Do We Need A Pure Software Act?

from the better-labeling dept

Following the current legal battles of adware, MIT’s Tech Review has an interesting proposal for a new software law, based on the century-old Pure Food and Drug Act that required foods and drugs to be properly labeled. The idea, then, would be to create a “Pure Software Act” that would clearly label what the software was doing to your system. The article suggests a list of 8 such actions that should be labeled (such as if it modifies your OS, monitors your actions or self-updates). This is really just an extension on the currently proposed anti-spyware laws (and the anti-spyware law already passed in Utah that’s being contested) – but would basically clarify exactly how users should be notified in a clear and easy to understand manner that doesn’t involve sneaking it all into the fine print.

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Comments on “Do We Need A Pure Software Act?”

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Devboy00 says:


I like the idea. The only real problem is that malware of any sort would still be marked as “safe” for consumption, as the idea behind it is for people to run it and get infected. The entire structure of the distribution system is different. For example, if someone packages a canned product, they are easily found. They CAN’T afford to mislead the public because they will go out of business. The problem with tracing the source of “bad” software makes it easier to distribute something that seems trustworthy in this situation.

thecaptain says:

No Subject Given

These scumbag spyware companies arguments tho is that they ALREADY clearly state in their EULA (right down there on page 45 through 68 in 6 point font) what they do and what info they collect and therefor have their user’s permission to do it.

How is this act going to change things? Can you legislate clarity? Or the absence of legaleze?

NOBODY says:

No Subject Given

There was a piece of spyware on my computer awhile back that came with a text file that explained exactly what it did. There was no EULA I had agreed to. It was installed by some third party software program I had gotten from That kind of thing is becoming a much bigger problem than it used to be. I still don’t think it should be regulated though. When it comes to government, there are some areas that they should stay out of because they do not understand what’s involved. Gay marriage would be one of them. Software is another.

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