Ties That Bind

A federal court in New York ruled on October 28 that people who visited the Match.com site and checked a box indicating they agreed to the site’s terms of service are bound by those terms of service. That includes a term that requires disputes be litigated in a Texas federal court. The key issue that courts consider in cases such as this one is whether the term is “reasonably communicated.” Here the court noted that the “forum selection clause” was set out from the rest of the terms under a bold print heading. Users were also warned that if they did not agree with the terms of service they should not use the site. If we all had a nickel for every time we clicked “I accept” without reading the terms, I suppose many of us would be rich. But watch out for the “Ties That Bind”: