Are We All Online Criminals?

Ours is the age of fine print.

Consider how often we enter into legal agreements these days — and for nothing more than our entertainments. Once upon a time if you wanted a book you walked into a bookstore, paid your money and walked out with the book. Copyright law put some limits on what you could do with it, but you didn’t have to sign any special agreement. Now, according to the Conditions of Use, “If you visit or shop at, you accept these conditions.” The conditions follow and follow and follow — more than 2,000 words’ worth. It’s even worse if you choose to do your book reading on an e-reader. Amazon advises that if you’re not willing to sign an agreement running north of 2,500 words, “then you may not use the Kindle, any Reading Application, any Digital Content, or the Service.”

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About Voices

Along with original content and posts from across the Dow Jones network, this section of AllThingsD includes Must-Reads From Other Websites — pieces we’ve read, discussions we’ve followed, stuff we like. Six posts from external sites are included here each weekday, but we only run the headlines. We link to the original sites for the rest. These posts are explicitly labeled, so it’s clear that the content comes from other websites, and for clarity’s sake, all outside posts run against a pink background.

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