Since minors cannot be bound by contacts, couldn’t I just get a neighborhood kid to install all my software and avoid being bound by the agreement?
I would suspect that according to the terms of the the license agreement you continually renew your agreement to be bound by its terms each time you load the program.
You should probably try reading one of those agreements some time. Then you might notice that the header says “End User License Agreement”. That would be you if at any point you use the software, even if the software legally belongs to your cat and was installed on your computer by an act of God.
Intentional Ignorance (Not reading the EULA) has never been a successful defence.
If you hire anyone to do the task for you, you are responsible for their actions while they do - you accept the EULA via an agent acting on your behalf.
Their being a minor can only get you in trouble with child labor laws, not remove you from responsibility.
I believe this has not been the case with EULA when tested as they are are almost inherent in their design to be ignored.
Anyway a minor can not enter into a contact, and if they do it is not binding, as they can not make the decision to enter. So it is fault of the company as they accepted the risk in entering in a contract with a minor.
It may not be intentional. Computer illiterate people have teenagers install software all the time
What if I’m 12, buy the software myself, install it and become the end user? Will they just go after my parents like the RIAA has done in the past?
Okay, how about at work? We’re never given EULA’s, and software is part of the standard load. Sure, there are work rules, but I’ve never agreed to any EULA.
In this case, I’m sure the BSA will ensure your employer takes the brunt of the responsibility.
From the BSA article on Wiki:
*Among the more provocative approaches BSA has taken is the **Bust Your Boss! *campaign that has appeared on billboards, printed publications and on the Internet with the following suggestion: “Is your current or former employer using pirated software in their office? Hit 'em where it really hurts - report their illegal software use today.”
Why not choose just to do the honorable thing and abide by the agreement?
The links are for online agreements which are not the same as shrink-wrapped software. Not sure which the OP is referring to.
Because the EULA itself may not be honorable. Software companies want to treat it as a license when it is in fact a sale (recently upheld in the Autodesk case).
EULA’s are an open issue (in the US at least) and it depends on your jurisdiction as to which parts of the EULA are enforceable. In the case of Autodesk, the EULA said you can’t transfer ownership, the federal judge disagreed.
Indeed… They will pack every clause they think they can get away with in there, and a few more besides, and then will fight it out in court hoping for the best.
I’m hoping one day that the courts will bash EULAs down to nothing more than ‘Don’t make illegal copies of this program’, since anything more is ridiculous on something I purchased. Car companies can’t prohibit me from installing aftermarket parts, etc… I see no reason software companies should be allowed to prohibit the equivalent action for their product just because its composed of data instead of matter.
How does one renew the terms of an agreement that they never agreed to?
by usage of the product.
(edit: here’s one of the first clauses of Microsoft Word’s License Agreement [emphasis added])
- RETAIL LICENSE TERMS
These license terms are an agreement between Microsoft Corporation (or based on where you live, one of its affiliates) and you. Please read them. They apply to the software that accompanies these license terms, which includes the media on which you received it, if any. The terms also apply to any Microsoft
• Internet-based services, and
• support services
for this software, unless other terms accompany those items. If so, those terms apply.
BY USING THE SOFTWARE, YOU ACCEPT THESE TERMS. IF YOU DO NOT ACCEPT THEM, DO NOT USE THE SOFTWARE. INSTEAD, RETURN IT TO THE RETAILER FOR A REFUND OR CREDIT.
(edit again: unless you’re being hyper-literal, in which case you are not renewing your agreement, rather you are just plain agreeing)
Here I come back to my example of the work computer. While I realize that the company is responsible for the licenses and such, I specifically have never agreed to a license. My use of a product doesn’t constitute acceptance of the license, because I’ve never accepted the license in the first place; it’s never been presented to me.
And then what about the standard load items that I don’t use? Becaue I don’t use them, then there’s not even the argument that my use constitutes acceptance.
a) The license is always presented to you if you seek it out in the menus of the program
b) I would suspect that as a mere agent of your employer when you use a company computer, the “you” the license term refers to is the owner of the license. In this case, not you. That means that you don’t have any rights to do anything with the computer or the software outside of what your employer has authorized you, either explicitly or impliedly, to do with it, so it’s actually more restrictive.
c) Take off the damn tinfoil hat. You techies get a little too paranoid about software licenses. I’m not a fan of them, but holy shit, parsing out “well, my dog actually hit the mouse button on ‘i accept’” and “well, i never agreed to this when it was installed” are kind of funny.
What if the user is semi-literate? Same problem.
not really a problem though. they don’t get special treatment.
It is? Because my question wasn’t about work, but was “What if I’m on my friend’s computer?” Is my friend on the hook they way an employer would be? I’m not sure about the ready availability of these agreements after the product is installed and is being used. For example, I am currently browsing using Firefox, and I can’t find the End-User Agreement anywhere. I can’t find it on AIM, either. When my friend comes over and checks her e-mail, is she acknowledging, implicitly or otherwise, terms that she has never seen, and fuck if she can find?