Sep 17,2019 | 12 min read

Who Said Website Terms & Conditions Can't be Funny

Author : Associate Zarmeen Jahan and Advocate Ashima Puri

No individual takes the time to read the Terms and Conditions. It's no shock most of us blindly conform to whatever legal terms flashes across our screens. But surprisingly, some funny terms are lurking in there, and you should probably know about them. I have gathered a few funny terms that'll make you think twice next time you give that pop-up notification a cursory glance.

Tumblr tells it like it is

Microblogging platform and social media tool Tumblr took a very honest and to the point approach in their user agreements.

They use their terms of service to gently remind kids that there are other things out there. It explains:

'You have to be at least 13 years old to use Tumblr. We are serious: it's a hard rule. Based on U.S. federal and state legislation. "But I'm like 12.9 years old!" you plead. Nope, sorry. If you are younger than 13, do not use Tumblr. Ask your parents for Playstation 4 or Try books!'

iTunes

Who Said Website Terms & Conditions Can't be FunnyIn its end-user agreement, iTunes stipulates that anyone on any of the included lists of embargoed countries, an array of persons and entities denied entry and residents of embargoed countries. Wedged secondhand after is an added limitation on the use of the service:

“You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by the law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons.”

Consideration clause

When one antivirus software company wanted to see just how many people would pay attention to their EULA, they hid in the text the promise of a $1,000 reward for the first person who read the statement in their terms. PC Pitstop waited four months and facilitated more than 3,000 downloads before someone finally wrote in after noticing the clause and claimed their reward.

Amazon's alarm

Buried in section 57.10 of Amazon’s terms of service, about the acceptable safe use of lumberyard materials, the online marketplace has stashed a clause that negates the whole section should the zombie apocalypse take place. Of course, they have a broader legalese way of stipulating such an event:

“However, this restriction will not apply in the event of the occurrence of a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization.”

But beware, With website terms, you are decreeing the terms and the visitants have no choice but to accept them. Given this, any vague and ambiguous terms are going to be interpreted against you. Funny language stands a good chance of generating a chuckle but also being interpreted as very vague and enigmatic. Put another way, your efforts to be funny could cripple you in a legal dispute. Is it wise to try to use unusual terms and conditions for a site? Anything is possible, but you must do it very deliberately.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ashima Puri

I am Ashima Puri Chhibbar. A Civil Lawyer by profession and concentrating on Litigation practice since enrolling in 2008. I have expertise on family law matters Vis. Matrimonial disputes including, partition, divorce, custody, maintainance etc. I am practising Corporate Law including advisory and transactional practice. With a team of associate advocates and para legal associates, I represent corporate houses and SMEs. I provide legal assistance involving new business laws and regulations.

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