John sez, "We all know EULAs, and for the most part, we hate them. However, they do serve a valid purpose. In a complex consumer society it allows quick contracting without teams of lawyers hashing it out over every consumer purchase. The problem is that EULAs are easily abused.
Arbitration is the same way. It is valuable in that it cuts down on the cost of litigation, and it is a simple way to resolve disputes. When it's abused, it ends up being an end run around Due Process and very, very unfair.
When you add Arbitration (a creature of contract) to a EULA (a contract) both the good and the evil are magnified exponentially…"
Contract law in the U.S. has a defense to this, namely a doctrine where
any contract that is so manifestly unjust so as to shock the conscience
will not be enforced. The problem is that like all tech law, case law
is all over the place.
The piece ends with suggestions on how to use the great power of
Arbitration clauses and EULAS with great responsibly. I even included
an "ethical arbitration agreement" in the EULA.
- Sketch comedy troupe proposes a EULA for friendship – Boing Boing
- Hardest-to-understand EULA *ever* when you install WoW on GNU …
- Thomas Edison's crappy, price-fixing EULA – Boing Boing
- Grapes with a EULA – Boing Boing
- A fair EULA for downloaded works – Boing Boing
- ReasonableAgreement.org – the anti-EULA – Boing Boing
- Boing Boing: Sony's EULA is worse than their rootkit
- Malware gets a EULA – Boing Boing