Nov 13, 2006

It Pays to Read License Agreement

Every time you install a software to your computer, no matter it is a commercial software or a freeware, you need to check a box for certifying that you read the End User License Agreement or EULA before installing the software. I believe that you checked that box but you didn't read it. How could I be so sure about that?

PC Pitstop, a software company of anitvisur and anit-spywares, proved (unscientifically) that almost no one reads EULA. It buried a note in the EULA of one of its own free-download softwares, saying the limit number of users who read this agreement would be awarded by sending an email back. How long did it take sending out this award? After four months and over 3,000 downloads, one person finally wrote it and got the award of $1,000.

It is a quite amusing story. Many spywares and pop-up ads are added to your computer by yourself becase it is embedded in EULA. Although it is legally equivalent to signing a contact with pen and ink, people just ignore reading EULA and check the box. The same thing happens to people a lot while signing a paper contact. That may be the reason why people feel victim but nothing can be done after some bad thing happens.

Toshiba/Microsoft Saga few years ago is also regarded to reading EULA. A guy who bought a Toshiba laptop enclosed Windows system doesn't want to use Windows. He followed the EULA and successfully got the refund from Microsfot for not using Windows on his laptop.Do you read EULA?

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