Posts tagged ‘contract’


On rumors that Microsoft’s terms of service are anti-gun

by wfgodbold

Though the Firearm Blog and Lyle voiced their concerns about Microsoft being the latest in a line of companies to refuse their business to those engaged in lawful commerce in arms, I think their criticisms are, for the most part, unfounded.

The currently-in-force agreement incorporates the code of conduct that bans the sale of firearms and ammunition (the 2009 code of conduct referenced by TFB). However, MS has updated its terms of service (as of June 11, 2014), and the new terms–which go into effect on July 31, 2014 and replace the current terms–do not incorporate the reference to the 2009 code of conduct. If you wish to read the outgoing terms, they are listed halfway down the page under the heading “Archived Microsoft Services Agreement.”

The new terms also do not ban using the products to sell firearms or ammunition; instead of a long list of prohibited conduct, they have cut it back to general principles:

i. Don’t use the Services to do anything illegal.

ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.

iii. Don’t send spam or use your account to help others send spam. Spam is unsolicited bulk email, postings or instant messages.

iv. Don’t publicly display inappropriate images (e.g. nudity, bestiality, pornography).

v. Don’t engage in activity that is false or misleading (e.g. attempts to ask for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else).

vi. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to the Services or others (e.g. viruses, stalking, hate speech, advocating violence against others).

vii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g. unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, photographs and other Content).

viii. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.”

Those are all of the restrictions in section 3.6: “What type of Content or actions aren’t permitted?

So while it is technically true that the Microsoft Services Agreement–as it stands right now–prohibits using its products in conjunction with the sale of arms or ammunition, at the end of July it will not.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. Rely on it at your own risk. I wrote this mainly because I needed a break from studying for the bar exam.


The Oregon Higher Education Board is altering the deal…

by wfgodbold

Pray they don’t alter it any further.

The board voted to prohibit “anyone who has signed a contract with the university from carrying a gun on campus,” after the previous ban was overturned for usurping the legislature’s authority.

Now, we haven’t gotten to amending contracts in class yet (later this semester!), but I don’t see how the board can unilaterally declare that everyone who has signed a contract with the university (students, professors, staff, vendors, sports ticket buyers, etc.) is prohibited from carrying on campus. That seems to be a pretty substantial term, and without anything in the contract indicating such, I don’t think it would be binding.

It also seems to be a pretty blatant end run around last fall’s ruling. This de facto ban usurp’s the Oregon legislature’s authority just as much as the previous ban did, but in a more roundabout way.

Board Spokeswoman Diane Saunders had this to say:

We wanted to get as close back to where we were with the old rule, which has been in force since 1978. We’ve been lucky in Oregon. We have not had the kind of (gun attack) that Virginia Tech has seen. We believe it is because we have been able to regulate firearms on campus.

She comes right out and says that they’re trying to ignore the court’s ruling. She also draws a false comparison between Oregon and Virginia Tech; at the time of the VA Tech massacre, guns were just as prohibited on campus there as the Oregon Board is trying to keep them in that state. In fact, the year before the massacre, legislators killed a bill that would have allowed lawful concealed carry on VA Tech’s campus, and a spokesman for VA Tech said, after that bill’s defeat:

I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus.

That was in January of 2006, 15 months before VA Tech learned that “feeling safe” doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot.

The Oregon Higher Education Board is going to drag its heels as much as Chicago and DC have, but eventually they’re going to end up on the wrong side of an expensive judgement, and instead of being held personally responsible for their continued violation of civil rights, they’ll just pass the cost on to the taxpayers.


Journalism is dead. Hyperbole killed it.

by wfgodbold

While skimming my RSS reader this morning, I came across this breathless post at Kotaku about how the workers at Foxconn in China are slaves.

I IMed back and forth with my friend Ryan about this, and he was incredulous as well; after all, the idea that someone would rather threaten to kill themselves than threaten to quit is kind of hard to imagine.

And then I read the original story this piece was referring to…

On Jan. 2, the workers asked for a raise. Foxconn told them they could either keep their jobs with no pay increase or quit and get compensation. Most decided to quit with compensation. However, the agreement was supposedly terminated, and the workers never received their payments.

This prompted their suicide threat, and they were finally talked down by the mayor.

So, the real issue isn’t even that these workers were “enslaved,” or that they were unable to quit, or anything else.

The issue is that Foxconn (presumably) breached its contract with the workers.

Here, if your contract with your employer was breached, you would have recourse in the courts.

In the “communist” paradise of China, apparently your only recourse is to threaten to throw yourself off the roof of a building.

Slavery doesn’t enter into it at all.

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