“First, Kill all the lawyers…”

Again, just to be clear, I’m not so much advocating violence, but quoting Shakespeare here. Why am I saying this (again), well, other than the obvious reasons? Easy, I just read this post over at No Funny Lawyers, and well, I was both amused, and a tad irritated.

On Reading Contracts: What to do When Asked for Your Immortal Soul
Whether it’s your soul or just your money at risk, assume that every contract you sign can and will be used against you. I don’t practice canonical law, so I can’t say if an agreement to sell your immortal soul can be enforced against you. An agreement to hold Facebook harmless against trouble coming from your use of its site is a different matter altogether, at least in Colorado.

Well, for an April Fool’s joke, the British gaming vendor Gamestation recently added the following requirement to its online terms of use:

By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions.

To be sure, it was an April Fool’s stunt, but apparently some 7,500 people (almost 90% of the site’s users on April 1st) agreed to this sinister Faustian bargain, all the while ignoring the opt-out option that would have given them a £5 credit (about $8) toward their purchase.

Apparently, there are other, equally suspicious, if not as outright evil, contracts that also exist, so we urge you all to actually read what you are signing, as no right of your is protected if it isn’t actually written down. Sure there are promises that are made and assurances given (“Oh, we’ll never do THAT.”) but unless it is in writing it is not only not worth the paper on which it’s (not) printed, but totally unenforceable.

Caveat emptor

The Perfessor, esq.

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The Perfessor

Writer with Attitude, and things to say!