Clearware for understandable EULAs

Clearware for understandable EULAs

Summary: Brian Erdelyi is the guy behind an interesting concept called Clearware. Clearware is an initiative to make End User License Agreements, or EULAs.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Brian Erdelyi is the guy behind an interesting concept called Clearware. Clearware is an initiative to make End User License Agreements, or EULAs. In Brian's words:

Clearware.org is founded to help make sense of software and is guided by the fundamental principle that all computer users have a right to understand the terms or conditions of software end-user license agreements (or online terms of services) before deciding whether to purchase, install or use the associated software or service.

A worthy goal. While no official guides for how Clearware will work exist yet, there is a wiki where these ideas are being developed. The site includes a poll that, not surprisingly, shows that most people never or rarely read EULAs.

This initiative is similar to the ideas that have been proposed around identity rights agreements, or IRAs. IRAs are codifications of what you'll allow a site to do with personally identifying information, essentially EULAs for your identity data. Like IRAs, Clearware proposes that agreements need to have multiple linked versions that are readable by lawyers, humans, and machines.

Why would businesses agree to change how they do EULA's? I think if put to them in the right light, Clearware, like IRAs can be seen as reducing risk to the business because the codification makes it easier to build tools that provide auditable records relative to the extent the business is living up to it's agreements and gives users clear information about what they're agreeing to.

Topic: Tech Industry

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2 comments
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  • It's about time!

    Keep it simple and hold software companies responsible for some
    damages. And please add, "If company not able to continue
    support for software that it becomes public domain open source."
    I am tired of loosing good software because some company goes
    out of buisness or being forced to upgrade JUST BECAUSE.
    LittleGuy
  • Purpose of a EULA

    Why would any software company want its customers understanding its EULA? The whole point is to keep everyone confused and to stop any behavior that might hurt business, whether it's actually covered in the EULA or not.

    Next you'll propose that we write laws in understandable language so we will no longer need lawyers to try a case.

    Good luck with that.
    tic swayback