Dell's Software License Policy: Dude, You're Getting Screwed
from the lovely dept
Been seeing this story get passed around a lot this morning. Dell has apparently started including a "clickwrap" license agreement on all of its computers that you need to agree to before you can actually use the machine. The license screen starts up at the beginning and tells you that you need to agree to the license terms on all the software included on the machine before you can use it. Of course, they don't actually give you those license agreements for you to read, so you have no clue what you've agreed to. Most of the licenses are probably on the computer itself, but you (obviously) can't read them until after you've "agreed" to them by clicking through. This reminds me of a case a while back on whether or not people "agreed" to software licenses just by opening the package (even if the software license was inside the box). If I remember correctly, a judge eventually ruled that this practice was illegal. Anyway, this seems like more typical big computer company bad policy when it comes to license agreements. I've had an ongoing battle with the computer company who I bought my laptop from to get them to send me the Windows XP software I thought I bought with the machine - so that I can use it to troubleshoot. They insist that they can't send me such a CD, and I have to use their "recovery" CDs, which are only designed to wipe out your machine and start again. What ever happened to treating the customer like a customer and not a criminal?