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So you sign up on website.com, you click on the notorious I accept tos and privacy policy checkbox (many without reading it) and you pay for the service.

Month later, website changes their TOS page adding few new paragraphs without notifying you that allow them to bill you $10 every month.

When you complain, they say: Read our TOS, you agreed.

How can you prove and show the original TOS changed? That you never agreed to this version of tos at all?

2

You can use internet archival services like the internet Wayback Machine.

https://archive.org/web/

  • if company provides robots.txt that disallows collection and archivation of data, such archived version would be ilegal. So I guess court could not consider it as evidence? – michnovka Nov 5 '15 at 14:52
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    @TomášNavara To clarify: The robots.txt file is not a legal standard and there are no laws that say crawlers cannot index pages that say don't index. It's a recommendation meant to tell search engines which pages don't make sense to index because they change too often, are completely dynamic, are only accessible to logged in users, etc, etc. – animuson Sep 28 '16 at 5:47
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You can take a screen shot of the web page of the terms you agreed to and post that screen shot to a third party image hosting web site like Flickr, Tumblr or Imgur. The purpose of the third party host is to provide an objective and reliable timestamp for the screen shot.

Alternatively (but perhaps less compelling) you could copy the text of the TOS and save it to a file again on a third party hosted service with a timestamp. Like Google Docs.

  • Then from the point of view of the company, user might edit TOS to his benefit and post it on flicker later claiming some things the company supposedly promised.. and i dont think SS is a good proof – michnovka Oct 30 '15 at 4:45
  • @TomášNavara: The company can't just claim the user did these things. They would have to prove it. Civil cases are decided on the basis of preponderance of evidence. So, if you produce evidence (like a screen shot) then in order to win, your counterparty would have to prove you altered it by producing evidence of greater weight. The SS is a way for you to produce the evidence upon which would build your case. If they produce false evidence then you can challenge it on cross-examination. If they make up false evidence, you can expose it and potentially win on that basis alone. – Mowzer Oct 30 '15 at 5:51
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Check out this question that basically discusses the same topic from the other side – the website owner. Judging from WBT's answer over there it may depend on the judge whom he/she will believe when this case is brought to court and if neither parties have good evidence.

Ideally of course you saved a copy. But also the website owner would need to be able to show a copy, the exact revision of it when you signed up to be precise. But since the website owner obviously doesn't obey to the law who knows what will happen...

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