Lawrence reads Kindle's Terms and Conditions for Choice Magazine.
Categories: Privacy & Security

How long would it take to read Kindle’s Terms and Conditions?

According to Choice Magazine, you’d have to set aside an entire work day, plus stay late and work through lunch, to get through all 73,198 words of Kindle’s Terms and Conditions. Since most of us probably didn’t even read the first screen, Choice hired Lawrence, an actor, to read them out loud to us. He barely made it to the end with his sanity.

Here’s a preview:

Do Terms and Conditions need to be this long and complicated? Maybe, maybe not. Mozilla believes that users trust products and services more when companies build in trust and user control. Using Lean Data Practices, for example, can help put companies on the road to being truly trustworthy.

As Choice Magazine notes, “No one should have to spend nine hours of their life reading a contract for a basic product.” Having to do so before using a Kindle makes buying a paperback at the local bookshop look even more attractive.

But if you’re determined to stick with your e-reader and be an informed consumer, you’ll need to take a day off to binge-watch the full readings. Forget the popcorn. You’ll want a strong pot of coffee.

Episode 1: No Hope

Lawrence starts out with flair, enunciation, vigor and a clean shirt. Have kids who use Amazon? Here’s a noteworthy passage.

Episode 2: The Kindle Strikes Back

Lawrence is feeling unhappy. Citizens of Illinois, take note with regards to digital facial recognition.

Episode 3: Return of the Jargon

Lawrence assumes the position many Kindle owners use daily and spends 13 minutes reading a non-exhaustive list of Amazon trademarks.

Episode 4: The Jargon Menace

Lawrence has hit the stage of cumulative dehumanization and notes the conflict between the rights of the consumer and the rights of the product.

Episode 5: Attack of the Semi-Colon

Lawrence discovers a possible typo that may render the whole thing void.

Episode 6: Revenge of the Syntax

Lawrence presses on.

Episode 7: The Farce Awakens

While you were around the corner at the taco truck, Lawrence persevered from his windowless conference room.

Episode 8: The Last Gibberish

Day 3. Fresh air. Lawrence is outside and reports that he feels great and dreams of Manderley. Shirt change.

Episode 9: Darkest Before the Dawn

Lawrence, we feel your pain. The end is near and yet so far away. Much happens in the final run-up. Lawrence encounters the Apache License full text for the tenth time. Goes for a stroll. Almost breaks down but finally makes it to the end.

4 comments on “How long would it take to read Kindle’s Terms and Conditions?”

  1. Rafik Talat wrote on

    Wonderful! No one ever thinks of it like this! And I think, as you seem to confirm, no one ever has read them fully at all! 🙂

  2. Daniel wrote on

    Based on Kindle’s advertising: ‘A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours*’ it will take 18 days to read the Terms and Conditions.

    *based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless turned off and the light setting at ten.

  3. David L Durlin wrote on

    It’s good. I love the user agreements of so many sites. What if we had a STANDARDIZED user agreement with any exceptions included in bold letters. It seems to me that the usual user agreement says, “You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”. It shouldn’t take page after page of legalese to say that. And, it shouldn’t need hundreds (thousands?) of different ways to say the same thing. As for differences, any payments required would have to be stated in the first paragraph.

  4. minorsixth wrote on

    This is completely stupid. I think the document wasn’t intended to be read at all, it was intended to fulfill a legal obligation so that Amazon could never be held responsible for anything.

    If the contract had a clause like “Amazon has the right to kill you”, should that really give Amazon the power to do that? Similarly, the entire contract is void because nothing can be taken seriously because the user doesn’t know what he or she is even agreeing to.