the Internet and sucks the life-force out of it, one run-on sentence at a time. 
Which is why, of course, nobody actually reads companies’ Terms of Service. Who has the time, or the patience? I may well have promised my firstborn to iTunes, or agreed to name said firstborn Twitter. No clue. Most of us impatient web users click the little “Agree” button and hope (“Hope”) that we haven’t just agreed to something crazy.
But the TOS paradigm of wretchedness could be shifting. Take the photo-sharing site 500px, which features Terms of Service that are helpfully divided into columns: life-sucking legalese on the left … and plain English on the right. 
Read more. [Image: 500px]

Behold, a Terms of Service Agreement That Is Actually User-Friendly

In the post herein, I (“Author”) shall endeavor to produce a collection of words (“Content”) that shall demonstrate that Terms of Service (“TOS”) agreements are the digital incarnation of the devil (“Devil”) himself.

Actually, scratch that. I won’t try to prove how awful most companies’ Terms of Service are because you already know how awful they are. There are few things worse about the web than being forced to read thousands of words of dense legalese in order to upload a photo or send a message to a friend. The typical TOS — a legal necessity, but a human calamity — both enables the Internet and sucks the life-force out of it, one run-on sentence at a time. 

Which is why, of course, nobody actually reads companies’ Terms of Service. Who has the time, or the patience? I may well have promised my firstborn to iTunes, or agreed to name said firstborn Twitter. No clue. Most of us impatient web users click the little “Agree” button and hope (“Hope”) that we haven’t just agreed to something crazy.

But the TOS paradigm of wretchedness could be shifting. Take the photo-sharing site 500px, which features Terms of Service that are helpfully divided into columns: life-sucking legalese on the left … and plain English on the right. 

Read more. [Image: 500px]

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