Today in Contracts we talked about End User License Agreements, aka shrink wrap licenses, aka Microsoft’s attempt to force its tax on the planet. We were also told that a bunch of people wanted to change the UCC to duck out of some decisions that are very bad for the little people (like a case I forgot to cite, and left a hanging link to eat half of this entry.
That assertion looks rather bare. I have no proof of this, and don’t feel like looking for the info right now).
I think it’s even worse than that. The licenses are differentially enforced. If I have a problem with the terms, essentially I get stuck with them. But if the terms tell me I have certain rights, for instance, the right to refuse the terms by returning the software, it’s very difficult to exercise them. In some instances, you can’t even make them accept a package that’s out of the shrinkwrap anymore. In other instances, you buy bundled software with your computer, and even though the license says you can return the software for a refund, nobody will let you do it. One dude in Australia did. But so far’s I can tell, nobody in the U.S. has ever done it.
Of course, that’s because Linux users aren’t naturally litigious sorts, and even if they were, it’s awfully hard to countenance getting a lawyer for the $50 payoff at the end.
It still steams me up that I had to pay M$ money when I bought my laptop for their piece-of-shit best-deleted operating system.