I was browsing through the Microsoft 365 license agreement the other night – yeah, really. And I came across this clause:
Product Terms. Material Adverse Changes will not apply during the then-current Subscription term but will take effect upon renewal. All other changes will apply when they are published on the Product Terms site. In addition, for Software Subscriptions, if Customer chooses to update the Software to a new version before the end of the Subscription term, the terms in effect at the time of the update will apply to the use of that Software.
Did you get that?
I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve been doing contract negotiations for over 30 years, and I’ve done my time as a compliance officer, so I’ve seen more than my share of legal documents. But I looked at this and just went duh?
Now in the days I’d probably print this who thing out and get a pen and parse the sentences until I made sense of it.
But today, I’d just go to an AI tool I’m testing out called legalesedecoder.com
I cut and pasted the clause into the software and here is what it said:
If you’re using a product that you pay for on a subscription basis , sometimes the company that makes the product needs to change the terms of how you use it. If they do, those changes will take effect after your subscription renews (starts over) – so you won’t have to agree to the new terms in the middle of your current subscription.
However, if you choose to update the software (the computer program that runs the product) to a new version before your subscription is over, you will have to agree to the new terms right away.
If there are any other changes to the terms, you’ll be able to see them on the website where you signed up for the subscription.
Why didn’t you just say that? Really good question.
AI is not only helping us interpret legalese, it’s also constructing licenses and contracts.
And there’s actually been a company that developed what they said is the “world’s first robot lawyer,” is the technology startup DoNotPay, which uses artificial intelligence to advocate for consumers.”
One of Shakespeare’s most famous line is from where his character said, in Henry IV – “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”.
500 years later a text based Artificial Intelligence may be threatening to do just that – at least the profession.
But we have this disclaimer – “No lawyers were hurt in the recording of this episode.”
That includes our guest, Russel Alexander. lawyer and author of
Artificial Intelligence and Everyday Law