Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Don't Like EULAs? Get Your Cat To Agree To Them

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the my-cat-toy-is-a-model-m dept.

Input Devices 874

An anonymous reader writes "Anne Loucks built a device which, when her cat steps on it, can click the 'I Agree' button of a EULA. Who knows what the lawyers will make of this sort of madness. Can a cat make a legal agreement? Does it need to be of legal age? She lures the cat onto the device, and the cat steps on it of its own free will. Anyway, folks who hate EULAs now have another tool to make the lawyers freak out."

cancel ×

874 comments

Retarded (-1, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904809)

What the fuck is this shit? Seriously.

Re:Retarded (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904863)

Tell me about it. EULAs are retarded.

Re:Retarded (1, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905031)

And many EULA:s won't even hold in court.

Re:Retarded (1)

lucif3r (1391761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905093)

I dunno, I have never really understood the problem people have with EULAs. My understanding is that they primarily serve the purpose of protecting software companies from frivolous lawsuits.

I seriously doubt any company could put a clause that requires something from the user that would ever stand up in a court of law. Besides, you generally agree to them anonymously, so it isn't like they could actually track you down to ask for that firstborn you promised them.

Other than some pretty weird copyright statements like the latest Facebook TOS I've never really seen anything that made me look twice in an EULA (and no, truthfully I don't generally read them).

Again, even with the "we own your stuff" type agreements, I think it is just another attempt to completely cover their own asses and prevent users from trying to sue them for publishing stuff they posted publicly out of their own free will. Yes it is going too far, but you can't blame them for trying... well I guess you can blame them for whatever you want really ;-).

Re:Retarded (1)

MacColossus (932054) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905273)

My understanding is that they primarily serve the purpose of protecting software companies from frivolous lawsuits

I would argue that if this is the objective of EULA's then they have failed miserably. SCO is a shining example. There is no shortage of frivolous lawsuits against software companies.

Re:Retarded (5, Funny)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905307)

A mandatory LOLCATization of a picture in the article - LOLCAT conversion complete [nuclear-imaging.info]

Re:Retarded (1, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904887)

What the fuck is this shit? Seriously.

No, really. Does anyone sane actually think this would have even the tiniest chance of working?

Re:Retarded (5, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904957)

Well, actually- it points out the absurdity of a contract without a signature.

Re:Retarded (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905019)

Well, actually- it points out the absurdity of a contract without a signature.

A contract doesn't need a signature, dumbass. It's just a convenient way to prove you agreed to the terms. An EULA does exactly the same thing.

Re:Retarded (5, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905101)

A contract doesn't need a signature, dumbass. It's just a convenient way to prove you agreed to the terms. An EULA does exactly the same thing.

Correct, it doesn't need a signature. However, some proof of a 'meeting of the minds' is required. A click-wrap agreement doesn't necessarily provide this.

Re:Retarded (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905165)

My and my cousin Vinny kill people for a living.

Do you really think I'm bound by some stupid license? Bah.

Oral contract (3, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905163)

Well, actually- it points out the absurdity of a contract without a signature.

Ever heard of an oral contract? [wikipedia.org]

Re:Oral contract (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905279)

They are pretty absurd, too, unless you make a recording.

Re:Retarded (5, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905209)

If my kid installs it, the kid isn't of legal age to agree to any contract - what does $MEGACORP do in the face of that?

EULAs themselves are rather brittle and fragile anyway, even legally. I suspect that once challenged head-on in court (notice that no corporation is really willing to do that), it'll come apart like a house of tissue paper in hurricane-force winds.

/P

Re:Retarded (2, Insightful)

mingot (665080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904907)

Troll? It's a serious question. What the fuck IS this shit? And I am referring to the article.

What the fuck is next -- "Don't like contracts? Have you ink pen sign them! Simply coax your ink pen (through digital manipulation) into signing a facsimile of your name! Oh imagine the lawyers dismay!"

So seriously, what the fuck is this shit?

Re:Retarded (1)

Slumdog (1460213) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905073)

What the fuck is next -- "Don't like contracts? Have you ink pen sign them! Simply coax your ink pen (through digital manipulation) into signing a facsimile of your name!

Well, if your cat agrees to a contract, it doesn't mean you have agreed to it, hence you are not authorized to use the software. The pen on the other hand, has no free will (try disproving that in court), so it acts as a medium through which your will is enforced. Please go back to taking a class in critical thinking.

Re:Retarded (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905231)

It's not a 'device' it's two pieces of fucking cardboard. I agree with the parent, this is fucking stupid.

Re:Retarded (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905299)

I CAN HAS LAWSUIT?

Call me crazy (5, Insightful)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904819)

Call me crazy, but since you built a device to allow your cat to agree to EULAs, wouldn't that mean you authorized the cat to act on your behalf - regardless of how inept a decision maker it may be?

Re:Call me crazy (4, Insightful)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904859)

I'm pretty sure that, no matter what, you can't authorize anything other than another human adult to act on your behalf.

At the same time, if she's luring it there with bits of food or whatever, then that's (in my mind) her effectively agreeing to it. Now, if she set this thing up, and the cat just happened to walk on it at some point, I could maybe see that, but I don't know that a judge would see it that way.

Re:Call me crazy (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904895)

I guess I just need to invent a device so my dog can fire a gun pointed at my mother-in-law every time he licks his balls.

Re:Call me crazy (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904923)

I'm pretty sure that, no matter what, you can't authorize anything other than another human adult to act on your behalf.

If you can't authorize anything other than a human adult, why not get one of the drinking birds and have it hit the ok button like Homer did in an episode of the Simpsons. Much cheaper and easier than a cat.

Re:Call me crazy (4, Insightful)

oberondarksoul (723118) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904889)

And since one has to deliberately get their cat to click the button, they clearly show their intent to agree to the EULA.

Re:Call me crazy (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904961)

Good point.

Now what if the vendor makes the cat put a paw-print on a statement that makes them legal owners of everything you own. Out of cat's own free will - of course.

Re:Call me crazy (4, Insightful)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905001)

Either that or you still actively caused the cat to click it, therefore you did it. Just like if you held a basketball over your mouse and dropped it to cause the click. The ball didn't agree to the EULA, invalidating it, you agreed to it and just clicked the mouse button in a convoluted way.

Just because you didn't click the link/button in the traditional, hand on mouse, one finger on the button does not mean you did not agree to the EULA.

Re:Call me crazy (1)

McGregorMortis (536146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905009)

I'd say that's right. I don't imagine any judge would be fooled by this. Whether you clicked yourself, or caused it to be clicked, makes little difference, nor should it. I could as well argue that I didn't click "Agree", a pencil clicked it. I just happened to be holding the pencil at the time.

Whether or not one approves of click-through agreements in general, I don't think this little hack makes much of a point in the debate.

Re:Call me crazy (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905037)

> Call me crazy, but since you built a device to allow your cat to agree to EULAs,
> wouldn't that mean you authorized the cat to act on your behalf - regardless of how
> inept a decision maker it may be?

Cats are property. Property cannot be "authorized", cannot "act", and cannot make decisions. The cat is merely a tool she uses to push the button.

"I didn't sign that contract. My pen did. Sue it."

Re:Call me crazy (1)

superash (1045796) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905103)

Heh, are you implying that if I manufacture a gun I am responsible if my cat kills someone with it? :)

Children (4, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904835)

Just have your underage kid click. They cant enter into a contract.

Of course if this happens too much, they will require you to produce a CC# and SSN for each EULA that gets sent back to the company. Or even force you get it at the store you bought the box from.

Re:Children (2, Insightful)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904935)

Of course if this happens too much, they will require you to produce a CC# and SSN for each EULA that gets sent back to the company. Or even force you get it at the store you bought the box from.

Absolutely not. The software industry lives by "pig in a poke" contracts and by convincing people buying software that that's exactly what they do - buy software. If you have to sign a contract & actually agree to the license before you buy, people would stop buying. In fact, you wouldn't be able to sell this type of software to anyone under the age of 18 at all.

Think of it, loosing the entire under 18 demographic for game software. Listen, I can hear SOE & MS games screaming in terror right now.

Re:Children (1)

bakawolf (1362361) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904953)

i would _love_ to send something back to the company. I'd make a few strategic edits and agree to it, their agreement being implicit in not disagreeing withing 12 hours...

Re:Children (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905147)

Sorry - that doesn't constitute a 'meeting of minds' as required by contract law (in Australia, at least). There's ample case-law for that sort of thing and it won't hold up in court. IANALBITAC (I Am Not A Lawyer, But I Took A Class)

Re:Children (1)

DrLang21 (900992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904983)

Does this mean that the Yahoo mail EULA does not apply to me since I opened that account back when I was a minor? Interesting.

Re:Children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905315)

If the agreement is available wherever the software is purchased, this makes it much more agreeable a situation (though not if you absolutely require the software), since you are no longer unable to return it if you disagree with the license - if you don't like the terms, you know before you buy them, and can simply not purchase it.

The alternative case (4, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904839)

Hey it could be worse. It could have been bears and we all know we can trust those godless killing machines.

Catbert.. (2, Funny)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904843)

You don't want catbert, the evil HR cat from dilbert to agree anything for you on your behalf. NOT. EVER!

Seriously (5, Funny)

rockbottoms (1393173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904853)

Just sign the EULA, pussy

EULA is a silly name for a CAT (4, Funny)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904871)

Unless they practice law

Rules lawyer (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904875)

We know them as rules lawyers: the people who try and find convoluted, novel ways to evade the rules without exactly breaking them. Courts are real familiar with them, and over the centuries have developed lots of ways to deal with them. The easiest response to this I see is "Since the cat's acting at your behest, you've authorized them to agree to the contract for you. Since you authorized them, you don't get to argue whether or not they're capable of doing what you authorized.".

Re:Rules lawyer (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905075)

We know them as rules lawyers: the people who try and find convoluted, novel ways to evade the rules without exactly breaking them. Courts are real familiar with them, and over the centuries have developed lots of ways to deal with them.

The EULA itself is already a case of rules-lawyering. It's trying to avoid those irritating steps normally necessary to forming a contract, in particular both (actual) agreement and consideration, by holding the use of purchased software hostage until you indicate "agreement". Either the act of clicking "agree" means nothing, or various ways to use the software without clicking "agree" really do mean you aren't bound by the EULA.

I hold to the principle that the EULA is meaningless, and clicking on "Agree" signifies agreement to the EULA like clicking on "Yes" to the quit box in Wolfenstein 3D signifies you agree that you are a wimp. But if the courts want to pretend that clicking "Agree" actually is agreement, they can hardly complain about rules-lawyering if someone avoids clicking "Agree".

Re:Rules lawyer (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905107)

Or you defrauded the software by employing a non-entity to press the "Agree" button, so you never had a valid license, so we'll prosecute you for pirating the software. (You paid to possess it, not to use it.)

Re:Rules lawyer (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905243)

Use the same device and methods to answer the question of if they agree to plead guilty?

Ask A Kid (3, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904877)

Just ask some neighbor kid to install your software for you, one that's too young to enter a legal agreement. Seems much more simple, and unlike this cat device, gives you plausible deniability to claim "I didn't even realize there was a EULA, let alone agree to it."

Re:Ask A Kid (1, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905067)

It doesn't give you any plausible deniability.

You could certainly argue that it wasn't you that clicked the button. Good luck using that to work around one of the disclaimers in the EULA (sure I thought windows was good software to run a life support system on, and since the kid down the street clicked the button, I never agreed not to sue Microsoft for my death...).

People that think the EULAs are about anything other than a good faith effort at notifying you of the disclaimers on the product are out of control paranoid. They put other stuff in because they can; they don't care much about it.

So what if it's a cat? (5, Interesting)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904891)

Can a cat make a legal agreement?

A cat is property, not an individual. Animal law has been quite unsuccessful in breaking out of that mold. So, no, a cat can't make a legal agreement anymore than your keyboard and mouse can.

However, the cat here is just a tool for you to accept the agreement. If you set up a device to automatically agree to a license without you fully reading it, you've still manifested an intent to accept the terms, whatever they may be. I don't think a court would have anymore problem with holding you to the contract than if you used machine to automatically stamp a signature on a stack of paper contracts. It wouldn't matter if it worked on a timer, on a RNG, or on the fickle movements of a cat so long as you set it up to happen with certainty that it would eventually happen (because you can't proceed with the installation without it happening).

Re:So what if it's a cat? (5, Funny)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905071)

However, the cat here is just a tool for you to accept the agreement. If you set up a device to automatically agree to a license without you fully reading it, you've still manifested an intent to accept the terms

Yeah, well, what if you used Schrodinger's cat? Then you have both accepted and not accepted the terms.

Re:So what if it's a cat? (2, Funny)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905235)

Well, your plan's got fifty percent chance to fuck up when the court observes your defence.

Re:So what if it's a cat? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905087)

I think you're probably right. Still, before stating a legal opinion, you really should state your legal training or (I assume) lack thereof.

Though maybe Slashdot should just come with a warning: "User's reserve the right to speak in an authoritative word on all subjects, regardless of the qualification to do so.

By the way, if your tummy aches, don't waste your hard-earned money on a doctor. A little calcium carbonate will probably clear it right up.

What, did somebody say "appendicitis"? Stupid troll.

Re:So what if it's a cat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905223)

Quick, someone write a virus that reads the screen for any "I AGREE" buttons, and make it automatically sign the EULAs...

And this is how lawyers get rich. (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904909)

I give the lady an A for effort but it won't hold up in court. She will help to line some lawyer's wallet.

free will? (4, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904911)

"She lures the cat onto the device, and the cat steps on it of its own free will."

Doesn't really seem to be free will then, does it? I mean, is the term "free will" even allowed in the same sentence with "lures"?

I use my pet gerbil (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904919)

It's smarter and doesn't claw me.

Re:I use my pet gerbil (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905199)

That's a Richard Gere quote, isn't it?

Won't Work (Legally) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26904931)

This may be an amusing piece, but having the cat do your bidding is really no different from having the mechanics of a keyboard and GUI software cause the "I Agree" button to be activated, particularly if you're coaxing the cat and adding the device solely for the purpose of circumventing agreement to the EULA.

This is the same as... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904933)

...pushing the button with a stick. Most of the EULAs and TOS that she has used her cat to click are probably unenforceable but for other reasons, not this.

cat click (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26904937)

i think this lady was on my phone once

A hundred uses! All invalid! (3, Insightful)

Chris_Jefferson (581445) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904943)

Haha! Negative equity isn't a problem for me, I don't have to pay back my mortgage, because I got my goldfish to sign for it!

I've set up something even better. (3, Funny)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904947)

I have a box in which I seal a cat along with my computer and a radioactive isotope. I connect an electronic monitor to the cat, and it is rigged up to click the "Agree" button if the cat dies.

Re:I've set up something even better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905157)

Way to go: Schrodinger (sorry, tried to put the little umlaut dots above the name but slashcode makes it completely wrong) meets Software click through EULA's; a new thought experiment. This would be the perfect gift (along with a computer and some software) for one of those "Cat Ladies" that is always found with 163 cats in their house. Each install would require one of them die. Bonus points if the cat can be made to shriek when it dies.

Re:I've set up something even better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905339)

I have a box in which I seal a cat along with my computer and a radioactive isotope. I connect an electronic monitor to the cat, and it is rigged up to click the "Agree" button if the cat dies.

Dude! If you're waiting on the radioactive isotope to kill the cat you're in for a long wait. Use a vicious dog instead. It'll tear through nine lives in a heartbeat.

Don't make me freak out. (1)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904955)

If you cause the "I Agree" button to be clicked, even indirectly by a cat, you are just as bound as if you had clicked it by hand yourself. There are a variety of possible ways to get out of a EULA; this isn't one of them.

(To my knowledge, nobody has been foolish enough to actually try this sort of defense, so it's *conceivable* that I'm wrong. But, I would be very surprised.)

Re:Don't make me freak out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905195)

(To my knowledge, nobody has been foolish enough to actually try this sort of defense, so it's *conceivable* that I'm wrong. But, I would be very surprised.)

Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, I have one final thing I want you to consider. Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chewbacca. Chewbacca is a Wookiee from the planet Kashyyyk. But Chewbacca lives on the planet Endor. Now think about it; that does not make sense!

If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit!

Pants? (0, Flamebait)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904969)

Funny, this doesn't LOOK like Idle...

Change the text (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26904975)

I tend to edit the EULA before I click "I agree". Usually, I just clear the box to which I'm ageeing.

Re:Change the text (1)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905281)

As (under British law at least) a contract has to be a 'meeting of minds', you are more likely to get away with this than the cat-luring. The vendor proposes a contract, you strike through the bits you don't agree to, and the vendor can choose to accept your amendments by letting you use the software or not. Of course it's easier just to turn the screen off. If there are no words in the contract when you agree to it, then you haven't really agreed to anything.

Apologies in advance (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26904981)

That won't take you off the hook. By luring the beast onto the device and having it agree to the EULA, you're employing the it as your proxy or agent, your utensil or tool, your...um, what's the word...your cat's-paw.

Had to be done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26904985)

A CAT IS FINE TOO

What if you bypassed the EULA (5, Interesting)

Asmor (775910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905003)

What if someone bypassed the EULA entirely (e.g. hacking the installer so that "I Decline" still continues).

Since you've never agreed to the EULA in the first place, you're not disallowed from hacking it (consumer-unfriendly millennial laws not withstanding).

Idle (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905005)

What is this shit doing outside of Idle?
So an old cat lady thinks she's clever by making a fucking cardboard for her cat?
How the fuck does this change anything?
She's the admin and owner of the pc, she's responsible for what's being installed.
She still agrees to the EULA.

cat activities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905007)

My cat successfully changed my email password when I was out. I still don't know how that furry demon could have pulled it off as my email wasn't even open at the time.

Oh yes, she also wrote a fairly extensive message using notepad as well that same session, but I couldn't read it. Guess xer wewnunpoxcwerwbwyty is only understandable to cats.

Re:cat activities (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905137)

My cat successfully changed my email password when I was out. I still don't know how that furry demon could have pulled it off as my email wasn't even open at the time.

My cat did that to me, too. My mistake was in using a 255 character password.

Re:cat activities (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905217)

Yeah, and my cat open all my documents and inserts mispellings into them. And takes one sock every time I do a load of laundry.

put it in a box (2, Funny)

n3tcat (664243) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905011)

Then you can claim that either Schroedinger accepted the agreement, or the software company killed your cat.

Re:put it in a box (1)

alabandit (1024941) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905153)

ahhh, a soul after my own heart this was the last comment, it should have been first

malware to accept eulas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905023)

When will malware authors make a virus that automatically accepts EULAs. They'd be doing us a favor.

EU of the LA (2, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905029)

If you make the cat click on the 'I Agree' button, doesn't that make the cat the actual licensed end user, not you? Meaning you're actually using your software unlicensed (gasp!)?

Re:EU of the LA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905205)

Meaning you're actually using your software unlicensed (gasp!)?

without signing the EULA, you never agreed to using it licensed. You purchased it, didn't sign a damn thing, and you're using it. As much as the creators (and their lawyers) want you to think otherwise, you have done nothing illegal. Now, whether you sign it via your computer or the odd combination of your computer and pet, I'm sure it would hold that you are bound by the agreement

EULA (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905055)

The EULA was invented by Microsoft, making new ground in the world of contracts.

It is a unilateral agreement, just like the "if you open this, you agree to our terms" mentality.

It is NOT a binding contract, since until you open, install and read, you cannot have a meeting of the minds necessary to a valid contract. Wishful thinking to many. NOT a binding Contract.

I am not a lawyer, but I was not born yesterday either. Five elements of a contract are :

The contract must be for legal purposes
The partied must be of sound mind and able to enter into the agreement
The terms must be available before the contract can be entered into.
There has to be an understanding BEFORE the contract can become "real"
There has to be consideration for both parties

EULA's and shrink-wrapped contracts fail on two of these points.

The 'Catch 22' effect is in full force. You cannot know exactly what you
are agreeing to unless you open the package. I say shoot anyone who tried
to enforce this stuff, and the lawyers who believe this crap.

Plus many KIDS click YES

contracts and everyday life (1)

drDugan (219551) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905077)

Personally, I'm disappointed that companies keep calling me and treating me like just a "user".

More of them would get my business if they actually treated me like a member.

Here is an excellent talk from TED making the same point about the rules and the humanity of business:
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/barry_schwartz_on_our_loss_of_wisdom.html [ted.com]

I'm sorry... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905079)

...but this is simply asinine.

If you make your cat click an agreement, you are clicking the agreement. It's no different than putting on a pair of gloves and clicking the agreement. Do you honestly believe that the "It wasn't me, it was the gloves" defense would hold up in court?!

Can you site an enforced EULA? (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905089)

Does anyone know of a case where a company has successfully enforced a EULA?

A precise sequence.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905097)

...followed by "Delete."

Does anyone remember the cartoon "Freakazoid"?

If it hadn't been for the cat..

Re:A precise sequence.. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905265)

It started with "@[=g3,8d]\&fbb=-q]/hk%fg" (quotes included) and a few more as yet unidentified characters.

Solution for CD/DVD based software (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905113)

Copy the CD, usually the file with EULA is in EULA.TXT or similar in a directory. Change it. Reburn. Install. IF the CD/DVD is required in the drive, put the original when needed. All my EULA says something like "AEPERVIUS RULEZ" when i agree on them.

Cat? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905135)

This is not news! I have a mouse that has been accepting EULAs for years!

I've been doing that for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905155)

I've been doing that for years...Yeah, that's it...I've been doing it ever since the first click-through EULA. Yeah, and I carry my cat with me everywhere just in case I ever need to download software.

Oblig. lolcat (0, Redundant)

JoeRandomHacker (983775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905171)

I can haz EULA?

Anne? (1)

Caue (909322) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905175)

Reading this article I couldn't help noticing: This so called Anne have the hands of a Pirate/Lumberjack.

I wouldn't want my cat being petted by those gigantic, thick hands.

Use the Bart Simpson defense instead (2, Interesting)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905183)

I didn't do it.
Nobody saw me do it.
You can't prove anything.

IANAL, but there has been trials (incidentally also featuring a Simpson) where the defendant said he didn't do it, and wasn't required to say who did. Prosecution was required to show he did. You don't really have to frame your cat, but if you're a dog-person it's understandable.

It's such a simple machine (1)

Jonah Bomber (535788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905201)

...she doesn't have to use force.

I've noticed... (1)

BorgAssimilator (1167391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905213)

...the argument which is stated in above comments frequently, is that since the device was created to allow the cat to accept the EULA, that it's giving the cat permission to act in your behalf (or however you want to state "allowing it to be tracked back to you").

This may be true. However, what if the cat just randomly walks across your keyboard and hits the correct button without any direct help? It seems to me that the above situation would discount that argument (even though I'm sure lawyers could find something else, obviously).

Hey (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905221)

If only there was some way to mould the contents of a cat box into the words "I Agree" or "I Don't Agree" and mail them to the company behind a particular EULA. Probably illegal to ship through the mail, however.

Cats are objects (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905229)

Legally cats are objects, under your same responsibility as other objects. You might as well build a machine to automatically agree to EULAs, that would be just as if you agreed yourself. When's the last time blaming the dog (or the cat) worked for you anyways?

Duh (1)

OldFish (1229566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905263)

Just say it was the cat, who'll ever know you just committed perjury? Besides, my cat just tacitly agrees with everything I say.

My cat rox. (1)

ze_jua (910531) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905271)

My cat can refuse the Vista EULA, format the hard drive, install debian, and launch a lawsuit to get the money back for the useless OEM-Vista sticker. Not yours.

All EULAs are superceded by my posted SPLAs (4, Interesting)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905295)

I have an SPLA posted on the front of my computer, very clearly labelled, and in big bold print.

It basically states that by allowing your software to be installed on this hardware, you (the software provider) agree to the following.

1) Your EULA is null and void.
2) Your software cannot make any changes unless I agree to them beforehand.
3) Your software cannot call home unless I authorize it, every time (this is enforced via firewall rules outside the box).
4) Your software cannot interfere with the operation of any other software on the hardware installed to. (prohibits viruses, malware, adware and automatic disabling software)
5) Any violation of the above terms can constitute a cyber attack against the hosting hardware, and treated as such, and dealt with using the strongest legal measures available at the time of attack.

Granted, my SPLA will hold up in court as well as their EULA, but it is posted, and yet their software installs - so they are as bound by my terms, as I am by their terms.

The lawyers would only freak out if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26905311)

... THEIR cat typed @[=g3,8d]\&fbb=-q]/hk%fg followed by DELETE...

Awwwww... FREAK OUT!

So many "solutions" (2, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26905329)

Everyone keeps trying to "solve" the "problem" of ways to use software without agreeing to the terms. What happened to the simple expedient of using some alternative software? I know the Slashdot users feel entitled to do whatever they want with other people's work, but that's such a poor justification from so many perspectives. Can anyone solve this quandary for me without expressing it in terms of their own greed?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...