Perhaps we should pay more attention to EULAs, just as enterprises scrutinize SLAs (service level agreements) for multi-million-dollar projects. Here's a few URLs where you can download EULAs that may apply to your business. Perhaps your legal department would like to give their opinion before you click "Agree."
- An article with insight into the Sony BMG EULA: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2005/11/now-legalese-rootkit-sony-bmgs-eula
- Windows XP: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/eula.mspx
- Apple (software): http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=26275
But not all EULAs are stern dictates of legal declamation. Reasonableagreement.org promises to "make mincemeat of End User License Agreements," and offers a tongue-in-cheek "reasonable agreement" you can print out and stick onto your products if you like. Check the link: http://smallprint.netzoo.net/reag/
But my favorite EULA comes from UK-based musician Dean Garcia, who self-publishes his music. As a fan of Garcia's previous band, Curve, I emailed Dean-he sells his tracks on mp3 for 50 pence (HK$7.70) each and lets you choose what you want, then burns them to a CD. After a couple of email exchanges, I suggested I send him twenty quid using a secure payment gateway, and he should just burn whatever was appropriate on CD and mail it to my Hong Kong PO Box. He did so, and included this breathtakingly simple EULA:
By downloading the enclosed MP3 files onto your computer or MP3 player you agree to the following.
All songs are registered, published, copyright protected and owned by DEAN GARCIA. The producer and owner of the work is reserved. Unauthorized copying, public performance broadcasting hiring or rental of these recordings is strictly prohibited.
YOU AGREE NOT TO COPY / FILE SHARE / REPRESS / RESELL / SAMPLE / ATTACH IN AN EMAIL / PUBLISH ON THE INTERNET UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHAT SO EVER. ANY VIOLATION AND OR BREACH OF THE ABOVE WILL RESULT IN US USING THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
Hmm, let's see: a monolithic multinational that installs unbidden rootkits, or a hardworking independent musician who writes simple EULAs with care and consideration...which one do you think I respect more?