Idiotic terms of service

Vongo is one of a burgeoning number of online video services. When you download their client gizmo, the terms of service (if I’m reading them right) say that you do not have the right to criticize the product.

“You may not use the Starz Marks to imply endorsement of your product or service, or to disparage Starz, Starz

4 thoughts on “Idiotic terms of service”

  1. I think Starz would have a hard time coming after you merely for disparaging their product (or, one hopes, their EULA!). I think the language is wrapped more around protecting their branding – their logo and trademarks – from being used in disparaging them.
    It’d be interesting to see if there is caselaw which discusses how far these EULAs can go. Can you not mention their name, or can you just not use their logo (or modify their logo to make it look ridiculous)?

  2. Insult to injury atop their DRM, but if you click through enough (it took me 4 or 5 links from the google video page, but there may be a shorter path), Google’s lawyers appear to have similar terms (if friendlier language) on the Google marks:
    including “Display a Google Brand Feature in a manner that is in Google’s sole opinion misleading, defamatory, infringing, libelous, disparaging, obscene or otherwise objectionable to Google”
    Sole opinion?

  3. The problems there are “sole opinion” and “disparaging”, and “otherwise objectionable”. It’s legitimate for them to stop someone from, say, creating a website with “Google Porn”.
    Google itself is a trademark. So the post that says that Google Video is Evil is in violation, even though the post includes a customer suggestion for improving their service.
    The policy is therefore Evil, too.

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