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Adobe EULA Demands 7000 Years a Day From Humankind 224

oyenamit writes "When was the last time you actually read and understood the EULA before installing a software? Never? You are not in a club of one. Unless you are a legal eagle, it would be almost impossible to fully understand what you are agreeing to. Consider this: The Adobe Flash installer has a EULA that is 3500 words long. Adobe claims that the software is downloaded eight million times a day. If each person takes 10 minutes to read (and understand!) the entire text, they would consume over 1,522 years in just one day. If we put that into man-hours: an 8hr day, 240 working days in a year, that becomes 6944 years in a day. Turn that into a 50-year working life and that's 138 lifetimes a day! The Register deconstructs the text that we all blindly agree to by clicking the 'I have read and understood the...' checkbox." Also, never operate a GPS device in a moving vehicle.
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Adobe EULA Demands 7000 Years a Day From Humankind

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  • by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @11:35AM (#42179571) Homepage Journal

    An enforceable contract generally includes:
    * an exchange
    * a meeting of the minds

    Is there really an enforceable "meeting of the minds" when you have a long, complex legal document, your buyer is not "sophisticated" enough to presumably know what is in the agreement without reading it, and you, the seller, do not make sure the buyer reads and at least appears to understand the legal document?

    There is a reason closing a house or signing a lease on an apartment takes awhile: The buyer typically has to sign or at least initial every page. "Click though" agreements that don't make you "click through" each screen-ful of text (a scroll bar that can be quickly scrolled to the bottom doesn't count) is far, far, from making sure the buyer reads and appears to understand the agreement.

    Adobe isn't the only company with long, complex licenses. Many open-source licenses have nuances that even lawyers argue about (particularly regarding the "viral" nature of some licenses).

  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @11:51AM (#42179785)

    Microsoft convinced me they do NOT want me to read their EULA!

    I was upgrading online and decided to read the EULA. I read and read and read and finally they disconnected me from the upgrade window for lack of activity.

    Don't think I got half way through the EULA, let alone understanding what I read or its implications.

    And Microsoft no doubt wonders why I distrust them. They certainly distrust me. This dooms companies

  • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @12:11PM (#42180075) Journal

    That's not a pistol!

  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @12:59PM (#42180681) Homepage Journal

    There is one important variation you need to consider. Software EULA for physical purchases does indeed usually have the EULA in the box, out of sight, without anything on the outside saying "visit to review terms of service before purchase". But software bought electronically, and most other EULA for online services such as paypal, facebook, etc, will have a "click-through" that gives you the opportunity to not agree, not receive the product, not make the payment, and not be bound by the terms.

    I was addressing the latter in my previous post, which is a lot more common, although this thread did start out more discussing adobe software, which is often physically purchased. (although the last four customers I've helped install adobe software for have all downloaded digitally after clicking through the TOS)

  • by GodInHell ( 258915 ) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @04:05PM (#42183495) Homepage

    Now you can sleep soundly without worry.

    Not unless you've killed all the clowns and grounded the black helicopters he can't!!!

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith