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RE: Google Books

Anyone who has used the Apple bookstore will have encountered a 
similar lengthy click-on agreement. I actually was interested 
enough to read the entire agreement, all 35+ pages of it, but 
suspect that very few people do.

It is one thing to agree to the terms of a very short 
non-negotiable agreement, such as one encounters frequently these 
days. I have to say I worry about agreeing to something so much 
more complicated. I know there has been some disagreement among 
courts about the legality of shrink-wrap contracts.  I'm 
wondering if there has been similar judicial questioning of 
click-on agreements. Does anyone know?

Sandy Thatcher

>I was curious to use Google eBooks yesterday after the
>announcement and so went through the motion of buying a book. I
>got to the point where I was presented with the well-known "agree
>to these terms" screen. Like most people, I pay no attention but
>this time I was curious.
>I started clicking down to page through the terms. When I
>started, I noticed that the progress bar barely moved, so I kept
>clicking and clicking and clicking. I started counting clicks. My
>intent was to count to the end but I just got tired and got
>worried about the battery on my wireless mouse...
>Therefore based on my progress to the approximate half-way point,
>my estimate is that if you wish to actually read the terms you're
>agreeing to in buying a Google eBook, you will need to click
>through about 500 times. Yes, 500. Occasionally, you will see
>some Spanish and a little Chinese as you click by, but keep going
>-- there is English all the way through and to the end.
>Admittedly, the default screen text size for the terms was fairly
>small but it was the default and I saw no way to expand the text
>Not sure what this says except that a lot of lawyers were clearly
>involved. A lot of lawyers. I think it also says that it is
>certainly not reasonable or expected that a rational, reasonable
>user of Google eBooks who "agrees to the terms" will have any
>idea or concept of what they are agreeing to.
>-- David Carlson

Sanford G. Thatcher
8201 Edgewater Drive
Frisco, TX  75034-5514
e-mail: sandy.thatcher@alumni.princeton.edu
Phone: (214) 705-1939
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sanford.thatcher

"If a book is worth reading, it is worth buying."-John Ruskin (1865)

"The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people
who can write know anything."-Walter Bagehot (1853)