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[News] Funny EULA and Ubersoft Cartoons

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Mephistopheles encounters the E.U.L.A.


Some Days Your Customers Know You Too Well



MSN Music Debacle Highlights EULA Dangers

,----[ Quote ]
| MSN Music’s EULA is a case in point. When active, MSN Music's webpage touted
| that customers could “choose their device and know its going to work”.
| But when customers went to purchase songs, they were shown legalese that
| stated the download service and the content provided were sold without
| warrantee. In other words, Microsoft doesn't promise you that the service or
| the music will work, or that you will always have access to music you bought.
| The flashy advertising promised your music, your way, but the fine print
| said, our way or the highway.



EULA: What Are You Signing Away?

,----[ Quote ]
| EULAs are not negotiated or negotiable, they are rarely read, and they are 
| frequently difficult to obtain, said Rasch. "I just bought an iPhone and 
| couldn't even see the TOS until I opened the box, synched the iPhone and then 
| agreed to the TOS -- and had to pay a restocking fee and activation fee if I 
| disagreed," Rasch commented.    


Unusable EULA's

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft's instant messenger app had a surprisingly readable EULA,
| but was a snooze-inducing 12 pages and 6,343 words long. 


MSN AdCenter - Impossible to read TOS

,----[ Quote ]
| As you can see from the screenshot above (click it to enlarge), the
| MSN AdCenter TOS is enclosed in a small box, approximately 1-inch
| wide by about 1/2-inch tall! Maybe it's because I was using Firefox
| and not Microsoft's Internet Explorer, but I still find it comical to
| the point of absurdity. I still signed up, but I wonder what Microsoft
| is hiding in that tiny box?


Windows Vista's new spin on licensing

,----[ Quote ]
| As with corporate software licenses, the primary end goal here seems
| to be to maximize revenues for Microsoft, but MS's moves have the
| unfortunate secondary effect of eroding the consumer's fair-use rights
| --or at least the very useful illusion of fair-use rights--in the
| process.


Vista's legal fine print raises red flags

,----[ Quote ]
| For greater certainty, the terms and conditions remove any doubt about who 
| is in control by providing that "this agreement only gives you some rights 
| to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights."
| [...]
| When Microsoft introduced Windows 95 more than a decade ago, it adopted the 
| Rolling Stones "Start Me Up" as its theme song. As millions of consumers 
| contemplate the company's latest upgrade, the legal and technological 
| restrictions may leave them singing "You Can't Always Get What You Want."


A sneaky change in Windows licensing terms

,----[ Quote ]
| With a retail version of Windows XP, there are no restrictions on the
| number of times you can transfer the software from one computer to another
| in your household or office. That's about to change for the worse in
| Vista, with only one lifetime transfer allowed. It makes the outrageous
| price difference between retail and OEM copies even more difficult
| to justify.


Microsoft flip-flops on Vista virtualization

,----[ Quote ]
| Software like Parallels Desktop for the Mac or Microsoft's own Virtual 
| PC for Windows allow multiple operating systems to run simultaneously. 
| When it announced licensing rules for Vista last year, Microsoft said 
| that only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate could run as guest 
| operating systems. The company said virtualization presents inherent 
| security risks and that it hoped by limiting which versions of the OS 
| could act as virtual machines, only sophisticated users and businesses 
| would employ the tactic.


Microsoft is bad for business

,----[ Quote ]
| I recently read an article regarding the copy protection methods of 
| Microsoft's next Operating system, Vista. And my jaw literally dropped to 
| the floor.
| Microsoft is, in essence, a control freak. 
| [...]
| Microsoft is bad for business because they take this level of
| annoyance to the highest level in Windows Vista. 
| [...]
| Microsoft, hear what your customers are saying. You're doing a lot of
| things wrong lately. You're making the wrong choices in your business
| decisions. Other available operating systems are staking a claim at
| your dominance of the market. What will you do next?


Vista's EULA Product Activation Worries

,----[ Quote ]
| Mark Rasch looks at the license agreement for Windows Vista and how its 
| product activation component, which can disable operation of the computer, 
| may be like walking on thin ice.
| [...]
| "Does the Microsoft EULA adequately tell you what will happen if you
| don't activate the product or if you can't establish that it is
| genuine? Well, not exactly. It does tell you that some parts of the
| product won't work - but it also ambiguously says that the product
| itself won't work. Moreover, it allows Microsoft, through fine print
| in a generally unread and non negotiable agreement, to create an
| opportunity for economic extortion."


TechnoFile: Incomprehensible gobbledygook and you

,----[ Quote ]
| Another fun tidbit: "The software is licensed, not sold. This
| agreement only gives you some rights to use the software.
| Microsoft reserves all other rights." So you don't own your
| operating system, Microsoft is just lending it to you. 
| [...]
| Compare these terms with Ubuntu, the Linux distribution I use:
| "You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of
| it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute
| such modifications or work." I'm free to copy and change it as I please,
| and then to give those changes to other people. I sincerely doubt
| Microsoft will be issuing those terms anytime soon. 


Tough new rules on Vista "OEM"

,----[ Quote 
| This marks the death of the popular once-off 'I'll take one hard drive
| and an OEM copy of Windows with that, thanks' flavour of
| OS-sundae.
| Microsoft has also tightened up the specific rules around what
| hardware an OEM copy of Windows can be sold with.
| Straight from the horse's mouth -- "spokesperson" at Microsoft
| Australia:
| "OEM versions of Windows Vista must be distributed to end-user
| with a fully assembled computer system and must be pre-installed."
| Dang!
| To make the matter even more complex, Microsoft says that even with a 
| "transfer to a new PC as many times as you like" retail edition, you will 
| only be allowed to transfer your licence for Vista to someone else once. 


Vista licensing also limits benchmarking

,----[ Quote ]
| License transfers aren't the only thing the End User License Agreement
| (EULA) for Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Vista OS limits. The license
| also puts restrictions on how benchmarks of certain components of
| the OS can be published, another issue that is raising eyebrows as
| Microsoft still has not clarified how changes will specifically
| affect users.
| According to the Vista EULA, because the OS contains "one or more
| components" of the .Net Framework 3.0, users can conduct internal 
| benchmarking of those components, but can't disclose the results
| of those benchmarks -- or measurements to compare rival products
| -- unless they comply with conditions found at a Microsoft Web
| site. 


Vista EULA stirs up a storm

,----[ Quote ]
| Is Microsoft trying to stop people from copying their icons?
| The same icons that were stolen from the likes of varying
| icon sets under Linux? Are they trying to keep the layout
| or organization of their screens protected as an IP right?
| I think that was done away with in the 90s when Apple sued
| Microsoft over Windows and the judge said basically thats
| ome things just can be copyrighted. Is Microsoft worried
| that the Linux community might try to copy their structure
| and implement it into various distibutions of Linux?


Vista EULA restricts display to one person

,----[ Quote ]
| Paragraph 3C of the EULA states that while the software
| is running, you can use but not share its icons, images,
| sounds and media.
| If Microsoft means to word the EULA this way, that implies
| you can't use projectors or linked video monitors if there's
| more than one human being present.
| It also implies that you can't take a screen shot of the
| Vista desktop.


Do Microsoft's EULAs have any real legal basis?

,----[ Quote ]
| "Microsoft has no special exemption from the sale of goods act." Well,
| no, probably not - but it might still be selling you "services"
| instead of "goods". But the real point to remember is that it doesn't
| matter a jot what the "logical" position is, it is what the courts
| decide that matters.
| As far as I know, no one has tested Microsoft's EULAs in a UK court
| and, until someone does, Microsoft will just go on assuming that they
| work. And I don't fancy the risk of taking on Microsoft's expensive
| lawyers in court myself...


Use Health Vault, Lose Your Rights

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has announced (NY Times Article) Health Vault. What should have 
| followed here is a review of the service by my actually trying it.  
| [...]
| Heard enough? So had I. I'm absolutely going to pass on Health Vault. In 
| addition to looking like the Microsoft Passport debacle redux, this is a very 
| one-sided contract. They can harm you but you cannot harm them. There is no 
| way for any 3rd party to verify that their privacy and security software 
| works.    


HealthVault: No Commitments and a Sleeping Watchdog.

,----[ Quote ]
| Has Microsoft committed to keeping the promises that it has already made? No, 
| just the opposite. Their privacy policy concludes:“We may occasionally update 
| this privacy statement”  
| Which means that when the commitments that Microsoft has made regarding 
| HealthVault become inconvenient, they will simply change them. 

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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