Feeds

Anti-EULA script removes offending text

See-no-evil

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

An imaginative person has created a VB script which will search for an End User License Agreement (EULA) in temporary files created during the installation of a program or application, and remove or replace the text so the user can truthfully claim never to have seen it.

It's an interesting approach to one of the more irritating among numerous toxic by-products of the New Economy. Because software makers presume users to be bound by text which is read and agreed to after the sale, the idea here is to undermine the presumption on which the agreement is based.

It's a bit facile, and probably not legally effective for a hundred reasons; but it is a fun idea which gives us another way to look at a controversial feature of modern computing. An amusing and quite clever substitute for EULA boilerplate, which helps illuminate its absurdity, has been posted here.

"Software manufacturers give the appearance of a sale (you buy it in a standard retail store, you pay sales tax, etc.), but after they have your money they spring this 'agreement' on you and suddenly it's a lease. Ladies and gentlemen, this is known as _fraud_," the author says.

Notably, he distinguishes between copyright, which he says he respects, and arbitrary restrictions on the use of a purchased product.

"For no other type of product would we consumers tolerate this nonsense -- not even other copyrighted works like books or CDs. When you buy something it's yours and only the _law_ can restrict how you use it, not the manufacturer. Copyright gives authors the power to prevent others from publishing their work, but it is not a blanket license for them to dictate how people use it. However, courts have been slow to apply the First Sale doctrine to software, and I am impatient. By running this script you sidestep the issue entirely."

Well, perhaps not entirely. He notes that the script could be a violation of the DMCA, but concludes that this is just one more reason for Americans to harangue their humble Representatives in Congress.

Anyone wishing to play around with the script can copy it here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.