I’m listening to Yahoo Launchcast right now. For those not in the know, it’s an internet streaming radio service.
They just ran an ad for some sort of contest that has a Saturn Ion as the prize. So, the radio ad basically tells you what you have to do and what you might win. This was (probably) followed by the usual ‘fine-print’ spiel (for want of a better term): “We’re not responsible…blah blah…employees of Yahoo cannot participate…blah blah…”.
This is where my question comes in. This fine-print spiel was spoken at super-speed. Basically, I could not make out a word of what was said (hence the ‘probably’ above) and I relied on my prior knowledge of liability statements to infer what they probably said. All I caught was the word ‘yahoo’ and I think that was because it is in itself a fairly distinctive word, not to mention since I’m listening to Yahoo Launchcast, it is contextually expected and hence easier to catch (a phenomenon referred to as ‘priming’).
What I want to know is, since the listener cannot understand what is being said, is it still legally valid? Can I argue that since the announcement is imperceptible to the large majority of people hearing it, none of what they said is enforceable? Aren’t they doing the auditory equivalent of having absolutely illegible fine print on a written contract?
Also, what on earth is the correct legal term for “fine print spiel”?