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posted by mattie_p on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the print-that-out-please-want-it-on-paper dept.

bob_super writes:

"After reading an article[fr] (English language version) presenting a new Google initiative to map deforestation, I encountered a surprise when globalforestwatch.org opened with a Terms Of Service page! Not a small two-line 'we're in beta' terms of service page, a full multi-page lawyer-dream EULA. And when clicked on agree, I got a pop-up asking me to agree again!

Since we all know that all information has to be proven 100% correct and safe before being published on the web, have you noticed EULAs in other no-login sites? Why are Google's lawyers getting in the way when it's about important scientific data?"

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:40PM (#4799)

    "Not a small two-line 'we're in beta'"
    Fuck Beta!

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:42PM (#4800)

      Deforest the Beta!

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by maxim on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:24PM

      by maxim (2543) <maximlevitsky@gmail.com> on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:24PM (#4811)

      I gueess trolls moved over here too.. Welcome

      • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by dmc on Saturday February 22 2014, @11:02PM

        by dmc (188) on Saturday February 22 2014, @11:02PM (#4999)

        mod parent up, and first post troll down. Let's make our moderation something to be proud of here. Personally I think tweaking the mod point alotment from 10 points valid for a few hours to 5 points valid for a few days would be better for the timebeing while the number of users and comments here are far fewer than e.g. slashdot.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @02:04PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @02:04PM (#4820)

      -1 Offtopic, -1 Redundant, -1 Overrated. C'mon mods - I know it's tempting to blow through those mod points so you can feel like you're helping out, but this drivel can stop now.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by girlwhowaspluggedout on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:49PM

    by girlwhowaspluggedout (1223) on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:49PM (#4802)

    By clicking "I agree", you are bound by the terms of this Agreement. If you choose not to click on "I agree" you will be redirected from this website ("Site"). Your use of any portion of the Site, any information or data provided on the Site, or any services made available through the Site (the "Services") is subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein.

    Not true. Clicking on "I do not agree" creates an infuriating refresh loop.

    On a more global perspective, this type of lawyery situation often arises from government regulation. Some jurisdictions, the UK for instance [silktide.com], require websites to inform their users about their uses of cookies, to explain the nature of cookies, and to ask their users to assent to it. This, however, seems to me to be simply CYA:

    You must fully comply with all applicable export laws, including U.S. law, and must not directly or indirectly export, any computer hardware, software, technical data or derivatives of such hardware, software or technical data ("HSoTD"), or re-export, or permit the shipment or transfer of same: (i) into (or to a national or resident of) Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or any other country, destination or person to which HSoTD would be prohibited by the United States, such as, but not limited to, anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department's List of Specially Designated Nationals, List of Specially Designated Terrorists or List of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, or the U.S. Commerce Department's Denied Parties List; or (ii) to any country or destination for which the United States requires an export license or other approval for export without first having obtained such license or other approva.

    Just imagine the havoc that a determined terrorist can cause using deforestation data. The horror!

    --
    Soylent is the best disinfectant.
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by My Silly Name on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:32PM

      by My Silly Name (1528) on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:32PM (#4814)
      On a more global perspective, this type of lawyery situation often arises from government regulation.

      So the obvious solution is probably as Shakespeare wrote (Henry V):

      "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
    • (Score: 1) by etherscythe on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:12PM

      by etherscythe (937) on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:12PM (#4832) Journal

      So THAT'S why I've been seeing all these "You should be aware this site uses cookies, but using this site you agree..." blah blah blah. Hadn't got around to looking up what that was about, figured it was some law like that. Thanks for the info :)

      --
      "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by similar_name on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:53PM

    by similar_name (71) on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:53PM (#4803)

    As an American I will never agree to be bound by the EULA. Why should I follow European law?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by janrinok on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:00PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:00PM (#4805) Journal

      Just as we can quite happily ignore DMCA notices. Not our law - does not apply here!

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:08PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 22 2014, @03:08PM (#4831)
        wooosh
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by gallondr00nk on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:56PM

    by gallondr00nk (392) on Saturday February 22 2014, @12:56PM (#4804)

    Said terms are here. [globalforestwatch.org]

    To my layman eyes, it's standard EULA drivel. If I was going to guess why they're doing it, I can imagine that certain parties will get extremely tetchy about their deforestation practices being exposed.

    I remember in the 90's there were often documentaries about Amazon deforestation where the companies were so cagey about what they were doing they'd frequently threaten or even shoot at filmmakers. A full, easily accessible map of what's occuring worldwide might make some companies very uncomfortable.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Open4D on Saturday February 22 2014, @02:23PM

      by Open4D (371) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 22 2014, @02:23PM (#4823) Journal

      While it may be possible to defend a given specific decision to impose a EULA, as something beyond the control of the people imposing it, I think it's something we should generally be resistant to.

      One place to start that resistance is simply documenting the problem. So I thank Soylent News and the poster and submitter for this story. I just did a quick search for any organized efforts to name & shame the worst EULAs, but without success. According to a 2009 post at yalelawtech.org [yalelawtech.org], domain eulahallofshame.com may have been used for that purpose at one time, but was "far from well done", and anyway it's now just being squatted. So does anyone know of any such operation that's still up & running?

      I did come across 10 Ridiculous EULA Clauses That You May Have Already Agreed To [makeuseof.com] and a case where 7500 Gamestation.co.uk shoppers surrendered their immortal souls [boingboing.net]

      .
      As for mitigation, haven't there been efforts in the past to produce standardized EULAs? Again, I just did a search and came up with nothing.

      I will close with something stolen from boingboing.net ...

      READ CAREFULLY. By reading this News for Nerds site comment, you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges. You further represent that you have the authority to release me from any BOGUS AGREEMENTS on behalf of your employer.

      • (Score: 1) by SMI on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:07AM

        by SMI (333) on Sunday February 23 2014, @05:07AM (#5084)

        After following the link regarding 7500 gamestation.co.uk customers surrendering their immortal souls, :), I thought I'd seen everything. Then I read a few comments, and came upon this [boingboing.net]:

        "By allowing me to comment on this blog post, you forfeit all control, profits, and subsidiary rights pertaining to BoingBoing or any future BoingBoing-related ventures to me. By disemvoweling, deleting, responding to, or ignoring this comment, you tacitly acknowledge my claim to be valid."

        Simple, elegant, and very well thought out.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @11:49AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 23 2014, @11:49AM (#5155)

      How dare the Brazilians develop their own nation, create jobs and feed their own families as they see fit! We need to keep them poor, starving and dependent foreign aid so we can marvel at the intact rain forest on our 60" flatscreen TVs. Seeing them living in shanties and slums in National Geographic really looks cool because they are one with their poorness and happy unlike us decadent Westerners who would be in unhappy living in such filth and food insecurity sans internet and big screen tv. They really ought not the be able touch their rain forest without our permission.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RamiK on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:29PM

    by RamiK (1813) on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:29PM (#4813)

    I wonder if it's possible for a lawyer to draw up a general purpose EULA like disclaimer you can copy-paste/link in everything you publish that removes any liability from you over defamation and profanities and what-nots. Something like the disclaimers publishers and writers use in TV or the EULAs but not as restricted.

    Then, I'll have it printed on my T-shirt and attach it to anything I write, say or do so I could say what I want like one of those "free people" I keep reading about...

    Disclaimer: I claim nothing. Do nothing. Admit nothing. Please don't hurt me.

    --
    compiling...
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by EQ on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:43PM

    by EQ (1716) on Saturday February 22 2014, @01:43PM (#4819)

    The wording of the EULA appears to be legalistic word salad aimed at adhering to some obscure US export control regulation. Given the tendencies of this administration to silence people and organizations by threat of, or actual, surveillance, "investigation" and prosecution, I can see why a lawyer for these people might want that up there. This is especially important if such prosecution/silencing is a benefit to the power structure or cronies -- think about the powerful congressmen, or lobbyists from corporations who might want information suppressed or people intimidated. In the end, it's just a speed bump for the central powers, but for us outside those circles; it's yet another burden we end up bearing for the benefit of big centralized powerful government -- and the cronies and elites who drive it and profit from it at our expense.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by number6 on Saturday February 22 2014, @04:32PM

    by number6 (1831) on Saturday February 22 2014, @04:32PM (#4864) Journal

    I just blacklisted 'www.globalforestwatch.org' as loopback address in my HOSTS file.

    I use Firefox 3.6.28 (old version, because I like it) ...and I don't like clever c*nt webpages which use dynamic javascript(s) to shield themselves while freely extracting as much information about me, my habits, my location, my tools and my settings.
    I also have a selection of Firefox addons which work together to defeat clever c*nts and protect my privacy and obfuscate my web fingerprint.

    When I tried visiting the address 'www.globalforestwatch.org', I got this Firefox error page instead:

          The page isn't redirecting properly
          Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete.
          This problem can sometimes be caused by disabling or refusing to accept cookies.
          [Try Again]

    Further inspection shows this address was making multiple attempts to load in my browser (but was being defeated):

          http://www.globalforestwatch.org/notsupporte dbrowser

    So I pasted it into the address bar and loaded it manually. The page had this text:

          Oops, your browser isn't supported.
          This website is optimized for Chrome 19, Firefox 12, Safari 5, Opera 11, Internet Explorer 10 or newer.
          Please upgrade to a supported browser and try loading the website again.

    If I am to do what these clever c*nts want, I want them to give me explicit technical information about: "This webpage is optimized...blah blah...Please upgrade to a supported browser" !!??

    If i had exact information, then maybe I could update the Firefox 3.x source code to include the missing features. Without the info, I feel like a cow leaving the farm and being loaded into a truck!

    My rant here is not solely based on the behaviour of this site. I have a love-hate relationship with the modern internet...Javascript is completely abused, over-used and a security nightmare for userland.
    Yes I can understand how some *judicious* inclusion of Javascript may make a webpage have some useful functionality....

    BUT, IMHO.............

    A properly coded web site should never "NOT LOAD OR CRASH" your browser; it should fall back gracefully to a basic HTML view at the very least.

    Any website which posts a message saying to me "Your browser is not supported, please update to a modern browser" CAN GO AND GET FUCKED !! ....ie: it is an excuse only used by lazy rapid-development hipsters masquerading as web developers, or it is an enslavement-trap by some asshole with a lot of clever "$$$$$" ideas.

    Any website which hides links behind Javascript wrappers CAN FUCK OFF AND DIE !! ...ie: I cannot see a web address at the staus bar when mouse-hovering.

    Dynamic web pages (using Jscript) which adjust their layout --DESKTOP vs MOBILE-- by querying my browsers User Agent on every page reload is a STUPID AND ANNOYING IDEA !! ....The nicer way is to have buttons on the page which, if clicked by me, will set the cookie once-only for the rest of the session ...ie: I have security features built into my browser to protect my privacy but dynamic scripts are blind to this.

    Any website which creates popup messages (using Jscript) like "Are you sure you want to leave this page" + disabling my context menu + disabling my back button + disabling tab closing CAN FUCK OFF AND DIE !! ....Any site which does this to me gets instantly added to my HOSTS FILE as a loopback address ...AND I do a network lookup using "WHOIS" and "TRACERT" and get more addresses related to this asshole site and also add them to HOSTS.

    • (Score: 1) by Fwip on Saturday February 22 2014, @05:36PM

      by Fwip (953) on Saturday February 22 2014, @05:36PM (#4879)

      Dang, y'all weren't supposed to tell the HOSTSFILE spammers about this place!

    • (Score: 2) by dmc on Saturday February 22 2014, @11:00PM

      by dmc (188) on Saturday February 22 2014, @11:00PM (#4998)

      mod parent troll, flamebait, or overrated. Wow, welcome to my Foe list despite '67 The Prisoner being one of my favorite television series of all time. You're rant there certainly is nowhere in character for your chosen handle of 'number6'. Quite the argument for technocrat.net's comportment moderation. I don't think comments like this (getting max-madded) are good for SoylentNews in the long term. All this despite my agreeing with some of your thoughts about things. Do you really believe littering your post with "clever c*nts" is going to get your ideas any traction? Or are you just 100% troll?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by dmc on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:05AM

      by dmc (188) on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:05AM (#5028)

      Any website which posts a message saying to me "Your browser is not supported, please update to a modern browser" CAN GO AND GET FUCKED !! ....ie: it is an excuse only used by lazy rapid-development hipsters masquerading as web developers, or it is an enslavement-trap by some asshole with a lot of clever "$$$$$" ideas.

      I'll feed your trolling/mental-breakdown. In answer to your rant- why are you raising your blood-pressure? Not every destination on the internet needs to conform to your desires. Why don't you just do everything you did, but *not care so much*. Now, you do have a good point I'll elaborate on, but you just got way too angry while expressing it -

      Any website which creates popup messages (using Jscript) like "Are you sure you want to leave this page" + disabling my context menu + disabling my back button + disabling tab closing CAN FUCK OFF AND DIE !!

      The point you failed to make amongst your anger/trolling is that THIS IS A FAULT OF THE BROWSER SOFTWARE. YOUR BROWSER SHOULD NOT LET SITES DO THIS. Now calm down, and go back to enhancing your forked ancient version of firefox. If you do a good enough job, and relax a bit and get help from like minded individuals, you might actually out-compete the advertiser-loving sell-outs at mozilla, or at the very least, perhaps shame them into doing the right thing a little bit more often.

      • (Score: 1) by number6 on Sunday February 23 2014, @06:16AM

        by number6 (1831) on Sunday February 23 2014, @06:16AM (#5093) Journal

             >> Not every destination on the internet needs to conform to your desires.

        Yes that's exactly what I want them to do. When my browser makes a request for packets, I do not want the sender to format their HTML so that a dynamic script snooping for my user-agent (and whatever else) runs before the body fully loads.

             >> The point you failed to make amongst your anger/trolling is that THIS IS A FAULT OF THE BROWSER SOFTWARE.

        No I didn't fail to make this point. It was presumed that readers with half a brain knew this without me having to be literal about it.

        FURTHER NOTES ON MY PREVIOUS POST:

        When my browser hits a page saying "Your browser is not supported", this is a wild guess; they do not know the truth!
        As I stated in my previous post, I have Firefox configured to defeat "clever c*nts and protect my privacy and obfuscate my web fingerprint".
        What this specifically means is this:

        First I want you to visit this site and look at the information......: http://browserspy.dk/browser.php [browserspy.dk]

        When one makes a connection to another site, they receive all that information from ones browser.
        BUT...If you could randomize every one of those values and refresh them at every page load, then the other site has no idea who you really are.
        This is how I have Firefox configured. Whether I use an ancient version of Firefox or the current release is irrelevant.

        So, when I am traversing the internet, the information about me and my browser is always polluted and not the truth. Any website which wants to sniff my browser to extract as much information as they can before allowing the body of the html to load CAN GO AND FUCK THEMSELVES !! ....I don't trust the modern internet and the corporate c*unts and government agencies who control it.

        I think any properly constructed website should (if it is my first visit) render a toolbar at the top of the page, which has buttons that I can press. These buttons configure the cookie. Once the cookie is set, I accept and the toolbar slides up and away out of sight.

        Some of the buttons may be for setting your layout preference (mobile or desktop). Other buttons may be for other things.
        Once the cookie is set, it remains that way...unless I slide out the toolbar and change more settings.

        Using this method, the website does not need to use dynamic javascripts to extract as much information about me and my browser as they can get away with (possibly even sharing it with Google amongst others). It is a user-friendly approach towards my privacy and has some empathy for why I refuse to acknowledge who I really am and where I really come from.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by SMI on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:22AM

          by SMI (333) on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:22AM (#5108)

          As others have already said, your anger is completely misdirected. While we may agree with (at least some of) your underlying points, your tone really isn't conducive to an intellectual discussion. Please redirect your anger towards the sites you don't like (and those who are responsible for them). In case you haven't noticed, none of the things that you're complaining about take place here on SN.

          • (Score: 1) by number6 on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:08PM

            by number6 (1831) on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:08PM (#5278) Journal

            There is no we, there is you and your knobhead ego.
            There is no we, there is him and his knobhead ego.
            There is me and my knobhead ego.

            Your (and his) observations are full of shit. Turn off your computer(s) and go for a long ride on your bicycle(s).
            So I let off some steam....BIG FUCKING DEAL !!!!!!!

            Message to the users who modded me up:
            Thanks guys. I'm not as immature as those two "superior" knobheads want you to believe. I injected rhetorical and artistic license into a technical issue.
            Those other two knobheads are in actual fact part of the "things" I was trying to describe; they are "Rover" the policing balloon; resist them...always!
            Even the novelist James Joyce was known to inject the word "c*nt" in his novels.
            When you leave this page, the only thing to remember is the entertainment it gave you; move on to tomorrow with a blank mind; forget about me.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Buck Feta on Saturday February 22 2014, @06:21PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Saturday February 22 2014, @06:21PM (#4902) Journal

    So decline and skip it. That's what I did. If they're going to be dicks, I don't want to support them in any way.

    --
    - fractious political commentary goes here -
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by stderr on Saturday February 22 2014, @07:17PM

    by stderr (11) on Saturday February 22 2014, @07:17PM (#4919) Journal

    Why are World Resources Institute's lawyers getting in the way when it's about important scientific data?

    FTFY! And good question.

    --
    alias sudo="echo make it yourself #" # ... and get off my lawn!
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jcd on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:27PM

    by jcd (883) on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:27PM (#4939)

    This is pretty obvious, but what we're really dealing with here is another branch of litigation culture. It's so easy to get sued that even a website about deforestation feels the need to hide their valuable info behind a javascript popup demanding you agree to a contract. We should really get past the point where every action you take requires a contract.

    Why did they do this in the first place? Other sites just have a thing in the footer saying that if you continue to use the website, then you're agreeing to their terms. Is that not actually defensible in court?

    --
    "What good's an honest soldier if he can be ordered to behave like a terrorist?"
    • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:30AM

      by evilviper (1760) on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:30AM (#5079) Homepage Journal

      Other sites just have a thing in the footer saying that if you continue to use the website, then you're agreeing to their terms. Is that not actually defensible in court?

      Unless it can be shows that the user has viewed and explicitly agreed to the terms, it is completely non-defensible:

      http://www.out-law.com/page-1790 [out-law.com]

      --
      Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
  • (Score: 5, Informative) by computersareevil on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:49PM

    by computersareevil (749) on Saturday February 22 2014, @08:49PM (#4948)

    I simply use the Firefox plugin called Nuke Anything Enhanced [mozilla.org] to remove the pesky EULA overlay and view the site without agreeing to anything. Endlessly handy for removing stupid overlay pop-ups. Especially those that say "you must have Javascript enabled" and other lies.

  • (Score: 1) by d(++)b on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:58AM

    by d(++)b (2755) on Sunday February 23 2014, @01:58AM (#5040)

    I clicked, I was ready with a pithy comment, I was presented with nothing to refer to.

    I gave up.

  • (Score: 1) by Barrabas on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:02AM

    by Barrabas (22) on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:02AM (#5066) Journal

    Here's a proposal for the SoylentNews EULA/TOS:

    1) We are not responsible for anything you do
    2) Anything you write or do here which is in the public eye(*) is licensed as a Free Cultural Work [creativecommons.org].

    (*)Specifically, your login information and anything that you choose to keep private (such as your journal) remains private. Everything else is open source.

    Comments?

    • (Score: 1) by Barrabas on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:20AM

      by Barrabas (22) on Sunday February 23 2014, @04:20AM (#5075) Journal

      I think we need one more, then it's complete.

      3) We will kick your ass out if we damn well feel like it, so behave!

      • (Score: 1) by SMI on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:42AM

        by SMI (333) on Sunday February 23 2014, @07:42AM (#5112)

        Looks good to me. Thanks for the link.