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Eulas revisited and why you should read them

Techdirt says "If You Read The EULA, You'd Never Agree To It", and links to a discussion at Slashdot about another article on EULAs. Note, I previously blogged about EULAs and two new tools that help make sense out of the nonsense found in many EULAs.

Techdirt says "If You Read The EULA, You'd Never Agree To It", and links to a discussion at Slashdot about another article on EULAs. Note, I previously blogged about EULAs and two new tools that help make sense out of the nonsense found in many EULAs. TG Daily posts about some EULAs with interesting terms and translates them into plain language. They include "do not criticize this product publicly," with examples from Microsoft: "When your computer dies, it's not our problem" (from Windows XP, among others); "We'll make any changes to this agreement we like, and you've just agreed to them" (iTunes);  and "do not use this product with other vendor products" (Claria). Let's look closer at the Claria EULA.

Interference. You agree that you will not use, or encourage others to use, any method to uninstall the Licensed Materials other than through the use of the Add/Remove Programs feature of the Microsoft operating system. Use of any robot, spider, other automatic or non-automatic manual device or process intended to interfere or attempt to interfere with the proper working of the Licensed Materials is prohibited

As I read that, by installing Claria products, a user agrees not to remove them with another application such as an anti-spyware program.  And the user agrees not to encourage others to do so, therefore I can't tell you to use an anti-spyware program to remove Claria either.

At Spyware Warrior, the Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products & Sites page mentions some rogue anti-spyware apps with questionable EULAs. Spyware Slayer says, among other things, that you are bound by their EULA if you are even "attempting to download" the software. I can't recall reading that in any other EULA. The license for one app (no longer available) forbade disclosure of "any information about the Software or the Software evaluations or reports to any other person without prior written permission." Another site, ElimiWare.com, says this:

Please note that photographs and descriptions of the products used on the website are for illustration purposes only and do not reflect actual products one will be able to find by using our services.

Huh?  So at that site, what you see is not necessarily what you get.  Please, would anyone reading that agree to such terms?  There are a number of others with unconscionable or dubious terms. The winner for outrageous license terms is an app that is no longer on the market (thankfully). "By using this software you agree that you are not the owner of, affiliated with, or a member of spywarewarrior.com." There's a long story behind that statement, but I won't go into it now. Curious readers can find it here.

At any rate, it IS important to read those EULAs.  If the fact that you could be downloading adware/spyware  with a "free" product doesn't convince you, then perhaps some of the above examples will.