Shrinkwrap and Clickwrap licenses

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These are the outrageous copyright licenses you automatically agree to when using software in a box (shrinkwrap) or Web 2.0 kind of services (clickwrap), which hardly anybody reads, yet subject you to potentially hazardous lawsuits.

They are also called EULA's or "End-User License Agreements"

Read this editorial by Cory Doctorow for more at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197003052


Examples

"For example, if you buy a downloadable movie from Amazon Unbox, you agree to let them install spyware on your computer, delete any file they don't like on your hard-drive, and cancel your viewing privileges for any reason. Of course, it goes without saying that Amazon reserves the right to modify the agreement at any time.

The worst offenders are people who sell you movies and music. They're closely seconded by people who sell you software, or provide services over the Internet. There's supposed to be a trade-off to this -- you're getting a discount in exchange for signing onto an abusive agreement. But just try and find the software -- discounted or full-price -- that doesn't come with one of these "agreements."

For example, Vista, Microsoft's new operating system, comes in a rainbow of flavors varying in price from $99 to $399, but all of them come with the same crummy terms of service, which state that "you may not work around any technical limitations in the software," and that Windows Defender, the bundled anti-malware program, can delete any program from your hard drive that Microsoft doesn't like, even if it breaks your computer." (http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197003052)


More Information

Patent Trolls are companies buying patents not in order to produce but in order to make money through lawsuits.