Monday, December 01, 2003


Microsoft, Symantec, CompUSA, and Best Buy all in hot water  

Microsoft, Symantec, CompUSA, and Best Buy all in hot water: "Microsoft, Symantec, CompUSA, and Best Buy all in hot water

A long-expected lawsuit

By Jack Russell: Wednesday 12 February 2003, 21:46
KUDOS TO CATHY Baker - a previously unknown California resident - who's sued the above companies claiming they have acted in concert to illegally limit consumer's rights to know what they are buying and to return it if they do not accept the limitations the manufacturer puts on the product.
See Microsoft, Symantec sued over software licences
This is the kind of simmering pot that's been just itching to boil over, and Mrs. Baker may have a real argument to stand on. The boxes of most pieces of commercial software do not remotely hint at the volume of legalese found in your typical EULA, and the 'Do you accept the conditions/terms of using this software' has always struck me as a bit of an odd question, since one has no choice but to accept them, or forfeit use of the software"

This seemed to be another of those 'complaining customer who talked a lawyer into filing suit' things. Then I read the whole article. The opening statement above is correct: it's a long-expected and prbably overdue lawsuit. It involves how binding the infamous EULA (End-User License Agreement) is if the customer can't even read it until he's already opened the package, theoretically accepting the terms of the agreement.

It doesn't end there. The next step is to deal with those EULA's that contain language so ridiculously confining or restrictive that the right to actually use the software after accepting the EULA becomes fraught with legal danger. I've actually read one EULA that would make it impossible for you to tell anyone you're using the software or to complain about anything (including documented bugs) if it failed to work as it seemed like it should.

Something final needs to be done and this suit is the beginning. I think that there needs to be some legal biolerplate that's required by law. Maybe it's a case of setting a generic EULA in legal code and allowing only that EULA to stand.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?