Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Verizon DSL arrived

So my self-install kit for Verizon DSL showed up in the mail today. It isn't supposed to be activated until October first. I love completely one-sided contracts. Check out their Terms of Service. Oh yeah, and it's double sided:

Alot of it is the standard boilerplate I would expect of any provider - the Internet is a dangerous place, we aren't responsible if you get a virus, blah blah.

Here's a few fun snippets:

15.2 You agree that the Internet is not owned, operated or managed by, or in any way affiliated with Verizon and Verizon is not responsible and has no control over the information or materials accessible thorugh use of the Service.

Well, that's a load off. Glad that they are willing to recognize that Al Gore invented the Internet and Sun is "the com in dot com". No Verizon, you own THE TELEPHONE NETWORK.

15.6 You are not authorized to use any Verizon name or mark as a hypertext link to any Verizon Web site or in any advertising, publicity or any other commercial manner without the prior written concsent of the Verizon Licensing Company.

So in other words, if I were to put a link on my website to Verizon's website, like so http://www.verizon.com, then I would be violating their Terms of Service. Good thing I'm writing this post this from my stolen wireless connection instead of my new DSL service.

The really good stuff though is what they consider to be "acceptable use". Here a summary of what is not acceptable:

Verizon reserves the right to deny Service to you if your use of the Service ... and in the sole discretion of Verizon (a) is obscene, indecent, pornographic, sadistic, cruel or racist in nature, or of a sexually explicit or graphic nature; (b) espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred or racism; (c) might be legally actionable for any reason, (d) is objectionable for any reason, or (e) in any manner violates the terms of this Acceptable use Policy.

Here comes the thought police... Don't get me wrong, racism and bigotry are bad, but do I really want Verizon to be the judge and jury on what constitutes "objectionable", "obscene", or "indecent"? At least in the worst case all they can do is terminate my service, charge me for the equipment, and charge me the mandatory early termination fee (yes, they can still charge the early termination fee even if they terminate the contract [see section 13.1.3 of the contract]).

Here are a few things beyond the typical "no spamming or stealing service" rules that constitute a violation of Acceptable use

  • (j) to damage the name or reputation of Verizon, its parent, affiliates and subsidiaries, or any third parties (so does writing this post discussing their ridiculous contract violate their TOS?)
  • (n) to generate excessive amounts (as determined by Verizon at its sole discretion) of Internet traffic
  • (s) to cause the screen to "scroll" faster than other subscribers or users are able to type to it...

The ridiculousness goes on and on, but I am tired and must sleep now.