Publicity Through Wacky EULA

from the ditch-the-lawyer-speak dept

We've written in the past about some surprises people might find if they actually read the end user license agreements that come with software. Many of the surprises are "bad," such as Sony telling you that you must delete all your music should you ever go bankrupt or Qwest telling you they can charge you $5 per email should your computer get infected and spams anyone. However, others are more interesting, such as Microsoft offering $5 if their software screws up your computer (sort of the opposite of the Qwest deal) or (my favorite), PC Pitstop's promise to pay $1,000 to the first person who actually read their EULA (in part, to prove that no one reads EULAs). They paid it out, but it took four months and 3,000 downloads until anyone claimed the prize. Another organization has now been "outed" for having a somewhat amusing EULA, where it's clear no lawyers were used in creating the text. Digg points us to a screenshot of the EULA that states: "What's (sic) the hell, we know you are going to crack the screensaver anyway, so we aren't going to bitch about it." In the comments on Digg, someone notes that the same programmers have the following statement on their about page: "We don't bitch about piracy. If somebody cracks our games it means they were popular and good enough for hackers to spend their time on our games." The interesting part here, really, is that this sort of reasonable honesty is now going to get those programmers a lot more publicity, downloads and sales (of the products they do charge for).

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Branden, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 1:23pm

    Well it is about time

    It is about freckin' time someone's EULA made sense.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 1:49pm

    hats off to originality

    I look forward to them also putting up a link on their page asking, "If you've ever pirated our software, please donate a buck to us through this paypal link/mailing address." ...or something simular - heck, I'd give them a buck just for originality!

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 2:00pm

    Re: hats off to originality

    If you do donate the buck, maybe they can catch you and sue you for 1 million bucks?

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

  4. identicon
    ira, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 2:03pm

    Re: hats off to originality

    Definitely. the link to donate could lead to better sales if there were a discounted license option which "enhances the user experience". something like saying, "cool. you hacked our game, but we only sell THIS to people who donate after hacking our game."

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

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 2:04pm

    Re: hats off to originality

    that's exactly my point...

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

  6. identicon
    Larry Theberge, Feb 10th, 2006 @ 4:50pm


    But far as the donating one dollar can be just donating for..."Research Advancement" for the company since you liked their product so much. However, that was a good point towards the whole donating, and thus tracking down thing.

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

  7. identicon
    SmallTwig, Feb 12th, 2006 @ 9:47am

    No Subject Given

    It would be nice if all EULAs were interesting like that...

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

  8. identicon
    Michael, Feb 13th, 2006 @ 10:20am

    No Subject Given

    I was looking through some code in .NET Reflector the other day, and found this amusing note embedded in the software:

    "HACKERS/CRACKERS: If you are looking at this, then you are viewing this in a decompiler.Please know that we are not a large company but a small company that depends on sales to feed our families. We spend a lot of time making our software great and affordable to commercial developersIf you really want a license to our software, please don't try and hack it. Just send us an email stating you don't want to pay for it because you can't afford it. We will give you a license if you really want it.If you enjoy stealing food away from children and the money away from hard working people, then you won't listen to this message anyway. Just remember, may God have mercy on your souls. Thank you, "

    It's a fantastic technological acheivement that I can so easily review compiled code, as it offers incredible insight into how things work that we didn't previously have, but a pity that it forces developers to resort to these sort of pleas to stop piracy.

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

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