Comment: if you don't read the small print, tough luck

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if you don't read the small print, tough luck

I encourage you to watch the South Park episode called "Humancentipad."

On a more serious note, I think private law would develop standards as to what kind of clauses can be included in a contract and how to prove someone actually read a particular clause.

The main argument of the anti-IP crowd seems to be that a third party cannot be bound by a contract they did not sign. That is simply not true and is a misunderstanding of contracts. A property title binds everyone to respect the property title. If I own a house, I can prevent anyone from not entering it. A contract is a transfer of title to a piece of property. Therefore, the contract binds everyone to respect the title of property.

I posted this example at EPJ, and I reproduce it here for your consideration:

Assume I sell you a plot of land with a house whose interior is built with American chestnut. American chestnut is no longer available and is considered something of a historical artifact. When I sell you the house, I put into the contract a restrictive covenant that you cannot tear out the chestnut interior. Maybe I do this because I love the American chestnut. Maybe my grandpa built the house with chestnut trees from the property and I want to honor his memory. Whatever, the reason is not important.

If you sell the house to Roscoe, and don't tell him about the restrictive covenant on the property title, and Roscoe tears out the chestnut, Roscoe is in violation of the restrictive covenant. When Roscoe bought the house, he did not buy the right to tear out the chestnut, because you did not have that right to sell to him.

“Although it was the middle of winter, I finally realized that, within me, summer was inextinguishable.” — Albert Camus