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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Devboy00, 13 Apr 2004 @ 6:13pm

    Pure?

    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.

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

    • identicon
      Pseizure2000, 13 Apr 2004 @ 9:51pm

      Re: Pure?

      Exactly. The truly malicious software are the ones that install with bad intentions on mind....and with no intent to let you know.

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

  • identicon
    thecaptain, 14 Apr 2004 @ 4:52am

    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?

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

  • identicon
    NOBODY, 14 Apr 2004 @ 10:39am

    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 download.com. 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.

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Advertisment

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.