Computer Programs Prove That EULAs Are Unreadable By Humans

from the suggests-there's-a-problem-somewhere dept

No one reads end user license agreements (EULAs). That was shown earlier this year when a company put a note in its EULA that it would pay $1,000 to the first person who asked for it and it took four months for anyone to claim the cash. EULAs are used to make people agree to all sorts of stuff they shouldn't. Many adware companies, for example, hide the details of what their programs do in the EULA -- and afterwards blame you for not properly reading the EULA if you complain about what their software does. There are still some questions about how enforceable EULAs really are -- as there's no ability for someone to negotiate and they're usually indecipherable even for those who do read them. Well, on that last point, it looks like (some) help is on the way. Apparently there's now a software program that will read your EULAs for you and point out the important points you should be aware of. Of course, you have to figure that the sneakier companies out there will just start using this software themselves to "test" their EULAs to make sure their really nasty stuff is still well hidden. Still, it certainly suggests that these documents are problematic if you need a special software program to decipher them for you.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 16 Sep 2005 @ 3:03am

    Proof That We Should Become Less Educated

    Leave impossible tasks to computers -- there is a shortage of uneducated people in South Korea.

    http://japan.donga.com/srv/service.php3?biid=2005091009818

    In South Korea, there are no jobs for college graduates and advanced degree holders, so 9 out of 10 of them are lying and claiming to be less educated. Cases abound of college graduates being refused for jobs because they are "too educated".

    People with advanced educations are re-enrolling in vocational schools to improve (?) their job qualifications. A government research panel is now suggesting that the government restrict higher education funding to better serve the economy.

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

  • identicon
    rightnumberone, 16 Sep 2005 @ 6:22am

    No Subject Given

    It's settled contract law.

    EULA's are not worth the pixels they are written in.

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

    • identicon
      Ray Trygstad, 16 Sep 2005 @ 7:35am

      Re: It's settled contract law.

      Precedents? Solid documentation? Statements like this are pretty meaningless without the citations backing them up.

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

    • identicon
      Pete Austin, 16 Sep 2005 @ 7:42am

      An EULA can be legally binding

      ...so be careful what you click.

      This is Blizzard vs BnetD. "EULA upheld in DMCA hacker case ... The court upheld the EULA and TOU as enforceable contracts, rejecting various arguments by defendant that a contract was not formed through the click-thru process. Even though the EULAs and TOU were not on the physical packaging for the PC game, the court found that the terms were disclosed before installation to the games and access to Battle.net were granted, and express assent was obtained through the click-thru process." Silicon Valley Media Law

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

  • identicon
    Simon, 18 Sep 2005 @ 12:04pm

    "Robolawyer"

    A year ago this was just a visionary article in Wired. I think it is a great business idea, but I wonder how complex the linguistic models in the software are.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/view.html?pg=2

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


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