Film Review: Terms and Conditions May Apply

Terms and Conditions May Apply Film Poster

On September 22, 2016 the Technology Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia, co-hosted a screening of the documentary “Terms and Conditions May Apply” at Emory University in Atlanta (

The synopsis of the film reads: “TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY explores the intent hidden within these agreements, and reveals what corporations and governments are legally taking from you and the consequences that result from clicking “I accept.””

As one side of my practice focuses on online legalities in the digital world I decided to go and see what it was about. First I will say it was interesting. Second I will say it was disappointing. As I sat there I was wondering why it doesn’t seem like they dealt deep enough – something is missing. And then when I looked up the film I figured it out – the film came out in 2013, which means it was filmed in end of 2012. So what was missing? Everything regarding Snowden and his whistleblowing, SONY, Target and other data breach hacks, and the current political and legislative environment regarding online privacy. The premise was good but the content did not prove timeless. Watching it with over 4 years of hindsight behind me I kept finding myself updating what was being displayed on screen (in my mind and notes) and wishing it would hurry up and get to its point.

There were a few gems I managed to record – because I was really, really looking for some tidbits to share since this film is old and so much has changed.

Have you seen this documentary? What year did you see it if you did? What was your reaction to it? If you haven’t just click on this link to view it for free.


For a limited time when Game Station had an update the license agreement said they “could claim your immortal soul.” Not many people found that because not many people read the license agreement. 

Online privacy laws that were to go into effect died because of the 9-11 attack and have not been passed yet.

 The filmmaker (Cullen Hoback) called himself a “digital rights advocate” as he connects these online terms of use with government survellience.

 Privacy is a fickle thing – you have nothing to hide until you do.

Who is watching the watcher?


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