Those boring paragraphs of legalese that we usually just click through to install (or sometimes just start) or favorite game.
Seems like there's nothing that has anything to do with a computing device that doesn't have a EULA to click "OK" on somewhere.
I understand why it's there and both sides of the debate over whether it should be. The conflict comes in when we have to address where your individual rights end and where a vendor's rights begin. The simple solution is that if you don't like it, don't use it.
If only it were so simple. If we all tried to avoid EULA's we'd likely be relegated to a typewriter to compose documents and the U.S. mail wouldn't be so concerned about dwindling revenues. Of course you'd have to be sure you paid for that typewriter in cash because credit and debit cards have their own EULA's. Keep your money in a bank?
Well they have their own EULA's too that allow them to collect all kinds of information on you. Have a regular job? Well you had to give up a lot of personal information just to be allowed through the door and some employers actually enforce morality or code of conduct clauses in their employment agreements. Better watch yourself on that spring break and for heaven's sake keep it off Facebook!
So we're constantly bombarded by organizations seeking to know more about us than we'd ever get to know about them. It's the price of convenience but is it right?
If I want to purchase your product why can't it just end there? Do I really need to allow modification of my personal rights just to use it? Is it really necessary to abdicate a portion of my freedom for the greater good of your bottom line?
It seems these days the answer is...Yes.
Privacy is a fallacy, I acknowledge that. It doesn't matter if you never buy anything online, only pay cash and never use your real name on websites. At some point in your life you abdicated your anonymity. Otherwise you'd never have gotten a job, financed a major purchase or attended a concert. All those things required you to reveal something about yourself to take advantage of them.
I accept that since that is how the world works these days. What I don't accept is relinquishing my ever dwindling rights just to play a game.
There's been great furor over the seemingly intrusive EULA proposed via EA's new Origin game service. Steam has a similar EULA but it seems that EA has gone a bit too far from some reports. I don't agree with the premise that because a software company publishes a title that they have the right to invade the platform it's installed on. EA is looking to move most of their game title distribution from competing services such as STEAM to their Origin service. For many if not all of the titles available on Origin a connection to the service will be required to play the games.
Not just to install them or participate in online multiplayer but rather just to start the game. Once there, they also propose to offer an enhanced experience to the "subscriber" by collecting information about the user by periodically scanning your pc's contents. The information gathered is not just limited to just EA specific data by the way and by agreeing to the EULA this information will be shared with "partners". While EA claims it will limit its access there's nothing in the agreement that obliges them to.
I've been through over a decade of EA's bad business practices of poor support, spotty online server availability for multiplayer and ridiculous DRM routines that rendered competing products (or their own for that matter) useless if installed on the same pc. (Think SecurROM)
A thought comes to mind....WHY DO I HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS JUST TO PLAY A FREAKING GAME!
Well, if you have nothing to hide then you shouldn't worry about it.
Ok comrade, thanks for that, now don't be late for your KGB admiration society meeting...
It's amazing how customers can be both valued and abused in the same breath. I suppose it's a sign of the times and it's only going to get worse before it gets better.
I just shudder to think of the day when I start getting email critiques on my choice of desktop wallpaper....