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Grad student translates iTunes Terms of Service into something more readable


Apple makes some beautiful products, doesn't it? From the second you unbox that new iDevice, to the moment when you plug it in to your perfectly engineered MacBook and open up iTunes with the great OS X operating system -- and then you see the iTunes Legal Agreement pop up, ugly as sin and a lot less interesting. Grad student Gregg Bernstein has put a little work into doing something that Apple hasn't yet done: Make that clickthrough terms of service window a little more appealing and a little less like legal boilerplate. For his master's thesis he went through Apple's license agreement (all 4,137 words of it) and designed something that looked a lot more clean and beautiful, and actually meant something. Things like how many copies you can make of each item, and what you're actually agreeing to when you click "Agree" are spelled out much more clearly.

So many of these user agreements are just noise, crafted by lawyers in a room somewhere, and put in by coders for companies who aren't really interested in using them as anything but a big, bland legal shield (and clicked on by consumers who aren't paying attention anyway). That's why Bernstein's idea is so great. Why not embrace beautiful design everywhere, even in the legal nonsense?

Of course, there are probably legal reasons (duh) that Apple's license is implemented the way it is. But it would be nice for some company, any company, to step up and make this stuff easier and better for all involved.

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