Other issues in this category (14)
It’s not what you read, it’s what you don’t read that can come back and bite you
Nowadays, everything belongs to somebody—whether a government, a company, or an individual. Intellectual property is no different. A right holder possesses the exclusive right to use their intellectual property. Even if the right holder allows the public to use their intellectual property free of charge, it still remains their property. As a rule, an end-user agreement determines how intellectual property can be used.
A user agreement is concluded between the right holder and the person who will use the intellectual property or service provided by the right holder. When it comes to software, agreements of this kind are concluded in advance of using an application. On the Internet, users may be required to accept the terms of an agreement to gain access to a personal account area or website, or before they start using an online service.
But does anyone really read user agreements thoroughly?
Your mindless acceptance of agreement terms can lead to unexpected financial losses!
Fraudsters aren’t the only ones who take advantage of this—entirely legitimate online resources do as well.
For example, several users in Russia who visited a well-known dating website and then stopped after a while found themselves in a rather unpleasant situation. At first, the bank card information they initially provided to pay for the site's services was used in an attempt to withdraw an annual service fee. After that, they started receiving demands and threats from debt collectors to whom their 'debts' had been sold.
Furthermore, it turned out that when registering on the site, all the users affected had accepted the terms of the license agreement without reading it!
Yet not only did the agreement contain a clause about automatic fund withdrawal—it indicated that the right holder was a foreign company subject to a foreign jurisdiction. It also contained a cryptic caveat (one that would go over most people’s heads) indicating that Russian legislation can't be applied. That means that in order to get the company to court, the user will have to find and pay lawyers on another country's territory.
Even though on the Web, you must only tick a box in order visit a website, get a service, or use software, and you don’t actually sign an agreement, you are still accepting ALL THE TERMS established by the right holder.
Before you accept the terms of an agreement, be sure that you read all its clauses, especially those where the font is hard to read or small in size. This will help you preserve your peace of mind and your money. Otherwise you may find yourself in a situation where you can hardly prove anything even if you go to law enforcement authorities or to court (if that’s an option) because you were the one who accepted the terms you were offered.
People who want to use Dr.Web® also have to accept the terms of a license agreement before they can start using the anti-virus software. To enable users to read the agreement before they download the application, its text has been made publicly available on Doctor Web's official site.