Buried in the fine print of those "terms and conditions of use" is a forced arbitration clause. That means that if you have a dispute with Spotify, you have to take your case to a decision maker at a firm they choose -- not a judge or jury. In addition, if Spotify violates the rights of thousands, even millions, of its listeners, they can't band together to seek justice.
Our film Lost in the Fine Print shows what happens when consumers and employees are prevented from standing up for their rights in court and instead forced to go before an arbitrator hired by the very company that wronged them. Much of the time, forced arbitration clauses mean those disputes never go anywhere at all. Now there is a new mass of additional evidence.
We need international capital flows to support long-term growth through a better international allocation of saving and investment. But the investment treaty system needs to be reformed to ensure that the rights of citizens, governments, enterprises and investors are respected in a mutually beneficial way.
Many contracts, including many consumer contracts like cellular service contracts and credit card agreements, have a clause that requires disputes arising from that contract be resolved by binding arbitration rather than litigation. This helps companies keep their costs down and keep their disputes private.
Let's assume that we're all going to hit a wall in our careers sooner or later. If we're 50 or over, and it hasn't already happened, be on the lookout. This installment is a personal story about a longstanding friend of mine, a New York lawyer named Janet Scully who worked for 22 years as an attorney for Travelers Insurance.