Top 10 stupid EULAs
1. No gas guzzlers
The free version of WordWeb says users may only use the software after the trial period if “you take at most four flights in any 12-month period AND you do not own or regularly drive an SUV.” The publisher says this is “a small incentive for people with massively unsustainable emissions to cut down”.
2. Terrorists need not apply
Apple iTunes and QuickTime both have a clause within their respective EULAs that states the “Licensee also agrees that Licensee will not use the Apple Software for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear missiles, or chemical or biological weapons”.
3. Free money if you read this
PC Pitstop had a clause in the EULA that accompanied its Optimize software that promised to pay $1,000 to anyone who read that far. One person claimed the money, four months and 3,000 downloads later.
4. Do not use this software!
The public beta version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 included terms and conditions that apparently prohibited pretty much everyone from actually using it: “You may not test the software in a live operating environment unless Microsoft permits you to do so under another agreement.” Err, right…
5. Please don’t review our software
Back in 2003, Network Associates was sanctioned for including a clause that stated: “The customer shall not disclose the results of any benchmark test to any third party without Network Associates’ prior written approval.”
6. No antispyware software
In 2004, the adware outfit Gator had a 56-page EULA that prohibited the user from removing it using antispyware software: “You agree that you will not use, or encourage others to use, any unauthorised means for the removal of the GAIN AdServer, or any GAIN-Supported Software from a computer.”
7. The impossibility clause
Six months after Apple made its Safari web browser available for Windows users, the EULA still read: “This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labelled computer at a time.”
8. Virtually prohibited
The Microsoft Vista Home Basic and Home Premium EULA prohibited running the OS within a virtual machine, stating: “You may not use the software installed on the licensed device within a virtual hardware system.” The more expensive Business and Ultimate versions had no such clause.
9. All your content belongs to us
Facebook terms and conditions include a clause that states: “By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant… to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise…”
10. All your content belongs to us again
Google Chrome initially included clauses that suggested anything you posted anywhere online using the browser became usable by Google for free.