line -->
  • Wednesday, December 08, 2004


    EULAs and You

    The strangeness and legality of EULAs has always stuck in my craw. Something in me can't really believe that these things are legally binding. I guess that there is nothing in the canon of law that says that you have to actually understand a contract to agree to it. Still, I can't help but think that, considering some of the vocabulary and language in EULAs, most people who agree to them do not completely understand all the ramifications and details embodied in them. Anyway, this bit from Teach Greed caught my eye:
    And then, after you eagerly unchain your presents, get ready to see a lot of contracts called end user license agreements (EULAs). These are the dense chunks of text that you always scroll through and ignore before hitting the "I Agree" button and installing the latest version of Windows. For nearly a decade, courts have been upholding these preposterous little things, despite the fact that you're rarely given the chance to see them before you buy something and that you don't actually have to sign them. People have taken to calling them "click-through agreements" because when you click "I Agree," it's as binding as signing a contract.

    What's even more insane are the terms these contracts put forth. Some of them force you to agree that you won't publish reviews criticizing the product; others say that clicking through the contract means the vendor can check to see what other kinds of software you're running on your computer. Still others say that you can't uninstall the product using another vendor's software - which means that if you use Spybot Search and Destroy to remove the spyware that's bundled with a program, you could be violating your EULA.

    Copy-prevention tech and EULAs make the whole gift-giving thing feel even more hypocritical and wrong than it already does. Why would I want to give my sweetie a neat entertainment device or program if it might spy on him or her or simply stop working if he or she tries to run it in a nonapproved player?

    << Home

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?