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SXSW Interactive 2013

S**t Terms of Use Say

The law becomes a little "sexy" in the Wild West of the Internet. With little rules and regulation of what online companies can and cannot do vis-a-vis their users, and the government, Terms of Use agreements for platforms become a new source of de facto legislation (or non-governance).

The consequences of corporate-created legal regimes has been felt in the privacy space, but what do they mean practically? For the user, what protections do they contain? And for the company, what should or should not be in these agreements? Yes, these have been around for a while and since "nobody" reads them but the "lawyers," it's time to have a real discussion of how users and companies alike should tackle this piece of Internet governance.

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  1. Why are we still using the Terms of Use agreement?
  2. How should companies, startups and others, approach creating these agreements, components of which are required by law in some states?
  3. How can Terms of Use agreements be what they are really meant to be, communication tools for users and companies to understand their interactions with one another?
  4. Why do we need these agreements? What's the consequence of not having them?
  5. What is next in this space? How do we get past what may be a tired old legal conversation and infuse new life into what turns out to be an important piece for policymakers and courts?



Stephanie Margossian, Partner, Corporate and Government Affairs, Gagnier Margossian LLP

Meta Information:

  • Tags: law, startups
  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Government and Civic Engagement
  • Level: Beginning
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