Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 19th Feb 2006 16:26 UTC
Legal This week, one of the most-commented stories on OSNews was the story about how 'Maxxus' cracked/hacked (take your pick) the Intel version of Apple's OSX once again. This sparked a lively debate over whether we should encourage Maxxus, or condemn his actions. I made myself clear from the get-go: I condemn his actions. Note: This is the Sunday Eve Column of the week.
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EULAs are silly
by mikesum32 on Sun 19th Feb 2006 18:13 UTC
mikesum32
Member since:
2005-10-22

Hardly anyone reads them. No one signs anything.

How would you feel of you bought a car, and inside this car was a EULA.

It said "by opening the car door you agree to abide by this contract"

Wait a minute. I had to open the door to read the contract. It's the same with shrinkwrap licences.

What if it said I couldn't drive over 40 m.p.h. and use the stereo at the same time due to safety concerns?

I'd tell 'em where to stick the EULA.

If I bought it, I'm going to do whatever I want with it. You have my money, I have your software.

Reply Score: 5

RE: EULAs are silly
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 19th Feb 2006 18:17 in reply to "EULAs are silly"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

You have my money, I have your software.

Wrong. You don't have their software. You have a license to use their software. Like with a rental house. You have the right to use it, but it's not yours.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: EULAs are silly
by Kroc on Sun 19th Feb 2006 18:32 in reply to "RE: EULAs are silly"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

"but it's not yours"

Maybe in America. Not everywhere.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[2]: EULAs are silly
by Nicholas Blachford on Sun 19th Feb 2006 18:45 in reply to "RE: EULAs are silly"
Nicholas Blachford Member since:
2005-07-06

You don't have their software. You have a license to use their software. Like with a rental house. You have the right to use it, but it's not yours.

If that's the case why do they protect software with copyright laws?

If I have a physical copy of XXX I purchased, I own that physical copy.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: EULAs are silly
by Morin on Sun 19th Feb 2006 18:45 in reply to "RE: EULAs are silly"
Morin Member since:
2005-12-31

> Wrong. You don't have their software. You have a
> license to use their software. Like with a rental
> house. You have the right to use it, but it's not
> yours.

If that was true (and to my knowledge, here in Germany it is true), it would be fine to me. However, in other countries the situation is more like "they have my money, and I have the right to accept the EULA or get nothing for it".

- Morin

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: EULAs are silly
by alcibiades on Sun 19th Feb 2006 19:25 in reply to "RE: EULAs are silly"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

"Wrong. You don't have their software. You have a license to use their software. Like with a rental house. You have the right to use it, but it's not yours."

No, Thom, this is not true. There is a difference between rental and purchase, and its not the name. It is who retains property rights. Things you will be held by a court to have bought, are ones where there is no term of the possession, it does not revert at the end of the term, there are no periodic payments, there is a legal right to expense the payment and specifically to amortize the equipment....

Its not a rental, any more than when you buy a book or the hardware its a rental. This is just mistaken.

How you feel about doing things the supplier doesn't want you to do is your affair, its your feelings. But legally and morally, I think its pretty black and white. In the UK, it may actually be unlawful for Apple to represent the agreement as valid. Clipped from recent slashdot posting where there is an animated debate in progress, the following purports to be a quote from Minsterial guidance: contracts are unenforceable when

"contrary to the requirement of good faith it causes a significant imbalance inthe parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of consumers." Which the part about Apple labelled stuff only clearly does. In addition:

"Consumers cannot have their legal rights removed in sale of goods contracts. Furthermore, it can be an offence to mislead consumers about their legal rights. To do so could result in a criminal prosecution. For example, notices such as "We do not give refunds" are misleading and cannot be used. Enforcement is undertaken by local Trading Standards Departments."

I haven't checked the sources, but it agrees with my understanding. Its really pretty cut and dried. You can't impose the contract, and you can't pretend you have.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: EULAs are silly
by rayiner on Sun 19th Feb 2006 19:48 in reply to "RE: EULAs are silly"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not any more like a rental house than it is like buying a piece of cheese. It is buying a copy of a piece of software, nothing more nothing less.

The distinction is important because of the ownership issue. Unlike a rental house, you really do own your copy of the software. You do not own the work, and are thus prevented from making additional copies of it, but you own your copy. It's not just a right to use.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: EULAs are silly
by cerbie on Sun 19th Feb 2006 22:22 in reply to "RE: EULAs are silly"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

You have the right to use it, but it's not yours."
You are incorrect. It is mine, but I do not have the right to distribute it, or to determine how it may be copied and distributed, beyond backup copies for myself. I also do not have the right to distribute derivatives of it, or to specifically enable others to do so.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: EULAs are silly
by falemagn on Tue 21st Feb 2006 12:13 in reply to "RE: EULAs are silly"
falemagn Member since:
2005-07-06

@Thom Holwerda
> Wrong. You don't have their software. You have a
> license to use their software. Like with a rental
> house. You have the right to use it, but it's not
> yours.

What defines "wrong" is what the majority of people thinks, not what an EULA says.

Legally, it may be the case I'm licensing the sw, however, I'm buying the media it comes with, and the bits stored on it. There's a gray line here, and whether or not it's "wrong" to modify those bits I bought is bound to subjective judgement.

If the majority of people think its "right" to do so, laws need to adapt, not the other way around.

Reply Parent Score: 1