We Should All Have a TOS Treat

As I’m sure many Slaw readers comb through the Terms of Service for the websites they use, I’d like to highlight a new consideration. Surf on over to the WordPress.com TOS, and check out paragraph 16, Disclaimer of Warranties:

Disclaimer of Warranties. The Website is provided “as is”. Automattic and its suppliers and licensors hereby disclaim all warranties of any kind, express or implied, including, without limitation, the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. Neither Automattic nor its suppliers and licensors, makes any warranty that the Website will be error free or that access thereto will be continuous or uninterrupted. If you’re actually reading this, here’s a treat. You understand that you download from, or otherwise obtain content or services through, the Website at your own discretion and risk.

And “no”, that’s not an insert or modification on my part. Call it an Easter egg, or simply a ‘treat’ as WordPress does; but this kind of hidden ‘fun’ twist to legal language does make the reading experience a little more pleasant less painful.

Does this happen often? or elsewhere? I did a quick search, which showed a number of websites that have wholesale copied the WordPress TOS — most stripping the ‘treat’ link from of the TOS text, and yet, interestingly, leaving the ‘treat’ language in place. Making one believe these site owners are: A) not very smart; B) really trust the WordPress lawyers; or C) really lazy. Pick two.

From those sites that I was able to skim through, I also didn’t find any that had edited in a “new treat” for their readers. That’s unfortunate. Perhaps if Lord Denning was writing TOS pages, these gems wouldn’t be quite so rare.

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