EULA: Red, White, and Blues
By reading this blog, you agree that you have no rights other than to comment on this blog. Not commenting on this blog may result in a law suit, death by stoning, or just a ToS-warning. Commenting on this blog on any subject outside of given topics (see section 2)will result in a $250 fine, as well as loss of one child in the near future.
Section 1: Please be aware that this is not stupid, and thinking a EULA like this is stupid is punishable by death.
Section 2: Given topics are only about the EULA, and how awesome it is. Anything other than that will be punished! PUNISHED!!
By agreeing to this EULA, you also have agreed to something before reading it. Now who is stupid?
You’ve seen these EULAs everywhere in the gaming world. They’re made-up contracts that force the consumer into submission of any company’s will. They’re the way companies can tell you, the paying customer, that you don’t own the physical property you went to the store and picked up. Not all companies do this, but you’d be shocked how many companies make you agree to this just because they can. And if we keep letting these people push us around and ignore our own consumer rights, then eventually we’re going to be paying $80 a pop to rent a game for a week. Find that insane? Nothing’s insane in the greedy corporate world.
The problem with some of these companies is privacy issues… on the customer. There’s been several issues in the past and present with PC gamers having rootkits installed onto their computer so the company can spy on them. The problem with this is that this violates a person’s civil rights. The right to privacy. There’s no need for a company to scan your hard drive at all, but we allow it. There were issues in the 90s, before this became an accepted occurrence, that game companies were scanning your internet history so they could put appropriate ads in your games. Why should I be spied on to play a game I paid for?
I find it insane that people agree that $60 is a fair price for games these days. With the use of the EULA contracts, I am compelled to even play games sometimes. If I don’t own the game, why do I have to pay full price for the game then? I’ve heard (possible rumors) that the EULA means jack squat in other countries, but in America, our corporations make the laws, and the laws say pay up. Or, in some cases, get sued. Or better yet, have Homeland Security knocking on your door for breaking a console’s ToS.
The other issues with the EULA, as well as DRM, is that it breaks other laws already in place. The First Sale law is a consumer right that states you do have the right to resell a copy of your game. But look what happened in this case. Another problem with this EULA garbage is that by opening a game box, sometimes you have agreed to something, even if it wasn’t on the outside of the box. That would be like stated in my fake-EULA above, that by just reading this, you have agreed to something. That’s not right. And what if you don’t agree, do you get your money right back? Nope. You can’t return it to the store to trade in for a non-EULA game or a less evil one. And most EULA states that you have to call a number 30 days after purchase and wait for shipping, hoping they refund taxes and all, and shipping.
Going through some EULA agreements (not all gaming, since most gaming software reads like one another: you agree you’re a slave to the company while playing), I figured I’d point out of a few very fun things that people more than likely agree to without knowing. Knowledge is power, so remember these things before you run out to get the latest and greatest. They’re not going to change this until we change our purchasing habits.
Blizzard’s World of WarCraft: You’re not allowed to scan the RAM your computer uses to play the game. However, Blizzard has full rights to scan your entire computer.
Sony’s Music DRM: If someone breaks in your house and robs you, you must delete all of your music. Also, if you file for bankruptcy, you must delete all of your music.
Gator (spyware company): You agree to not use, or tell others to use, any antispyware software.
I agree that gaming companies need to protect themselves, but this recent news of Blizzard suing a company that made cheats for StarCraft II is insane, and the people defending it, equally insane. I’m not for cheating. I don’t cheat, but I don’t see a need for lawsuits. We can state that Blizzard’s protecting their customers, but really, Blizzard only attacked the company that sold their cheat programs. The other guys, Blizzard could care less about. Economics 101 would tell you that some of the people banned from cheating, if they enjoyed the game anyway, will now have to rebuy the game since they got the ban (and bans I’m perfectly fine with). So they just doubled their money from one customer, thanks to cheats. And if they don’t return? Blizzard still got their money, and they managed to free up some stress from the servers. This suing over cheating programs opens up a HUGE case of worms when down the road we start suing other gamers for cheating. They suck, but they get there’s in a form of bans.