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Microsoft Media Player "Security Patch" Changes EULA Big Time

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the under-the-guise-of-security dept.

Microsoft 771

MobyTurbo writes "In an article on BSD Vault a careful reader posts that in the latest Windows Media Player security patch, the EULA (the "license agreement" you click on) says that you give MS the right to install digital rights management software, and the right to disable any other programs which may circumvent DRM on your computer." So if you want your machine secure, you also want microsoft to have free reign on your PC.

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MS/Borg (2, Funny)

Sandman196 (587461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792254)

Sometimes, the Bill/Borg pic says it all.

Re:MS/Borg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792263)

curious ... anyone know where that pic originated? Did slashdot first try to use MS's actual logo, only to be sued for infringement?

Re:MS/Borg (1)

Scott Lockwood (218839) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792317)

Boardwatch Magazine. they sell a full sized poster of Bill as a Borg. Classic stuff. Too bad they charge way too much for the magazine now.

Re:MS/Borg (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792359)

We have to pay for their stuff, they are so evil! What would Richard Stallman say?

Re:MS/Borg (5, Informative)

uncoveror (570620) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792432)

Time to kick media player to the curb, and use winamp, quicktime, realone, or anything else. Just take steps not to install the spyware if you use real. Do a custom install, not the quick install, and uncheck the things you don't need.

Re:MS/Borg (2)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792444)

I think This Link [] is most telling.

surely not! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792255)

eula or fp?

Frosty Piss! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792256)

Fuck all americans!

Re:Frosty Piss! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792270)

i don't think i'd want to fuck all americans... Anyway, your frosty piss post was a real waste of time, seeing as how you missed it anyway.

So.... (1)

jaFoe (588297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792258)

The tradeoff is just who is peeking at your activities? Wow microsoft is briliant... I need to get red hat up again.. *grumbels*

Get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792259)

Microsoft already has "free reign over your computer" if you run Windows. The ways that they control your PC are well-documented and well-understood by all but the most security-ignorant users.

If you don't want Microsoft to own you, get a real operating system. [] And as Taco's User-Agent logs show, 90% of the Slashdot audience knows that already.

Crud (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792261)

This first post thing is hard.

Does M$ have a theme song yet? (0, Offtopic)

paiute (550198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792262)

What do we want you to listen to today?

Re:Does M$ have a theme song yet? (0)

bobdole34 (444010) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792329)

>What do we want you to listen to today?
Anything public domain

extortion (5, Insightful)

s20451 (410424) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792264)

How can it be that they can change the EULA in order to disseminate a security patch? Isn't this essentially extortion? If I disagree with the EULA, and someone exploits the security hole the patch was designed to fix, can Microsoft be held liable?

Re:extortion (1)

dubiousmike (558126) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792305)

I'm uninstalling right away.

This is unbelievable. Microsoft really IS evil.

Re:extortion (5, Interesting)

rabtech (223758) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792309)

No, because most companies reserve the "right" to change the terms of the EULA, without notification, at ANY TIME.

The whole concept of the EULA is so silly... I really hope it gets tossed out of court ASAP. Where else can the manufacturer of a product hold you under a contract you did not sign, and change the terms of that contract at any time without notifying you or getting your agreement on the changes?

Re:extortion (0)

bobdole34 (444010) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792340)

because most companies reserve the "right" to change the terms of the EULA


Re:extortion (1)

Oily Tuna (542581) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792330)

They didn't change the EULA, that clause was already in there.

Re:extortion (5, Insightful)

brsmith4 (567390) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792345)

How can it be that they can change the EULA in order to disseminate a security patch? Isn't this essentially extortion?

No. M$ has lawyers that would have picked that up pretty quickly. Do you think they would want another scandal, in the wake of the anti-trust suits and now the accounting problems that are happening all throughout corporate america? I don't think they would be that stupid as to cause another magnifying glass to be scrutinizing them. They are just playing the dumb pawn in the RIAA/MPAA game. If they were to be tried for 'extortion', they can simply plea that they were conforming to the DMCA by preventing its users from engaging in illegal activity thus eliminating their liability.

If I disagree with the EULA, and someone exploits the security hole the patch was designed to fix, can Microsoft be held liable?

No, because if you disagree with the EULA you are automatically forbidden from applying the security patch in the first place. If you didn't install the patch because of disagreement from the EULA, then you have no right to the security 'benefits' the patch brings. So in short, if you don't and you get hacked, its your own fault, not theirs.

All this microsoft legal stuff is quite fascinating. I am still waiting to hear that M$ has been over stating their earnings. In their case, they are probably understating (for tax purposes)

Re:extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792379)

So now I can release a product full of security holes and in order for you to get a patch, you will need to pony up 1M buck?


Re:extortion (1)

brsmith4 (567390) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792392)

its legal as long as it was in the original agreement. in this case, it was.

Re:extortion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792441)

All this microsoft legal stuff is quite fascinating. I am still waiting to hear that M$ has been over stating their earnings. In their case, they are probably understating (for tax purposes)

Apparrently, that $40 billion cash hoard has been accumulated by "shaving earnings" off of the fat quarters. That is, if they had a quarter with much higher than expected earnings, they socked away a good chunk of the excess. Less profit on the balance sheet, less taxes. Still beating (intentionally low) earnings for the quarter, stock goes up. Kind of like a basketball team shaving points. They still win, but if they don't make the spread, bettors make even more. Now M$ has $40 billion to play with while the rest of the tech industry rolls over and dies in front of them.

Re:extortion (2, Insightful)

bsane (148894) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792366)

Exactly- agreeing to this EULA would be similar to signing a contract under duress. At least it would be in the unlikely situation that the EULA would stand up in court on its own.

Those dirty bastards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792268)

Somehow I just knew it would come to this...

Oooff..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792269)


Linux on the Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792275)

Wow. And I was sad when I accidently fdisk/format'd my windows disk, losing about 10 years of information. I've still got my Linux box up and running, and it's slowly becoming my home PC of choice now. I do wonder how my work PC will fare will all of these restrictions.

perhaps it's time to invest in Ximian connector after all?

So where is the end? (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792276)

When will someone or a group of someone stand up and challenge the EULA? More and more scumbag companies like Microsoft try to force things on it's customers. Most of what they have in EULA's are illegal for anyone or any company to try and force upon someone WITHOUT having them sign away their rights... and now they have set a presedence that you dont even have to sign to give away your rights.

When is the user going to quit rolling over and taking in the rear with a smile and being forced by the EULA to say "thank you may I please have another?"

Or is the general populace pretty much doomed.

Re:So where is the end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792369)

The general populace is pretty much doomed. Those of us who care enough have moved to a different OS, the rest don't know any better or just don't care.

Palladium here already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792278)

Could this be the ramp-up (or atleast the beginning of it, i fear what is still yet to come) to Microsoft's Palladium campaign? At first I thought Palladium might be something very positive, but when microsoft does something there always seem to be some horrible implications.

micro $$$ soft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792279)

Can Microsoft be held liable?
When APES fly!

Not new. (5, Informative)

Oily Tuna (542581) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792280)

That clause has been in the Media Player EULA for ages.

Yeah, it's bad, and it's always been bad.

Re:Not new. (2)

bogie (31020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792412)

Not that I don't believe you, but please post an earlier version of the Media Player EULA that has the exact same language. Its kinda important to know the exact release or update that contains this language. And no saying your sure you read it sometime in the distant past doesn't count. Thanks.

Ummm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792283)

Hasn't that been in the EULA for Media Player for like 2 years now?

[OT] the correct expression is "free rein" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792284)

like the reins of a horse, or reindeer, get it?

It had been noticed by /. readers... (4, Informative)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792290)

...earlier on [] I think.

automatic EULA remover (3, Informative)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792291)

I remember some weeks back that someone had posted a script pointing to an auto-EULA remover for microsoft installers. Can that person please post their link again?

Re:automatic EULA remover (4, Informative)

xenoweeno (246136) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792312)

The EULA remover is here [] thanks to DejaGoogle.

Re:automatic EULA remover (2, Insightful)

heimotikka (588619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792448)

"its purpose is
twofold: (1) to make a point about the absurdity of hidden "agreements"
that buyers cannot know about until after sale, and (2) to be able to
honestly say that I never accepted any EULA, and thus my use of the
software is limited only by copyright law, just like a book or a CD."

Hmm... and removing that EULA click-through page you won't be liable? And the other trueth is that if I close my eyes I'm invisible.

Ignoring the EULA does not change anything. (1)

still_sick (585332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792356)

Whether or not you agree to the EULA, the MS disabling and what-not still takes place - you just didn't "agree" to it. In order for this to have any benefit whatsoever you'd need to actually sue them, and considerring that you'd have to admit to circumventing the EULA in the process, and the simply fact that you'd be going up against MS lawyers, this wouldn't do any good either.

Re:automatic EULA remover (1)

brsmith4 (567390) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792383)

what does it matter if you remove the EULA? who are you kidding? im sure that everyone here has pirated and illegally used m$ software at one point in time anyway. did the EULA stop you then?

I'm curious... (1)

still_sick (585332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792294)

How many people are going to completely duck the patch, and choose alternate ways to secure their WMP machine? (ie. Take your WMP machine off the network; Just don't use WMP anymore; etc....)

What's your solution?

Re:I'm curious... (1)

York the Mysterious (556824) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792377)

Well seeing as how the new developer betas (not the one of the main page) of Winamp have some pretty nice video support in the friendly UI I love I'm set without WMP. I just uninstalled it. Not as much because I'm afraid of MS doing something to my computer, but because this article reminds me I haven't used it recently.

I duck the patch... (1)

naejulak (586787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792391) not using WMP, or windows. I know it's redundant, but MP3 is still the standard for audio files, and RealPlayer and Quicktime have good shares of the video content. I don't lose access to much by not having WMP on my system, and I don't have to bend over in front of m$. My friend had a whole slew of WMA files, and after reformatting and changing his hardware configuration, WMP detected that he was playing those files on a different system, and won't let him listen to that music. Blech.

Security Patches are the getting worse (4, Interesting)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792295)

I thought it was bad recently when a "Critical" IE6 security path completetly broke the ability to view TIFF images in a browser without hacking the registry by hand. I maintain a web site that basically sells access to TIFF imaged documents. All of a sudden we had about a hundred pissed off customers (some not wanting to pay their bill) because _WE_ broke access to the information that runs their businesses. As each customer ran windows update, our website broke. Of course they all say they have not installed any new software, which makes it all the more difficult to troubleshoot until the problem was figured out.

MS is without a doubt throwing non-security things into "security patches", and I for one don't like the unadvertised "featues" one bit.


Re:Security Patches are the getting worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792407)

Native TIFF viewing in IE was always unreliable because it depended on the end user selecting some optional component while installing Windows. Not to mention it doesn't work at all in Netscape, etc.

Sounds like your site was screwy to begin with. You probably should have used QuickTime or some other plugin that you could check for and reliably command it to view TIFF images.

Re:Security Patches are the getting worse (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792430)

That's bad. All the patent images on the USPTO site are TIFF files.

This has got to stop (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792297)

Changing the rules after a puchase has got to stop. Plus invasive 'i reserve the right to mess with YOUR device' crap, regardess of inital agreement...

Unless im leasing something its MINE..

And no i dont care if its Microsoft or Sony or anyone else.. noone should have this 'right'. Noone.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792299)

What's wrong with having DRM software installed unless you like to pirate music, software, or movies?


Re:Hmm (1)

Idolatre (197068) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792358)

I like to make MP3 copies of my original CD's and burn them to a MP3 CD so I can play them with my portable MP3 CD player and have access to my complete (300+) CD collection at all times, anywhere I am, because it all fits in my 50 CD wallet?

Re:Hmm (5, Insightful)

ryanr (30917) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792431)

mmm...Troll food. I'll answer anyway.

Most companies' idea of DRM limits you as to where you can put your music. And that measn not allowing it go go on a device that doesn't support the right flavor if DRM, if it supports it at all.

So, example scenarios:

You buy a $500 MP3 player device. It works great for a while hooked up to your Windows box. MS kicks on DRM one day, and you can't upload music to it anymore. It might be your rightfully-owned music, mind you... you could have ripped them all yourself from your own CDs.

Microsoft decides that MP3 files can't properly support DRM like WMA files can. So, they turn off the ability to play MP3, or maybe they delete them, or convert them to WMA. Since your portable player doesn't support WMA, you're screwed. Oh, and MS just happens to benefit financially since they control the WMA format, codecs, etc...

Maybe they do something really silly like force you to put the physical music CD in your drive whenever you want to play a digital song that was ripped from that album. Sounds stupid, I know, but what was the last game you played on CD that didn't require the disk in the drive to run?

The basic problem is that someone else's idea of what is reasonable to do with digital music will rarely match up with mine. I want to take a CD I bought, and pretty much use the music on any device I have that can play music. The problem is, of course, that the ability to do so also gives me the ability to share music on Kazaa if I choose.

I'm not neccessarily trying to argue that sharing music is legal or right (though I do believe the music companies are idiots for their handling of the situation.) I'm just saying that if I'm to retain my ability to play my music on any device that I want, I will also retain my ability to share it, that's just how it works.

Fortunatly, the cat is well out of the bag, and it's just not possible from a technical standpoint to prevent someone who can code and build their own machines from doing so. There are just too many MP3, Ogg, whatever players out there, and too many free OSes to stop it.

They would have to make it illegal to have hardware that would cooperate with the software of your choice. They would have to make it illegal to reverse-engineer systems in the privacy of my own home for my own use. They would have to make it illegal to attempt to bypass copy protection mechanisms, or even discuss it. They would have to give the copyright holders what amounts to police powers to show up at any time, and demand to see your license documentation under penalty of decades in prison.

Oh, wait...

you know.... (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792301)

I have a similar EULA for my penis.

Ignore the EULA (1, Flamebait)

saphena (322272) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792302)

I routinely fail to read Microsoft EULAs on the grounds that all but the most obvious provisions of such a licence are, at least, challengable under the normal provisions of English Law. (No, I'm not a lawyer, do your own checks).

A EULA can quite reasonably restrict me from abuses such as reselling the software or copying it onto 5000 systems but, if I want to use a video viewer, only a lawyer can think that I should be obliged to give the author unrestricted rights to my machine in exchange.

par for the course (1, Redundant)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792303)

Worried about EULA's do what everyone else does. Ignore the EULA then if you get caught thats when you squeal like a stuck pig.

No sense fighting a giant before your a victim.


Re:par for the course (1)

Kwikymart (90332) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792426)

Just before I install a program with an EULA (rare, but it does happen sometimes), I blank out and go into a seizure. For some reason, when I wake up (on the floor), the install program is already passed the EULA part and on to the rest of the install. It's always strange how that happens.

Well, thats what I will say now since I just turned 18.

Re:par for the course (1)

B. Vhalros (468243) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792429)

"No sense fighting a giant before your a victim."

I hope you have good enough sense for that to be sarcastic. That is the kind of logic that will ultimatly allow this sorta thing to stand. Put simply, if you don't stand up for others,there will be no one left to stand up for you-- and good luck fighting a giant by yourself. If these outrageous abuses of EULA's and intellectual property law continue, eventually every one will be a victim-- So don't let them stand.

If your one of their customers, I suggest you write them a letter telling them just how disgusted you are by this sort of practice. Don't flame them, but a rational letter formally explaing the repugnance of this can't hurt. Even monopolies have to listen to their customers, and if they don't, who wants to be their customers any way?

Old news (0, Redundant)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792304)

I could have sworn there was already an article on /. several monts ago about this change (can't find the story now though...), as it has been in the media player EULA for a while now. I may just be on crack though.

Re:Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792439)

"I think there's something strangely musical about noise."
-Trent Reznor

the emperor has no clothes.

Time to buy a big box (1)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792306)

Basically, if you get this upgrade, you might as well ship your computer to Redmond because they are in control of your computer. And it's not like this hasn't happened before.
Other EULA Problems:
Dont insult M$ if you use front page:
Front Page Free Speech Restrictions [] and
Free Speech Restrictions Part II []
Just Don't Use XP:
Read the fine print []

Easy choice (2, Insightful)

ZaneMcAuley (266747) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792307)

Nobody forces you to use WMP.

Just use a different media player.

BlazeMediaPro, Winamp, more, take your pick.

oh and yeah, add to your hosts file :D

Re:Easy choice (1)

1stflight (48795) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792454)

Minor problem here, they packaged it with a patch for a security problem. You're right no one forces you to use their software, but securing it.. that's a requirement.

Intentional Vulnerability? (1)

jadenjahner (529182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792310)

I wonder if MS releases these exploits on purpose, in order to include a new, updated, restrictive, controlling EULA? Since they are the ones who see the source, they could make this easy. How else could all off their software have such silly exploits, and usually bundled with a pathetic EULA - the user must accept it, or get hacked.

Gasp! But Microsoft wouldn't do a thing like this (1)

jdorzweiler (588547) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792313)

Gee, I'm really in shock right now. Just another effort on Microsoft's part to have complete control over your computer.

Is this new (2)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792314)

I'm not that familiar with Windows Media Player licenses, but the line about security upgrades might well be present in previous versions. It doesn't seem to be in the license for the mac client (7.3)

Re:Is this new (-1)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792344)

It doesn't seem to be in the license for the Lunix client either.

I don't no what's the deal with slashdot posting more micro$$$oft news (notice the $, i'm being funny) than microsoft website itself. Maybe Lunix is just an urban legend after all.

[OT] Warning, dangerous worm attacking BSD systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792318)

Warning! Dangerous worm attacking FreeBSD systems. BSD systems threatened []
The worm is thought to be capable of spreading only to Web servers running the FreeBSD operating system, an open-source variant of Unix, that haven't had a patch applied for the recent flaw. Although few home users have reported the worm, it is thought to be infecting vulnerable Web servers worldwide.
This worm is only a threat to *BSD systems. *sigh*

I know what's going on here... (1)

Chuqmystr (126045) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792322)

Billy-Borg is gonna buy out the RIAA thereby increasing his legions of Billy-Bitches tenfold. How diabolical of him.

Two questions (1)

sam31415 (558641) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792323)

1) Is there an easy way to completely uninstall Windows Media Player from XP? I recall there being a simple method to uninstall Messenger [] through rundll32, would a like method work here?

2) Is there a decent, free alternative for Windoze that people here would recommend for video files?

The answer to everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792327)

The mob has merged with the upperclass. Or they have become sufficiently similar to longer merit a distinction.

Re:The answer to everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792459)

What could be a better gig than to infiltrate the government and then start shaving those pennies off the taxdollars. How much money do think is unaccounted for for the last year in the Federal Government? A million? Hundred million? Billion?

How about around 100 billion.

I'm just guessing about the mob thing, but what if it were true? Would you want the mob rewriting the constitution so it wouldn't get in their way? Would you?

Does it have to be the stereotypical mob that you see on television? Does it even have to be the proper mob, or even have connections with the historical mob, if they are acting in the same ways?

Do you realize that all the members of the significant corporate boards sit on each others tables? It's like a big family I guess. Enron, Global Crossing, Worldcom, etc. This is organized crime. And they've got the ear of lawmakers. Maybe they are some of the lawmakers.

How long will the United States be able to maintain this level of corruption before things start to unravel?

Mac Attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792331)

I just wish there was an alternative to Windows.

A nice, easy to use OS with lots of software.

Linux is too inconsistant for the desktop. I may just go with OSX.

Thank you, Steve, thank you.

Brownie Points with DRM advocates (2, Insightful)

Beatnick (560520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792334)

It's just to win points with DRM advocates. It's an underhanded means of controlling its "users" from the perspective of the DRM folks. I would be interested to know if there's been some discussion between MS and the DRM folks to ensure/track this sort of thing.

And in the balance: security vs control.

Either the villanous attackers are in control/capable of control
Microsoft is in control.

Geez. It's a lose-lose situation.

Another Nail (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792339)

Microsoft is stuck in a quandary. On the one hand they have to do something to keep the revenue stream going. But all their moves to ensure this are alienating customers.

XP and Microsoft's moves from customers owning their software (such as that "ownership" was anyway) to only renting it might have been the turning point where I work. My boss recently had us change his laptop from Win98-only to dual-boot Linux as well. A new "computerization" initiative for the production line will use Java-based apps running on *gasp* currently moth-balled X-terminals!

With this kind of... extortion (the DRM crap included in a security update, fer Christ's sake), I'm of the opinion that MS is only driving another nail in its own coffin.

Corporate users can't install that (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792342)

If you're in a large company, contact your legal department immediately. That's a serious issue, because it gives Microsoft the unlimited right to destroy any software on your machine. That's not something the individual employee is authorized to agree to.

Re:Corporate users can't install that (5, Funny)

BurritoWarrior (90481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792434)

If you're in a large company and individual users have the rights/permissions to install software/patches on their machines -- short your own stock, you're in more trouble than just a EULA. :)

Winamp (1)

dalangalma (514344) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792343)

Good thing that Winamp3 [] is coming out, and it has video support. Not as good as WMP yet, but at least it's Winamp! They've also got support for something called Nullsoft Streaming Video... possibly a bid to enter the Real/WMP/Quicktime battle (if you can even call it that)? Maybe it has something to do with AOL's new toy. []

kind like... (1)

Weh (219305) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792348)

Kinda like a car manufacturer realizing there's something wrong with the seatbelts in a certain model and only offering replacements to those who agree to never buy another brand car.(I know the analogy is a bit flawed in the sense that it is too extreme, but still there's some validity in it)

This is why I refuse to use media player (1)

HellHunter (52576) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792352)

I'm on a mac, which has terrible WMP support anyway, and yet I still run an old old old version. Why? When I went to update, the installer started to index my entire hard drive without asking. With the reputation Microsoft has, I quickly deleted it.

What a great way to force people into a legal agreement. So much for trusting Microsoft, eh? Could this be concidered blackmail?

Furthermore, what if you block the update? Or what if you duel-boot - is it copyright circumvention to have the software installed on your computer if you don't accept an update?

I wonder how long until CDs and DVDs come with EULAs requiring you to run certain software that disables and blocks anything which might pose a threat.

Read carefully (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792353)

"These security related updates may disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer"

What "other software" do you think they will break?

Are they going to use some sort of DRM filter comparible to a firewall?

Such broad implications here.
Scary shit.

A good "Ask Slashdot" (0)

bobdole34 (444010) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792363)

Now that everyone should be uninstalling Windows Media Player.

What are some good Win32 video player alternatives? I've always just gone default (wmp) for lack of energy to find an alternate, but those days are gone.

I never imagined (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792367)

that reading Slashdot would avoid me so many problems. I noticed a poster talking about the DRM on the other article, so I choosed not to install it. But I wonder, now what? Will that patch be required to patch something else? Will some new software install it automatically? And does reinstalling Windows take back the EULA changes?

Scary (5, Interesting)

scotfl (312954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792375)

These security related updates may disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer.

Now there's a particularly nasty line. It starts off with DRM for 'Secure Content' (which I guess is M$'s new term for protected IP), but then it expands into 'Other Programs'. Which means, MS is now reserving the right to disable any program they don't like.

Furthermore, the patch that disables the program will "will be automatically downloaded onto your computer," without your knowledge. But, the real kicker is this one (my favourite line):

If we provide such a security update, we will use reasonable efforts to post notices on a web site explaining the update.

So even if they send out patches killing off all non-MS software, they can bury a notice so deep in that no one will ever find it, and claim (correctly) they are going above and beyond the EULA. Damn, I'm glad I use Macs and NetBSD.

Always read your contracts with the Devil.. (1)

Alex Thorpe (575736) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792376)

I tend to skim most EULA's, but when it's from Microsoft, I read the whole thing word for word. I don't believe that I've seen anything quite like this, so I doubt it applies to WMP for X. If it does... well, it WAS a better program than RealPlayer.

Groan.... (3, Insightful)

cybermace5 (446439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792382)

One of these days they will go too far.

Every move Microsoft has made follows
Machiavellian politics to the letter.

It's no longer about money, it's about
power. Microsoft will continue to find
ways to gain more control of computers,
and eventually will try to directly
attack other operating systems and make
them illegal. Microsoft doesn't even have
to worry about serving customers anymore.
There's almost too much momentum to over-
come here, folks. The only way that our
computers will belong to us in the future
is to make sure that we control how they
are used. Keep the hardware in the hands
of smaller manufacturers who have to
compete. Keep the software in the public
domain wherever possible.

At this point, even Apple looks good com-
pared to Microsoft. They have to listen
to their customers, they have adopted con-
cepts from better operating systems and
made it easier for users to use a com-
puter for any purpose they desire.

It doesn't matter what OS you use; BSD, Linux,
Solaris, or any of the other options. But by
choosing something other than Windows you
will help keep control in your hands. At this
point it would take thirty years for Microsoft
to go out of business, but we need to be looking
ahead. Do not accept these incremental attacks
on your freedom.

Re:Groan.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792428)

if they dont sell enough software in 3 or 4 years they can say byebye.
its not because they have enough money that they can survive, *cough* enron *cough*

This means nothing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792384)

This means nothing. They have no proof it was me who clicked "I accept." It could have been my two-year-old daughter for all they know. Hell, I could get my two-year-old daughter into the room to click "I accept" for me and I could deny ever having seen an EULA.

Well, (1)

labratuk (204918) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792399)

So if you want your machine secure, you also want microsoft to have free reign on your PC.

Y'know, there is a way to have a secure machine without Microsoft having 'free reign' over your PC, and that is to... ...not
Ever crossed your mind?

I don't believe it! (2)

epsalon (518482) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792406)

I actually mentioned something like this [] but I didn't think they'd actually be that sleazy for real!

Spyware (0, Troll)

Snowbeam (96416) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792409)

Don't we usually call a program with the ability to disable another program or function on a PC "Spyware"?

alternatives (2, Informative)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792411)

forget windows media player, its features suck, it it has next to no plugins, for music use winamp 2.x it has cooler visualisations anyway and for video nullsoft just released a new version of winamp3, winamp is the superior media player and its FREE, suck on that bill

No surprise (2)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792413)

I guess, the end result will be that one day, to keep your PC secure you'll have to give-up administrator rights.
Your Windoze-PC, that is....

Think of your colo-provider - once you've got the root-password, they also dismiss any liability for damages from your acts.

I'm sure, the various critics of the antitrust trial of the DoJ and the states can name some reasons why this is good for the consumer....

That's why you should use RedHat!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792415)

Excellent timing! RedHat [] just announced RedHat 7.4 [] ! Updates include a new kernel (2.4.19-22), Apache 1.3.26, an updated RPM, dozens of bugfixes and security updates, and many, many other packages. And no dirty Microsoft EULAs!! Be sure to download the ISOs from your nearest mirror [] , of course!

The last straw... (1)

Jurisenpai (261790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792416)

Not that I ever use my Win2K partition, but at this point, I'd rather give the script kiddies a chance"to (access)the user's system with the ability to add, change or delete data and perform other functions" [] than let M$ have the same access(with far more insidious motives, I'm sure.)

scope creep (2, Interesting)

theCat (36907) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792418)

People are going to say that this is such a bad thing. But really, it's just an extended interpretation of what was always in the license. Software companies have been telling us for decades that we don't own the software we buy, and we've let them. And it doesn't matter that to now they haven't done much with that stipulation (except make it hard/impossible to sell a used computer with software) but they could have at any time. So now, Microsoft is

Back In The Olden Days, why, we just wrote our own software! Companies sold hardware and a compiler. That has slowly changed, and now we are staring down the barrel of the 'software subscription' gun. Meaning, you will have as much control over the nature and quality of your software (and hence your entire computing experience) as you have over the programming on broadcast TV. Which is, none at all. The masses are thrilled with that (they still watch TV, too) and M$ and all the others are selling to the masses and probably not a single reader of this post. So yeah it sucks when M$ takes control, as if they never had control, but if you have a problem with that you can join with a bunch of software rebels and create your own software, and license it the way you like. Yeah sure I'm not the first to come up with that idea, but before we lament what the software companies do because we let them, we can just go around them.

After all, we do still own the hardware. For now.

WANL and that is the problem ... (2)

smoondog (85133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792424)

(WANL == We are not lawyers)

What I don't understand is why we haven't seen class action lawsuits brought against Micro$oft (and a few others) from the consumer end. If some smart lawyers out there want to make a buck this is the place to be (IMO). Examples:

1. M$ changing EULA's during software updates. This is the ultimate, IMO. A company should not be able to change the EULA after the fact under any circumstances, and if they do you should be able to opt out and get your money back. I could easily imagine nefarious schemes to really screw consumers using these tactics.

2. Gator (I know, not M$) installing software without the users knowledge. The media companies are suing Gator (as they should), but consumers should as well because 99.9% of them don't even know they are opt-ing in to anything.

3. Security and liability. Somewhere down the line, security holes in M$ software started costing consumers and companies millions, perhaps billions. The developers of said software should bear some legal responsibility to make secure code. If they don't then there is no incentive for M$ to even fix the bugs in a timely manner.

4. Monopolistic practices hurt the consumer. Software bundling and misleading statements are akin to practices made by the tobacco industry 20 years ago. By hurting the consumer, the consumer should have a legal right to recoup costs due to said illegal activities.

I can't believe in a world where McD's pays millions for coffee spills, juries award millions for defective products and lawyers litter the streets like sharks that we cannot find a legal loop hole to win some of these cases....


Umm, don't use WMP. (2)

Typingsux (65623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792427)

I have used BSPLAYER [] for the last several months before this knowledge.
There are a ton of other softwares to run movies on the M$ operating system.

Just look for them if BSplayer doesn't fit your needs.

Re:Umm, don't use WMP. - or a service pack (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792440)

The EULA changes will be applied to everything you get from them, even the 'auto' patches via XP.

Soooo. just saying no to WMP wont get you far.

Re:Umm, don't use WMP. (2, Informative)

applef00 (574694) | more than 12 years ago | (#3792456)

You can't "just say no."

Even if you decide not to use WMP, it's still installed on your system (if you're using 98, 2000, XP); which means that you're still bound by the EULA (the one that was in place when you last installed your OS or updated WMP).

Well well well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792443)

Doesn't this remind you of all the retarded things senators / house reps tack on to bills that are completely irrelevant to the bill? Lets all pass the 'ULTRA-patriot' bill to help fight _terrorism_!!!!... oh yeah, and coerce you to bow three times towards your UPS while you turn your computer on..


The Official Taco-snotting FAQ by pwpbot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3792446)

THE OFFICIAL TACOSNOTTING FAQ By J Wipo Troll Esq Revision 116 This article attempts to document a vile ungodly practice that runs rampant through the homosexual geek and hacker community a practice known as or simply Tacosnotting is something that few geeks dare talk about in free or open conversation but it is nonetheless a widelypracticed and dangerous form of homosexuality If you or anyone you know has ever engaged in Tacosnotting please get professional help before it is too late Why do I keep receiving emails from an individual calling himself You have been receiving unsolicited mailings from a certain Robert Malda owner of the popular technology website slashdotorg Actually itnot a very site in the common sense of the word the site is rife with pimply antisocial geeks and hackers zitfaced nerds communists dirty GNU hippies and other societal rejects and outcasts Italso home to one of the worldlargest suspected prings the infamous crewMr Malda gets bored and who wouldnrunning a site like Slashdot all day he roams through the user database penis in hand looking for people who might enjoy engaging in homosexual activities with him How he determines this is anyoneguess but if you have a homosexualsounding nickname or a nick with a letter of the English alphabet in it youa potential candidateThis time he found you Lucky you Mr Malda seems to be speaking in some sort of code Do you know what it means CmdrTacocode language is relatively easy to decipher This pervert prefers to speak in thinlyveiled sexual innuendo yes thatright he wants you to evade the watchful eye of Slashdotparent corporation VA Software Mr Maldais of course his penis a small withered little thing that lives in his pants and only comes out in the presence of other male geeks or at the beck and call of Maldaown lubedup right hand His bellsare the shriveled testicles that droop beneath his Commander and his sauceis his thin runny semen It should be more than obvious to you now what he means if he asked you to his Taco bellsor his gourmet Taco saucewould also guess CmdrTaco asked you to engage in a practice known as and if he was in a particularly depraved mood at the time a Good Lord And yes he did What is is the term used by Robert Malda to refer to the depraved act of fellating another man homo or heterosexual CmdrTaco is rumoured to prefer raping unwilling victims then blowing the semen out his nose and back onto the face and body of his victim Naturally a long bubbly stream of milkywhite semen is left on CmdrTacoface dribbling out of his nose and down his cheek hence the term if thatnot bad enoughis a Tacosnotting circlejerk another practice common among the Slashdot crew CmdrTaco CowboiKneel and Homos get together and snot each other with their gooey sticky cum spooging their jizzsnot all over each otherfaces and pasty white bodies until theycovered head to toe with their own and each otherman juice This vile ungodly ritual can go on for hours For the homosexual penetration that follows this lengthy foreplay Roblowme is usually there to provide plenty of anal lubricant he owns a limousine service and has ample supplies of motor oil and axle grease ready to goTo complete this perverted orgy fellow faggots Michael Timothy and Jamie will usually join in dressed in tight leather mockSS uniforms jack boots and leather gloves The homosexual shenanigans that follow are nearly beyond description The whole group begins to snot each otherspunk and whip each otherpudgy asses with riding crops and chains until their pale white geek bodies are exhausted and soaked in stinking sweat from the hours of passionate homosexual revelry Ewwwwww So can I stop receiving these emails Hopefully but I wouldncount on itTo begin with you most likely forgot to uncheck the to Snotcheckbox in your account preferences CmdrTaco has probably already got the hots for your wad do you have a homosexualsounding nick and heprobably already been lurking outside your bathroom window for weeks with a camera some tissues and lube just waiting to pounce and declare you his new bitch Thereno escaping a geek in heat trust me so itprobably too late for you but you can possibly rectify this situation To remove yourself from CmdrTacosights log into your Slashdot account go to your user page click on Messages and uncheck the box next to to SnotMaybe heignore you Probably not I canstop receiving these emails from CmdrTaco If you indulge him in a Tacosnot or two he might leave you alone You might also want to look into mail filtering restraining orders or purchasing a heavy blunt object capable of warding off rampaging homosexual geeks in heat Trust me when they chargeoh the humanity If he gets you and you let him Tacosnot all over you you will most likely end up tied up in his basement to be used as his sex slave for the rest of your life or until he accidentally drowns you in spunk in a circlesnot Have you ever been Tacosnotted Unfortunately yes I first met Mr Malda at an Open Source Convention He invited me back to his room for a game of Quake and some Tacosbut when I got there the perverted geek jumped me and handcuffed me to his bed stripping me After taking his out of his pants Mr Taco made me suck the withered thing six times virtually nonstop He then performed his vile Tacosnotting ritual on me three times over the next two hours bringing me to orgasm after orgasm after sweaty mindnumbing orgasmthen he snotted my own thick gooey jizz back onto my face out of his nostrils He snotted me two more times first into my mouth then again on my exposed bellyCmdrTaco invited several of his Open Source or rather Sauceman sauce buddies over to continue their ungodly snotfest European hacker and known Linux Torvalds raped my ass with his kernelhis partnerincrime Anal Cox used their stackin a multitude of unspeakable ways on and in every orifice of my defenseless tender young body Michael Sims was there in his leather Nazi uniform caning my previouslyvirginal ass with a bamboo pole and ranting about those Censorware freaks out to get himThat is so disgusting How did you finally escape After about 16 hours of countless unholy homosexual atrocities perpetrated against my restrained body they all finally went to sleep on top of me sweatsoaked and exhausted I was left there completely covered in bubbly translucent jizzsnot chained to the bed with half a dozen fat pastywhite fags lying around and on top of me Fortunately the spooge coating my flesh worked wonderfully as a lubricant I was able to squirm my way out of the handcuffs and slip out the back door of the apartment not their back doors Ijust glad I survived the awful ordeal These sexuallyrepressed hackers had a lot of builtup spunk in their wads I couldeasily been drowned Thathorrible Does have anything to do with CmdrTacotacoNo thata different disgusting perversion CmdrTaco indulges himself in Mr Malda is usually not satisfied with merely snotting your own jizz back onto your face he most often enjoys involving his own bodily fluids in his twisted games WeatherTroll has spent some time trying to educate the Slashdot readership about this vile practice emphasis added You may be wondering what CmdrTacotacois You will be wishing that you hadnbeen wondering after you finish reading this post To make his tacoCmdrTaco takes a taco shell and shits on it He then adds lettuce takes out his tiny withered dick otherwise known as his puts his taco sauceon it which means he jacks off on the taco and adds a compound to make the person who eats the taco unconscious Of course the compound does not make the person unconscious until the taco is fully eaten Thus CmdrTaco forcefeeds the taco to the unsuspecting victim After all who would knowingly eat shit and CmdrTacojizz After the victim is unconscious he is held against his will and used for CmdrTaconefarious homosexual purposes This includes shoving taco shells up the victimass Tacosnotting and getting Jon Katz involved Trust me you do not want Jon Katz anywhere near your unconscious body Also rumor has it CmdrTaco is looking for a new goatsecx guy Donlet it be youDifferent ungodly perversion yet no less revolting It should be clear to you now that Robert Malda is a very very sick individual as are most of the Slashdot editors Does Jon Katz get involved in any of this I thought he was a pnot a homosexual Actually Jon Katz is a homosexual pHealso a coprophiliac and many suspect a zoophile Mr Katz is somewhat of a loner and doesninvolve himself in the circlesnots but that doesmean heany less of a freak than the rest of the Slashdot crew Katz often engages in a game called with a harem of littleboy slaves that he has collected over the years yet another vile practice which involves administering an enema to himself of the little boyurine forced out of them with a pair of pincers spooging the vile muck from his ass back into the enema bag then dribbling and slathering the goo all over himself and the boychained naked bodies If hein the mood he will sometimes skip refilling the enema bag from his distended anus and just squirt it from his ass onto the crying terrified boys Unwilling boys are further tortured with the pincers until they comply and allow Mr Katz to juicydouche them at will A boy will usually last about two years before Mr Katz either accidentally drowns them in diarrhea or kills them once they get too old usually around 13 or 14Not content with being a pcoprophile Mr Katz is also quite the zoophile As if the sexual escapades with the helpless little boys arenenough Jon usually enjoys his juicydouches best when his penis is firmly planted in a female goatanus He is also rumoured to get off on watching his little boys eat the goatsmall beanlike turds and he often kills his older boys by letting his goats trample them you getting hard writing this Why yes Join me in a WIPOsnot No thanks Ialready CmdrTacoboi toi The URL of this document is opdisplay revisions are publicly available at oplist Id tacosnottinghtmlv 116 20011228 212003 wipo Exp Copyright 2001 J Wipo Troll Esq Verbatim crapflooding of this document is permitted in any medium provided this copyright notice is preserved and next time you take a dump you think of the WIPO Troll and all hedone to make Slashdot a better place

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