There’s lots of hand-wringing about “license proliferation in open source” but not enough about “terms of service proliferation in services” — time to fix that without requiring that everyone send terms of service to their lawyers to know what they are actually signing up for. Good work!

Google System…

Edward Morbius August 08, 2014 12:41

I’ve long felt there’s an underutilized counterthrust movement:  for people to post their own “terms of engagement” under which they’ll participate with online services, businesses, employment contracts, etc.  They’re posted online, included by reference where possible, and the condition that “establishing and maintaining a relationship with me constitutes acceptance of these terms” included.

One way to fight licensese is to to simply proliferate it, and then to duke out the disagreements in court (rejection of arbitration being of course a primary clause of such a license).

Might be interesting to see just how far that would get.

David Megginson August 08, 2014 13:16

The solution to OSS license proliferation is simple (*): Public Domain. For web site ToS, unfortunately, there’s no magic hammer we can use to squash the problem.

(*) “Simple” except in countries that have stupid restrictions around releasing stuff into the public domain. Nothing is ever actually simple.

Andrew J Hutton August 08, 2014 13:47

It isn’t even just websites; I assume you saw the article

This means you just have to limit how many services you use; because agreeing to contracts without reading them is just not a prudent idea.

Michael K Johnson August 08, 2014 14:00

I hadn’t, thanks. It links to which is also worth reading.

Edward Morbius August 08, 2014 14:15

+Michael K Johnson While I can’t claim to have read every EULA and site license I’ve used, I did happen to see that $1000 reward story earlier ;-)

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