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Spyware Maker Sues Detection Firm

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the every-trick-in-the-book dept.

The Courts 503

Luigi30 writes "ZDnet reports that RetroCoder, makers of the SpyMon remote monitoring program, are suing Sunbelt Software, makers of ConterSpy, a spyware detector program, for detecting the SpyMon as spyware. According to the EULA, SpyMon can not be used in 'anti-spyware research,' and detecting it is therefore a violation of it. 'In order to add our product to their list, they must have downloaded it and then examined it. These actions are forbidden by the notice,' a RetroCoder spokesperson said."

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My god (1, Insightful)

Centurix (249778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006040)

What is the world coming to.

Re:My god (-1, Flamebait)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006056)

I dunno, but this guy needs to be shot and have his business burned to the ground. No, I'm not joking.

Re:My god (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006207)

"We are allowed to seal your credit card numbers, tap your bank account, divert funds and use your idenity. You are prohibited from do anything about it because you clicked "I Accept" to our EULA, says a spokesman for SpyMon..."

Well, it didn't say that in TFA exactly, but it's a close approximation.

Re:My god (5, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006235)

Ah. the popular "Bend Over" EULA.

Re:My god (5, Funny)

AnonymousBystander (927218) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006354)

Ah.. the popular soviet russia joke...
spywares sue YOU now becomes reality

Next, write this on your T-shirt
"By looking at me, you agree to ...

i hate spyware....but.. (4, Funny)

atarione (601740) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006043)

their EULA is GENIUS>.... evil evil genius.

Re:i hate spyware....but.. (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006068)

It's just a lame attempt that is doomed to failure.

I can't believe that a court would find in their favor.

Re:i hate spyware....but.. (1)

akgoatley (787022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006205)

Unfortunately, this is becoming a pattern in the US, as far as I (a NZer) can see, and probably has been for some time. The court system in the US is increasingly encouraging a litigious society.
I think part of the problem is that people are taking their "right to their day in court" too far when applying it to companies. As another post says, merely classifying software shouldn't violate anything.
If they are going to sue, it should be for defamation, rather than for violating the EULA, which makes it even weirder, as you say, that a court found in their favour.

Ashton

Re:i hate spyware....but.. (1)

eric76 (679787) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006297)

Yeah, but a court hasn't found in their favor.

In fact, there isn't even a suit yet. Merely the threat of one.

If it did go to court, it should probably take a few years before anything happened, anyway. By that time, the question will probably be moot.

Re:i hate spyware....but.. (4, Insightful)

piquadratCH (749309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006073)

No, it isn't genious. It's only the crap you'd expect from an asshole...

Re:i hate spyware....but.. (2, Insightful)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006087)

It doesn't have to be genius. My first idea of defense would be, maybe they were scanning someone else's computer, someone who had previously installed it and had no idea that another person would be using anti-spyware research on that machine. They might then go and sue the installer of the system for negligance or something. Who knows.

Re:i hate spyware....but.. (4, Interesting)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006246)

1. EULAs are BS. The spyware company happily uploaded a copy of their software to the anti-spyware company on request. Clicking the install button below a 3000 word pile of legalese after you've been given the software isn't a valid contract, for reasons well explained many times before on this site. Heck, the spyware company doesn't even know what individual supposedly "agreed" to the EULA. The janitor? A 12-year-old child? Could have been anyone.

2. Why is the industry so lawsuit crazy? Lawsuits are supposed to reimburse you for actual unlawful damages done. What damage was done by the anti-spyware company downloading the software? A few cents' worth of bandwidth at the most. What damage was done by installing it? None at all. This is surely the most baseless lawsuit ever.

(I know that including the spyware definitions in anti-spyware software will [one hopes] hurt the spyware company, but that's not what the suit is about.)

how about this EULA (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006252)

upon purchasing this product, you agree to send all your future earnings to the following address until both of these conditions apply: You are dead, you are broke.

EULA Requirement
3106 Equinox Rd.
Dover, PA 17315

If you fail to meet the requirements of this EULA your life will be revoked.

see, I am a genious too!

Re:i hate spyware....but.. (2, Interesting)

kartack (930284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006309)

A company or individual can sue for slander. I'm no legal expert however maybe RetroCoder could consider CounterSpy as slandering them when they mark SpyMon as spyware. This however would have nothing to do with the EULA in particular. You hear about this kind of court case usually in regards to the media, if I review your software and give it an unfair and bad review I just might end up on the receiving end of such a lawsuit. I would think though that given the nature of SpyMon that this would be exceedingly difficult to prove, since you can't sue over slander if the comments are true (aka its fine to call a pice of crap a piece of crap, but you can't call something that most people would consider good a piece of crap.)

If RetroCoder indeed is going to attempt to sue for violating the EULA and they go all the way through court and lose I'm curious if this will have any implications on future EULA related cases. Others have been saying that EULA's are hard to prove in court but every time an EULA cannot successfully be defended it means that it will be all the more difficult to show in future. If enough attempts are made and failed maybe companies will stop trying to claim all these crazy protections in EULA's and decided to simply save the costs of hiring lawyers to write them.

I would tend to agree with some others that there should be legal mechanisms in place to properly protect software. Neither copyright nor patent properly fit this bill and no one seems to be interested in trying to come up with the appropriate thing.

Simple solution (2, Interesting)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006314)

Dear Sunbelt Software, I just wanted to complain to someone about a crappy bit of software. c:\abc.exe is has been pissing me off for ages now. It does X, Y, and Z. I really wish there was some software out there to remove this crap. Thanks for listening.
Dear Pissed Off User, We actually make anti-spyware software, but I guess we can add this to the list, just because it bugs you so much. Have a nice day :)

Easily to counter by applying Isaac Asimov (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006358)

Person one opens the package, puts the contents on the table and leaves.

Person two installs the software on a computer, and leaves.

Person three has got no knowledge of the first two, and is therefore not encumbered by any EULA.

Problem solved.

(freely taken from one of Isaac Asimovs stories, in which a series of robots, all of them incapable of hurting a human, are coerced in taking part in a series of actions that results in the death of a human)

If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck... (4, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006046)

Since when could a company dictate to other companies what how they could classify the software?

If it looks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, then it must be a duck. :P

Re:If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006096)

Or in this case:

If it looks like dick, and sounds like a dick, then it must be a dick.

Re:If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck. (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006114)

Just a thought... what if Microsoft started suing the anti-virus firms over calling malware names? What will we call the viruses, worms, spiders and ticks? AIDS? SARS? STD? I think 'non-user-non-MS-unintentionally-installed-softwar e' is too long...

Re:If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck. (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006283)

>non-user-non-MS-unintentionally-installed-softwar e

Why should MS be excluded?

Re:If it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006260)

But if it weighs the same as a duck, it must be a witch.

That's not going to fly (1)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006050)

If you don't agree to the EULA, you can't use the software. Isn't that the way it works? So good riddance.

The answer... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006060)

...is for the detection firm to add a section to their EULA that forbids anti-anti-spyware research!

Re:The answer... (1)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006214)

Even better answer would be detect it as SCOndomware.... and then say it is 'probably spyware, but cannot be clssified as such for probably legal reasons'.

I'm not sure which is scarier... (4, Insightful)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006065)

The fact that someone actually is trying this, or the fact that I'm half-afraid it might work.

Let's all hope not.

Re:I'm not sure which is scarier... (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006106)

I'm actually quite glad of this. The outcome of this case will determine just what is and what is not enforceable in an EULA.

For instance, how about that bit about not disassembling, decompiling or reverse-engineering software that's in so many EULAs? That's the same kind of thing as this 'not use in spyware research' clause. If the one is unenforceable, then is the other one too?

Re:I'm not sure which is scarier... (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006195)

Depends on how judges of future cases interpret the finding of this case.

It's not used in anti-spyware-research. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006071)

It's used for target practice in spyware-asskicking.

Does it work against FBI agents too? (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006074)

According to the EULA, SpyMon can not be used in 'anti-spyware research,' and detecting it is therefore a violation of it.

Anyone remember those MOTD's on pirate-software FTP sites giving us a pseudo-legal-brief about President Clinton signing some law, and then "FBI AGENTS YOU CANNOT ENTER THIS SITE"?

Re:Does it work against FBI agents too? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006107)

Hehe. It used to be the same on the pirate BBS scene before the internet ISPs really took off -- you would dial a board and be met by a message that said something like "If you are a member of the police, customs or any anti-piracy agency you are forbidden from accessing this system".

I suspect that few of these sysops went on to become criminal masterminds or lords of the underworld -- I can just imagine their crack houses now -- "NO DRUG OFFICERS ALLOWED, BY ORDER OF THE MANAGEMENT"

Re:Does it work against FBI agents too? (5, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006192)

Anyone remember those MOTD's on pirate-software FTP sites giving us a pseudo-legal-brief about President Clinton signing some law, and then "FBI AGENTS YOU CANNOT ENTER THIS SITE"?

They never stopped, FTP simply lost importance. IRC fserves used to have them too. Websites, DC++ hubs, eMule hubs, WinMX shares as well. It's funny, I've had people present me that and then ask me if I'm a cop as well. Even after sending them this [snopes.com] and this [snopes.com] they still think it is for real. I guess it's some kind of mental self-defense, denial or whatever that makes them go LALALALALA I can't hear you.

Kjella

Re:Does it work against FBI agents too? (3, Informative)

welshsocialist (542986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006224)

I remember this too. According to Snopes [snopes.com] and this blog post [adamparnes.com] , these warnings - boiled down to the simplest level - told law enforcement and other groups that going after them was a violation of non-existing 1995 Internet privacy law signed by former President Clinton.

It isn't true.

Wow, impressivly smart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006077)

Damn, thats a really good idea on their part. Hopefully the judge just says that its malicious software and throws out the case or something.

Ya know... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006078)

Someone should find the place these idiots live and go on a killing spree: "You let these idiots live, so we'll give you what you deserve".

When, Bumfuck, Wherever gets bombed to shit because A. Hole. had his business there, people might start to think about the kinds of laws they let get passed.

Yes, it is force. No, it isn't "right", or legal for that matter.

Since when was anything accomplished using reason that had to do with idiots and assholes using reason?

The message is simple: communities that permit such companies to operate in their midst with impunity *are* the enemy,

Re:Ya know... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006146)

Right, because nothing convinces people to get on yourside like blowing them up.

Re:Ya know... (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006208)

I'm not much for killing sprees.
1) They leave such a terrible mess.
2) The cleaning bill is absolute atrocious.
3) The authorities take such an annoyingly dim view on it.

And In the case of these characters

4) They are not worth the price of the bullets.

I'm much more interested in trying out some of those EMP devices...

Re:Ya know... (1)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006228)

Ant that was supposed to be a bad joke.

I don't kill people. I don't want to either.
Teaching someone a lesson by killing them makes very little - if any - sense.

I'd rather see someone turn the tables on the bastards, and sue them into oblivion.

Re:Ya know... (1)

nietsch (112711) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006218)

By the same token the US [c|sh]ould be bombed too. There are enough evil companies in their mids to justify obliteration, if you use the same reasoning as you do.
Maybe, just maybe, collective punishment is no justice at all. At least it will be self-eradicating: the relatives of the people that perished in your collective punishment are allowed to retaliate against proponents of that law and anybody that allowed it to come into force.
Until you have become a tryrant, i suggest you shelve those little plans of yours.

I dont think they'll win (5, Insightful)

bjason82 (820735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006088)

This kind of thing is not likely to stand up in court. Spyware has been proven to be a malicious type of software that voilates one's privacy, therefore I would be shocked if the courts find in favor of the spyware maker. The spyware maker might have thought it was clever adding that clause in their EULA, but essentially what they've stipulated was people cannot investigate how their software works in order to prevent it's unwanted installation on to one's system. Not likely to stand up in court.

Don't need to (3, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006148)

They don't need to be able to win. All they need is to have enough of a case to threaten them with long, costly litigation - and once the expected cost of defending themselves is greater than the cost of caving in, most businesses will cheerfully cave. In fact, for publicly traded companies you can make a decent case that it's their duty to do so.

Re:Don't need to (4, Insightful)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006190)

once the expected cost of defending themselves is greater than the cost of caving in, most businesses will cheerfully cave. In fact, for publicly traded companies you can make a decent case that it's their duty to do so.

Except that if a clause like this were upheld, all the spyware makers would start adding similar clauses in short order, and anti-spyware makers would be out of business. It shouldn't be too hard to explain this to shareholders.

Re:I dont think they'll win (1)

checkup21 (717875) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006216)

But this undermines your freedom of doing whatever you like. If you install a shareware with spyware attached, and they inform you with the EULA, it is your own freedom to do so. In fact "You wanted the Software".

Re:I dont think they'll win (2, Informative)

shawb (16347) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006272)

Maybe, if this was actually spyware. Okay, it does "spy" on the user, but it is monitoring software. It gets installed on the computer for the express purpose of monitoring another user's activities, such as a boss monitoring their employees or a parent monitoring what their children are doing. This software has to be purchased and intentionally installed, it doesn't just get surreptiously installed along with some screen saver, video game or internet cursors.

I personally think this is generally morally reprehensive if the user is not notified of the logging software, but the owner of the computer is probably within their rights to install this on their own property.

I can see it now... (2, Funny)

bravehamster (44836) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006091)

So, the next virus I get on my computer will have embedded in it's source code: "By reading this source code, you agree that W32.SonyRootKit.C will not be added to any antivirus definition lists or be recognized by any heuristics."

I can just see the coder in his dimly lit basement cackling while rubbing his hands in glee: "I have you now Norton!"

Detection w/o "Research" on the product (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006101)

Although the EULA does state the defendant must prove in court they didn't use the accused spyware program in research, isn't it possible that the spyware detecting application made (exclusive?) use of heuristic profiling to detect the actual spyware app?

Prove my invisible friend ISN'T Jesus. (4, Interesting)

CosmeticLobotamy (155360) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006102)

If you do produce a program that will affect this software's ability to perform its function, then you may have to prove in criminal court that you have not infringed this warning.

Is it legal for contracts to include conditions that are physically impossible to do? If so, my next bit of software is coming with a "If you can't prove you didn't make copies of the software, you owe us for as many copies as could possibly have been made between the time you first run the program and the time we sue you." Since nobody reads those things anyway.

On a mostly unrelated note, I wrote a program that shows funny pictures. It's awesome, and it's only 1 cent, for... processing purposes, if anyone's interested in a download.

Re:Prove my invisible friend ISN'T Jesus. (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006118)

Contracts are invalid if their execution would require someone to do something illegal or impossible.

Re:Prove my invisible friend ISN'T Jesus. (2, Informative)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006167)

Depends on who has the burden of proof in such cases. If an EULA is handled like a regular contract, at least in my country, the party which makes the claim also carries the burden of proof.

Re:Prove my invisible friend ISN'T Jesus. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006263)

If you do produce a program that will affect this software's ability to perform its function, then you may have to prove in criminal court that you have not infringed this warning.

That's meaningless. It says, do this, and you might find yourself in criminal court. Or you might not. Or the sky might be green. It's legalese BS just like email disclaimers that have no force of law.

Next Up (0, Redundant)

kertong (179136) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006103)

In CounterSpy's EULA: "This CounterSpy software cannot be used for anti-anti-spyware research or litigation."

in the end more is said then done. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006108)

last time i checked the legality of eulas was rather questionable, and unless the spyware company makes it clear that there is a eula you have to agree to, then its about as legal as strapping on an extra page to a contract to change it how you want it to.

Anyone up for putting an EULA on their computers saying that anyone/thing using their computer in a destructive, invasive or annoying means isnt allowed to?

Re:in the end more is said then done. (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006145)

Actually, that's really not such a bad idea, but you'd need software to deliver the message to anyone trying to do just that, not just something that blocks them from connecting with you.

And, agreed, this is bullshit. But this isn't the worst I've heard. I've also read that some spyware companies are leaning on the anti-spyware makers to exclude them from their detection lists. Unfortunately, I don't have any links to prove it now (it was about 5 weeks ago I read that, I think). I can't say it's true, but I'd actually be surprised if this hasn't been happening for a while. Think about it.

yes and no (2, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006250)

Yes, spyware companies leaned on the likes of ad-aware, spybot, etc

BUT

no, because their delisting was contingent on the company modifying the way their software installs/removes/whatever

some spyware companies changed a few of their nasty ways and were rewarded by being delisted. The anti-spyware companies (of course) have reserved the right to relist lapsed spyware makers.

Re:in the end more is said then done. (1)

guttergod (94044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006292)

Oh yes! I'll just incorporate it now...

This is the EULA för my computer.

By accessing any information stored in my computer, you forfeit your life to me and shall immediately cease and desist your current life and report to me for a life in permanent slavery.

EULA for this post, read this first!:
By reading any part of the above post, you forfeit your life to me and shall immediately cease and desist your current life and report to me for a life in permanent slavery.

- Oh, really? You didn't read the post EULA first? *evil laughter*
Awaiting the slaves... awaiting the slaves....
- Oh bugger, 1000000 nerdslaves, I obviously didn't think this through...

Heuristics ? Or the admit in the EULA (5, Insightful)

tines (806906) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006109)

First: they almost admit in the EULA that is a spyware product. Who the fuck else would put such an idiot line in the EULA. Second: the antispyware company might have used some sort of heuristics. No install required. I would really like to see this go in court: isn't there a limit on the kind of shit people put in that EULA ?

EULA's too far? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006113)

This seems ridiculous to me... shouldn't there be a limit on how far EULAs can go? Or is there one that I'm not aware of?
Can I make a EULA that says you must pay me $1 million within a week or I can take everything you own? It seems very exploitable...

enforcability ? (1, Redundant)

tklive (755607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006125)

This would be a good case to find out about the enforcabilities of an EULA .

have any others been tested in courts ?

Where's Al Qaeda when you need them? (1)

leereyno (32197) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006129)

CYA Notice to federal agents and other interested parties:

The subject line of this post is intended to be humorous. It is not an endorsement of terrorism nor is it intended to encourage anyone to commit any illegal act.... except of course for jaywalking, sodomy, and mopery with intent to loiter.

The llamas responsible have all been sacked.

Lee

Don't agree to eula! (5, Insightful)

pawstar (930281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006131)

Em. I don't get it. Who says the the company has to agree to the eula to look at it? If the spyware company declines the eula agreement they are not bound to it and as a result the proggy is not installed. How does that restrict they spyware company from analyzing the binaries present in the setup program? Decompress the archive and create a fingerprint done!

Re:Don't agree to eula! (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006173)

Perhaps the spyware program #1 just thinks that program #2 is spyware since it's fingerprint looks remarkably similar to something else. In this case- they didn't violate the agreement at all.

Re:Don't agree to eula! (1)

metricmusic (766303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006242)

Or they could have possibly anaylyzed the spyware program on a machine that already had it installed. If teh program was already installed when you got to it, you never clicked 'I agree' to the EULA did you?

Other great EULA small print (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006134)

Section 6783.

You agree that in using this Software, You give Us the right to your first born child.

Section 6784.

You agree that in using this Software, you will never hit the "g" key on your keyboard between 4:50AM and 3:15PM. This clause will survive termination of the Agreement.

Section 6785.

You will never call the Software a Piece Of Shit in public or in private.

It's not used in anti-spyware-research. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006139)

It's used for target practice in spyware-asskicking.

Unenforceble I'd Say (5, Funny)

amelith (920455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006147)

What's next? Passing a note to a bank teller "By reading this note you have agreed to let me rob your bank and not press the alarm button"?

EULAs are becoming increasingly cluttered with unenforceable and in cases downright silly things. With any luck a few frivolous lawsuits might see some of them struck down.

Ame

No shame!! (3, Insightful)

cra (172225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006154)

Have they no shame!??

The spyware people should be treated like programming commands and scripts: "Carried out and executed".

In general, I think the USA should change its name to "SueSA". When are people going to take responsibility for their own actions? If someone walks on my sidewalks and trips in a hole in it, it's their own g*dd*mn f**ing fault for not watching where they are going, not mine.

PLEASE THINK AND/OR RTFA BEFORE YOU POST (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006233)

Hey, dumb fuck! The company is British. They are filing suit in the US only because the "perpetrators" are based there. So if we were going to draw dumb-ass generalizations, we'd call the British sue-happy and the US spyware-hostile.

Re:No shame!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006256)

In general, I think the USA should change its name to "SueSA".

That was my idea! We're going to face off in court over this...

Virus creator sues McAffee for USD 200$ Mio (5, Funny)

lightweave (522226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006169)

++++ fake ticker ++++ Johnny Bash, famous for writing applications like WORM32 and Trojan.Hoax, has today filed a lawsuit against McAffee. His complaint is that the EULA for this applications specifically forbids the reverse engineering or analyzing of the code for anti-virus companies. He says that by downloading and installing his latestes achievment, McAffee implicitly agreed to the conditions and thus violated the EULA by including the anti-virus measures in their latest software.

Re:Virus creator sues McAffee for USD 200$ Mio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006281)

better yet, use crappy encryption and sue over DMCA violation claim

It will revolve around the word "use" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006172)

If i do not agree to the EULA i am forbidden to use the program.
The question is if examining the application with disassemblers etc is "use".

This is ridiculous (1)

Snatch422 (896695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006174)

Look at it logically. The makers of one software are claiming that no one can look at what their software does on a computer or you violate the EULA. This will never hold up and these projects are independent and not using code just referencing the files in a database. They cant prove that an anonymous web page wasnt their source of file/registry information anyway as much of that information is available these days.

Re:This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006254)

You're still widely speculating.

Oh wait a minute, I forgot I was on slashdot.

For Heaven's Sake (1)

dunstan (97493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006181)

Am I the only one who views the use of law in this sort of a case as an admission of technical ineptitude?

Admitting distribution spyware? (2, Insightful)

zeekiorage (545864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006182)

By putting statements such as "SpyMon can not be used in 'anti-spyware research'", isn't the spyware firm basically admitting that they are distributing spyware? Why would a legal, non-dodgy software company put such a clause in their EULA? I think if the judge rules in favour of the spyware company (unlikely), this will basically give green light to all other spyware and scumware vendors.

Are EULAs proven in court anyway? (1)

brunos (629303) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006184)

From what I seem to reacall EULAs are not particularly easy to defend in court, and mostly court software piracy cases rely on copyright. What about adding a term in the EULA saying "this software cannot be used for research on legal cases" EULAs are just ridiculous. From my grasp of them they are a bit like a contract which means that if only one of the terms is not strictly legal (like this one) the entire EULA is void. Why can companies not just rely on copyright?

Tell that to Bnetd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006219)

no text

Easy Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006227)

Well I think the beast way around this is: "Any software that forbids us from evaluating it will automaticly be flagged as spyway by our system"

Re:Easy Solution (1)

MerRua (257418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006303)

Good plan actually.

Have you seen Spymon's advertising on their site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006229)

I would add Spymon to a list of spyware after viewing their main page http://www.spymon.com/ [spymon.com]
"Ever wanted to be a hacker like in the movies?"

What if I reject the EULA? (1)

archevis (634851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006240)

I don't know this SpyMon thingy from before (perhaps it comes in Windows version only), but suppose I refuse to accept the EULA - does the shitware still install on my machine? If it doesn't I have to admit I'm not particularly intimidated by the spyware aspect of SpyMon.

On the other hand if I'm never presented with the EULA, or if it installs even if the EULA is rejected by the user, or even if the produkt does shit that I'm not properly informed of in advance, the EULA's not legally binding anyways. So what's the issue here?

I seem to recall that McDonald's had to explicitly inform their customers that hot coffee can burn your nuts if spilled. So it seems rather odd if RetroCoder can install compromising shit on your machine without properly informing you in advance?

As a side note, "spy" in norwegian means "puke"...

Re:What if I reject the EULA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006300)

"spy" in norwegian means "puke".

So Gator et al is pukeware? Appropriate since it makes systems vomit.

EULA (1)

Rixel (131146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006249)

By reading this comment, you agree to mod it up, should you have available points.

nuff said

Shouldn't they be suing the users? (1)

Bueller_007 (535588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006251)

The anti-spyware company never agreed to abide by the spyware's EULA, right? Wasn't the user the one who clicked the OK box? Shouldn't they be suing the uesrs of their program?

So much fun (5, Funny)

pepeperes (731972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006257)

U.S. lawsuits are merrier and merrier all the time! Very few surrealist artists had as much imagination as some lawyers do!

What would they do in Elbonia? (1)

AMD-lover (759977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006259)

Just wondering: if your native language isn't English, does the EULA still stand in your country? Otherwise it would be VERY easy to dismiss such nonsense.

Coming soon.. (1)

GoLGY (9296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006266)

* Spyware that forbids detection by third party software
* Spyware that forbids removal by third party software

not research (1)

Chris Snook (872473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006271)

This is a commercial product, so it's clearly beyond the "research" phase. Sounds more like "analysis" to me. I bet it wouldn't be hard to convince twelve jurors of that.

I should stop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006276)

Sony defending DRM trojan with EULA getting sued in the US but introducing the same DRM trojan in Europe like it is a feature.

"People" admitting (like it is written in buzzword bochures) that it is wrong to play music on more than one device.

Microsoft being asked if it is right to sell their products as being used.

SCO, Scuttlemonkey and all the likes with their never ending FUD, BS and threats.

Video Game Fanboys in games.slashdot.org justifying their purchases with stock quotes.

I should really stop visiting this site and spend more time on the gun range or getting a pilot license. Wait. I'll check with geotrace where slashdot is located.

See ya!

HAHAHAHA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006278)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA... ahem. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. ahem.

well this is ludicrous.... (1)

shrewd (830067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006282)

firstly, how does a company prove that the EULA was agreed to? i'm sure you could demonstrate ways of detecting this filthy program without having to install it... therfore you can't assume the EULA was even agreed to, and thats IF the EULA can even be considered legal tender in this case, im sure you can make an argument that it goes beyond legal limitations by attempting to control the way other programs function...

Cool! (1)

Tehrasha (624164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006284)

I guess you can now hand the cashier at the bank a note that reads 'By reading this note, you agree to hand over all the money in the vault, and you will not call the police.'

HA (1)

MerRua (257418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006289)

Ha! They have big ones for trying that.
Wonder if they can look ya in the eye and say that.

Bleh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006290)

need a ring of ELUA imunity +10...

EULA's can DO THIS?? (1)

shrewd (830067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006304)

awesome! can't wait until the virus writers out there cotton on to this!

*note: by installing this virus you have agreed not to take part in virus scanning practices, you may not use the bytecode or any means of detection to scan for and/or remove this program.... MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

The day reading an EULA constitutes acceptance: (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006305)

"By running Linux, BSD or any other operating system lacking either a Win32 or NT API, you are preventing the installation of the Software and in violation of this agreement, for which you may be liable for damages..."

bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14006310)

fuck you I will disassemble, modify, and otherwise examine anything I want dispite your EULA.

EULAs in general. (2, Insightful)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006323)

EULAs in general are difficult to enforce, because they are often ambiguous, have clashing clauses or as they say in the legal world "have more holes than a lattice fence".
Legal documents are written with the intention of covering all possible situations, and often worded such that each clause is as broad as possible this is to avoid said lattice fence gaps. This is because once a gap appears it is exploited by lawyers to make the entire document sound ridiculous. (Which is often the case anyway.)

For example a lawyer will jump right onto this clause, and talk about all the other methods of research, they'll attempt to broadly classify what research is (including using the software at all.) His final point will be that it's impossible to satisfy the terms of the agreement in any way, making it an invalid document. For example the phrase "by reading this line you agree to not read this line", is obviously ridiculous, but essentially any lawyer will be able to make this EULA analogous to this.

First prove that Sunbelt accepted the EULA (2, Interesting)

ammoQ (454616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006324)

Putting anything into the EULA means nothing if you cannot prove that the other guy ever accepted it.
This is spyware, so it's main purpose is to install it without the user noticing, right?
A user that doesn't notice the install obviously doesn't read and accect a f*cking EULA, so it doesn't matter what the EULA says.
Sunbelt might just as well have examined a contamined PC.

EULAs are not valid contracts... (3, Interesting)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006325)

At least here at Brazil.

To a contrat be valid, it must be an agreement between two parts. In the case of an EULA the consumer doesnt have any power of negociation, and in pratice cant change anything on the EULA.

The brazilian legislation also states that you cant be forced to agree with a contract that prejudice, or denies, any of your rights. This way no EULA can really be enforced here.

Just my 2c.

EULA's on individual computers (5, Interesting)

pilybaby (638883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14006326)

Perhaps there should be a system where any software installed has to agree to a license on that computer. So I can add my own EULA to my computer and any software vendor that has their software on my computer has to agree to it. There can be a nice API that can be used to get at the license and everything. If I have to agree to an EULA when installing their products on my machine, they should have to agree to my EULA to run their software on my machine. If they break it then I can sue them.

This is fair too, because as much as I don't understand their EULAs, they wont be able to understand mine. Vive la revolution in software consumer rights!
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