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From CNET:

A California woman is suing Microsoft, Symantec and some software retailers, claiming the companies "concocted a scheme" to mislead consumers by requiring them to consent to software licensing agreements they haven't read.

The suit, filed Friday in Marin County Superior Court in San Rafael, Calif., seeks class-action status on behalf of all Californians who've bought software including Norton Antivirus 2002, Norton Systemworks and Windows XP Upgrade.

Specifically, the suit, which was brought by Cathy Baker, claims that Microsoft, Symantec, CompUSA, Best Buy and other unnamed retailers don't allow people to read "shrink wrap" licenses--agreements printed inside the box or incorporated into the software itself--before they buy a product.

For the rest of the article:

http://news.com.com/2100-1001-983988.html?tag=fd_top
 

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People who file lawsuits like this one, probably just have nothing better to do. :rolleyes:
 

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Lars wrote:
People who file lawsuits like this one, probably just have nothing better to do.

While that may be true, this should be an interesting case. I've often wondered how valid EULAs are, especially since sometimes you can't read them until you've agreed to them. This case might clarify that question (and others as well).

*sigh* I miss the old Borland license agreement (which basically said, "treat this software like a book").
 

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Another refreshing license is RagTime's desktop pubishing app, specifically RagTime Solo which is a free distribution, essentially identical to the commercial version. The official license is refreshingly complete and easy to understand, while an unoffical summary says "you can do whatever you want as long as you don't use it to make money."

Here is an brief example of the full, legalese version:
"(a) Right to Install and Use
You may install and use the Software on the hard disk drive of any single compatible computer that you own. However, you may not under any circumstances use the Software onto the hard drives of two or more computers at the same time.
(b) Right to Copy
You may copy the Software for back-up and archival purposes, provided that the installation and use of the Software does not exceed that allowed in Clause 3 (a) above, and provided you reproduce our copyright notice on each copy."

The entire license is about 4 times longer than the quote above; part of that is the warranty (!), which is a REAL warranty.

As for the lawsuit, it is a real problem and has been adressed in limited terms by courts before. However, the whole EULA situation is basically untested in law, and I for one don't think that's right. SW develpers probably want to know the answer as much as anybody; and there is real fear that it may well be unenforceable.

Often it seems that SW firms' lawyers basically say, "We don't know if this is even legal, so we may as well say whatever we want, because any illegal provision won't nullify the other provisions."
 
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