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Software Your Rights Online

EULAs Don't Have To Suck 233

jfruhlinger writes "The ubiquitous EULA — reams of baffling text imposing draconian terms on software users — infuriate most Slashdot users and are routinely ignored by everyone else (until they suddenly cause trouble, of course). But it doesn't have to be that way. Several European countries are considering laws mandating user-friendly EULAs, and some companies provide them voluntarily."
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EULAs Don't Have To Suck

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  • Oligopoly (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @02:59PM (#38088986) Homepage Journal

    Then don't sign contracts that have terms you disagree with.

    So what should one do when all providers of an essential service have disagreeable terms? Join the Amish?

  • by liquidweaver ( 1988660 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:01PM (#38088996)

    When I bought IDA Professional, in the EULA it explicitly spelled out several things:
    1.) I an install it on any machine I own
    2.) I can make backups
    3.) I can reverse engineer the software
    If only the rest of the world worked that way. They trust their users - and it inpires a level of respect, at least with me, where there is absolutely no chance I would share a copy.

  • Re:Step 2 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zironic ( 1112127 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:07PM (#38089080)

    Meh, you live in a messed up country, I don't. Swedish contract law contains a number of stipulations that EULA fails to uphold, so they're not valid contracts here. Instead most of what EULA covers is covered by the copyright laws.

  • by MetalOne ( 564360 ) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:16PM (#38089170)
    I returned a Sony TV partly because the EULA said I had to indemnify Sony if I violated the EULA or was even alleged to have violated the EULA. I didn't want to deal with possibly being on the hook for million dollar lawyer fees. I know that the chances of Sony getting sued because of my actions would probably be nil, and two it would be thrown out of court as unconscionable, but still, I thought the indemnify clause was crazy. This indemnify clause also said Sony would have to approve of any lawyers involved. Additionally the TV came with Yahoo widgets, and the EULA for Yahoo widgets said the license was non-transferable. I assumed this to mean that selling the TV would violate the EULA. The EULA required arbitration for any disputes. The entirety of the EULA gave Sony all the rights and the user none. Well, the TV that I exchanged it for looked better anyway, so it was a win win for me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @03:40PM (#38089482)

    You might want to reconsider that; you as an individual only have two hands with which to hold pistol(s). The company offering the software has a small army of workers that it can draw on, as well as enough funds to buy your opposition full ballistic body armour if they so choose.

    Either way, the choice is against you. At least with the current system, you're likely to come away with your lungs intact.

Beware of Programmers who carry screwdrivers. -- Leonard Brandwein