Friday, January 27, 2012

Across the Universe



Not this version.

I stumbled across an interesting piece of legalese yesterday, that apparently has been making its way into all sorts of places.  I have the Weather Channel app on my iPhone, and have been using it for over 2 years.  There was an update the other day, I installed it on Wednesday night, and promptly forgot it.  Turned it on yesterday and was greeted by a new EULA, a Terms of Use and Privacy Policy that you must agree to before you can see the forecast.  Admittedly unusual for me, I started reading it a little ways, and was soon floored by the amount of legalese there was.  I swear there must be well over a hundred iPhone screens of text to read.  But one thing jumped out at me.  Regarding using their "services", anything you post:
... will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary and will become the property of TWC throughout the universe.  (emphasis added)
Throughout the universe?  I pointed this out to the ever curious and master of Google-fu Mrs. Graybeard and after some amazement and puzzling over the wording, she soon showed me it's been going on for a while.  In fact, they often say "throughout the universe in perpetuity". 
Experts in contract drafting say lawyers are trying to ensure that with the proliferation of new outlets -- including mobile-phone screens, Twitter, online video sites and the like -- they cover all possible venues from which their clients can derive income, even those in outer space.
All I can say is: across the entire universe?  Did anyone get Klingon Chancellor Gowron's opinion on that?
Yo, Weather Channel!  You hear me?  What's next?  A 600 page EULA to watch you on TV? 

2 comments:

Quizikle said...

I used to watch the Weather Channel when they gave the weather. Now that it seems to be all commercials and "special features" with only little blips of weather, why bother?

So I have a brief EULA for them: I don't pay attention to you; you don't pay attention to me.

But with litigation being what it is these days, someone will decide I need to pay for the privilege of not watching...(perhaps I'm violating some company's right to revenue by avoiding advertising)

Q

Graybeard said...

Hmmm - just like we say, "remember when MTV played music?" we'll say, "remember when the weather channel had weather?"