Grapes With An EULA

from the what-the-world-is-coming-to dept

In the ongoing trend of adding EULAs to tangible goods, Boing Boing points us to a photo highlighting the fact that certain bags of grapes apparently come with an effective EULA forbidding reproducing or propagating “any portion of the produce, including (but not limited to) seeds, stems, tissue and fruit.” Perhaps this is no surprise given the (in our opinion, awful) Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that EULAs on seeds were legit. However, at least in that case, it involved a farmer buying seeds specifically for planting purposes. Putting an EULA on grapes you pick up at the local grocery store just seems extreme. Plus, given the tiny print on the bottom of the bag, I’d imagine that the grape growers who put the EULA there would have a hard time enforcing it, as most buyers could credibly claim not to have even thought to read it, let alone “agreed” to it.

That said, I have to admit that, prior to this, I never once had considered reproducing or propagating the seeds, stems, tissues or fruit of grapes I had bought. I’ve got a couple bags of grapes in my fridge right now, though, and now I’m curious about figuring out what it would take to do such “propagating” just for the hell of it. Of course, I checked and they don’t seem to have been the kind that came with EULAs, so that takes all the fun out of the propagating.

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Comments on “Grapes With An EULA”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“Perhaps this is no surprise given the (in our opinion, awful) Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that EULAs on seeds were legit.”

The Supreme Court has issued no such ruling. In the matter of McFarling v. Monsanto it merely denied McFarling’s Petition for Certiorari without comment (as is true with the vast majority of such petitions whenever cert is denied).

Josef says:

Re: Old News

And people have been routinely ignoring those EULAs for years. At one point there was an EULA attached to pineapples. Didn’t stop my sister from showing her 9th grade biology class how to grow pineapples from the crown. Of course, I really don’t think there is suddenly going to be pineapple plantations in Madison, Wisconsin.

Benjamin Wright (profile) says:

contract law

EULAs are governed by contract law. Contract law is a two-way street. Just as seed merchants, web administrators, software vendors can communicate to visitors/customers what they assert to be the legal terms, customers can communicate back. In principle, contract law does not favor either administrators or customers. Individuals may be able to use contract law to assert their legal terms on other parties, such as search engines. –Ben My ideas are not legal advice for any particular situation; they are just ideas for public discussion.

Dohn Joe (user link) says:


Guess now Richard Stallman will have to start the FOO project and create open-source food with an open GFL (General Food License) on it:

Most food comes with licenses that restrict you from doing what you like with your food. This is in stark contrast to the GFL which allows you to do what you like with your food, provided that you pass on these freedoms to anybody obtaining food based on food with a GFL license…

Anonymous Coward says:

What we need is an end users purchase agreement that company are forced to accept when they advertise products enticing people to purchase then based on faulty information that they are purchasing the product free and restrictions.

One could formulate and post such a document on line and when some company posts a EURL one could then have them automatically reference the EUPA which they were required to accept when the product was sold.
Of course the EUPA would triumph the EURL and declare all previsions of the EURL null and void.
Also, it is no fault of the user if the supplier fail to find, read and understand the EUPL they accepted when they sold the product.

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