10 Ridiculous EULA clauses

The iTunes EULA has a clause prohibiting creation of nuclear weapons, Microchip wants to audit you at 3am and Google had stated in its initial Chrome EULA that they could publicly display any of your data …… Read on to get a view of some serious and some hilarious EULA clause that are out there in the marketplace….


10 Ridiculous EULA Clauses That You May Have Already Agreed To

By Chris Hoffman

(link to original article at the end of this post.)

Let’s be honest, no one reads EULA’s (End User Licensing Agreement) – we all just scroll down to the bottom and click “I Accept”. EULAs are full of confusing legalese to make them incomprehensible to the average person – no one actually wants us reading them  That explains how these ridiculous clauses can exist in EULAs without any outcry.

I’m no lawyer, so I can’t comment on the legal status of EULAs, which are different in each country. But the enforceability of EULAs is generally controversial, and some of these clauses would likely be tossed out by a judge, even if EULAs were legally enforceable.

iTunes – No Creating Nuclear Weapons

Apple’s iTunes EULA expressively forbids you from using iTunes to create missiles and biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. Are there hidden weapon development options in iTunes? Even if there were, would terrorists be thwarted by not wanting to violate the EULA?


Safari For Windows – You Can’t Install It On Windows

For six months after it was released, Apple had the following clause in Safari for Windows’ EULA:


Google Chrome – Google Owns You

Like Apple, Google wasn’t paying attention to its EULA when it launched the Chrome web browser. When it was released, the EULA contained the following clause:

…you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

According to the clause, Google claimed a perpetual license to publish and publicly display your online banking passwords and everything else you did online.Google quickly removed the offending clause. It’s clear that Google had just copy-pasted an existing EULA into Chrome without actually reading it.


Far Cry 2 – Enforced Morality

Far Cry 2’s EULA prevents you from using the game “contrary to morality or the laws in force“. Whose morality, exactly? Some groups would say it’s immoral to play a violent video game at all.To make it nice and easy to read, this EULA is helpfully presented as a small, light gray text on a dark gray background.


Microchip – We’ll Show Up At 3.00am & Audit You

Microchip’s MPLAB X used to contain the following line in its EULA:

Microchip’s authorized representatives will have the right to reasonably inspect, announced or unannounced and in its sole and absolute discretion, Licensee’s premises and to audit Licensee’s records and inventory of Licensee’s use of the Software, whether located on Licensee’s premises or elsewhere, at any time, in order to ensure Licensee’s adherence to the terms of this Agreement.In other words, Microchip reserved the right to knock on your door at 3.00am and immediately audit you to ensure compliance with its software license agreement.


Microsoft Windows – The OEM Restriction Retailers Ignore

Let’s say you want to buy a copy of Windows. You might think that you could head to NewEgg or another retailer and buy one of the popular copies of Windows, but you’d be wrong.

Look closely and you’ll see the “OEM” tag on each of these operating systems. OEM means it’s for an “original equipment manufacturer” and can only be installed on one computer – ever. At one time, Microsoft allowed hobbyists building their own PCs to purchase and install OEM versions of Windows. The actual license agreement no longer allows this, but many Microsoft representatives continue endorsing it.

The disclaimer hidden on the Details tab informs us that this product is only for people installing Windows on a PC and then selling the PC. If you buy one of these copies, you’re violating the Windows license agreement and will have a “non-genuine” version of Windows. According to the EULA, you might as well be a pirate.


Sony & EA – No Class Action Lawsuits

If you accepted the PlayStation Network’s new terms and conditions when it updated back in September, you agreed to this:

Any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted only on an individual basis and not in a class or representative action…

In other words, by agreeing to this mandatory update, you signed away your right to a class action lawsuit (if that’s legally possible). You can opt out by sending a physical letter to Sony, something just inconvenient enough that very few people will do it – if they even read the EULA in the first place. The EULA for EA’s Origin includes the same language.


All Over the Place – Only One Backup Copy

Many EULAs stipulate that you may only have one backup copy. Do you use abackup program, like Apple’s Time Machine or Windows Backup? You could be violating several EULAs.


Practically Everywhere – The EULA May Change At Any Time

Many EULAs reserve the right to change at any time, so it doesn’t really matter what the EULA says when you read it. I hope you’re periodically monitoring the terms of use of every website you use, since they all expect you to!

I’m sure there are many more ridiculous EULA clauses out there, but no one reads the EULAs to find them. Do any of you actually read EULAs? Have you found other ridiculous clauses in them?




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