Did you know you enter into an agreement whenever you buy a CD from $ony? The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a virtual rights campaign group, have read through the 3000 word end-user license and kindly summarised the highlights:
1. If your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home. That’s because the EULA says that your rights to any copies terminate as soon as you no longer possess the original CD.
2. You can’t keep your music on any computers at work. The EULA only gives you the right to put copies on a “personal home computer system owned by you.”
3. If you move out of the country, you have to delete all your music. The EULA specifically forbids “export” outside the country where you reside.
4. You must install any and all updates, or else lose the music on your computer. The EULA immediately terminates if you fail to install any update. No more holding out on those hobble-ware downgrades masquerading as updates.
5. Sony-BMG can install and use backdoors in the copy protection software or media player to “enforce their rights” against you, at any time, without notice. And Sony-BMG disclaims any liability if this “self help” crashes your computer, exposes you to security risks, or any other harm.
6. The EULA says Sony-BMG will never be liable to you for more than $5.00. That’s right, no matter what happens, you can’t even get back what you paid for the CD.
7. If you file for bankruptcy, you have to delete all the music on your computer. Seriously.
8. You have no right to transfer the music on your computer, even along with the original CD.
9. Forget about using the music as a soundtrack for your latest family photo slideshow, or mash-ups, or sampling. The EULA forbids changing, altering, or make derivative works from the music on your computer.
This all seems massively draconian, but it also makes me wonder what other products have similar restrictions on them that I may have unknowingly broken.
Additional: $ony are now being sued over the rootkit software.