The Small Print Project                            

Your EULA Beefs and Mine

I’ve been working on a three part summary of this project and am awaiting a bit of peer review before posting it to the masses. I’m still receiving submissions and feedback from the ‘Net trawlers among you and forever invite and appreciate your input — the more exposure forsaken EULAs get, the more they’ll be recognized, accosted and the sooner we will see reform in the way licensing agreements are designed, enforced and accepted.

In the coming days I’ll post on Microsoft’s Vista EULA and obtuse DRM policies as a possible watershed moment/turning point for digital agreements as we know them. Additionally, I’ll summarize the year in DRM (digital rights management) and how consumers and developers/corporations alike can learn from present-day experiments and reforms in DRM-free music distribution as a way to reform the licensing and sharing of products and services. Finally, I will suggest some best practices and how I’ve found many major corporations to not only shy away from discussing their EULAs and licensing policies, but have actively worked to obfuscate the historical evolution of their licenses online and otherwise.

Now a word from YOU… Tracy submitted this in an attempt to calm her rage against her television set-maker’s unruly requirements for registration in order to provide warrantied support.

EULA URL: http://www.rca.com/content/viewdetail/1,2811,EI79-CI255,00.html?
Product: RCA Thomson, Customer service for a broken TV.

Low Point: In order to *ask a question about a product*, I have to “register an account”: I must consent to their profiting from a sale of my personal information. I know from the story of Veterans Admin stolen laptops, and other stories of stolen data, that every “live” contact is worth well over $10/. …How much, exactly, is my information worth? ( That is, I am a real person, with a real address, and a real phone number, and a real email)

PS they didn’t answer the question, they did give me a phone number (Unavailable on company literature. Company requires internet registry for any contact.)

  • http://www.puredoxyk.com Puredoxyk

    That’s vile. And I agree with Tracy about questioning why she should have to hand over her personal information for free, when obviously the company is going to be profiting from it (though this is the first time I’ve ever seen the $10 number). My husband is vicious about not giving his out, and will tell people on the spot (when they ask him about a discount card especially), that he’ll give his information when he can “sign a contract to give you 50% of the value of it, and you give me the other 50%, since it’s mine”.

    Wouldn’t that be a cool way to make some spare cash? Instead of just a stupid hassle that risks getting your identity stolen and gains you nothing?

    Thanks,
    PD

  • Tomer Chachamu

    Well, why haven’t you given out the company’s phone number on this website?

  • Tracy

    Thanks, I didn’t realize I was so P*ed off, but I guess I was.
    The $10 number is a raw guess. I heard on the news that an insider at AOL was selling business contacts, and the reporter cited (x) contacts worth (y), so I estimated. Really, it is a real question. How much is one live contact worth?

    (I didn’t ask RCA that, I asked them, “to whom can I bring this thing to get fixed?”)

  • http://www.lutek.ro Roman Alberto

    nice site