made a splash on Hacker News
. Some say it was designed to be viral. It wasn't. It's an example of how we approach everything that we do — it has to be perfect (or as close to perfect as possible) and easy to use.
Lawyers' thinking process is completely different. They will be disputing a word 'substantial' over 'massive' for half an hour (racking up the bill in the meantime) — and it makes sense for them in the reality of dealing with legalese.
For us, humans, such a language is beyond understanding. We want to know whether the company shares or sells emails, whether it has the right to sell your photos, and whether your private information will remain private.
The other important part of why I'm not reading the terms is that the internet has evolved a lot over the past few years — I now simply assume that everything that I post and share — regardless of whether it's private or not — is actually public. Or can become public at any time. The rule of thumb is simple — don't do what you don't want others to see.
I remember the debates of the late '90s and early '00s about using real names on the Internet — there was literally no supporters for using real names on the web. Everyone hid under nicknames, and to know who stands behind that nickname was impossible to figure out. Now, using real name is the only way to have your words be taken seriously — if you are an anonymous internet troll, well — good luck to you.
So to keep it simple, and not to spend tens of thousands of dollars on 'human-friendly' legal terms, we've created an easy to read version that sums the legalese. While it's not legally binding and doesn't tell everything that is on the left side of the terms, it sums up things that we believe are important to photographers.
I think more sites should use a similar approach so that an average human being is not intimidated by the 41-page-small-font-legalese and the world will be a friendlier and happier place to live in.