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InfoWorld: Some new shrink-wrap license terms seem tailor-made for UCITA

Mar 07, 2001, 22:54 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ed Foster)

"Lest we forget that UCITA also specifically authorizes publishers to terminate any license without reason, another reader pointed out that the EULA for Cybernet Systems' Netmax reads, "Cybernet may terminate this License at any time by delivering notice to you, and you may terminate this License at any time by destroying or erasing all copies of the Software." A Cybernet representative said the company included this wording as a "fallback" to cover any usage it considers inappropriate but added that it's a clause the company has never used."

"UCITA supporters have scoffed at the notion that publishers would use shrink-wrap licenses to prohibit public criticism of their products. Nonetheless, our friends at Network Associates seem prepared to do just that with their click-wrap license for VirusScan 5.15. "The customer shall not disclose the results of any benchmark test to any third party without Network Associates' prior written approval," reads one part of its EULA, immediately followed by: "The customer will not publish reviews of the product without prior consent from Network Associates." Network Associates declined to comment on why it includes these terms in the VirusScan license."

"A term's appearance in a publisher's EULA does not guarantee that the company will enforce it. But terms you may think are delirious ravings of an out-of-control lawyer can be part of a carefully designed corporate strategy."

"A perfect example is the service agreement posted by Juno in January, particularly the section in which Juno claims the right to use its customers' computers during their downtime to run its own "Computational Software." Juno's service agreement states, "In connection with downloading and running the Computational Software, Juno may require you to leave your computer turned on at all times...."

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