EULAs (End User License Agreements) need to be standardized. I must click on thousands of those things in the course of a year. If I treated them like the binding legal documents the companies that implement them think they are, I would spend more money paying a lawyer to interpret them for me than I make in a year. This is clearly an unacceptable burden. There needs to be one standard EULA for all shrink wrap software that is fair for both parties, not the totally one-sided blather that currently exists. The standard contract should be written to apply to both home use and use by businesses when no contract is executed before the initial purchase of the software.
The standard EULA needs to spell out exactly what copyright fair use means for a software product. For home use, I would say that this means the family can use a copy of the software on every computer in their home. For business use, I say would allow either one copy for every computer that is used by a single person or one copy per computer if the computer is used by more than one person. Unlimited backup copies would be permitted -- where backup means the program is never run off the backup copy and the backup copy is only used to repair one of the computers the program legitimately resides on.
The standard EULA needs to state the limits of liability for the software vendor. This would be what the user paid for the product with one exception. If the program is advertised as being a professional product and the program fails due to a copy protection problem, the vendor should be liable for consequential damages.
- The standard EULA should not prohibit reviewing the product in any way whatsoever.
- The standard EULA should not prohibit reverse engineering.
- The terms of the contract cannot be changed in the vendor's favor when the user purchases an upgrade.
- The lifetime of a shrink wrap software purchase is forever. Vendors cannot be allowed to put a time limit on the use of software unless that time limit was agreed to in a written contract executed in advance of the initial purchase.
The standard EULA should be allowed to transfer software to a new computer as long as the computer is compatible.
- Location of the legal venue for conflict resolution should be decided by the user, not the vendor.
- The standard EULA should require arbitration before anyone can file a lawsuit.