We all install software on our systems everyday and we all know the motions. Run the installer, click next repeatedly, say you agree to the End User License Agreement, click next a few more times, and finally the glorious finish button appears. At that point we may go on our merry way enjoying the application we just installed. Has you ever read through one of the EULAs? I have read through a few and have found some very bizarre conditions listed that we agree to without really knowing it.
Apple’s iTunes software is popular, no doubt. With all of the iPads, iPhones, and iPods out there most people have used it at least once. This EULA was particularly interesting because of one condition listed:
“You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons.”
Yes, Apple wants to ensure that you do not under any circumstances use your copy of iTunes to create weapons of any kind. Personally, I do now see how this could be done in the first place, so it probably did not need to be added into their agreement.
Amazon’s Kindle eReader was the first of such devices to get a grasp on the consumer reader market and hold on. The rights over digital content that consumers purchase is always up in the air since the files are usually tied in with some kind of Digital Rights Management licensing service. When you purchase books for your Kindle or the Kindle app (on any platform) you don’t actually own any of it. According to section four of the terms and services for the Kindle and its associated apps if you breach the conditions in any way you lose all right to your content.
“Your rights under this Agreement will automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any term of this Agreement. In case of such termination, you must cease all use of the Software, and Amazon may immediately revoke your access to the Service or to Digital Content without refund of any fees. Amazon’s failure to insist upon or enforce your strict compliance with this Agreement will not constitute a waiver of any of its rights.“
There Can Be Only One
When people buy software that comes on a disc, some will create a backup copy of the disc just in case they have dogs or cats or kids. The same goes for DVD videos. Going through the EULAs of DVD copying software as well as some other applications they say that you may create a backup copy of the disc… as long as you do not use it. You can store it as an archive, though. This leads me to wonder what the point is in making the backup copy in the first place. This example comes from Adobe’s Reader application’s EULA under section 3.
“You may make one backup copy of the Software, provided your backup copy is not installed or used other than for archival purposes. You may not transfer the rights to a backup copy unless you transfer all rights in the Software as provided under Section 5.”
For reference, section 5 states that if you do give someone your copy you cannot have it installed on any of your systems and if it came as part of a software suite you need to give them the whole thing.
I encourage people to at least skim a EULA before you click “Agree”. You could be agreeing to some rather strange things. Before Apple changed their licensing agreement for their iBooks publishing application, the writer was actually signing away their rights to the content that they created to Apple. The EULA has since then changed it due to the consumer reaction.
Have you noticed any strange EULAs? Share with us in the comments!