Reading Oshyan's post:
...No other browser I can think of has as high a likelihood of addressing this problem within a short time period due in part to the (sometimes reviled) practice of auto-updating...
And a couple other things, like the entire Apple iBookwhatever thing...
Got me thinking -- I'd like to know what kind of legislation people would be comfortable with.
To be honest, I think people need protection from the law
now. Lawyers have run rampant for far too long, and have created a cluster-f**k of a system that ensures their jobs while also guaranteeing that everyone else gets screwed in the process.
Current contract law is probably best illustrated by South Park's Human CentiPad episode.
So it seems to me that it is the consumer that needs to be protected from lawyers/companies/the legal system.
I would like to see restrictions on what you can and cannot do in a contract or EULA. e.g. It should be illegal to allow an EULA to be arbitrarily changed and enforced for a software product (services are different, and that requires a different approach). Also, if you install ACME Proggie v10.2, you shouldn't have to read the EULA for v10.3.
This is particularly important for software like iTunes with a novel for an EULA as it is updated far too often for anyone to reasonably be expected to read its EULA.
Then there is Acrobat Reader that has daily updates along with Java and it's 3x daily updates...
If you were to read the EULA, you would do nothing but read EULAs all day long. It's insanity.
Like JFC... I have to agree to the "terms and conditions" just to walk in a f**king store or park my car... it's way out of control.
Things I would want to see:
- Changelogs for EULAs - Let people know what has changed so they don't need to read another novel
- EULAs skipped for software updates with no EULA changes - labeled as such
- No "we can change the EULA at any time" for software (not services)
- No passive consent to be considered consent - This has serious implications for web sites
- EULAs longer than a page or so to have "common sense" summaries
- Proprietary EULAs, e.g. not GPL, BSD, Apache, Ms-PL, Creative Commons, etc., to have upfront list of implications for non-standard terms/conditions
- Reasonable limits on who is required to comply - i.e. This is not important for small companies, e.g. under $10 million in revenue
A few other things as well I suppose.
Basically, I want to see companies write EULAs in good faith, and provide software in good faith. This is becoming an increasingly larger problem with companies like Apple changing the game mid-way through. I am NOT for additional legislation or regulation.
I abhor more laws/regulation, but I think they are now needed as we are seeing more and more bad faith. Laws are needed to keep bad people in line.
Am I out in left field?