ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Jeremy Telman
Oklahoma City University
School of Law

Friday, November 20, 2020

Peacock Terms of Service

CakeI'm not ashamed to admit that I did not know that NBC has a streaming service called Peacock.  I am bit ashamed that I just learned from a friend of the blog (thanks Robyn Meadows!) that Peacock's Terms of Service (ToS), which they call "Terms of Use," include a recipe for chocolate cake.  Yes, the cake at left is not chocolate, but it is public domain, so close enough!

Now we are not your typical website that will believe whatever palaver the company serves up about its motivation for including the cake recipe.  So we will not endorse the idea that the aim was to get consumers to more carefully scrutinize the ToS.  If you want that fairy tale, you can read it here.  But the real reason for the recipe is more obvious from stories you can read here and here.  The rollout of NBC's streaming service was delayed.  It had to do something to get people to notice the rollout and to distract from the ugliness that delayed it.  So, some clever marketing person came up with the cake dealy, and they threw it into the ToS.  Cute.

Make no mistake, the chocolate cake recipe may be original to "Grandma," but the ToS are pure, nasty, corporate boilerplate, including:

  • terms that can be modified by updating the ToS online and that online modification counts as "notice";
  • provision that a consumer's continued use of services after a modification will be treated as assent to modified terms;
  • incorporation by reference of a complicated, multi-layered privacy policy available through hyperlink, which also is subject to revision with or without notice (unless you think updating a website constitutes notice);
  • expansive claims to licenses to make use of uploaded user content, including an express renunciation of any expectation of privacy or confidentiality with respect to such content;
  • warranty disclaimers;
  • limitations of liability;
  • indemnification;
  • an arbitration clause;
  • a class action/class relief waiver;
  • a provision that consumers will not disclose of facts relating to arbitration

Bake that for 30-40 minutes at 325 degrees, and Grandma will no doubt box your ears for bargaining away your legal rights so that you can stream Supernatural

Commentary, Contract Profs, E-commerce, Television, True Contracts, Web/Tech | Permalink


This is by far the most egregious TOS that I have ever seen.
Thx, James

Posted by: James Ward | Nov 22, 2020 7:38:08 AM