British gaming vendor Gamestation reestablished what my regular readers already know. People don’t read contracts carefully, if at all, whether they are online contracts or one page agreements from smiling seventh graders.
By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions.It was an April Fool’s stunt, to be sure, but some 7500 people, almost 90% of the site’s users on April 1st, agreed to the Faustian bargain while ignoring the opt-out option that would instead give them a £5 credit (about $8) toward their purchase.
Another online contract has led Colorado Attorney General John Suthers to shut down the Facebook pages of Colorado state agencies. The action was an apparent response to Section 15.2 of Facebook’s terms of service, which requires, as I assume virtually all social media platforms do, site users to hold the company against any harm suffered as a result of the user’s activities on the site. We’re not talking theoretical harms here, either. Copyright infringement and defamation are just two examples of serious matters that could get you, or a state agency, and Facebook sued.
Attorney General Suthers apparently takes his online contracts seriously and is not taking chances with the adhesion-contracts-are-not-enforceable theory I addressed earlier this year. Neither should you. No word on whether the State of Colorado purchased anything from Gamestation on April 1st, so the state of the State’s immortal soul is still unknown.
Thanks to Alli Gerkman of the Colorado Bar Association for her tip on the Gamestation contract.