So what are you agreeing to with a cavalier click?
1. Apple: I am not a terrorist
If you use
(AAPL - Get Report)
iTunes software and happen to be an international terrorist, don't be surprised if you someday find yourself shut off from your playlists.
In its user agreement, Apple bans use of the software by those in "U.S.-embargoed countries" and "anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department's list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Department of Commerce Denied Person's List or Entity."
"You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons," it adds, reducing the likelihood Lady Gaga will work detailed instructions for a plutonium-based neutron trigger into a song.
In another paragraph, Apple warns that the iTunes software "is not intended or suitable for use in situations or environments where the failure of, or errors or inaccuracies in the content, data or information provided by, the apple software could lead to death, personal injury or severe physical or environmental damage, including without limitation the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic control, life support or weapons systems."
Any content you create or post via a Web portal or social media site could become the property of your host.
2. Google: Do what you want with my stuff
The 2008 launch of
(GOOG - Get Report)
Chrome browser was met with controversy when a scan of its user agreement uncovered that users "give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and nonexclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services." Amid objections, Google added: "You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services."
3. Yahoo: Own my stuff
Before that, in 1999,
(YHOO - Get Report)
bought the free website hosting service Geocities and amended the user agreement so it would exclusively own any content hosted on these sites. Bad publicity and a boycott led Yahoo to abandon that plan.