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Shortcut to "I agree" for downloads

Shortcut to "I agree" for downloads

When installing software from the Web, maybe you lazily skim the legal gobbledygook in the vendor's license agreement, then click "I agree" to speed up the download process. But little do you know what rights you may have signed away within that End User License Agreement (EULA).

Some EULAs legally prevent you from criticizing the product's maker, patronizing its competition, or blocking hidden spyware on your PC. For impatient downloaders who don't want to blink and miss a nasty surprise, a new piece of freeware reads EULAs for you and points out "potentially interesting words and phrases." JavaCool's EULAlyzer promises to flag software agreements that might install unwanted pop-ups or spyware on your system. But as Techdirt points out, software makers' lawyers could adapt by burying the lead inside more legalese.

The EULAlyzer highlighted the mention of a "third party" in the download agreement for the Microsoft Acrylic graphics app beta (so I can't sue Redmond over anything related to Acrylic on an external program or Web site). Apple's agreement for iTunes 5.0 turned up even more items in the EULA scanner, such as notice that your listening habits may be tracked anonymously.

But as far as "interesting words and phrases" go, the EULAlyzer missed these bons mots reminding us not to use iTunes "in the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic systems, life support machines or other equipment in which the failure of the Apple software could lead to death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage."