A few years ago, GameStation (now, Game) snuck an “immortal soul clause” into the language of their purchase agreement, wherein “you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions.”
They did offer an opt-out, “If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction.” GameStation estimated about 88% of people do not read the terms of service, based on the number of people who opted out at that point.
This remains one of my favorite examples when illustrating the importance of taking a few minutes to at least thoroughly skim the Terms of Service where you share and play online. And it isn’t all that surprising. It’s impossible to read the lengthy and often times convoluted TOS of everything you sign up for, especially if you’re an online junkie. Further, even if you do take the time… they can change them at any time. To whatever they want. How can we keep up with all of this? The truth is, you can’t. But you can regularly review the permissions you’ve granted and see how they have changed. Or how you have changed.