How Did The iTunes Terms Of Service Become A Cultural Phenomenon All Its Own?

from the have-you-read-it? dept

People have always tended to hate "terms of service" (TOS) and "end user license agreements" (EULAs) for their software. No one reads the things. A few years back, we wrote about a software company that attempted to prove that no one read the terms of service, by embedding a promise to pay $1,000 to the first person who read the terms and claimed the money. It took four months and over 3,000 downloads before anyone claimed the money.

For some reason, however, the terms and conditions associated with Apple's iTunes service have taken things to an entirely new level, to the point where it appears the iTunes terms have become a cultural icon entirely separate from iTunes. CNN recently asked some lawyers to go through the 56-page document to pick out the bits and pieces you should actually be aware of, but probably aren't. But that's nothing.

Plenty of folks saw the recent episode of South Park, in which the entire basis was built off of parodying the fact that no one reads the iTunes terms:
But, that's not all. CNET recently had famed actor Richard Dreyfuss do a series of dramatic readings of portions of the iTunes terms, which you can hear in the video below:
I have to admit that I'm sort of fascinated with the level to which the iTunes terms have become such a cultural phenomenon, and am curious to see how far it will go. Will we see plays or movies based on it? How about a musical version?

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  1. icon
    Eric E. Johnson (profile), 16 Jun 2011 @ 8:01am

    More proof Apple is the new Microsoft

    Everybody has a EULA nobody reads. The question is why does the cultural angst focus on Apple? It's because Apple is the new Microsoft. It's the 1984 commercial flipped on its head. Apple is Big Brother. While we are all laughing about it, everyone is just slightly scared of Apple. Face it, they're getting super creepy.

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