TOSAmend: Change the Terms of Online Contracts
2 weeks ago, the #occupywallst protestors were been kicked out of zuccotti park in Manhattan. It’s time to move the protest to the web. It’s time to #occupytheweb
I am announcing today the relaunch of TOSAmend with Law Professor, Zev Eigen. We’ve ironed out the kinks and now we think TOSAmend will hold up in court – at least for some contracts .
What is TOSAmend?
TOSAmend is a free & easy way to sign up to your favorite web-service while REJECTING their erroneous, overbearing, unreadable, terms of service. TOS stands for Terms of Service.
Wait, that’s legal?
After TOSAmend v1, launched, we had some debate about it’s legal viability. The consensus for v1 was “Neat thought expiriment – but doubt it would hold up in court.”
Since that time, I teamed up with law professor Zev Eigen of Northwestern University School of Law, who specializes in research on online form-contracts, to improve the functionality of the applet to increase its legal viability
Click here to read the blog post on the legal nitty gritty, by two law professors (Zev Eigen and Florencia Marotta-Wurgler from Northwestern and NYU Law Schools respectively)
Take a look at any Terms of Service document. They’re completely one-sided. When you check that ‘I Agree’ button, you sign away even your most basic of rights. They’re in legalise. They’re unreadable. Even if you could read them, it would take you all day. And you’d have to spend countless more hours just trying to understand the lawyer-talk in them. And yet, they are REALLY important – Should any discrepancy between yourself and the other party be brought into a court of law, they will could potentially have a HUGE effect (monetary, or otherwise) on your life!
The #occupywallst protestors have been kicked out of zuccotti park in Manhattan. It’s time to support the plight of average consumers everywhere by standing up to one-sided, non-negotiable terms of service documents. It’s time to #occupytheweb
I want to download TOSAmend
I thought you’d never ask.
- Check out the terms of your use of this bookmarklet
- pause to note the irony of TOS for TOSAmend, and continue only if you accept these terms.
- Drag this link into your browser bookmark bar: TOSAmend
- Visit the signup form of your favorite websites and TOSAmend it.
- TOSAmend will auto-generate an email that will be sent to the company on the your behalf.
I’ve tested in Chrome and Firefox. IE version forthcoming.
When you use the TOSAmend bookmarklet, it will modify the TOS on the page, and pass the amended terms back to the site (via the ‘TOSAmended’ GET or POST parameter), where the web-service can either accept or reject them.
Here’s a 15 second demo of this bookmarklet in action:
- Follow @TOSAmend on twitter.
- Join our google group.
- Check out facebook.com/TOSAmend.
- Contribute to the codebase
- Oh, and I’m @owocki on twitter. Happy to answer your questions there.
#OccupyTheWeb with us. Spread The Word
- Tweet about @TOSAmend
- Like TOSAmend on Facebook
Read the Blog Post
Many thanks to Zev Eigen and collaborator Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, who have authored a short piece about the legal issues relating to using TOSAmend.
Download the paper in .pdf or .doc format, or read the full text below.
Click HERE to download Professor Eigen’s research about form-contracts. link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=370999
Click HERE to download Professor Marotta-Wurgler’s research about form-contracts. link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=352742
What if Consumers Could Change the Terms of Online Contracts?
What do you think?
Leave a comment below or @reply me on twitter