3. Enter into a legal agreement you really don't understand
EULAlyzer can help you make sense of software licenses and avoid #3.
Obligatory Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. Nothing I say should be construed as legal advice. If you think you are in need of legal advice, you should consult a qualified lawyer.
Now, for my layman's opinion. I was
a professional genealogist, and part of what I had to do was analyse legal documents (usually deeds, mortgages, wills, and probates) for information. I was pretty good at it: I caught a flaw in a deed the title attorneys had missed several times.
Until true AI software is available, there is no chance
any software can do anything other than look for predefined terms and highlight possible concerns. Since one trick lawyers like to pull is using very subtle shifts that will alter the legal meaning without setting off alarm bells even in the minds of other lawyers who review the result, this cannot possibly
I've read the TOS for a lot of web sites. Sure, I could write a simple search that would catch some of the obvious words some of the heavier handed sites use to screw you royally on the assumption you're never going to read the thing - but I've also seen a few sites where it was necessary to read the whole agreement, then go back, re-read it, and think over how each section affected the others. In fact, as a writer, I once saw a shocking demonstration of this: a sample publishing contract. It looked fine, and none of the terms were objectionable - in themselves. But - when you considered how each term would affect and modify the others, it amounted to virtual slavery - and I am not using metaphor here: they owned you, outright, if you signed that contract. You could never get out from under, unless you successfully challenged the basic constitutionality of such a draconian agreement.
My point is very simple: you are no safer using software like this than you would be if you didn't bother to read the agreement at all. If you care about the details of a legal agreement you enter into, you only have two choices. One: learn the language it is in so well you won't miss any nuance, and learn to analyse not just single words or phrases but entire documents for their meanings. And
learn the special legal meanings of any terms that might be included. Two: run it past a lawyer. Anything else, you're just fooling yourself (and most of the time, if you take the first option, you're fooling yourself a bit, too - but it can be done - I've caught traps in legal documents pretty often - but it took me years to get to where I caught all
the traps, and I'm really only hoping I got them all; only a nasty lawsuit would tell me for sure I'd slipped up.)
Edited to add: I'll make a somewhat humiliating confession here to make my point. I was brought up to always read anything legal I signed, and be sure I understood it before pen touched paper. I had already learned to spot a lot of nasty little glitches - and when that sample publishing contract was shown to me, I was lucky it was as an example and not an offer from the publisher who drew it up. I looked it over, failed to find a single
thing wrong with it, and if I'd been offered it to sign, I would have, without any
hesitation. Then, I learned how it would work if it came into court - and when the problems were pointed out, I could see them. It was quite an education. I've never looked at any legal agreement the same way since. And, just to save my pride, I was younger then.