Day 41. 103 pages, 51,010 words.

Well, now I know why people generally don’t read license agreements or privacy policies before clicking on “Agree” and moving on. Check out this stuff, some of it is pretty gnarly and I have no doubt it is standard (yes, I usually scroll quickly through but never really read this crap, and sometimes I don’t even scroll):

Because of the way Internet communication standards work, when you arrive at or leave the PayPal website, we automatically receive the web address of the site that you came from or are going to. We also collect information on which pages of our website you visit, IP addresses, the type of browser you use and the times you access our website.

And this (I’m not submitting anything for publication here and don’t even know how you would do that, but damn):

When providing us with content or posting content (in each case for publication, whether on- or off-line) using the PayPal Services, you grant eBay Inc, and its subsidiaries and subsidiary undertakings (which includes, without limitation, PayPal) (the “eBay Group”) a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise any and all copyright, publicity, trademarks, database rights and intellectual property rights you have in the content, in any media known now or in the future. Further, to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law, you waive your moral rights and promise not to assert such rights against the eBay Group, its sublicensees or assignees. You represent and warrant that none of the following infringe any intellectual property right: your provision of content to us, your posting of content using the PayPal Services, and the eBay Group’s use of such content (including of works derived from it) in connection with the PayPal Services.

That’s some scary crap, and scariest of all is the possibility – nay, the probability – that this sort of crap is all over the place on licenses and agreements these guys get people to sign. We’re all pretty much screwed.

For context, I am looking into paying for a bit of promotion for my book. The site I went to seemed like a nice one, so I am communicating with them a bit first. I did, however, go to the checkout page to see how it all went, and that was where I ran into the “pay via PayPal, or pay using a credit card (no PayPal account needed)” paradox. And the above fine print.

It’s a paradox, because I don’t think I have a PayPal account or if I do, I have only ever signed up for it because of some merchandise purchase or charity donation. I think it’s crap and this whole experience just sells me on that even more. However, when I tried to pay for something with my credit card (“no PayPal account needed”), I was told I couldn’t, because the card number and e-mail contact address were the same as some existing PayPal account.

Now, that has to be mine, and yet when I tried to sign into PayPal, none of my usernames, passwords or addresses worked. When I tried to reset my password, it asked me security questions I never set. So either Mrs. Hatboy set the thing up, or it’s just a huge clusterfuck from beginning to end. Actually, it’s both of those things already.

So let’s see. I may not even bother.

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7 Responses to Uncomfortable

  1. aaronthepatriot says:

    Agreed, there is quite a lot of “scary” in those agreements, and you have not exhausted the examples, surely. I recall scary statements regarding the illegality of this or that action, dependent on what the agreement is FOR, that were always quite scary too.

    Just to add to the bad news, basically Republicans run 2/3 of our government now in America. Before you give a passing “sorry about that” or a “who cares”, I will remind you of this: Keystone XL pipeline. It’s game over now. Obama can’t hold off any longer. Goodbye, cruel world.

    • stchucky says:

      Yeah, I was scanning specifically for stuff that might have some relevance to book release and promotion, basically every paragraph had something excusing PayPal from any legal obligations and allowing them to make any decision they like and the user basically agreeing to let them by clicking the “Accept” button.

      But I guess they have millions and millions of accepters, so the chance of them actually going out of their way to screw one particular person is pretty slim. I just can’t help but envision a Futurama-esque moment when the CEO activates some sort of mass litigation macro and takes all the money and original content in the world. Speaking of which…

      Just to add to the bad news, basically Republicans run 2/3 of our government now in America. Before you give a passing “sorry about that” or a “who cares”, I will remind you of this: Keystone XL pipeline. It’s game over now. Obama can’t hold off any longer. Goodbye, cruel world.

      Yeah, we’re pretty much fucked.

      Seriously dude. Your country is such a brilliant place and is filled with amazing, talented people. How can so many of you be such giant fucking idiots? Talk about a land of contradictions.

      • aaronthepatriot says:

        Too much to go into here but in essence it does come down to people being giant idiots, yeah. Whether discussing those who voted against their interests, or those who didn’t bother to vote, all are idiots. *sigh*

        LOL about the Evil Plot ™, that’s exactly what I’m envisioning too.

  2. dreameling says:

    I’ve been using PayPal happily for many years now. I don’t wanna know about this shit.

    But. eBay owns PayPal. When the hell did this happen?

  3. Linza says:

    eBay and PayPal are both products of Bank of America. Go ahead and call them and get your account removed, because you do NOT want to be in bed with those assholes.

    • stchucky says:

      May do that, but since this was the only way to get the site to accept my card, I went through our PayPal account this time. Will probably call and delete the whole thing later.

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