So you know that contract that comes with pretty much anything that you buy? It even comes on the software that you buy. Well, do you ever actually read what it is that you are agreeing to? I’ll be honest, I don’t ever really pay attention unless I have to start entering in credit card information. I just assume that if they don’t have a way of directly taking money from me, they must not really care.
Well, I was really bored before my class, and I had nothing to do. So I began the ritual of rummaging through my backpack to see what all was in there. I came across the End User License Agreement for the SanDisk Cruzer Freedom which Roni and I had purchased on during the beginning-of-the-year-sale at our university. Mind you, I was really bored, so I thought “what the heck” and gave it a read. Here are some of the highlights. (oh, here is the key, so you know what is going on. Device = the thumb drive. Product = the thumb drive + all programs on it. Licensor = SanDisk. Documentation = paperwork that came with the drive)
1. “Do not click on the “I accept” button at the end of this document until you have read this entire document.”
– OK, so this is a piece of paper that I pulled out of my backpack. It is not on a computer screen. Unless this is a VERY high tech piece of paper, I cannot “click” on any button after reading this paper because it is a piece of paper. Does this mean that I cannot agree to the EULA, and that I am not bound by it?
2. “You may print and keep a copy of this License Agreement.”
– Again, this is not a computer. It would be awesome if I could print a piece of paper from another piece of paper. That would be like… getting the paper to clone itself, and I could sell that for a pretty penny. Now, you might be saying that this is being nit-picky and that I could just as easily copy the paper with the EULA printed on it, and save that for my records, but then we must keep in mind our next item…
3. “You may not copy the Documentation.”
– Now hold on a moment… I am allowed to print it off, but not to copy it? Really, what is the difference between me printing this thing or copying it? Especially considering that it is a piece of paper and cannot print a copy of itself.
4. “You shall promptly report to Licensor any Product that is damaged, stolen or lost or reported as damaged, stolen or lost.”
– Keep in mind that “product” means not only the flash drive, but everything that comes with it, including the EULA. So, technically, if my dog pees on the EULA, then I need to report it to SanDisk. If somebody steals the drive, then I have to report it to SanDisk. Isn’t that crazy? Why should they care if somebody steals my usb drive? Are they going to replace it for me?
5. “Upon termination by Licensor, you agree to destroy, or return to Licensor, the Software, Information, and the Documentation and all copies and portions thereof.”
– Again, why? Are they paranoid that I will be naughty and make photocopies of it? And where and I going to get these “copies and portions thereof?” I’m not even allowed to make copies of it in the first place. If I don’t care about the rules enough to the point where I am willing to make copies of it, why would I listen to them when they tell me that I have to destroy the copies?
6. “By using the Product, you are agreeing… and warranting that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of [Cuba, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Iran, Syria] or any other country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods.”
– Wow… I guess they are serious. I like the part about “under the control of.” Like I am a robot or something. And I don’t think that anybody that is from those countries and under the control of some wild regime will care about the EULA… Maybe they are worried that the North Koreans will get a hold of the EULA and ::gasp:: photocopy it! Yeah, I bet that is it. Or maybe they don’t want the servicemen in Iraq to use usb drives?
Do you have any fun stories about EULAs?