Licence Agreement Analyser!

by on October 17, 2005

When I was doing some user testing for A Very Large Company That Shall Remain Nameless, one of the questions we were asked to ask of the users was what, if anything, they thought about the fact that there was not one, but three terms of use links on the sign-up page to their service. Not surprisingly, just about all users said they wouldn’t even click on the links, let alone read the contents of them. One user was honest enough to say that even if they did try to read them, they would have neither the stamina nor the capacity to understand them.

End user licence agreements are one of the great blots on web and software user experience. They erode trust, engender suspicion and generally fart in the face of a good time. What’s even worse is that contrary to what most people hope is the case, most of these EULAs in fact completely unfair, and usually a lot worse than you might think. It’s only because nobody reads them that this isn’t commonly understood.

Hooray, then for the EULAlyzer, free software that auto-magically highlights the fine print that will get you in trouble. Here it is giving me the low-down on Sony Picture’s privacy policy.

Comments

WE ARE NOT ATTORNEYS
Ironically, the EULAlyzer requires one to agree with a long, complex and very-small-font license agreement during the installation process. I myself have not tried EULAlyzing it, because until I have finished reading through the fine-print I don’t dare finish the installation! Who knows what devious and lifetime-binding contract I’ll find myself entering into…

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