Evernote bans Class Action Suits

Nov 29, 2012
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Do you have a moleskine- an elegantly crafted leather-encased journal that carries your thoughts, sketches, and heartaches? Moleskine has an internet equivalent called Evernote. It’s a logical next step for someone who wants to make his or her diary the internet. No, this is not a Xanga or Livejournal (90s kids!), this is an organized way of archiving online articles (Google Chrome app), calendars, and notes via live synchronization with the Evernote server. If you’re already familiar and comfortable with the suite applications then no need to go into the other obvious perks of being an Evernote client.

So when I get an email about their “terms of service” update, like many of you, wincing at the sight of poorly formatted legal text in a window browser, I made a fast exit and clicked the agree button.

“YOU AND EVERNOTE AGREE, AS PART OF THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT, THAT EACH OF US MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT AS PART OF ANY PURPORTED CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION OR PROCEEDING. WE REFER TO THIS AS THE “PROHIBITION OF CLASS AND REPRESENTATIVE ACTIONS.”

-2012 Terms of Service, Evernote

Why you should care about the Terms of Service?

If Evernote corrupts, deletes or distributes your data which is considered confidential or valuable, as a paying customer you can use a legal course action to indemnify the service provider. Just this week the terms of service in Evernote came with a few changes, most noteably a ban of class action suits. It surprises me to see pre-emptive strike in something as simple and elegant as a terms of service. This reads more like a prenup for a potential ‘messy divorce’ with dissatisfied customers.

$250 million in damages for Unwanted Advertising

Plaintiffs in a class action suit against the Pizza restaurant, Papa John’s, are suing for unsolicited text messages advertising for deals, new menu items, and local openings. Under US Federal law, not unlike the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, your rights as a consumer of internet media are protected from spam and breaches of user confidentiality.

Evernote isn’t stupid

Legal disputes can be a death warrant- something the fastest growing social network, Pinterest is completely aware of. Like Evernote, they too changed their terms of service and added a feature for businesses to prevent unlawful distribution of ‘corporate pins’ on users’ sites.