National Consumer Council Notices That EULAs Are Unfair

from the you-just-noticed? dept

This seems rather obvious at this point, but the National Consumer Council in the UK has released a report pointing out that software end-user license agreements (EULAs) are unfair. The problems with EULAs have been widely discussed before. They're generally dense and full of legal language, so that users have no idea what they're agreeing to. They're non-negotiable, so it's not like a standard contract either. Often people need to agree to them before they can even read all the terms ("by opening his package, you have agreed to..."). The end result, of course, is that no one reads them. If you did, you would probably never agree to what they said anyway. So, while this is nothing new, it's nice to see consumer protection groups shining a light on how EULAs are very often unfair.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 4:37pm

    Agreed

    By allowing me to open this package, you agree to

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Taysider, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 5:22pm

    EULAs

    Often the EULAs are inside the packaging so it's not until you open the box that you find out that you've agreed to the EULA by opening it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 5:23pm

    All they are doing are saying that EULAs are bad? Are they doing anything to get software vendors to change their EULASs

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 5:46pm

    Speaking of interesting EULAs, read the EULA from the PC version of UT3.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Haywood, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 5:53pm

    For it to be fair......

    You should be able to return it to the store for a full refund if you disagree with the EULA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 6:09pm

    By reading this comment, you agree to sell me your soul.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 6:42pm

    The solution here is to vote with your money for a certain type of software we called free software.

    Free software are very consumer friendly.

    But of course, almost nobody cares about being in the driver seat. Only computer geeks that probably can program can possibly understand and care about freedom and the right they received from softwares that they use everyday.


    Until everyone is a computer programmer or something, nobody care about unfair EULA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Overcast, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 6:58pm

    Really?? OMG WOW, I'm so glad they just figured that out.

    What cave have they been in for the last 8 years?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Trevlac, Feb 19th, 2008 @ 7:35pm

    Re:

    Good thing you didn't set a price. I set my price at one Googolplex birds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2008 @ 5:11am

    Re:

    Thankfully, you failed to specify a price. You may deliver the $18.7B to me by cash or money order.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2008 @ 6:33am

    Software?

    Isn't ALL software free?

    http://thepiratebay.org/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Josh H, Feb 20th, 2008 @ 9:55am

    There is free software to read EULA's for you and extract potentially questionable portions thereof called EULAlyzer:

    http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/eulalyzer.html

    (I am not affiliated in any way with this company or product. Just thought i'd share.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    R.Paul Waddington, Feb 20th, 2008 @ 3:28pm

    Don't wait a second longer!

    I have been challenging CAD vendors directly in relation to the conditions found in their EULA and I would encourage every professional software user to do the same by writing directly to the CEO and board members of these companies and letting them know exactly what you think.

    Writing your comments here is good but writing to a vendor is better.

    It is not appropriate nor necessary to wait for a legal challenge or for legislation to have these EULA pulled into line, and voting with you feet will only slow the process, all software vendors will go down this road of using EULA for invasive purposes if users sit on their hands.

    Read this blog, http://miletter.blogspot.com read and understand the EULA within the software you have and if you find the clauses I have don't wait a second more before writing to the company concerned and lean very hard on the dealer that let you get into this position.

    R.Paul Waddington.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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