Ever actually read those End User License Agreements (EULAs) that come with software? “Whereas, the party of the first part and the party of the second part… Zzzz… And, by clicking “Agree”, we now own your house, your car, and your dog… ” Whaaaat!! Holy cow!! Who wants to wade through 63 pages of dense legalese?
Well, sometimes it’s not a bad idea, and other times, there is some serious unintended humor involved. For instance, iTunes has a clause prohibiting it’s use in the development of Nuclear weapons, and Google Chrome used to state:
…you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.
Does that mean Google has the right to reproduce and publish your banking passwords?!! That clause has since been changed, but Facebook has something very similar in it’s terms of service!
Many EULAs state that they may change the terms at any time, and they may or may not actually tell you they’ve changed! You’re agreeing that the software company can change the agreement at will and you’ll be bound by the changed agreement??
- You don’t own this software; We do, even though you paid for it. We’ll let you use it as long as we want.
- If anything goes wrong, it’s not our fault, and if we can think of a way to sue you for the thing that went wrong, we might just do that.
Is there anything that can be done, other than getting a headache reading these things, or paying your lawyer $$$ to read it for you?
Yes! Thanks to a wonderful free program called EULAlyser, software can do what you don’t want to do: Analyze any EULA, and bring to your attention anything that looks fishy. It’s very easy to use, just copy and paste the text of the agreement into EULAlyser’s window, click “Analyze”, and you get an instant report. Try it next time you install something, and you might be surprised to see:
- Data Collection
- Privacy-Related Concerns
- Installation of Third-Party / Additional Software
- Inclusion of External Agreements By Reference
- Potentially Suspicious Clauses
- Among other things.
Do Not Fend, Mold, Bindle or Sputilate
NOTE: No warranties, either expressed or implied, are hereby given. All software is supplied as is, without guarantee. The user assumes all responsibility for damages resulting from the use of these features, including, but not limited to, frustration, disgust, system abends, disk head-crashes, mongol hordes, general malfeasance, floods, fires, shark attack, nerve gas, locust infestation, cyclones, hurricanes, tsunamis, local electromagnetic disruptions, hydraulic brake system failure, invasion, hashing collisions, normal wear and tear of friction surfaces, cosmic radiation, inadvertent destruction of sensitive electronic components, windstorms, the Riders of Nazgul, infuriated chickens, premature activation of the distant early warning system, peasant uprisings, halitosis, artillery bombardment, explosions, earthquakes, hard times, acts of God, acts of Satan, evil overlords, cave-ins, and/or frogs falling from the sky.
- Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.
- Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.
- Happy Fun Ball contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.
- Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.
- Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:
- tingling in extremities
- loss of balance or coordination
- slurred speech
- temporary blindness
- profuse sweating
- heart palpitations
- If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.
- Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.
- When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration. Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company, Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.
- Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.
- Happy Fun Ball has been shipped to our troops in Saudi Arabia and is also being dropped by our warplanes on Iraq.
- Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
- Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime guarantee
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