This Is What Your iPhone's Confusing 'Terms Of Service' Actually Means
Crazy legal talk, decoded.
We didn't think it was possible, but someone made this intelligible.
Well, Recourse.co did. It's a website that allows you to file a real lawsuit against a business or person in 5 minutes without a lawyer. They also specialize in making legal speak into normal human langauge. To demonstate, Joe Stephens, an attorney and writer with Recourse.co, took a stab at explaining the Apple iOS 8 in plain english:
IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW, WE WROTE THIS IS IN ENGLISH. AND YES, WE'RE YELLING.
STILL YELLING. THIS IS IMPORTANT: YOU JUST AGREED TO EVERYTHING YOU'RE ABOUT TO READ THE MOMENT YOU USED YOUR FANCY NEW iPHONE FOR THE FIRST TIME. WHO CARES YOU'D BEEN WAITING IN LINE FOR 24-HOURS AND WERE BEYOND DELIRIOUS? AND NO, I'M NOT SURE WHY THE "i" STAYS LOWER-CASE IN ALL SITUATIONS:
A. WE'RE GOING TO TELL YOU THE TERMS FIRST…
B …AND THEN WE'LL FINISH WITH AN EXTREMELY UNIMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
MAYBE WE GOT OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT.
HI, WE'RE APPLE!AND THESE—SURPRISE!—ARE THE TERMS
We'll calm down.
KIDDING! READ THE TERMS, READ THE TERMS, READ THE TERMS, READ THE TERMS…
DON’T LIKE THEM? GIVE US BACK OUR PHONE.
1. Now That’s Out of the Way, Let’s Start with Some Obvious Things You Already Know.
(a) Kind of crazy, but guess what? That software we built—yeah, we own it. You're just borrowing it when you use your phone.
(b) And get this: we'll update it from time to time.
2. Here’s How to Use Our Software (i.e., Here’s How NOT to Use Our Software)
(a) Use it—amazing, right? Don't pirate it.
(b) Feel free to download our updates as well. No, not to someone else's phone, to yours!
(c) BREAKING NEWS: Apps are found in the App Store. To get them, you need an account.
(d) Don't hack our software. It's like reading our journal, except worse. Because we won't cry about it, we'll sue you. Don't believe us? Ask Samsung. Or Amazon. Or Intel. Or Motorola.
(e) Some things are ours, some things are yours. Here's how you know: if we made it, it's ours. If you did, it's yours. Now, go to your room.
(f) Now that you have an iPhone you think you can go out and break the law? Guess again. Oh, and you might need wifi sometimes to do stuff.
(g) Didn't you hear us the first time? YOU NEED AN APPLE ID TO ACCESS THE APP STORE.
(h) You might want to sit down for this one: if you allow automatic app updates, the apps will be automatically updated.
3. You Can’t Sell Our Software.
Ok you sort of can, but we don't say sell, we say "one-time permanent transfer of all of your license rights"—it's much more important that way.
4. Everything Fox News Warned You About.
(a) Can we see how you use your phone? PLEEEEASE say yes. C'mon c'mon c'mon…
(b) We know where you are. At all times. Don't want us to? Good luck using your maps…
(c) We're the third-wheel in the your relationship with Siri. We listen to EVERYTHING.
(d) Ever set up or used FaceTime or iMessage? That was a joke—we know what you do.
(e) Hey! More about your Apple ID! Oh, and "sometimes" we read—sorry, "hold"—your texts.
(f) Maps do two things: (1) get you to point B, and (2) tell us exactly where you are.
5. Yet Another Part Where We Write the Obvious and Renounce All Forms of Liability.
(a) …blah, blah, blah…you can use iTunes!...blah, blah, blah…Apple ID…blah, blah, blah…
(b) Let me hold your hand through this one: If you use iCloud…wait for it…you might also use some of its features. Still with me? Get this: those features may be accessed through our software!
(c) Be careful out there—there are some dark corners of the internet.
(d) Remember how we're not at all responsible for anything? Well, we're really not responsible when it's something that other people—ahem, "third parties"—have done.
(e) Remember that time you used our "Stocks" app and made a bad investment and lost all your money and sued us? Yeah, us neither, but we just paid a team of attorneys to tell you something you probably already knew: IT'S NOT OUR FAULT.
(f) See 2(e). See 2(e). See 2(e). See 2(e). See 2(e). Oh sorry, we're used to being redundant.
(g) It's taken us THIS long to say "metadata" for the first time? Oh, and maybe the Maps app you use at home doesn't work in Antarctica. You guessed it, not our problem (or fault!).
6. Nothing Ever “Ends” in the Legal World, It “Terminates.”
"You agree to all of this until you no longer do." – Expensive, Harvard-educated attorney
7. Where We Shift Away From Lettered Lists, Start Using Numbers, and Begin to Yell Again.
7.1 As a consumer, you may have rights! What are they? Not our job to tell you. Call that "local consumer advice organization" you've never ever heard of.
7.2 SHOUTING! ALL THE RISKS ARE YOURS!
7.3 MORE SHOUTING! WANT A WARRANTY? THEN BUY IT FROM US. OTHERWISE, FEEL FREE TO ACCEPT OUR MOST SINCERE APOLOGIES FOR ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS.
7.4 WE'RE NOT PERFECT, OK?
7.5 USING YOUR iPHONE TO OPERATE A NUCLEAR FACILITY AND THE TIME ISN'T PERFECTLY ACCURATE? YES, THAT'S A REAL EXAMPLE WE USED, AND YES, YOU'RE AN IDIOT.
7.6 EVERYTHING—ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS—IS YOUR FAULT AND RESPONSIBILITY. HAVE AN OLD NOTE FROM STEVE JOBS? DOESN'T MATTER, YOU'RE PAYING FOR IT.
8. We Just Want To Be Clear.
NOTHING IS EVER
9. Digital Certificates. You Know What They Are, Right?
WELL, WE DON'T CARE. ACCEPT THEM AT YOUR OWN RISK. AND, NOT OUR FAULT NOT OUR FAULT NOT OUR FAULT NOT OUR FAULT…
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Riveting Legal Stuff About Things.
Obey the law, ok? And know the law—even stuff you never need to.
16. Yahoo! (Their Exclamation Mark, Not Ours).
Yep, here's a random reference to a search engine you probably don't use.
They're our friends! Really. Ok, at least in this capacity. Will this ever matter? Of course not!
IMPORTANT (BUT STILL NO REASON TO YELL) ANNOUNCEMENT:Don't call us, we'll call you. I mean email. We'll email you.
We know where you are.
For more on Recourse's services, check them out here.