EULA’ll be sorry!

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??

XKCDMost EULAs, if you boil off all the jargon, basically say this:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  • Advertising
  • Tracking
  • 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:
    • itching
    • vertigo
    • dizziness
    • 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

This message does not reflect the thoughts or opinions of either myself, my company, my friends, or my family; don’t quote me on that; don’t quote me on anything; all rights reserved; you may distribute this message freely but you may not make a profit from it; terms are subject to change without notice; illustrations are slightly enlarged to show detail; any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead or otherwise, is unintentional and purely coincidental; do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law; hand wash only, tumble dry on low heat; do not bend, fold, staple, mutilate, or spindle; your mileage may vary; no substitutions allowed; for a limited time only; this message is void where prohibited, taxed, or otherwise restricted; caveat emptor; message is provided “as is” without any warranties; reader assumes full responsibility; an equal opportunity message; not responsible for the loose nut in front of the keyboard; quantities are limited while supplies last; if any defects are discovered, do not attempt to read them yourself, but return to an authorized service center; read at your own risk; parental guidance is advised; keep away from sunlight; keep away from pets and small children; limit one-per-family please; no money down; no purchase necessary; you need not be present to win; some assembly required; batteries not included; instructions are included; action figures sold separately; no preservatives added; slippery when wet; safety goggles may be required during use; sealed for your protection, do not read if safety seal is broken; call before you dig; not liable for damages arising from use or misuse; for external use only; all prices are final, except the final price, which is subject to change without notice; if rash, irritation, redness, or swelling develops, discontinue reading; read only with proper ventilation; avoid extreme temperatures and store in a cool dry place; keep away from open flames; avoid contact with eyes and skin and avoid inhaling fumes; do not puncture, incinerate, or store above 120 degrees Fahrenheit; do not place near a flammable or magnetic source; smoking this message could be hazardous to your health; no salt, MSG, artificial color, flavoring, or text added; if ingested, do not induce vomiting, and if symptoms persist, consult a doctor; possible penalties for early withdrawal; offer valid only at participating sites; do not attempt to drive a vehicle or operate heavy machinery while reading this message; allow 28 days for delivery; must be 18 to read; this is a trained professional, do not try this at home; not responsible for damage or injury due to misuse, accident, lightning, flood, tornado, tsunami, volcanic eruption, earthquake, hurricanes and other Acts of God, neglect, damage from incorrect line voltage, improper or unauthorized reading, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom vibrations, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, dropping the item, falling rocks, leaky roof, broken glass, mud slides, forest fire, leafs on the line or projectile (which can include, but not be limited to, arrows, bullets, shot, BB’s, shrapnel, lasers, napalm, torpedoes, or emissions of X-rays, a, b and g rays, meteorites, knives, stones, cats or other small fur bearing mammals, etc.); other restrictions apply.

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