Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Aug 2009 19:39 UTC
Legal Earlier today we reported that while Apple doesn't encourage it, the Snow Leopard upgrade disk can be used to upgrade machines that have Mac OS 10.4 Tiger installed as well. However, this is actually forbidden by the accompanying EULA, which raises an interesting question: do you have any moral problems ignoring said EULA? And on a more general note, do you actually care about any EULA at all?
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I'll be honest...
by nathbeadle on Thu 27th Aug 2009 19:47 UTC
nathbeadle
Member since:
2006-08-08

This one time I bought the family pack for the 3 macs in my house. For Leopard I bought the single license and used it for 3 machines. I guess for me it's a price point on the value of what I'm buying and this time around it was more than a match!

EULAs I skim, never ignore, but still never fully read. They are just way too long and wordy for someone to really pull something of value from it when you need to. I mean really, who wants to read 15 pages BEFORE you get to use the program... I'm excited about my purchase and want to dive in!

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'll be honest...
by Doc Pain on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:10 UTC in reply to "I'll be honest..."
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

This one time I bought the family pack for the 3 macs in my house. For Leopard I bought the single license and used it for 3 machines. I guess for me it's a price point on the value of what I'm buying and this time around it was more than a match!


In case you bought software, or if software came bundled with a PC, a Mac or another piece of hardware (e. g. DVD recorder, printer), this is an understandable point of view.

In Germany, I often find the case that software isn't bought at all, because there's "a friend" who always hands out expensive software "for free". Nobody reads EULAs here. Especially when it's about some pirated copy of an expensive program that is not in the german language, which sometimes happens. So the EULA usually is confirmed, but not read, and not cared for afterwards.

In my "career", I had even encountered schools where every PC of the classroom had a pirated copy of some corporate-class "Windows" on it, but no license was available. Why? Because the clever guy who got the software "for free" told the "admin" that he doesn't have to care for EULAs anyway, or has to pay for the software, because, and I quote: "This is a testing software."

Personally, I do not have to care excessively for EULAs because I'm running free software mostly, so their software licenses apply, and by their nature, they do not restrict me in multi-installing, modifying or redistributing the software. This makes life easy. As you see, I am the wrong person to ask. :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: I'll be honest...
by gustl on Sat 29th Aug 2009 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE: I'll be honest..."
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

I am also a Linux-guy, but I had to install windows on a company PC a few months ago.

That was a really funny experience!

I bought a copy of WinXP SP3 at a shop, and according to the EULA it was only installable on a computer I bought together with the software.

I was assured by the guy in the shop, that this would not matter, and that everything was OK, however, I directly asked Microsoft, and there the fun began:

1) On the phone, they told me it was no problem to install it.
2) I asked them to put that in writing, sign it, scan it and send it to me, so I have written proof.
3) They refused to do that, instead I should send my request by mail.
4) I did that, and got the reply that it would install OK (but no mention of the EULA passus)
5) We played email ping-pong for another 2 days, until they escalated it finally to their German company lawyer, who wrote me back, that the official position of Microsoft is that they think I was legally NOT allowed to install that software. After Microsoft staff having told me 3 times it would be OK to install, now this!
Of course I returned the software to the shop after this.

Now comes the punchline:
I told this a friend of mine, who had a WinXP SP2 CD from 2002, and he wanted to see the relevant paragraph, so we looked at his EULA, and to my surprise, no such paragraph is in the EULA.
I went to ebay and bought an old WinXP SP2 version from 2002 for half the price of the SP3 version, and there it only said on the booklet that it was installable only with the machine it is bought together with. As the booklet is not signed by me, it does not establish a contract, so it is not binding to me.
In that way I got a legal XP version for half the price (EUR 50,- instead of 100,-)

Edit: I wish EULAS were not so mindbendingly annoying, and Microsoft's support staff more knowledgeable about licensing issues.

Edited 2009-08-29 14:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: I'll be honest...
by WyldStylist on Tue 1st Sep 2009 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I'll be honest..."
WyldStylist Member since:
2006-12-30

Ever heard about downloading? saves ya all kindsa troubles since u'll prolly even get a winlogonhacked version ;)

Reply Score: 1

..it will depends..
by mtzmtulivu on Thu 27th Aug 2009 19:48 UTC
mtzmtulivu
Member since:
2006-11-14

it depends ..if the EULA says i shouldnt give a copy to others then i think its wrong for me to do that and i will feel guilt if i do ..i will gladly ignore it and i wont feel a thing if it says i have to use the said software when butt naked

Reply Score: 4

RE: ..it will depends..
by kramii on Fri 28th Aug 2009 08:40 UTC in reply to "..it will depends.."
kramii Member since:
2005-07-22

i will gladly ignore it and i wont feel a thing if it says i have to use the said software when butt naked


What software has that licence? I wanna try it!

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ichi
by ichi on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:14 UTC
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

I don't think license agreements that have to be agreed after actually purchasing the product are even legally binding over here.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by cocoliso
by cocoliso on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:15 UTC
cocoliso
Member since:
2005-11-26

does anyone really read those EULA notices??
I just agree and click Yes! as fast as i can, i just want to install the damn thing :-D

Edited 2009-08-27 20:16 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by cocoliso
by looncraz on Sat 29th Aug 2009 03:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by cocoliso"
looncraz Member since:
2005-07-24

Diddo... in fact I discovered a neat little 'easter egg' in BeOS the very first time I went to install it with the new installer ( R4/4.5? ).. it caught that I couldn't have read it in less than a second :-)

I thought it was cute... I read the EULA a few years later... I wonder if that counts?

--The loon

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by cocoliso
by marafaka on Mon 31st Aug 2009 11:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by cocoliso"
marafaka Member since:
2006-01-03

It's stupid to agree on anything you don't understand. You can just ignore the message and press the 'Yes' button with intent to circumvent a bug that prevents you from using the software. Did you require that functionality? No, you did not! If you car pops up an agreement to donate your kidney will you just shout Yes and press the 'OK' button? Let me answer that for you as it looks you can't decide: you will not. You will report the bug to the manufacturer and to the local law enforcement office.

These morons should deliver complete open and documented systems. You are the buyers, it's you who decide. But sadly it looks like you're actually selling that liberating power for shiny gadgets, just like those poor exterminated souls some centuries ago.

Edited 2009-08-31 11:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Honestly
by Alxe on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:26 UTC
Alxe
Member since:
2009-08-20

I usually don't give attention to EULAs, being the most I read was the part of iTune's where it says it can't be used for Nuclear weaponry.

I haven't read the GPL, or BSD, or MIT, or any similar FOSS license, but I'd be willingly to read them, someday, as they do respect my freedom is most cases.

Reply Score: 2

Yes, if they have been legally confirmed
by alcibiades on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:33 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

I do my best to comply with the law and adhere to agreements which are legally binding. Its not always easy in this case to figure out what that means.

If I believe that the terms I've agreed to in the EULA are legally enforceable, then yes, I comply with them. If I think they are just hot air, in violation of consumer protection legislation, perhaps even actively unlawful in my jurisdiction, no, I cheerfully violate them if need be.

And I hope not to get it wrong too often. I think its positively wicked that we have this legal minefield to contend with, and no real way of knowing what is and what is not valid in a EULA. What would fix it would be severe penalties on suppliers who proposed terms in violation of local contract law.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by FealDorf
by FealDorf on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:37 UTC
FealDorf
Member since:
2008-01-07

I think Apple treats it rather as "something that will come in handy" if situation gets dire. If they must, they'd have gone to the dark side of WGA..

Reply Score: 1

Moral problem?
by Lazarus on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:38 UTC
Lazarus
Member since:
2005-08-10

No.

Fear of SWAT teams enforcing the will of "Intellectual Property" owners, perhaps.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Thu 27th Aug 2009 20:48 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

i life in austria, i don't give a shit ;)

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by smashIt
by gustl on Sat 29th Aug 2009 14:54 UTC in reply to "Comment by smashIt"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Entschuldigung!

But there is no ruling in Austria, that EULAs are not enforceable at all in Austria.

Maybe some conditions would not hold, but some maybe would.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Sun 30th Aug 2009 02:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by smashIt"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

there was one 10+ years ago

in short the ruling was that users buy software to use it, not to read eulas

beside this as good as all software is sold as shrinkware today, where you can only read the eula during installation
this alone is enough to make it unenforceable

Edited 2009-08-30 02:38 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Maybe...
by MechaShiva on Thu 27th Aug 2009 21:04 UTC
MechaShiva
Member since:
2005-07-06

Slightly off-topic, but it seems to me with this move that Apple is borrowing an old page from the Microsoft playbook. Pretty much up until Windows XP, there was virtually no enforcement of the EULA or prohibiting people from sharing installation media. Once MS hit a critical mass, you started to see much more rigid (if not always effectual) enforcement.

Perhaps Apple is willing to turn a blind eye to this sort of 'piracy' with the hope of exposing more people to their OS and the Apple way of computing. Once they pick up enough users, expect to see the same WGA style enforcement. With a more intuitive interface and fewer privacy assurances.

Edited 2009-08-27 21:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Maybe...
by StephenBeDoper on Fri 28th Aug 2009 00:47 UTC in reply to "Maybe..."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Pretty much up until Windows XP, there was virtually no enforcement of the EULA or prohibiting people from sharing installation media. Once MS hit a critical mass, you started to see much more rigid (if not always effectual) enforcement.


"not always effectual" is something of an understatement - IME, the rate of WPA/WGA false-positives is ridiculously high (around 1 in 10).

One of my fondest fantasies is to see a class-action suit against Microsoft from all of the people who ended up paying support techs to resolve those false-positives.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Maybe...
by MechaShiva on Fri 28th Aug 2009 14:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
MechaShiva Member since:
2005-07-06

I wasn't even thinking of the false positives so much as the inability to bypass WGA entirely. It's enough of a hassle to keep legitimate customers jumping through hoops but not enough to put them off from buying future MS offerings. Admittedly, I was laughing a little when I wrote that line too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Maybe...
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 29th Aug 2009 18:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

It's enough of a hassle to keep legitimate customers jumping through hoops but not enough to put them off from buying future MS offerings.


Agreed. As far as I can see, Microsoft has not learned the lesson that was obvious to most of us as far back as the 1980s. Namely: if an anti-piracy measure causes a significant amount of inconvenience to legitimate customers, then it does more harm than good.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Maybe...
by kaiwai on Fri 28th Aug 2009 11:44 UTC in reply to "Maybe..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference is that Apple isn't a one trick pony like Microsoft. Apple has middleware, operating system, hardware, consumer products - all of them are bringing in cash, all of them are cash flow positive or neutral (in the case of the iTunes music library).

Compare that to Microsoft whose whole organisation spins on the Office and Windows duopoly - everything outside those two centres are an unmitigated disaster. XBox loosing money hand over fist, their search engine is a joke; both Live and Bing results are reliable and unrefined which is why I keep going back to Google.

Apple don't have to worry because their traditional markets are growing, penny pinching over a few customers doesn't achieve sizable results and only screw up an image that is perceived as 'cool' to something of being a company whining because they're making billions when they want to make tens of billions - they'll make sure their customers are squeezed for every dollar possible.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Maybe...
by MechaShiva on Fri 28th Aug 2009 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
MechaShiva Member since:
2005-07-06

[quote]Apple don't have to worry because their traditional markets are growing, penny pinching over a few customers doesn't achieve sizable results and only screw up an image that is perceived as 'cool' to something of being a company whining because they're making billions when they want to make tens of billions - they'll make sure their customers are squeezed for every dollar possible.[/quote]

We can both agree that MS's profitability outside of Office and Windows is a mixed bag at best, but how did those products achieve the level of market penetration that they did? It wasn't by ensuring every piece of software was licensed at full retail price.

Apple, for all intents and purposes, is 'cool' in spite of being a controlling, profit-maximizing and penny pinching company (at least under Jobs). I really don't think this has anything to do with them turning a blind eye as it does with them setting out a honey pot to attract prospective customers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Maybe...
by kaiwai on Fri 28th Aug 2009 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Maybe..."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

We can both agree that MS's profitability outside of Office and Windows is a mixed bag at best, but how did those products achieve the level of market penetration that they did? It wasn't by ensuring every piece of software was licensed at full retail price.


No one is arguing otherwise - the point I was making, however, is right now Microsoft is reliant more than ever on Windows and Office growth to keep the company growing. The simple fact of the matter is that now Microsoft is squeezing their customers for all they're worth now that people have become so dependent.

Take their expression suite; great idea but why is it only available on Windows? why not have a Mac version? are Microsoft so dogmatically addicted to Windows and only supporting Windows that they fail to see the forest for the trees?

Apple, for all intents and purposes, is 'cool' in spite of being a controlling, profit-maximizing and penny pinching company (at least under Jobs). I really don't think this has anything to do with them turning a blind eye as it does with them setting out a honey pot to attract prospective customers.


I wouldn't call them penny pinchers if one were defining it from the point of view regarding screwing every dollar out of the customer after sucking them into a false sense of security for over a decade and a half. The only thing Steve did was tell R&D that when money is spent on an idea - it better be on something that actually produces a real product that makes money rather than stupid pie in the sky ideas that amount to nothing.

Investment in, product out - that is how the R&D cycle works; if the R&D isn't focused you end up with stupid products coming out to address needs of customers that don't exist yet. The art is for CEO to lick their finger, put it in the air and sense the direction the industry is flowing. The R&D within Apple before Steve arrived went through stupid pie in the sky ideas that pushed out half baked crap, new versions of Mac OS that never got anywhere and new products for which there was no interest outside the hard core devotees.

I wouldn't call it 'penny pinching', I'd call it prudent investment of shareholders money.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Maybe...
by google_ninja on Fri 28th Aug 2009 12:52 UTC in reply to "Maybe..."
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

im sorry, i can't get passed the statement that microsoft hit critical mass with xp

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Maybe...
by MechaShiva on Fri 28th Aug 2009 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Maybe..."
MechaShiva Member since:
2005-07-06

I just meant that when XP was released, MS finally felt they could start enforcing their EULAs using methods that had something resembling teeth. Remember, XP was their first product that required activation out of the box. So critical mass in that context meant that MS was confident in their captive audience to implement such measures.

Reply Score: 2

What EULAs?
by Delgarde on Thu 27th Aug 2009 21:11 UTC
Delgarde
Member since:
2008-08-19

As a Linux user, I don't exactly encounter a lot of EULAs. But on the odd occasion where I have to install something on a Windows machine, I can't say I've ever paid much attention to it... like most, I just click ok...

Reply Score: 2

EULA's aren't agreements
by JoeBuck on Thu 27th Aug 2009 21:33 UTC
JoeBuck
Member since:
2006-01-11

An agreement is something that is negotiated between two parties, or at least something that both parties entered with their eyes open. Often, an EULA isn't visible to the end user until s/he has already paid good money.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by LB06
by LB06 on Thu 27th Aug 2009 21:51 UTC
LB06
Member since:
2005-07-06

I tend to completely ignore Apple's EULA's. It too often appears Apple simply wants to screw over customers, open standards and good conduct as much and as hard as possible. The most recent example being the very shady App Store policy, but there are MANY MANY more skeletons in Apple's closet I'm sure. So no, I have absolutely no moral objection at all to ignore any EULA Apple throws at me.

I do like their products, though. I just strongly dislike Apple as a company.

Edited 2009-08-27 21:52 UTC

Reply Score: 2

not really
by DREVILl30564 on Thu 27th Aug 2009 21:56 UTC
DREVILl30564
Member since:
2008-04-18

I've always been of the opinion that once I've bought software what I choose to do with it is my own business. If I decide to run it through a chipper shredder because I think it sucks, well that's my business.

I just ordered myself a copy of snow leopard that is going to be installed on my Intel Atom powered Hackintosh PC (unless I am unable to get it to run which is a possibility). I'm not a pirate, I firmly believe that if you use software you should be the owner of said software, but as far as following a eula that tells me what I can and can not install the software I bought on. I'm sorry but I don't agree with this. I don't agree with Windows Product Activation either so it isn't that I'm biased against Apple on this issue.

Edited 2009-08-27 21:57 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: not really
by kaiwai on Fri 28th Aug 2009 12:36 UTC in reply to "not really"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I've always been of the opinion that once I've bought software what I choose to do with it is my own business. If I decide to run it through a chipper shredder because I think it sucks, well that's my business.

I just ordered myself a copy of snow leopard that is going to be installed on my Intel Atom powered Hackintosh PC (unless I am unable to get it to run which is a possibility). I'm not a pirate, I firmly believe that if you use software you should be the owner of said software, but as far as following a eula that tells me what I can and can not install the software I bought on. I'm sorry but I don't agree with this. I don't agree with Windows Product Activation either so it isn't that I'm biased against Apple on this issue.


I second that; I'm against Pystar because they're selling a modified version of Mac OS X preloaded onto the machine but at the same time if you as an individual do it yourself in the privacy of your own home. The software you purchase and how you use it int he privacy of your own home is none of the software vendors business - as long as you don't resell it with modifications, copy it or share it with people outside your home (the code itself) I don't believe the software company should have any say. Hence to pull it back to what I said about Pystar; if they were selling machines with an EFI firmware and sold a boxed unmodified copy of Mac OS X - then Apple would have no leg to stand on.

Its like 'per seat licences' - never agreed with them; sure, enforce them in terms of technical support - "we only support one installation" but why on earth a family should have to shell out upwards of NZ$600 for Windows 7 family pack is beyond me. Imagine telling Joe and Jane Doe who collectively earn NZ$500 per week that they should shell out close to two weeks pay for a family pack of Windows 7.

Reply Score: 2

No
by Beta on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:17 UTC
Beta
Member since:
2005-07-06

In the last 4 years, I have seen one click-through EULA which was the Tri-licence agreement and online services acceptance for Firefox. Which even Mozilla promptly changed to be the ‘Know your rights’ first start bar.

It’s nice not having to care about them any more.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ElectricDevil
by ElectricDevil on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:29 UTC
ElectricDevil
Member since:
2006-08-22

I have adopted a pretty simple point of view.

If I make money off of the software, I'll play by the stated terms and agree with them.

But if it's for personal use, I'll use it as I see fit.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ElectricDevil
by kenji on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:39 UTC in reply to "Comment by ElectricDevil"
kenji Member since:
2009-04-08

I have adopted a pretty simple point of view.

If I make money off of the software, I'll play by the stated terms and agree with them.

But if it's for personal use, I'll use it as I see fit.

That is my perspective also. On a home PC, what does it really matter? No police (or lawyers) will beat down your door for infringing on an EULA.

In a business environment, that is a completely different story although you would not likely be caught.

Edited 2009-08-27 22:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Hell no
by bonedance on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:29 UTC
bonedance
Member since:
2009-07-30

I have this weird tendency to scroll through the entire EULA before I click next, even though I never read it. I've tried to read a few of them over the years and just gave up. I have read the one when you first install a clean copy of Windows XP and it was pretty basic can-and-can't-do stuff that you would expect. Oddly enough, the Windows EULA was actually readable, while every other EULA I've encountered (including ones for other Microsoft produces) are pretty damn cryptic.

Reply Score: 1

Haha
by Brendan on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:43 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I never install software and never see the EULA or agree to it. For all the software that I use that has an EULA, a friend, relative, stranger or pet installed it, and nobody can prove otherwise.

I don't know if an EULA is legally binding or not, but legally binding isn't the same as enforceable in practice... ;-)

Note: Copyrights I do take seriously.

-Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE: Haha
by bonedance on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:51 UTC in reply to "Haha"
bonedance Member since:
2009-07-30

Pet? Yea be careful with that one. For example macaques can install Photoshop but that's like it, and it's pretty hard to keep one as a pet.

Edited 2009-08-27 22:52 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Haha
by Anon9 on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Haha"
Anon9 Member since:
2008-06-30
RE[3]: Haha
by bonedance on Thu 27th Aug 2009 23:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Haha"
bonedance Member since:
2009-07-30

This guy got it right:
"Call me crazy, but since you built a device to allow your cat to agree to EULAs, wouldn't that mean you authorized the cat to act on your behalf - regardless of how inept a decision maker it may be?"

You built the contraption and put it there either knowing the cat would eventually walk on it (and therefore signing the EULA is accidental) or you coax it onto the device, therefore letting it agree on your behalf.

If the cat was to install a piece of software by itself, well, that's what I'm referring to. Unless you own a species which is known to install a particular piece of software (for example, some types of finches have been known to install CCCP, while crows tend to favor K-Lite) it's going to be pretty rough convincing a judge. Cats have been known to lounge on the keyboard and play with electrical wires - not productively install things.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Haha
by chrisr on Thu 27th Aug 2009 23:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Haha"
chrisr Member since:
2005-08-26

He is crazy because a cat can't enter into a contract.

It is just an obfuscated way of you agreeing to the license conditions.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Haha
by bonedance on Fri 28th Aug 2009 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Haha"
bonedance Member since:
2009-07-30

Thundercats can sign contracts.

Reply Score: 1

Yes
by Anon9 on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:52 UTC
Anon9
Member since:
2008-06-30

I tend to be very conscientious about being honest; so I always try to abide by EULAs, but if I know that what I am going to use the software for definitely wouldn't be forbidden by the EULA, I normally just skim over the headings or don't read it at all.

What I hate is when it makes me check something that says that I have read and understood the EULA. I have on multiple occasions spent multiple hours reading and understanding a EULA just so I can check that checkbox without feeling guilty. I like it when I can just accept it without having to read and understand everything.

One technique I use to make EULA reading go faster when I am forced to read it is to print the EULA to a PDF and let Adobe Reader read it to me at high speed. I follow along so I can honestly say I have read it, but having it read it to me forces me to keep my attention focused and allows me to get through it much quicker.

I'm sure many of you who read this will probably think I'm crazy, but hey, that's why my username is anonymous.

Reply Score: 2

It depends ...
by WorknMan on Thu 27th Aug 2009 22:58 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

As far as EULAs go and the things they restrict, I try to let my conscience be my guide and look at it as if I were a developer of said piece of software and a user was about to do the same thing that I was about to do.... would I care? If not, then I can rest easy and sleep at night.

The main ways I break EULAs is when they try to tell me that I have to purchase a license for the software for each computer I use it on. I say f**k that, since there's only one of me. I should be able to use it on any machine I damn well please
About the only time I make an exception for this is when it comes to operating system... I mean, those are kind of machine-specific, so I don't mind purchasing multiple copies.

Reply Score: 2

Avoid them, but otherwise no
by umccullough on Fri 28th Aug 2009 00:05 UTC
umccullough
Member since:
2006-01-26

These days I try pretty hard to avoid any sort of commercial software that would come with a EULA...

But in the event that I don't have a better choice, I tend to simply ignore them. At this point, if I've determined that I need to use software containing a EULA, I figure I need to do what I need to do with it, and if I happen to break some law in the process then I've made an extremely poor choice while I'll maybe have to answer to later, and perhaps I'll learn some huge life lesson.

On the other hand, I suspect the chances that my violation of some term in a EULA that isn't otherwise copyright infringement (since this transcends EULAs anyway, and I take much more seriously) is going to get me in trouble is pretty minimal.

Reply Score: 3

I normally don't read EULAs.
by MollyC on Fri 28th Aug 2009 00:09 UTC
MollyC
Member since:
2006-07-04

I don't pirate anything, not even mp3s. But since I don't read EULAs, it's possible that I'm violating them in some way that I'm not aware of.

Do I care about EULAs? I guess that I don't care enough to read them, but if I were knowledgeable of the terms, I'd likely stay within them. But I assume most EULAs have to do with piracy, which I simply don't do, so I have a clear conscience.

Now, I'm a hobbyist programmer, and used to be a professional. When it comes to programming, I do indeed pay attention and pay heed to the license of any source code or library that I might make use of.

Reply Score: 2

dcantrell
Member since:
2009-08-28

So why shouldn't I be expected to adhere to the terms of a commercial EULA? I only develop open source software and have read many of the major open source licenses available. When I pick one for a project, it's not just on a whim. I think about the potential users and try to pick one that works for everyone while still ensuring the software stays free.

If I expect my users to adhere to open source license terms, I should be expected to adhere to commercial EULA terms. Fortunately, I don't use any commercial software, so I never see these things on my own systems. The ones I have read are absolutely insane. I think if more people read them with the intention of following the terms, they would quickly abandon their platform of choice and pick something less restrictive.

Reply Score: 1

UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

YEAH RIGHT. Seriously, I don't know of anyone who gives a damn about them, and I never did either. Sure, I clicked "Accept" hundreds of times--but that's not in agreement. It's more like, you're allowing me to use this, just STFU and I'm gonna use it as I want (which, in most cases, is fully covered by the agreement anyway). Really, I have better things to do than read legal mumbo-jumbo. I buy or download a program to use, not to screw around deciding on if I want to agree, when I could just be, you know, using the damn thing.

Edited 2009-08-28 01:23 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Uniform Commercial Code
by Jonnan001 on Fri 28th Aug 2009 02:08 UTC
Jonnan001
Member since:
2009-08-28

Courts (in some districts, but fortunately not yet mine) have chosen to ignore the provisions of the UCC that specifically say that contracts have very restrictive limits upon them unless they are between merchants (I note for the record that the UCC is quite specific in that the default protections assume contracts are consumer contracts, *not* between merchants.)

They have, in turn, decided that they cannot distinguish between consumers and merchants, and chosen to treat everyone as merchants. This expressly conflicts with the UCC as written, and allows EULA's to be considered a legal modification of a merchant sales contract, not the illegal modification of a consumer contract they should be - within those districts.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2/article2.htm#BetweenMerchants
§ 2-104. Definitions: "Merchant"; "Between Merchants"; "Financing Agency".

(1) "Merchant" means a person that deals in goods of the kind or otherwise holds itself out by occupation as having knowledge or skill peculiar to the practices or goods involved in the transaction or to which the knowledge or skill may be attributed by the person's employment of an agent or broker or other intermediary that holds itself out by occupation as having the knowledge or skill.

(2) "Financing agency" ...

(3) "Between Merchants" means in any transaction with respect to which both parties are chargeable with the knowledge or skill of merchants.


http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2/article2.htm#s2-103
"Consumer" means an individual who buys or contracts to buy goods that, at the time of contracting, are intended by the individual to be used primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2/article2.htm#s2-209
(1) An agreement modifying a contract within this Article needs no consideration to be binding.

(2) An agreement in a signed record which excludes modification or rescission except by a signed record may not be otherwise modified or rescinded, but except as between merchants such a requirement in a form supplied by the merchant must be separately signed by the other party.

(3) The requirements of Section 2-201 must be satisfied if the contract as modified is within its provisions.

(4) Although an attempt at modification or rescission does not satisfy the requirements of subsection (2) or (3), it may operate as a waiver.

(5) A party that has made a waiver affecting an executory portion of a contract may retract the waiver by reasonable notification received by the other party that strict performance will be required of any term waived, unless the retraction would be unjust in view of a material change of position in reliance on the waiver.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2/article2.htm#s2-201
(2) Between merchants if within a reasonable time a record in confirmation of the contract and sufficient against the sender is received and the party receiving it has reason to know its contents, it satisfies the requirements of subsection (1) against the recipient unless notice of objection to its contents is given in a record within 10 days after it is received.

Under the law, any contract in which I am not established as a merchant, I receive the full set of consumer protections, including that many contracts simply *do* *not* *apply* to me without specific legal requirements being met, which companies do not do.

Sadly this plain reading of the law has been ignored by several appellate courts who have held parties as being merchants without actually having any finding - indeed when stating flat out that they cannot verify that both parties qualify as merchants.

Jonnan

Reply Score: 1

RE: Uniform Commercial Code
by alcibiades on Fri 28th Aug 2009 07:15 UTC in reply to "Uniform Commercial Code"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

Yes, you put your finger on the heart of the problem. The problem is that suppliers are putting clauses into EULAs which are not enforceable or valid under local law.

Most of the posters on this thread assume that a supplier can put any terms and conditions he likes into a EULA; the question the buyer then faces is to either comply (which they usually and wrongly think of as obeying the law) or to ignore.

In fact the situation is much more complicated. There are many conditions in many EULAs which are unlawful in many jurisdictions and so they are not enforceable even if you have legally entered into them. To give a simple example, in the UK you cannot renounce your rights under consumer protection law. This is why all mail in guarantee forms in all consumer goods specify that your rights are not reduced. If the EULA results in your having fewer rights, those clauses which abridge your rights are not binding or enforceable. They would also be not enforceable if entered a signed and witnessed contract in front of a notary. They are just not enforceable, period.

The problem is that suppliers are routinely putting clauses into EULAs that are either invalid or are of dubious and untested validity.

So yes, we should take them seriously, because they may be valid. But no, if they are not valid, we should not comply with them. And finally, if suppliers put clauses in that are not in fact valid in our jurisdictions under the various sale of goods legislations, they should be heavily penalized, because this is, in effect, misrepresentation of the goods, its false description.

That's something which is unlawful in all jurisdictions.

As an example, the clause which forbids you to run your retail copy of MS Office under anything but Windows, ie not under WINE, that is probably unenforceable, and it may well be that to include it with the implication that it is binding is misrepresentation.

Reply Score: 2

EULA not legal in Belgium
by cropr on Fri 28th Aug 2009 07:31 UTC
cropr
Member since:
2006-02-14

According to the legal service in my company, EULAs are invalid in Belgium for the end user market. Because the EULA becomes only visible when you install the software, they are considered as imposed restrictions after the sale.

By law, all sales conditions should be known to the end customer at the moment of the sale, and cannot be changed unilaterally by one of the parties. So the EULA is void.

A very good analogy is that you buy a book where on the first page is written that by turning the first page you agree to ...

This does not mean that one can freely copy the software, the copyright legislation is still in place.

If we look to the actual situation, we don't see any legal action between software companies and end users, so the fact that EULAs are invalid has never come to court.

For the enterprise environment there are contracts between the seller and the buyer, so this is a complete different story.

Reply Score: 2

I sort of pay attention
by blw37 on Fri 28th Aug 2009 09:32 UTC
blw37
Member since:
2009-07-28

I am perfectly happy with the situation that the supplier of software has the right to stop me from copying their software and I am pretty rigid about not only not pirating software myself, but making sure that my kids don't either (which was easy before the linux box they used died :-( now they use my wife's and my computers, which have windows on as well).

On the other hand many EULAs go to extents that would make them legally void. Actually, I sometimes think that I should take Microsoft to court over some of the provisions that basically say that they don't promise that the software is of any use, which is illegal and therefore misleading conduct.

Where I don't stick to EULAs is where they don't let me transfer from an old computer to the new one if the old one dies.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I sort of pay attention
by UltraZelda64 on Mon 31st Aug 2009 02:12 UTC in reply to "I sort of pay attention"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I am perfectly happy with the situation that the supplier of software has the right to stop me from copying their software and I am pretty rigid about not only not pirating software myself, but making sure that my kids don't either...

Eh, that's called copyright. In other words, the tool already exists, and has existed for centuries, without the need for some stupid EULA. Companies just love tricking people like that, confusing laws (the latest major nonsense, "intellectual property," is a good example), and making them bend over further as they stick more and worse restrictions up their... well, you get the point. To put it simply, to prevent copying, the EULA is NOT needed; that's what the copyright is for!

On the other hand many EULAs go to extents that would make them legally void. Actually, I sometimes think that I should take Microsoft to court over some of the provisions that basically say that they don't promise that the software is of any use, which is illegal and therefore misleading conduct.

Exactly. First they started out just restating the obvious--copyright law. Then all of a sudden, you get:

-Enforcements over how many of *your own* systems a program can be run on

-What computers and by what company your OS can run on (Apple)

-Text forbidding you from running the program on something other whan what it was specifically written for (certain Microsoft programs trying to cut Wine out of the picture... Antitrust? Monopoly Abuse? I think so...)

-Text forbidding you from connecting more than five or ten other devices to a computer running a certain OS (Windows), presumably even if *they* aren't running the same OS. Sorry, but it's *my* hardware, and no one is going to forbid me from making the most out of it if I choose to. The OS and its license shouldn't cripple the hardware it runs on.


I say f*** EULAs, but I do respect Copyright. I might make personal "backup" copies of software I own, and install it as I please on MY OWN computers (as someone else said in response to this article, there's only one "me"), but I'll never install it for someone else (except a trial) or make copies for anyone else. Unless, of course, they have their own purchased copy of the program.

Reply Score: 2

FellowConspirator
Member since:
2007-12-13

... if only because the agreement is between the software provider and the "end-user". Yet, the "end-user" is not necessarily the person that clicks through the EULA agreement. There's no signature or record to say otherwise. Therefore, the EULA is what could euphemistically be called "wishful thinking". Also, the terms of a EULA aren't generally enforceable anyway if they are presented post-sale of the software license. After all, it effectively changes the terms of the license ex post facto. When I plop down my money, I've licensed the software. Who says I'm going to install it using the provided installer (that presents the EULA)? I don't have to.

From a strictly practical standpoint, the concern for me isn't that the EULA is or isn't enforceable, but rather whether some brash vendor will decide to attempt to have it enforced. Unless you have very deep pockets, the threat of legal action is enough to prevent it. So, as a rule, if the software is used at a place of business, I try to make sure the EULA is more or less adhered to.

Note that I don't mean that I make lots of copies of software and distribute them. That's copyright infringement and it's a tort with or without any EULA (unless the license explicitly says otherwise). I'm talking clauses that promise not to decompile the program (though that's probably legal regardless), and whatnot.

Reply Score: 1

EULA should be respected
by namakemono on Fri 28th Aug 2009 15:15 UTC
namakemono
Member since:
2009-07-01

I always try to verify the license before acquiring any software.

IMHO, home computer is problem of each owner, but corporate environments or even single machines that are used to make profits, should respect the licenses of installed softwares.
In our working environment, I have been constantly asked to install something in users PCs. Normally pieces of cool stuffs of user interest that should not be installed here. The licenses sometimes do not cover companies or are for non-profit. These ones I simply say NO.
Software that really are useful should be approved by users superiors. And those that need payments, have to be acquired before installation. No trial here - they have a risk of being an ethernal trial.
If a license has something not obvious, I ask vendor. It's the better way to avoid later problems.
And obviously, I always verify if there is a free similar in the land.

At home, I use Fedora. Apart of some video codecs, all softwares are free for use.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Eddyspeeder
by Eddyspeeder on Fri 28th Aug 2009 16:27 UTC
Eddyspeeder
Member since:
2006-05-10

I can recall that when installing Napster and clicking "next" too quickly after the EULA came up, it gave an error saying "READ the license!"

Within the Be OS installer, when hitting enter right before the licence would come up, a funny dialog saying "Hey, not too fast" came up.

Honestly, Apple is hinting at people not reading the EULA:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PwiljBN5-8
That is, of course, not quite true. When I got my MacBook Pro, it did come with some printed stuff and I also had several texts to read upon installing some additional features.

Apple again hints at it in the 2009 "legal copy" ad again:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_2uuICMd8I
Yesterday I ordered Snow Leopard through the Apple Store for the special discount price of having recently bought a Mac. Somewhere halfway the process I got a disclaimer that was longer than the text in the ad. No kidding!

Reply Score: 1

Not at all
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 28th Aug 2009 20:08 UTC
Bit_Rapist
Member since:
2005-11-13

I could care less about an EULA.

I do not even read them because I'd never be inclined to actually follow one.

Now I'm not a total douche, I won't give out copies of software I've purchased, but that has nothing to do with the EULA. That is just me not wanting to take the time to copy the CD/DVD and/or upload the crap for other people.

I will however hack/modify/reverse engineer any piece of software I buy in order to make it perform to the task(s) I purchased it for.

The EULA though, that is nothing more than a half second of wasted time as I click "I agree" without reading it.

Reply Score: 2

MS hardware
by azrael29a on Fri 28th Aug 2009 21:42 UTC
azrael29a
Member since:
2008-02-26

"since Microsoft doesn't have a hardware division to fall back on"
Actually, Microsoft does have a hardware division (Xbox, joysticks, mice, keyboards...) but it isn't Microsoft's main cash cow.

Reply Score: 1

EULA
by Andre on Fri 28th Aug 2009 22:11 UTC
Andre
Member since:
2005-07-06

*clicks 'I Agree'*
*clicks 'Next'*

EULA? Don't read. Don't care. Just install the software, don't bother me with that kind of ****.

Give me the interesting stuff, give that boring shit to the lawyers.

Reply Score: 1

I don't care.
by ven- on Fri 28th Aug 2009 23:25 UTC
ven-
Member since:
2009-08-24

The only law or license agreement I adhere to is my own morality.

Reply Score: 1

well
by atirox on Sat 29th Aug 2009 05:28 UTC
atirox
Member since:
2009-08-29

since you asked... i honestly dont give a s**t about the EULA. In reality, Microsoft could simply say, "You own the box, the piece of plastic that is called a CD or DVD, and a sticker, which is worth about ten cents. Please note that you do not own what is on the disk, and therefore, you cant sue us for your stupidity. Yes, thats right. You spent $600 on twenty five letters. You are the world's biggest sucker. HAHAHAHAHA!!!" and it would be the same as the massively long EULA that is included in Windows.

As for following what is in the EULA, well, i will follow it if it meets my needs.

Paying for software, i dont have a problem with. thats fine with me. i think people should be paid for their work, i just think that they should lighten up.

Reply Score: 1

Can you be in partial violation of EULA?
by hanson024 on Sun 30th Aug 2009 04:20 UTC
hanson024
Member since:
2009-08-23

Yes, I care about the EULA, but mostly so my friends can listen to my sanctimonious ranting.

I believe there's little difference between installing commercial software without paying, and using commercial software in a way that violates the publisher's EULA. From the publisher's perspective, the customer is not violating less if he didn't buy the proper version, he's simply in violation.

Customers don't seem to care. They seem to like paying for a physical copy of the software, even if they know they'll violate the EULA terms. To further complicate it, many customers don't know that their use will violate the EULA. Store displays make it easy for users to select the box with software that provides the functions they want, but just try figuring out which license suits you by reading the box or display.

Companies like Microsoft and Apple don't appear to try to educate these customers; a move that would cut off some of their revenue stream. They're probably happy to get revenue from selling these limited licenses (single seat, no commercial use, Apple hardware only, etc) to a larger audience than would buy at the higher price point.

For what it's worth, I bought a single seat Mac boxed set to upgrade a Tiger machine (used the iLife and iWork upgrades too) and a single seat Snow Leopard upgrade for a Leopard machine (not the same household). I'm tempted, but doubt I'll try to make a Hackintosh using one of the DVDs; that would violate two aspects of the license.

Reply Score: 1

I collect EULA's
by Edgarama on Sun 30th Aug 2009 19:28 UTC
Edgarama
Member since:
2008-04-04

I collect EULAs and read one every night before I go to sleep.

Edited 2009-08-30 19:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1