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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    VineLover, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 2:59pm

    People still eat grapes with seeds in?

    Love to see the enforcement on this one.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 3:18pm

    "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).

     

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  3.  
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    PaulT (profile), Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 4:52pm

    EULA on seeds? Yeah, unless they're a specifically patented variet, good luck on prosecuting that. Even then, you'd have to prove that the species was propagated through purchased seeds rather than naturally...

    Your tax dollars at work...

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Tesla, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 4:56pm

    Old News

    Oddly, nursery plants have been shipping with EULAs for decades, particularly rare and expensive varieties (e.g. the Showy Lady's Slipper).

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Tesla, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Old News

    At the link below, for example, the description of each variety ends with the words "propagation is prohibited."

    http://www.sunnybordergold.com/gold/05/gold05-2.html

     

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  6.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 5:22pm

    Products are No Longer Being Sold

    Another example of the slow methodical march towards abolishing the concept of "sale". Eventually the consumer will have none of property rights associated with "buying" a product and will only be left with a liability.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 5:35pm

    Re:

    erm.....it's called DNA analysis. Companies that market designer crops put DNA markers in the seed.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Old News

    Does this means the humans can't propagate the seeds or the bees can't?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Monsanto, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 5:42pm

    Our Intellectual Property is Shit

    87) And in addition to the above restrictions, you will not excrete bodily fluids, solids, etc except into a Monsanto approved container to be returned to Monsanto at your expense.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Hyrulio, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 6:02pm

    That's it. I'm going to go buy a bag of grapes and plant EVERY SINGLE ONE!! I'm going to cultivate every cultivatable part of that bag of grapes! This is rural piracy!!!!!!!!

     

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  11.  
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    BackPacker, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 6:06pm

    scared of prosecution

    what if i already pooped grape seeds in the forest? if they sprout, they could trace me via DNA from my feces and prosecute me. now i must take twinkies so as not to risk infringing on the EULAs of whole foods.

     

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  12.  
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    Josef, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 6:33pm

    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.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Benjamin Wright, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 7:06pm

    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 http://hack-igations.blogspot.com/2008/05/google-privacy-policy-terms-of-service.html My ideas are not legal advice for any particular situation; they are just ideas for public discussion.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Reed, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 8:07pm

    Try some root tone

    I would try removing the fruit from a particularly large stem, then cut at angle, apply root tone, and place into a oasis cube. Let it sit in a low light and moist environment and see if roots will grow.

    I guess doing so would make you a fruity pirate

     

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  15.  
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    Dohn Joe, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 9:57pm

    GFL

    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:

    Preamble
    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...
    ...
    ...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Estigy, Sep 22nd, 2008 @ 11:01pm

    Seedless?

    I find it especially funny that its forbidden to reproduce or propagate seeds, when the name of the product is "Sunset SEEDLESS".

    Will it eventually also be prohibited to resell the airbag of a car that doesn't even have one? I guess so...

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 5:01am

    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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  18.  
    identicon
    Jesse, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 7:46am

    Does the End User License Agreement apply to you if you are not an End User? If you take seeds and plants them to sell them, you aren't really an End User anymore.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 7:39am

    Did anyone else notice the bag says produce of USA in English and Produce of EU in French? How does that work?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Tim in Colorado, Sep 29th, 2008 @ 7:47am

    I'm pirating them

    Got pointed to the grapes from Boing Boing, went a bought a bag. They're delicious!!

    So, I'm rooting a stem in some water. It's a an act of pure piracy!

     

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


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