Thursday, February 24, 2005

End User License Agreement (EULA) matters!

From Slashdot article (in Your Right Online section).

"When Doug Heckman was installing a PC Pitstop program, he actually read the EULA. In it, he found a clause stating that he could get financial compensation if he e-mailed PC Pitstop. The result: a $1,000 check, and proof that people don't read EULAs (3,000 people before him didn't notice it). The goal of this was to prove that one should read all EULAs, so that one can see if an app is spyware if it is buried in the EULA."

Right. That's what most users never do: read the EULA. Most users just choose to accept the license, implying accepting all its condition, by just clicking OK on the EULA dialog box.

Why does this matter? Well, this is a proof that people don't read EULA.

So, how does that matter? Because a lot of software (mostly those free/shareware downloaded from the internet) sometime will do some nasty things to your computer, like installing spyware or other forms of ads-support system, or whatever. While many of those software will just install those, without informing the user (hence violating individual right and privacy), many other software have statements in their EULA informing the user what it will do. So, by choosing to accept the license, users agree to let the software do it by free will.

This shows one thing: we all should be reading EULA, by two reasons:

  1. to know what is the what the software might do once we installed it, and what we could do with it.
  2. we might get money ;-)