A woman in the US has created a way for her cat to approve EULA’s, so she doesn’t have to. I’m sure that, should she ever be sued for breaking an EULA, the legal battles fought over this will be immensely amusing.

But even more interesting is what this says about our intense dislike of EULA’s. That a person would go to such lengths not to have to click ‘yes’ to something she hasn’t read, and might not agree to.

 

Let’s be honest. No one, except a few law students and the occasional pirate, reads EULA’s. Yet we agree to them, even check the ‘yeah yeah, we read it’ box with every software install and every site registration we go through. We have to. It’s not like you get the chance to disagree. Clicking ‘I disagree’ means you don’t get access, even to the software you just bought.

So we live with them. Mindlessly clicking ‘I agree’ instead of finding our way through a labyrinth of incomprehensible legal terms. How many times have I sold away my soul for twenty hours of gaming? God knows. Or, um, Satan (according to some people also known as EA), in this case.

I’m kidding, by the way, EA, please don’t sue me.

Cause that’s the whole point. The suing. Because one big country has adopted a culture in which you can get large sums of money for being an idiot (spilling hot coffee and suing the restaurant… oh my god, coffee is hot? I would never have guessed), every company in the world now has to cover themselves for, well, everything. And lawyers have taken that clause, and run with it.

I now officially agree to texts that say they can change at any time, but I’ll still have agreed to it. If Ubisoft at one point changes its EULA to say they have the right to my first born, there’s legally nothing I can do about it. And really, that sorta sucks. The world in general just assumes that Ubisoft (or any other country for that matter) won’t do that, on some odd basis of trust.

So I’m all for the cat contraption. It is high time for consumer rebellion. We should not be spoon-fed legal garbage that can be used against us, just so we can use the products we just bought. In the same vein, I hope the storm Facebook  is facing about its EULA spreads to other internet giants. Google could use some crashing of the gates, for instance, for being about the worst offender of privacy in the interwebs kingdom.

I’ll be right here, selling pitchforks and torches at low, low prices. Just make sure to sign this little agreement first. Sign it in blood. No, you don’t have to read it, it’s in latin and will take ages to translate. Yeah, those letters are tiny, aren’t they. But hey, don’t you trust me?

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