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eula clauseLet’s be honest, no one reads EULA’s 4 Ways To Read & Understand An End User License Agreement (EULA) More Easily 4 Ways To Read & Understand An End User License Agreement (EULA) More Easily EULAs, or End-User License Agreements, are one of the evils of modern life. These are endlessly wordy agreements, usually written in tiny print. These are the things you blindly scroll down, looking for that darn... Read More (End User Licensing Agreement) – we all just scroll down to the bottom and click “I Accept”. EULAs are full of confusing legalese to make them incomprehensible to the average person – no one actually wants us reading them (you could use EULAlyzer Scan Service User Agreements with EULAlyzer Scan Service User Agreements with EULAlyzer Read More , which reads them for you). That explains how these ridiculous clauses can exist in EULAs without any outcry.

I’m no lawyer, so I can’t comment on the legal status of EULAs, which are different in each country. But the enforceability of EULAs is generally controversial, and some of these clauses would likely be tossed out by a judge, even if EULAs were legally enforceable.

 iTunes – No Creating Nuclear Weapons

Apple’s iTunes EULA expressively forbids you from using iTunes to create missiles and biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons.

eula clause

Are there hidden weapon development options in iTunes? Even if there were, would terrorists be thwarted by not wanting to violate the EULA?

Safari For Windows – You Can’t Install It On Windows

For six months after it was released, Apple had the following clause in Safari for Windows’ EULA:

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eula contract

Apple was pushing Safari Three Useful Safari Startup Tricks That You Might Not Be Familiar With Three Useful Safari Startup Tricks That You Might Not Be Familiar With One of the popular names in the browser world is Safari. It's the default browser for Mac, so it's only logical that Safari is widely used in the Mac community. But even in the Windows... Read More for Windows via Apple Update, but you were only supposed to install it if you were running Windows on an Apple computer. The fact that this term made it into the EULA – and lasted for six months before it was noticed – shows how everyone, including Apple itself, ignores EULAs.

Google Chrome – Google Owns You

Like Apple, Google wasn’t paying attention to its EULA when it launched the Chrome web browser. When it was released, the EULA contained the following clause:

…you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

The EULA clarified that Google Chrome was indeed considered a “service.” According to the clause, Google claimed a perpetual license to publish and publically display your online banking passwords and everything else you did online.

Google quickly removed the offending clause. It’s clear that Google had just copy-pasted an existing EULA into Chrome without actually reading it.

Far Cry 2 – Enforced Morality

Far Cry 2’s EULA prevents you from using the game “contrary to morality or the laws in force“. Whose morality, exactly? Some groups would say it’s immoral to play a violent video game at all.

To make it nice and easy to read, this EULA is helpfully presented as a small, light gray text on a dark gray background.

eula contract

Microchip – We’ll Show Up At 3.00am & Audit You

Microchip’s MPLAB X used to contain the following line in its EULA:

Microchip’s authorized representatives will have the right to reasonably inspect, announced or unannounced and in its sole and absolute discretion, Licensee’s premises and to audit Licensee’s records and inventory of Licensee’s use of the Software, whether located on Licensee’s premises or elsewhere, at any time, in order to ensure Licensee’s adherence to the terms of this Agreement.

In other words, Microchip reserved the right to knock on your door at 3.00am and immediately audit you to ensure compliance with its software licensing agreement How to Create Your Own Software License Agreement How to Create Your Own Software License Agreement Read More .

PC Pitstop – $1,000 For Free

To prove a point that no one reads EULAs, PC Pitstop once had the following clause in its EULA:

eula contract

It took four months before someone noticed and claimed a $1,000 prize.

Microsoft Windows – The OEM Restriction Retailers Ignore

Let’s say you want to buy a copy of Windows. You might think that you could head to NewEgg or another retailer and buy one of the popular copies of Windows, but you’d be wrong.

Look closely and you’ll see the “OEM” tag on each of these operating systems. OEM means it’s for an “original equipment manufacturer” and can only be installed on one computer – ever. At one time, Microsoft allowed hobbyists building their own PCs to purchase and install OEM versions of Windows. The actual license agreement no longer allows this, but many Microsoft representatives continue endorsing it.

eula controversy

The disclaimer hidden on the Details tab informs us that this product is only for people installing Windows on a PC and then selling the PC.

eula controversy

If you buy one of these copies, you’re violating the Windows license agreement and will have a “non-genuine” version of Windows. According to the EULA, you might as well be a pirate Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] Why The Campaign Against Piracy Is A Farce [Opinion] DMCA, SOPA, MegaUpload shut down, piracy becoming a religion in Sweden - not a week goes by without some shutdown, anti-piracy laws or shocking statistics about torrents - and I have to ask myself, is... Read More .

Ed Bott over at ZDNet has chronicled this problem and the contradictory information provided by Microsoft.

Sony & EA – No Class Action Lawsuits

If you accepted the PlayStation Network’s new terms and conditions when it updated back in September, you agreed to this:

Any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action…

In other words, by agreeing to this mandatory update, you signed away your right to a class action lawsuit PS3 Updates Kill Class Action Rights, Lets Users Keep The Postal Service Busy [News] PS3 Updates Kill Class Action Rights, Lets Users Keep The Postal Service Busy [News] Want to play your Playstation 3 now that the Playstation Network is accessible? That’s no problem – as long as you sign away your right to file a class action lawsuit against the company when... Read More (if that’s legally possible). You can opt out by sending a physical letter to Sony, something just inconvenient enough that very few people will do it – if they even read the EULA in the first place.

The EULA for EA’s Origin includes the same language.

All Over the Place – Only One Backup Copy

eula controversy

Many EULAs stipulate that you may only have one backup copy. Do you use a backup program Is FreeFileSync Better Sync Software Than Microsoft SyncToy? [Windows] Is FreeFileSync Better Sync Software Than Microsoft SyncToy? [Windows] Sync programs make local backups a snap by copying only changed files. Dropbox and other cloud storage systems are great, but they aren't as fast as a USB flash drive or removable hard drive to... Read More , like Apple’s Time Machine 4 Resources to Become a Backup Master with Time Machine [Mac] 4 Resources to Become a Backup Master with Time Machine [Mac] Read More or Windows Backup How To Set Up & Use Windows 7 Backup & Restore Feature How To Set Up & Use Windows 7 Backup & Restore Feature It's hardly a secret when I tell you that sooner or later you will need a backup of your personal data. Do you have one right now? What keeps most people from preparing regular backups... Read More ? You could be violating several EULAs.

Practically Everywhere – The EULA May Change At Any Time


Many EULAs reserve the right to change at any time, so it doesn’t really matter what the EULA says when you read it. I hope you’re periodically monitoring the terms of use of every website you use, since they all expect you to!

eula clause

I’m sure there are many more ridiculous EULA clauses out there, but no one reads the EULAs to find them. Do any of you actually read EULAs? Have you found other ridiculous clauses in them?

Image Credits: Annoyed Businessman via Shutterstock, XKCD: Faust 2.0

  1. brenda darley
    September 29, 2016 at 4:48 am

    Savvy ideas ! I Appreciate the details . Does someone know where I might access a fillable IRS W-2 document to complete ?

  2. 4u2nvinmtl
    July 6, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Yes, I read many of them. The laws where I live allow each individual to negotiate/dispute any agreement, contract, or obligation prior to excepting (when doing business). As most EULA don't provide any opportunity for end users this their not considered valid where I live.

    So I simply click decline send an email with my own terms (usually 10x sillier than theirs) and then state while it's in deliberation, I'll accept and if they don't accept my terms within 60 days they must manually terminate my service on their end and provide a hand-written notice that must be sent VIA registered mail to my personal home address. Only one company ever replied (Chrysler Extended Warranty) and they send me a full refund (about $8k) and hand written letter stating that they could not accept. I couldnt be happyer.

    Consumer protection act for the win!

  3. cosmogoblin
    July 4, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I read EULAs, I've become pretty adept at skimming them by now, as I only look for two things:

    (1) What am I restricted from doing that I want to do? (Far Cry 2 is an example - you're not allowed to make your own levels. Why??)
    (2) What CAN they actually do - eg remotely disable your account, monitor your communications, or charge you money?

    I don't care about all the legalese garbage, as nobody ever gets sued for breach of a EULA - to do so would run the risk of a judge declaring the truth, that EULAs are completely unenforceable for so many reasons.

  4. Brian
    May 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Has anyone ever sued EA (Electronic Arts) for restricting access to a premium account ?

    I just recently found out that my premium account has been suspended or restricted without notice or reason given.

    I have been banned from there Battlelog forum for posting a link after being baited into posting the link. I am trying to appeal the ban with the last appeal EA sent me a reply with a Product Name in which I have never owned.

    There forum do not have a link nor do there moderators/admins suggest anything of the sort when they reply with comments such as "did you even read the ToS (Terms of Service)" yet with hold or do not provide a link to said ToS.
    I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed by any means and it never dawned on me to look at the very bottom of the forum web page to view a link that is in small print and I'm using a 50" TV as my monitor which I can barely see. let alone using a 21 Inch PC Monitor where as that would be rather impossible to see ...

    EA are telling me that they consider the case closed. is this unjust?

  5. Tom Carpe
    March 30, 2016 at 1:16 am

    From our own EULA, just to prove a point that these aren't always malicious, but often people don't read them in any case. I guess with great power comes great responsibility - doubt our lawyers would approve.

    "If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, either do not install or use the SOFTWARE or immediately uninstall and either a) remove it from your computer and burn it in a designated emergency incinerator or ..."

    "G. Apocalyptic or Dystopian Events
    In the event of a national emergency such as insurrection against the United States government, widespread mass rioting, despotic and dystopian (Mad Max) future, impending asteroid collision, or yes even a zombie-like viral outbreak, PUBLISHER grants to all good people and patriots the right to use this SOFTWARE in order to protect the continuity, history, and ideals of the Constitution of the United States of America and to serve and protect its people as necessary, notwithstanding the fact that any prevailing party under such circumstances shall have great influence in defining the meaning of this paragraph and the other terms of this EULA."

    Not sure how you would take advantage of that, unless maybe the Smithsonian uses Office 365 or something. ^_^

    And, finally...

    You hereby agree that any time PUBLISHER requests it in writing, you will stand on one leg, jump up and down, and say “Shift to the left. Shift to the right. Mask in. Mask out. Liquid Mercury - Byte, byte, byte!” Those disabled persons who cannot reasonably perform such actions shall be exempted from this clause. You may volunteer to do this on camera, however you may elect to do so in private provided that you affirm in writing that you have done so. Honestly, we were just checking to see if you really read this EULA, so don’t expect us to call you out on this or anything like that."

  6. Sue
    March 16, 2016 at 3:10 am

    I returned my first cell phone because the arbitration clause stated that if I were involved in arbitration, I was forbidden from disclosing the nature or existence of the arbitration. I didn't think it would ever happen, but I refused to sign an agreement that says I can't say that something exists. I pictured myself telling my husband, "See you later, hon. I'm going to Colorado, but I can't tell you why."
    It only took 2 minutes to read this sites legal page so I could post this comment. :)

  7. Me
    February 12, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    Something i am thinking about.

    If i DONT violate anything that is said in EULA.
    Can a game company still take the game away from me. ?

    Lets say on Steam. i knwo they can stop supporting and totaly stop working with that game.
    But can they take it away from me ?

  8. Overlord_Laharl
    February 8, 2016 at 6:02 am

    there should be a law that makes EULA's need to have an date of last update in the first line of the EULA
    the PSN EULA does, i read it, i opted out.

  9. raymond.cklamaon
    November 10, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    @Chris Hoffman;
    I wish to take a few of these examples in a video I am making, Can I use some of these quotes by quoting you at the end. You know one of those pt 0.8 fonts ;) no Seriously. Is it ok?

  10. Steve Sybesma
    February 24, 2015 at 12:17 am

    EULAs are a joke because:

    1) no one reads them, and;

    2) if anyone did, few except the most anal legalists would take them seriously, and;

    3) who the hell has ever been or will ever be busted on a small technicality that isn't worth the company's time to go after you for? you have to think about that part...if you don't make it worth their time and money, besides you not caring, they couldn't care less the casket of contempt for EULAs has its last nail hammered into it on that point alone

    4) the are 100% about controlling you and your enjoyment of what you purchased; in other words, piss on that

    I worry not. I have never lost a minute's sleep over a EULA. I couldn't possibly care less.

  11. hotdoge3
    October 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

    The MyWebSearch Toolbar can be easily uninstalled.
    No Spyware, No Adware. The MyWebSearch toolbar does not collect any personal information about you (such as your name, email address, etc.). Further, it does not: (a) collect or report back to us (or anyone else) any information about sites you visit on the Internet; (b) collect or "screen-scrape" any search queries or information that you provide to any other web-sites; (c) serve pop-ups when you are on other websites; or (d) collect or report back to us (or anyone else) any data regarding your computer keystrokes or other data unrelated to the services the Toolbar provides.
    The MyWebSearch toolbar also uses "cookies".
    ? so it all GOOD ? I don't think so ?
    Yazzle Games - Your pass to everything free and fun. (nice fun ? not my likening)

    Functionality. The Company offers some of the most popular software applications available on the Internet, such as screen savers, games, ring tones, and instant messenger applications, in exchange for your agreement also to install Outerinfo, the Company's advertising software. As a result of installing the Company's Software, you will see occasional pop-up or pop-under ads based on your online activities.

  12. Asangansi
    September 21, 2012 at 8:25 pm


  13. Noi Kristinsson
    July 2, 2012 at 9:32 am

    In regards to google drive EULA. We own what we make and no EULA can change that by clicking I AGREE.
    It is stated in Berne Convention, among other things:

    Article 3
    The protection of this Concention shall apply to:
    (a) authors who are nationals of one of the countries of the Union, for their works, whether pulished or not;

    Article 6bis
    (1) Independently of the author's economic rights, and even after the transfer of the said rights, the author shall have the right to claim authorship of the work and to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation.

    Article 9
    (1) Authors of literary and artistic works protected by this Convention shall have the exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of these works, in any manner or form.

    The berne convention was first written in 1886 and latest update is from 1979 and most countries in the world agree to that license. Which literally says: Your work is your work, you own it and no one can take that ownership away.

    At most one could assign a Creative commons license to it once published, but since your email is not published only the standard copyright protections apply.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 2, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Interesting. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't really understand all the details.

      Still, it wouldn't be the first time that a EULA asked for more than the law allowed it to. They try to overreach a lot.

  14. john_atte_kiln
    June 26, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Well, this is all very well, and jolly amusing and all thoses things, but tell us this ... what can you do if you don't agree with a clause? There are never facilities to do qualified agrees, so what then? As far as I can see the only choice is to not install and that's not useful. What do you suggest MakeUseOf? Amaze us.

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 27, 2012 at 4:22 am

      All you can really do is not install it. I've also seen cute programs that will let you modify they EULA in the box before clicking agree -- but I don't think anyone really believes that will change the contract.

      If you don't agree, either don't install it or shrug and install it anyway. Honestly, even lawyers don't sit down and read EULAs for the programs they install. They're not really meant to be read.

  15. Ian UK
    June 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I admit it, I use EULAlyser and just glance at the sections it highlights!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      I admire those of you that actually read EULAs -- if only with a program like EULAlyser. Keep fighting the good fight!

  16. DickN
    June 19, 2012 at 4:18 am

    I used the WiFi at a fast food stop recently. The first screen showed their ISP's EULA, featuring monthly fee, term of contract and penalty for early termination! It also contained the usual "by using this service you agree to...". There was no indication that the text was intended for anyone but the patron using the connection. I figured I was safe as long as I didn't divulge my credit card#, which doesn't even exist on my computer. Anybody know how to make a computer anonymous?

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 20, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Yup, typical -- the restaurant doesn't take the EULA seriously, so why should you?

      They have no way of knowing your credit card number, so you're fine -- we could have a "By reading MakeUseOf, you agree to pay us $5 a month for a year." statement in our terms of use, but it would be meaningless. We don't have any credit card numbers.

      Besides, that's ridiculous. If they tried to charge such a thing, you could perform a chargeback and dispute it.

  17. Tundrabeast
    June 16, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I've wondered why there hasn't been some movement to make a law or regulation or such that would force these companies to provide an outline that highlighted what was in the EULA’s they want you to agree to. They ofen make them so long and with language that makes it a real chore to slug through. We should be able to just get a highlight of what is being required...

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:30 am

      Yup, very true. They _want_ them to be a chore to slog through.

      I believe there aren't outlines because the "outline" itself would be legally enforceable or something like that, invalidating the "bullet-proof" language in the rest of the EULA. I'm not a lawyer, though -- that's just the sort of thing I've heard.

  18. Keesha
    June 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I usually skim thru the Eula... once I did that and decided not to download the product. It said I would have to pay them an amount of money every month for a period of time... Couldn't believe that was there! I certainly wasn't going to approve that! Don't remember what the download was but it was rediculous!

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 17, 2012 at 12:29 am

      Well, if you didn't give them your credit card number, then they'd have a hard time collecting that!

      I could say "By reading this comments you will pay me $5 a month for one year," but that's just silly. Just like a EULA that slips something like that in.

  19. Matt Snyder
    June 4, 2012 at 2:06 am

    I'm testing the waters for a service that would take the EULAlyzer idea a step further, and leverage the crowd to raise our awareness of what we're agreeing to:

    • Chris Hoffman
      June 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Ah, I saw this earlier today! Very cool idea -- good luck! I'd love to see the finished product.

  20. anonymous
    May 18, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Four steps to world domination:

    (1) start inexpensive service, require credit card and name / address / phone number, get 1,000,000+ users; EULA / TOS says "may change at any time" and "any use of the service after any change of terms consitutes acceptance of new terms"
    (2) insert a term in the EULA saying "i agree to pay $30,000"
    (3) if customers resist paying, sue them, as in RIAA litigation many people should be willing to pay $1000-$5000 to drop the suit because defending is more expensive than that
    (4) bonus points if you also threaten criminal prosecution for grand theft (theft of product valued at $30,000) and unauthorized access to computer systems (hacking) with serious jail time

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 22, 2012 at 1:18 am

      It would be thrown out of court, of course -- although you might be able to get some settlements from a few people.

      There's no real good reason that would be thrown out of court while some of the EULAs above would stand, sadly. It's a messed up system.

  21. Dark Sylinc
    May 11, 2012 at 2:53 am

    My last comment seems to have been lost, so my apologies if appears duplicated. Here it goes. I was replying to the "space invasion" comment:

    LOL! I wonder if they're trolling us.

    Neverthless, I suspect this "space invasion" alludes to cosmic rays comming from space, which is the real deal. Google "cosmic ray damage electronics" (no quotes).

    It's extremely rare for this to happen though (as long as we stay on Earth), and dunno how would they notice cosmic rays were the cause of a malfunction and confuse it instead with regular failures.

    Leaving you an article...

    • Tina
      May 11, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Your comment wasn't lost, it just went into moderation. I published this one and deleted the other. :)

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 13, 2012 at 2:18 am


      I think the "space invasion" line is just another way of saying "act of god" -- they don't want to cover damage for crazy unforeseen circumstances.

  22. Dark Sylinc
    May 8, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    In my Country (Argentina) there is such a concept of "Morality and good behavior" or could also be translated as "Good faith & good practices", but there is indeed, a notion of acceptable morality from society which must be weighted in Court.

    Therefore Far Cry's clause makes sense in my Country. Since my Country just adopted the Civil Law from European countries (mainly from France) I suspect this morality clause could also make sense in other European countries; considering Far Cry was developed by a German company.

    • Chris Hoffman
      May 9, 2012 at 5:53 am

      That's very interesting; I've never heard of that. I suppose it explains things more.

      Still, though -- I don't really understand. How could you play a game in bad faith?

      • Dark Sylinc
        May 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

        Well, it's hard to imagine for a video game.

        Usually this "Morality" comes to play in prostitution charges in areas where, albeit illegal, it's socially condoned and there's evidence of it (i.e. police officers letting prostitutes keep working even after being aware of their presence). Thus reducing the sentence or even avoiding it completely (but not necessarily!).

        It may also come into use when someone's done something completely rejected by society but not yet legislated (beware though, nobody can go to jail for committing something that's not expressly forbidden in the Penal Code)

        As for a video game... I guess if it's used to train errr.. rapists? If it's used to brainwash kids? to knowingly induce epilepsy to a group of innocent people? to stalk minors in multiplayer chat rooms?
        This clause is added "just in case" to cover any unknown or weird usage where the company can't be held responsible for how it's program is being used by it's costumers. It's a wide clause we include without even questioning, which probably may not ever be used.

        "What's moral and inmoral" depends on the location, evidence, and ultimately, the decision falls to the Judges (Whether it's civil or criminal offense. In the latter, we don't have a jury system like in the US, btw)

        • Chris Hoffman
          May 11, 2012 at 2:10 am

          Thanks for your comment! I definitely have a better understanding of it now.

          It seems less weird -- but, like with other EULAs, it's an overly broad "catch all" phrase to cover themselves.

          Speaking of which, I recently discovered that Asus' EULA does not pay out for hardware damage caused by "space invasions."

  23. wxiiir
    April 28, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Do you know why there are so many stupid mistakes in the EULA's? Because they don't read them as well. HAHA

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 28, 2012 at 5:08 am

      Yeah, that's probably the funniest thing -- they don't even read their own EULAs!

  24. jojo
    April 27, 2012 at 2:54 am

    if i were to write a EULA, it would be to require users to pimp hoes and pay me my cut...just saying...

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 28, 2012 at 4:49 am

      That wouldn't be much more unreasonable than a lot of real EULAs!

  25. Adam
    April 26, 2012 at 10:01 am

    What? you cant make nucular weapons on itunes! :(

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 28, 2012 at 4:48 am

      Apparently not, the license forbids it!

    • Achraf52
      April 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      I did, maybe, but I'm sure the one who wrote it should be bombarded .

    • Col
      April 29, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Whoops, too late! I guess I've breached the EULA. My bad! lol

      • Chris Hoffman
        May 1, 2012 at 4:29 am

        If only you had known, you wouldn't have done it!

    • Ricki
      June 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Because the software may be downloaded outside of the United States it is classified as an Export. The United Stated Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security requires this sort of End Use statement be included on all export paperwork,

      • Chris Hoffman
        June 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm

        Is that actually true? Because I haven't seen any other applications with nuclear weapon references in their EULAs. If the US government forces iTunes to mention nuclear weapons production in its EULA, that's pretty ridiculous on its own.

  26. GPL preferred
    April 25, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Ventrilo goes so far as to say that they don't have to prove anything. You simply owe them money if they say so. As such, I use a GPL voice alternative.

    11.6 Liquidated Damages. You hereby acknowledge that damages for breach of this
    Agreement may be difficult to prove, and you agree that should you breach any
    provision of this Agreement, you will pay Flagship the sum of five thousand dollars
    ($5,000.00) for each such breach.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      That looks pretty nasty. It'd be extra scary if I knew it was enforcable, but no one really knows what would happen in court.

      • GPL preferred
        April 26, 2012 at 2:10 pm

        Agreeing contractually in advance that you owe someone money even if they can't prove something. Perhaps some other legal framework provides protections that would nullify this obligation, but that is one heck of a gamble that the system will protect you after you do something absurd.

        • Chris Hoffman
          April 28, 2012 at 4:48 am

          Yeah, it's a big gamble -- that's the problem, EULAs haven't really been tested in court much. No one really knows.

        • Dan
          June 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm

          Could it be because companies know they couldn't win and only put in these clauses to scare you the easily frightened? :-)

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 17, 2012 at 12:27 am

          Quite possibly! Many courts will just strike out the clauses that go too far, not the entire contracts -- so why not go overboard and hope it scares users or something sticks?

  27. Hampton Juerges
    April 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Just got a new agreement from Netflix. Same as Sony with the class action lawsuit thing in all capitalized letters on the second paragraph. Among many things in the agreement that influenced me to terminate the service is the line that states subscribers who sign the current agreement give Netflix the right to stop providing the service at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all (yet there is no mention of their not billing you if they do so). I have wondered how many people have signed this thing without even understanding that they are giving away many rights that people just don't think of at first (for example, recourse for raiding subscriber bank accounts by "mistake"; how likely is that to happen?) in exchange for for a weekend movie or two.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm

      This sort of clause is sadly becoming standard. I believe US courts have ruled that it's okay -- but I don't know if that extends to click-through EULAs, especially ones like the PS3 where you have to agree to keep using a product you've already purchased. (not a lawyer!)

  28. edarchis
    April 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    The translation of EULAs are even more fun. I once found a site where the French EULA specified "annuler ma membrésie", should be "cancel my membership" but actually looks like "cancel my male parts disease".

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      They really should have legal documents professionally translated instead of just running them through Google Translate.

      It just shows they're not taking the EULA seriously, either.

  29. Mitesh Budhabhatti
    April 24, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I think this could be the one reason why people do piracy.. You never know what action causes clause to be broken !!

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

      Especially with Windows -- hey, according to Microsoft, those OEM licenses of Windows that most everyone is buying from NewEgg are all "non-genuine" anyway, right? That's the same thing as piracy.

      The only difference is that they would be detected as genuine and no one would ever notice.

      I wonder if Microsoft will learn when it comes to the Windows 8 licenses.

      • Adam
        April 26, 2012 at 10:02 am

        Let's hope not :)

      • Achraf52
        April 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        They could not stop them .

  30. Kathy Banks
    April 24, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Nice, I just downloaded that program to read EULA's..this is very handy. This can also read disclaimers on websites, as well.

  31. Susendeep Dutta
    April 24, 2012 at 7:01 am

    I'm actually interested in reading EULAs to make sure that I don't give any such permission to the company so that they can breach my privacy,collect any anonymous data or whatever any legal action they can take against me.But since they are long,I only used to read the bold capital letter words and liabilities section of EULA.

    There was an article in MUO which also gave me some tips regarding how to easily learn EULA and get acquainted with it which has improved my EULA reading.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm

      Sadly, they're long on purpose to make them less readable and more incomprehensible.

  32. Toby
    April 24, 2012 at 1:47 am

    Nice real nice. I'm gonna start reading every EULA now. This is the same thing that happens on mail in rebates. they put them there because you won't actually read the receipts or whatever. I needed a bottle of oil 1 day and paid ~$3 for it. I read the receipt and it offered a mail in rebate for $10 if I just sent the receipt in. Took forever to get the money though.

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      The thing is, many of these clauses are completely unenforcable and would be thrown out in court. So you don't really have to worry too much -- but it's amazing what companies are trying to do here.

    • Anonymous
      October 2, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      You'd have to read privacy policies for every single website you visit though. That might be hard.

  33. John
    April 24, 2012 at 12:33 am

    LOL ! and then they ask themselves why people hate them ?

    • Chris Hoffman
      April 25, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      People are just indifferent to them, which is what they're counting on! We all click agree anyway.

      Lawyers seem to think it will give them cover, but who really knows.

      • Richard
        April 26, 2012 at 12:33 am

        Not just EULA's either, this is something that's prolific right through big businesses and governments. It's staggering what they can get away with simply because people don't really pay attention to what they are being told.

        • Chris Hoffman
          April 28, 2012 at 4:51 am

          Good point -- people don't really read a lot of contracts.

          It would be really nice to have simple, easy-to-understand, one-page contracts for things -- but then the lawyers would be out of work.

        • Nik Gibson
          June 16, 2012 at 11:31 pm

          Well it is 99% written by solicitors for other solicitors to comprehend. And stuff the rest of the world reading it.

          Note: By reading this comment you have released the writer of this comment of any violation of misinterpretation by the reader and if the comment offends anyone then tough luck, as no offence were intended on any third parties mentioned in item of this particular comment.

        • Chris Hoffman
          June 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

          Oh no! Yet another EULA I've agreed to.

          Yours is as legitimate as website usage agreements, really.

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