"I have read and agree to these blah blah blah.

Some software licenses require you to click that you have read and agree to their conditions. Others simply require that you agree to them. Although practically no one actually reads them, is there some legal requirement that says that I’ve read them instead of just agreeing to them?

You’re not my lawyer. I don’t need advice.

IANAL, but I don’t really see a difference between the two.

If you click the ‘agree’ button then why would it matter whether you read the agreement or not?

That fact that you agreed to it is all that really matters. A defense of ‘I hit the agree button without reading it and knowing what it said’ doesn’t seem like much of a defense to me.

I’ve always figured they are like every other instance of “mandatory agreement.” Maybe a little binding, but not a whole lot binding.

Ever park in a parking lot where they have a big sign up that says “This contract limits our liability: read it”? Think it ever stopped anybody from suing when their car got vandalized? It might carry some weight in court, but is it an “automatic victory” the way it pretends to be?

Most of us just click on “I Agree” without actually formally agreeing. In our minds, we do not agree. Some day, it’ll all come to a head in court.

From what I understand, software EULAs have never been fully tested in court, but they’ve been legally “poked” in some states and never held up very well at all. Somebody who actually knows more will probably be along shortly to clarify.

We had to do this 1L contracts law. I’m studying Canadian law, but I assume it’s largely the same in AmericaLand ©.

Rudder v Microsoft held for the proposition that even if it’s really long and you have to scroll through an enormous text box, you had a chance to read it, and ergo you agree to be bound by the terms, regardless if you read it or not.

We also looked at the rental car case where the guy signed an insurance agreement that said he wasn’t covered on private property, or if he drank ANY ALCOHOL at all. He had one beer and got in a fender bender. Tilden said he signed a contract, whether he read or understood it is immaterial. But the court decided that was such an onerous provision, they had to bring it to his attention in particular with like, a highlighter or a flag or something.

They only need to provide you the opportunity to read it (ETA: and a chance to decline the offer, by extension). Whether you read it or not is immaterial. So, that’s my roundabout way of saying, “I’m not a lawyer yet, but my guess is they’re the same thing.”

Not in England.

I seem to recall that I once actually had to (pretend) to read the terms, etc. I couldn’t just agree, I had to scroll the whole page to the bottom as though reading it and then agree.

They add as many hurdles as possible, so they can prove a) that you were given ample time to read it ; and B) that you didn’t accidentally hit the agree button. Having to hit a tick box, scroll down, or click a second “Are you sure?” button are ways to do this.

I think the main difference is how much effort the programmers want to / are able to put into the project. See below.

I had one of those once too.

As a former programmer, I can attest that additional jumping hoops are NOT a trivial task. Each extra thing on the screen is another thing the might work wrong, or the the user might use in an unexpected sequence. Testing has to be extensive, or beware. These extra hoops will give the software house extra clout legally, as posted by others, but they’re not easy or cheap to implement.

Particularly onerous are the sites which post the pages-long EULA in a one-inch-high box, requiring much finicky scrolling to get through. I would not be surprised if these were successfully challenged, as they are an actual barrier to reading the agreement in its entirety.

Again, from a Canadian context because that’s my training… The courts said that scrolling is no different than flipping pages in Rudder v Microsoft, so the fact you have to scroll a lot probably wouldn’t help you!