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    Are Terms/Conditions a legal requirement for online shopping?


    I've noticed that you are able to buy digital products from a website via Paypal without agreeing to Terms & Conditions during any step of the process. I know that by entering your Paypal credentials you are agreeing to buy something, but shouldn't there be product/service specific terms to agree as to what exactly it is you are buying?

    For example, let's say I buy a book called "Learn PHP in 24 hours" and I read it in 24 hours and then become frustrated because I haven't 'learnt PHP'. The publisher could argue what 'learn PHP' means, but since there are no terms then what recourse does anybody have?

    What's to stop me writing an ebook about any subject imaginable and making ridiculous claims? "Get the job of your dreams - follow my simple steps". etc.
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    IANAL, but under US law there is no legal requirement to have posted terms & conditions. Additionally, for goods based businesses, terms & conditions rarely describe exactly what you're buying.

    Do you explicitly agree to terms & conditions when you swipe your credit card at your local coffee shop to buy a cup of coffee? What if the coffee doesn't taste like what they described on the menu?

    For example, let's say I buy a book called "Learn PHP in 24 hours" and I read it in 24 hours and then become frustrated because I haven't 'learnt PHP'. The publisher could argue what 'learn PHP' means, but since there are no terms then what recourse does anybody have?
    You could bring a civil suit against the publisher for fraud. The lawsuit would cost you more than the book and you would probably lose.

    What's to stop me writing an ebook about any subject imaginable and making ridiculous claims? "Get the job of your dreams - follow my simple steps". etc.
    Nothing. People do this all the time. Smart people don't buy it. Dumb people do. There are a lot of dumb people. Also, you might get sued.
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    In the US there are laws about false advertising, fraud, etc, so if you write an ebook with intentionally misleading information you can lose a suit even with posted terms and conditions. Posting terms & conditions is not a 'get out of jail free' card allowing you to do things illegal.

    <disclaimer>I'm not a lawyer consult one for actual legal advice</disclaimer>
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    For example, let's say I buy a book called "Learn PHP in 24 hours" and I read it in 24 hours and then become frustrated because I haven't 'learnt PHP'.
    That's a terrible example. The title of the book is not an implied guarantee. I recently read a book entitled How To Succeed In Evil. Do you really think that taught me what the title suggests?

    There aren't usually terms for media at all. What you should probably consider are terms and conditions for software, which are written to protect the manufacturer of the software from litigation by you, the consumer, not the other way around.

    You, as the consumer, of course have a powerful recourse if you buy things with a credit card in disputing the transaction.

    Terms and conditions are not written to protect the consumer, however, you do have many consumer rights.
    medialint.com

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    Originally Posted by medialint
    >>Do you really think that taught me what the title suggests?
    That book is categorised under 'fiction'.

    What about a book called "24 chicken recipes to have your friends begging for more" that only contains 12 recipes? Sure, I doubt you'd have any recourse on the fact that your friends aren't "begging for more", but "24 chicken recipes" is a readably measurable term. How about a book called 'Dictionary' that only contains words beginning with the letter E?
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Originally Posted by medialint
    That's a terrible example. The title of the book is not an implied guarantee. I recently read a book entitled How To Succeed In Evil. Do you really think that taught me what the title suggests?
    I really hate to continue with the bump, but I can't let this question go:

    What if I bought a book called How to Succeed at Suing People, and then sued the publisher because I was unable to sue people successfully? The ruling would be a paradox!

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