Welcome to With Less - a weekly newsletter dedicated to helping legal creatively do more with less.
Designing and simplifying contracts will no longer be an option. It will no longer be the exception to the rule. 🤔
This is no hyperbole, nor puffery 👀
This past Thursday, the US Congress introduced the Terms-of-service Labeling, Design, and Readability Act—or, TLDR for short (I like what they did there), which would require websites and online services to provide an easily digestible summary of their terms—without the legalese. 🤯
In the spirit of TL;DR (that’s internet speak for “Too Long; Didn’t Read”), here’s the gist of what the TLDR Act requires:
✔ The types of consumer information the site is collecting.
✔ Whether the data the company collects is necessary to provide their service.
✔ A graphic diagram of how the consumer’s data is shared with third parties.
✔ Instructions on how consumers can delete their data—or a warning if they’re unable to delete it.
✔ The legal liabilities of a consumer using the service (i.e., rights to their content, mandatory arbitration, and class action waivers).
✔ A list of reported data breaches within the last three years.
I 💙 that the TLDR Act’s requirements are rooted in a different mindset - an alternative approach - to contract drafting. This stuff the legal and contract design communities cheer for.
👍 A contract needs to be readable and accessible by its users for it to be useable. If a contract's content is inaccessible to its users, then it is neither useable, nor useful. Terms of service and privacy policies are, mostly, useless to the end user.
🎯 Contract design ensures that a contract is user-centric by being readable, accessible, useable, and useful to users.
🤝 This bipartisan legislation reads the room well. It recognizes that it’s time to move away from templated, bloated, nebulous, archaic, and complicated contracts.
Have a great rest of the week,