End-user license agreements

by look i have opinions

Any software license agreement that takes more than ten minutes for the average literate person to read should be null and void in the eyes of the law.

(Have you ever paid to do something that involved high speeds or heights or shooting things? I’ll bet the waiver you signed took less than half a page to list all the injuries and disabilities the company was not liable for. Compared to your brain, eyes, and spine, software really isn’t that complicated: it can fail, screw up your computer, open up security breaches, forbid backups and reverse-engineering, collect information on you, share your information with the wrong people, and harass you with pop-ups. See? That took only a few seconds, and none of it sounds as bad as chronic cervical pain or slow death by brain hemorrhage.)

Any agreement that appears in a tiny window with a scrollbar, with no option to save or copy or search, should also be null and void. Every agreement should be presented in a legible font size in a large window. Every agreement should be easy to download.

Any agreement that isn’t available until you’ve paid for the product/service should be null and void.

Any company whose agreement is unreasonable, or unreasonably vague, should be fined on a per-user basis. That includes (possibly unenforceable) ass-covering clauses like “You can’t sue us no matter what” and “You must abide by these terms even if they change without your knowledge.”

No piece of software should have an updated agreement with every single version. No website or service should show you an updated agreement every single time you log in. The only legitimate reason for updates is to accommodate changes in the product/service, the company, or the law.

Every time an agreement updates, the “new” and “old” sections should be marked differently to make them easy to distinguish.

When possible, a company should avoid using a completely separate agreement for several similar products/services. I.e., the sections that apply to all products/services should be marked differently from the more specific sections so that users can read them only once.

I’m tired of having opinions on stupid things like this.

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