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Microsoft

MS FrontPage Restricts Free Speech II (It's True!) 763

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the on-and-on-and-on dept.
A mild controvery occured yesterday in a story claiming Microsoft prohibits anti-ms speech if you use Frontpage. Here is a followup submitted by Reyacta from the original author: "Several readers have told me their EULA for FrontPage 2002 does not contain the no-disparaging-MS term, or that the term only applies to the FrontPage logo or to the Web components like the MSNBC news headline component. Just to be sure, this afternoon I went down to the store and bought a copy of FrontPage 2002 myself. In the box was the "Microsoft Frontpage 2002" license on a four-page folded sheet, titled "End- User License Agreement For Microsoft Software." Under Section #1, Grant of License, the second paragraph headed "Restrictions" states in part: "You may not use the Software in connection with any site that disparages Microsoft, MSN, MSNBC, Expedia, or their products or services, infringe any intellectual property or other rights of these parties, violate any state, federal or international law, or promote racism, hatred or pornography." (Not only a stunning example of legal overreaching, in my opinion, but very poor grammar as well.) It appears to me to clearly apply to use of the program as a whole and not just the logo or Web components. I suspect that there are different versions of the EULA of FrontPage 2002. Perhaps the license was updated for the most recent SKU, or versions obtained through different channels don't yet have it. I'm going to try to get Microsoft to clarify where this EULA does and doesn't appear, but I'm not sure they will be very anxious to provide me with that information. Reply to Ed Foster."
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MS FrontPage Restricts Free Speech II (It's True!)

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  • by Jonathunder (105885) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:36PM (#2330307) Homepage
    Use of this Dictionary of the English Language, or any of the words contained herein, constitutes acceptance of the following terms: You shall not use this dictionary, or any of the words derived therefrom, to disparage Microsoft, Encarta, or any of the companies we swallow up.
    • All your thoughts are belong to us!

      • "All your thoughts are belong to us!"

        That reminds me, whatever happened to the Natalie Portman and hot grits posts? And where is signal11?

        The EULA of the future will prohibit even thinking a bad thought about Microsoft. The serial numbers will be 100 digits long, and you will be told to post a photo of Bill Gates above your desk. Some reviewers will say that Microsoft was very kind to include a photo in the box, so that users do not have to buy one separately.


        What Should be the Response to Violence? [hevanet.com]
    • by MikeV (7307) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:53PM (#2330462)
      When you get the "Blue Screen of Death" the EULA will stipulate that you are forbiden to cuss out Microsoft while you hit Ctrl-Alt-Del.

      When you get a GPF - you'll be forbiden to yell and holler about those MS morons while you watch hours of work disappear.

      When you get a Outlook Express virus, you'll be forbiden to say it's an exploit of MS, but rather you'll have to concede it's a feature.

      When your network crashes, you will be forbiden to call anyone and tell them that Microsoft crashed - you'll have to blame it on yourself or proclaim that it's a result of Microsoft ceasing function to end a critical memory leak for your benefit.

      When the internet becomes YAMM - Yet Another Microsoft Monopoly - you'll be forbiden to get online and complain about Microsoft in any way - even to Microsoft's own support staff. You will only be able to praise Microsoft's infinite wisdom and grace.

      When entertainment centers become YAMM, you'll be forbiden to play any music that uses Microsoft's name in vain.

      When toilets become YAMM, you'll be forbiden to fart in any way that sounds like Microsoft or Bill Gates.

      When churches become yet another YAMM, you'll be required to... well, we'll wait and see...
      • what next? (Score:4, Flamebait)

        by streetlawyer (169828) on Friday September 21, 2001 @01:30PM (#2330759) Homepage
        Yeah, and pretty soon Linux will release a licence that means any time you use Open Source software, all the software you write with it has to be Open Source too .... hang on, wait a minute ....
        • I know it's a troll, I'll to make it clear to anybody who might be fooled. Open source software can be used to do anything you want. You can use your Emacs editor on your Linux box to write a MS driver or even to write Word itself if you're so inclined. It's only when you're using GPLed *code* that you have to release modifications and addons to that code under the GPL.

          • Re:what next? (Score:3, Informative)

            by DunbarTheInept (764)

            It's only when you're using GPLed *code* that you have to
            release modifications and addons to that code under the GPL.

            Even that much isn't true. It's not all "use" of the code that requires you to release your mods under GPL, it's only when you *distribute* the GPLed code, you have to distribute your mods to it as well.


            As long as you don't redistribute the GPLed code, do whatever you feel like. If your own code is modularly seperated from the GPL code enough that you don't need to release any GPL code in order to release your own code (if your own code can be released in a stand-alone fashion), then pick whatever license terms you want. The "viral" nature of the GPL only applies to situations where you are passing on the GPL code to others. If you write some software that's modular enough that you can make installation instructions like "First download GPL product Foo, then download my product Bar, then compile Foo, then compile Bar and run it." Then in that case your product Bar can use whatever license you like, because you aren't really distributing the GPL Foo code - you are just distributing your own code and that's it.


            This is why, for example, you may distribute a binary you compiled with gcc, without having to GPL your source for it (and this was true even before the invention of the LGPL).


            To the idiots who keep trashing the GPL based on this myth, let me repeat: The "viral" nature ONLY applies to when you have to RE-distribute the GPL'ed program as part of your own. You don't have to do that unless you merged your code with the GPL code in some way. If you didn't do that, you wouldn't need to redistributed the GPL code as part of your own.

        • Yeah, and pretty soon Linux will release a licence that means any time you use Open Source software, all the software you write with it has to be Open Source too .... hang on, wait a minute ....
          Linux is licensed under GPL. GPL doesn't limit how the software is used. Linux (the kernel at least) has so many authors, that it's not realistic that the license will ever change, because every author would have to agree.

          It's not like Mozilla, where most developers are employed by the same company. So please stop worrying. Your joke is not funny.

        • Re:what next? (Score:5, Informative)

          by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Friday September 21, 2001 @04:04PM (#2331631) Homepage
          To add slightly to what the others replying to your post have already said by reiterating what has been posted on slashdot many, many times before:

          Unless "all the software you write with it" means "all the software that you create that incorporates source code taken from the source code of Linux" (and i would assume it is not, for i would expect that the prestigious StreetLawyer would not be one to make a grammar ambiguity mistake):
          1. Such a license as you describe would not be compatible with the GPL, as the GPL demands that no use restrictions may be added to GPLed software. (See GPL section 6 [gnu.org]). So unless one individual entity has the copyright at this point to relicense the entire Linux kernel (unlikely-- *does* anyone? do you have to sign over your copyright to someone specific when you submit a kernel patch?), such a restriction (stating that if you write software using Linux you must open-source it) could not be added unless it were added to the GPL itself.
          2. Please note that linux and other such GPLed products are always released under a certain version of the GPL, with the addition of the phrase "or at your option a later version of the GPL". Hence, even if new restrictions are added to the GPL, this does not affect GPLed code already out there.

            In either of the cases described above, you are still free to simply use the older, less restrictively licensed versions of Linux already out there, as the GPL does not allow anyone to retract a license they have given someone under the terms of the GPL.

    • IANAL, but, wouldn't this be a great thing to challenge M$ on?


      I.e.

      1. Contact your attorney and tell them you're going to recklessy cause trouble and he/she'd better clear some calendar time, since the plaintiff will be Microsoft Corporation.

      2. Create a simple homepage (index.html) which states: "Microsoft is a evil, monoplistic company bent on world domination and MSN and MSNBC are their versions of Charlie McCarth and Mortimer Snerd"

      3. Place the offensive page on a server and contact them, perhaps take out an ad in the Seattle Times, be sure to include URL and mention you are violating this witty bit of EULA.

      4. Make sure as many papers, TV news, magazines know about this, doesn't hurt to post it on Slashdot or Kuro5hin

      5. Have lots of fun.


      BTW, might be advisable to wait a few weeks, unless you'd like Microsoft to triumph because everyone is busy looking at what CiC Bush is doing to bring justice to terrorists.

    • Reyacta notes the following:

      "Under Section #1, Grant of License, the second paragraph headed 'Restrictions' states in part: 'You may not use the Software...'"

      In the license I saw, an earlier paragraph said:

      "For purposes of this section, the Software means the FrontPage Web components, including the MSNBC news headline component, the MSN MoneyCentral Stock Quote component, and the MSN Search component."

      The story submitter doesn't say whether this clause is in his EULA or not. If it is, then as previously reported, the site content restrictions only apply to sites that use services provided through MSN, not all sites that are created with FrontPage.

  • You should get no argument when you return the product. Just tell the salesperson "The EULA prohibits me from using this product to run my website, www.livegoatporn.com."
  • Huh. (Score:3, Redundant)

    by BillyGoatThree (324006) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:38PM (#2330333)
    So Microsoft is monopolisitic and overbearing.

    Whoda thunk it?
    • Re:Huh. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Azog (20907)
      I think it would be very entertaining to watch Microsoft try to enforce this one. Can you imagine it? I'm sure there's a few news organizations that would be all over it.

      Does someone out there want to volunteer to be a test case? Write a page in Frontpage detailing all the (true) nasty things that Microsoft has done, "disparage" them, call Bill names, and other rude things. But be careful to not actually say anything that violates a real law, like libel. A quick check with a real lawyer might be a good idea.

      Then send an anonymous tip to Microsoft's Department of License Compliance, or whatever they call themselves, with the url, and see what happens. I would try this myself but I don't have Frontpage. Or even better - maybe a real news organization can do it:

      CNN Headline: Microsoft Sues CNet for Frontpage License Violation:
      Today, Microsoft announced that they are suing CNet for violation of the terms of use of the FrontPage HTML editor. "The pseudonymous "Spencer Katt" columnist disparaged Microsoft, called Bill Gates a "World Dictator Wannabe", and said Frontpage is crap and generated awful HTML. But he used Frontpage to write the article, and that's a clear violation of our fearsome and deadly EULA, a Microsoft PR lackey told the press..."

      Wheeee!
  • Grammar (Score:3, Funny)

    by bperkins (12056) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:40PM (#2330342) Homepage Journal
    Not only a stunning example of legal overreaching, in my opinion, but very poor grammar as well.

    Where's the verb in this sentence?

    • Re:Grammar (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lxy (80823)
      That sentence is a dangling modifier. I know someone who failed college english for using them.
  • I hope bin Laden isn't using FrontPage, or he'll really be in trouble!!
  • I can see Gates right now...
    "Hey, the government loves us enough to not separate us, lets see what else we can get away with!"

    Seriously, its like training a Jack Russel Terrier. They are constantly testing their bounds to see what they can get away with. Someone needs to smack MS hard, and fast.
  • That sucks (Score:2, Funny)

    by skrowl (100307)
    What good is making a website if you can't promote pornography?? Isn't that what the web is for??
    • What is the penalty if Microsoft FrontPage is used to create a porn site?

      I'm pretty sure I've seen a few created that way, so in theory people are violating the EULA, most likely without even knowing it.

      How are those people to be punished?

      D
      • The punishment should be being forced to surf the site they created with a non-MS browser. Oh wait, that would be 'cruel and unusual'...nevermind.
  • ... to sell a web page building application and then say it can't be used for promoting pornography. Doesn't MS realize that 99% of web content is pictures of naked ladies?


    (intended as humor)
    • ... to sell a web page building application and then say it can't be used for promoting pornography. Doesn't MS realize that 99% of web content is pictures of naked ladies?
      Dude, the 'Net is bigger than your Favorites list...
  • "You may not use the Software in connection with any site that disparages Microsoft, MSN, MSNBC, Expedia, or their products or services, infringe any intellectual property or other rights of these parties, violate any state, federal or international law, or promote racism, hatred or pornography."

    It seems these argeements tend to get more sweeping. I can understand them actually saying 'don't use our products to disparage us'. Whether or not that's legal or binding, it's understandable.

    But "hatred"? That's such a broad term that I'm rather surprised a legal let it in. How do you define hatred? Or rather, where does the definition stop? Many people agree on certain actions being 'hateful' or based on hatred, but others wouldn't be so clear cut. Anti-abortion sites might be considered 'hate' sites by some people- can they not use front page? Hatred (and porn) is in the eye of the beholder oftentimes, so how can a person USING the software determine how OTHERS will classify their use of the product?
    • Re:Hatred? (Score:3, Funny)

      by slashkitty (21637)
      So I can't use FrontPage on i-hate-racism-and-porn.org?
    • It seems to me that that stuff is put there to cover their legal asses in case someone is offended by a website that was created using Frontpage.

      I could totally see someone deciding that the website creator was not enough money and deciding to sue MS instead for creating the software that allows it.
  • Fuss... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ryanwright (450832) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:47PM (#2330414)
    I don't know what the fuss is about. I'd love to see the bastards try to enforce this.

    Microsoft Lawyer: "Your honor, I call CmdrTaco to the stand."
    Taco: (takes stand)
    MS: "Did you, on 9/20/2001, purchase a copy of Frontpage 2000?"
    Taco: "Yes."
    MS: "Did you, on 9/21/2001, use Frontpage 2000 to create a web site?"
    Taco: "Yes."
    MS: "And did that web site contain pictures of Mr. William H. Gates III engaging in copulation with half a dozen goats while simultaneously using the Microsoft logo to spank cash out of customers, bent over with their palms on the floor, pants around their ankles and stupid smiles on their faces?"
  • In other news: "You may not use this pen to write disparaging statements about BIC [bicworldusa.com], or to commit slander, libel, or any criminal act. BIC explicitely refute any liability for misuse of this kind."

  • by cyberdonny (46462) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:47PM (#2330420)
    Just make an outrageous EULA, and the geeks will flock to by your product to check with their own eyes that the EULA is indeed as outrageous as the rumors says it is...
  • I'm sure the poster is showing that particular section, but other agreements found on the web had language at the beginning of the section restricting the scope of following sections.

    I'm still dubious on this until I see it for myself, in context.

  • ... when I downloaded it from an FTP site in China ;)
  • Hmm, what will the next Internet Explorer license look like?

    "You may not use the Software to view any site that disparages Microsoft, MSN, MSNBC, Expedia, or their products or services, infringe any intellectual property or other rights of these parties, violate any state, federal or international law, or promote racism, hatred or pornography. Or Slashdot."

    I wonder if the lawyers at various companies have contests to see who can sneak the most outrageous EULA past customers. I can just see it,

    "Hey Ted, now everybody who buys our software X has to name their firstborn after me."

    "Ha! That's nothing. Everybody who buys our stuff has to GIVE me their firstborn."
  • First, they try to shake down small to medium sized businesses. If they find a violation, their reaction is not to help the business come in to compliance, but to hurt them financially.


    Now they won't sell Front Page to the porn industry? I bet 90% of the porn sites out there were created by it.


    Microsoft continues to damage the economy by their actions. :(

    • Now they won't sell Front Page to the porn industry?

      Damn. Now I'm gonna have to use Powerpoint to create my anti-Microsoft, KKK fetish, pr0n site.
      It's gotten so bad that Ron Jeremy [obeygiant.com] even broke down and learned how to use emacs to write HTML
      and JavaScript. :)
  • What is the definition of the term "The Software" used in that EULA? The one I saw yesterday defined it in a prior paragraph specifically as the web componenents. Does this one not include that definition? Or is it defined differently? It's hard to evaluate that clause because without the definition it's somewhat out of context.

  • Microsoft EULA: "You may not use the Software in connection with any site that disparages Microsoft, MSN, MSNBC, Expedia, or their products or services, infringe any intellectual property or other rights of these parties, violate any state, federal or international law, or promote racism, hatred or pornography."

    I think the part about "racism, hatred or pornography" is only there to get sympathy and to hide that Microsoft is trying to repeal the U.S. constitutional right to free speech.

    If Microsoft is allowed to continue this way, it will eventually be: United States, a Microsoft company.


    What Should be the Response to Violence? [hevanet.com]
    • "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

      What part of "Congress shall" do you not understand?

      • Doesn't change anything. Microsoft is saying they are above the law of the land.
        • Answer my question. What part of "Congress shall" do you not understand?

          Microsoft is operating perfectly within the law of the land.

          This is contract law, pure and simple.
          • This is contract law, pure and simple. No, if the contract was actually presented prior to purchasing FP, then it would be pure and simple. As it is, they have to be counting on most people either never reading the EULA, not understanding the legalese, or finding it too much trouble to take it back and get a refund. Because if their customers took that clause seriously, half of them wouldn't be MS customers.

            Not that this is the worst thing in EULA's. The worst thing is perfectly standard in software and only in software: the combination of clauses stating that they don't guarantee the program will actually work, you aren't allowed to fix it (no modifications allowed), and they aren't responsible for losses due to bugs (e.g. lost data, time rebuilding crashed systems).
        • No, no, no. The Constitution establishes limits on what the government can do, not on what corporations can do. It might be entirely possible (though rather stupid) for Congress to pass a law saying "no citizen shall be deprived of their 1st amendment rights as a result of contracts entered into", but that hasn't happened yet. The best example would be an NDA- you don't have a legal right to violate an NDA you've signed in the name of "free speech".

          Lots of organizations restrict your freedom of speech- like my university, for instance. If you don't like it, you're free to deal with someone else. They can't exile you to Siberia or have you shot for sedition, unlike governments.

          Frankly, I think such clauses are absurd. The logo, sure, but the HTML editor? Some junior partner in a Seattle law firm is trying waaay too hard. However, no one is forcing you to use FrontPage, and why would you use Frontpage if you think MS sucks? Duh. I use vi on Linux/IRIX, so this sounds like lots of fuss about nothing.
      • Perhaps we should read it as, "The owners of bought and paid for members of" Congress shall?

        A very good point. Only the government is specifically restricted by the Constitution. Misleading subject to the main article as well, wasn't it?
  • by cybrthng (22291) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:55PM (#2330480) Journal
    Microsoft Windows XP Professional

    END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT

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    which includes computer software and may include associated
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    and Internet-based services ("Product"). An amendment or
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    OR USE THE PRODUCT; YOU MAY RETURN IT TO YOUR
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    applies to updates, supplements, add-on components,
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    Software Development Kit ("WMFSDK") components contained
    in the Product to develop a software application that uses
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    to develop such an application, visit
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/imedia/windowsm edia/sdk/wmsdk.asp,
    accept a separate license for the WMFSDK, download the
    appropriate WMFSDK, and install it on your system.

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    transfer may not be an indirect transfer, such as a
    consignment. Prior to the transfer, the end user receiving
    the transferred Product must agree to all the EULA terms.
    No Rental. You may not rent, lease, lend or provide
    commercial hosting services to third parties with the
    Product.

    5. LIMITATION ON REVERSE ENGINEERING,
    DECOMPILATION, AND DISASSEMBLY. You may
    not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble the
    Product, except and only to the extent that it is expressly
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    limitation.

    6. TERMINATION. Without prejudice to any other rights, Microsoft
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    * NetMeeting/Remote Assistance/Remote Desktop Features. The
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    11. LIMITED WARRANTY FOR PRODUCT ACQUIRED IN
    THE US AND CANADA.

    Microsoft warrants that the Product will perform
    substantially in accordance with the accompanying
    materials for a period of ninety days from the date of
    receipt.

    If an implied warranty or condition is created by
    your state/jurisdiction and federal or state/provincial law
    prohibits disclaimer of it, you also have an implied
    warranty or condition, BUT ONLY AS
    TO DEFECTS DISCOVERED DURING THE PERIOD
    OF THIS LIMITED WARRANTY (NINETY DAYS).
    AS TO ANY DEFECTS DISCOVERED AFTER THE
    NINETY (90) DAY PERIOD, THERE IS NO
    WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND.
    Some states/jurisdictions do not allow limitations on how
    long an implied warranty or condition lasts, so the above
    limitation may not apply to you.

    Any supplements or updates to the Product, including without
    limitation, any (if any) service packs or hot fixes
    provided to you after the expiration of the ninety day
    Limited Warranty period are not covered by any warranty or
    condition, express, implied or statutory.

    LIMITATION ON REMEDIES; NO CONSEQUENTIAL
    OR OTHER DAMAGES. Your exclusive remedy for any breach
    of this Limited Warranty is as set forth below. Except
    for any refund elected by Microsoft, YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED
    TO ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT
    LIMITED TO CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, if
    the Product does not meet Microsoft's Limited Warranty,
    and, to the maximum extent allowed by applicable law, even
    if any remedy fails of its essential purpose. The terms
    of Section 13 below ("Exclusion of Incidental,
    Consequential and Certain Other Damages") are also
    incorporated into this Limited Warranty. Some states/
    jurisdictions do not allow the exclusion or limitation
    of incidental or consequential damages, so the above
    limitation or exclusion may not apply to you. This
    Limited Warranty gives you specific legal rights. You
    may have others which vary from state/jurisdiction to
    state/jurisdiction. YOUR EXCLUSIVE REMEDY. Microsoft's
    and its suppliers' entire liability and your exclusive
    remedy shall be, at Microsoft's option from time to time
    exercised subject to applicable law, (a) return of the
    price paid (if any) for the Product, or (b) repair or
    replacement of the Product, that does not meet this
    Limited Warranty and that is returned to Microsoft with
    a copy of your receipt. You will receive the remedy
    elected by Microsoft without charge, except that you are
    responsible for any expenses you may incur (e.g. cost of
    shipping the Product to Microsoft). This Limited Warranty
    is void if failure of the Product has resulted from
    accident, abuse, misapplication, abnormal use or a virus.
    Any replacement Product will be warranted for the
    remainder of the original warranty period or thirty (30)
    days, whichever is longer. Outside the United States or
    Canada, neither these remedies nor any product support
    services offered by Microsoft are available without proof
    of purchase from an authorized international source. To
    exercise your remedy, contact: Microsoft, Attn. Microsoft
    Sales Information Center/One Microsoft Way/Redmond, WA
    98052-6399, or the Microsoft subsidiary serving
    your country.

    LIMITED WARRANTY FOR PRODUCT ACQUIRED
    OUTSIDE THE US or CANADA.
    FOR THE LIMITED WARRANTIES AND SPECIAL
    PROVISIONS PERTAINING TO YOUR PARTICULAR
    JURISDICTION, PLEASE REFER TO YOUR WARRANTY
    BOOKLET INCLUDED WITH THIS PACKAGE OR
    PROVIDED WITH THE SOFTWARE PRODUCT
    PRINTED MATERIALS.

    12. DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES. The Limited
    Warranty that appears above is the only express warranty
    made to you and is provided in lieu of any other express
    warranties (if any) created by any documentation,
    packaging, or other communications. Except for the Limited
    Warranty and to the maximum extent permitted by applicable
    law, Microsoft and its suppliers provide the Product and
    support services (if any) AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, and
    hereby disclaim all other warranties and conditions, either
    express, implied or statutory, including, but not limited
    to, any (if any) implied warranties, duties or conditions
    of merchantability, of fitness for a particular purpose,
    of reliability or availability, of accuracy or completeness
    of responses, of results, of workmanlike effort, of lack
    of viruses, and of lack of negligence, all with regard to
    the Product, and the provision of or failure to provide
    support or other services, information, software, and
    related content through the Product or otherwise arising
    out of the use of the Product. ALSO, THERE IS NO WARRANTY
    OR CONDITION OF TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT,
    QUIET POSSESSION, CORRESPONDENCE TO
    DESCRIPTION OR NON-INFRINGEMENT WITH
    REGARD TO THE PRODUCT.

    13. EXCLUSION OF INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL
    AND CERTAIN OTHER DAMAGES. TO THE
    MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE
    LAW, IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT OR ITS
    SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL,
    INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, INDIRECT, OR
    CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES WHATSOEVER
    (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES
    FOR LOSS OF PROFITS OR CONFIDENTIAL OR
    OTHER INFORMATION, FOR BUSINESS
    INTERRUPTION, FOR PERSONAL INJURY, FOR
    LOSS OF PRIVACY, FOR FAILURE TO MEET
    ANY DUTY INCLUDING OF GOOD FAITH OR OF
    REASONABLE CARE, FOR NEGLIGENCE, AND
    FOR ANY OTHER PECUNIARY OR OTHER LOSS
    WHATSOEVER) ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY
    WAY RELATED TO THE USE OF OR INABILITY
    TO USE THE PRODUCT, THE PROVISION OF
    OR FAILURE TO PROVIDE SUPPORT OR OTHER
    SERVICES, INFORMATON, SOFTWARE, AND
    RELATED CONTENT THROUGH THE PRODUCT OR
    OTHERWISE ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THE
    PRODUCT, OR OTHERWISE UNDER OR IN
    CONNECTION WITH ANY PROVISION OF THIS
    EULA, EVEN IN THE EVENT OF THE FAULT,
    TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), STRICT
    LIABILITY, BREACH OF CONTRACT OR BREACH
    OF WARRANTY OF MICROSOFT OR ANY
    SUPPLIER, AND EVEN IF MICROSOFT OR ANY
    SUPPLIER HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE
    POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

    14. LINKS TO THIRD PARTY SITES. You may link
    to third party sites through the use of the Product. The
    third party sites are not under the control of Microsoft,
    and Microsoft is not responsible for the contents of any
    third party sites, any links contained in third party
    sites, or any changes or updates to third party sites.
    Microsoft is not responsible for webcasting or any other
    form of transmission received from any third party sites.
    Microsoft is providing these links to third party sites to
    you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link
    does not imply an endorsement by Microsoft of the third
    party site.

    15. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY AND REMEDIES.
    Notwithstanding any damages that you might incur for any
    reason whatsoever (including, without limitation, all
    damages referenced above and all direct or general
    damages), the entire liability of Microsoft and any of its
    suppliers under any provision of this EULA and your
    exclusive remedy for all of the foregoing (except for any
    remedy of repair or replacement elected by Microsoft with
    respect to any breach of the Limited Warranty) shall be
    limited to the greater of the amount actually paid by you
    for the Product or U.S.$5.00. The foregoing limitations,
    exclusions and disclaimers (including Sections 11, 12 and
    13 above) shall apply to the maximum extent permitted by
    applicable law, even if any remedy fails its
    essential purpose.

    16. U.S. GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS. All
    Product provided to the U.S. Government pursuant to
    solicitations issued on or after December 1, 1995 is
    provided with the commercial license rights and
    restrictions described elsewhere herein. All Product
    provided to the U.S. Government pursuant to solicitations
    issued prior to December 1, 1995 is provided with
    "Restricted Rights" as provided for in FAR, 48 CFR 52.227-14
    (JUNE 1987) or DFAR, 48 CFR 252.227-7013 (OCT 1988),
    as applicable.

    17. APPLICABLE LAW. If you acquired this Product in the United
    States, this EULA is governed by the laws of the State of
    Washington. If you acquired this Product in Canada, unless
    expressly prohibited by local law, this EULA is governed
    by the laws in force in the Province of Ontario, Canada;
    and, in respect of any dispute which may arise hereunder,
    you consent to the jurisdiction of the federal and
    provincial courts sitting in Toronto, Ontario. If this
    Product was acquired outside the United States, then local
    law may apply.

    18. ENTIRE AGREEMENT. This EULA (including
    any addendum or amendment to this EULA which is included
    with the Product) are the entire agreement between you and
    Microsoft relating to the Product and the support services
    (if any) and they supersede all prior or contemporaneous
    oral or written communications, proposals and
    representations with respect to the Product or any other
    subject matter covered by this EULA. To the extent the
    terms of any Microsoft policies or programs for support
    services conflict with the terms of this EULA, the terms
    of this EULA shall control.

    19. The Product is protected by copyright and other intellectual
    property laws and treaties. Microsoft or its suppliers own
    the title, copyright, and other intellectual property
    rights in the Product. The Product is licensed, not sold.

    Si vous avez acquis votre produit Microsoft au CANADA, la
    garantie limitée suivante vous concerne :

    GARANTIE LIMITÉE

    Microsoft garantit que le Produit fonctionnera conformément aux
    documents qui l'accompagnent pendant une période de 90 jours
    suivant la date de réception.

    Si une garantie ou condition implicite est créée par votre État
    ou votre territoire et qu'une loi fédérale, provinciale ou
    étatique en interdit le déni, vous jouissez également d'une
    garantie ou condition implicite,
    MAIS UNIQUEMENT POUR LES DÉFAUTS DÉCOUVERTS
    DURANT LA PÉRIODE DE LA PRÉSENTE GARANTIE
    LIMITÉE (QUATRE-VINGT-DIX JOURS). IL N'Y A
    AUCUNE GARANTIE OU CONDITION DE QUELQUE
    NATURE QUE CE SOIT QUANT AUX DÉFAUTS
    DÉCOUVERTS APRÈS CETTE PÉRIODE DE QUATR
    E-VINGT-DIX JOURS. Certains États ou territoires ne permettent
    pas de limiter la durée d'une garantie ou condition implicite de
    sorte que la limitation cidessus peut ne pas s'appliquer à vous.

    Tous les suppléments ou toutes les mises à jour relatifs au
    Produit, y compris notamment (le cas échéant), tous les ensembles
    de services ou les réparations à chaud qui vous sont fournis
    après l'expiration de la période de quatre-vingt-dix jours de la
    garantie limitée ne sont pas couverts par quelque garantie ou
    condition que ce soit, expresse,implicite ou en vertu de la loi.

    LIMITATION DES RECOURS; ABSENCE DE DOMMAGES
    INDIRECTS OU AUTRES. Votre recours exclusif pour toute violation
    de la présente garantie limitée est décrit ci-après. Sauf pour
    tout remboursement au choix de Microsoft, si le Produit ne
    respecte pas la garantie limitée de Microsoft et, dans toute la
    mesure permise par le droit applicable, même si tout recours
    n'atteint pas son but essentiel, VOUS N'AVEZ DROIT À AUCUNS
    DOMMAGES, NOTAMMENT DES DOMMAGES INDIRECTS.
    Les modalités de la clause "Exclusion des dommages accessoires,
    indirects et de certains autres dommages " sont également
    incorporées à la présente garantie limitée. Certains États ou
    territoires ne permettent pas l'exclusion ou la limitation des
    dommages indirects ou accessoires de sorte que la limitation ou
    l'exclusion ci-dessus peut ne pas s'appliquer à vous. La présente
    garantie limitée vous donne des droits légaux spécifiques. Vous
    pouvez avoir d'autres droits qui peuvent varier d'un territoire
    ou d'un État à un autre. VOTRE RECOURS
    EXCLUSIF. La responsabilité intégrale de Microsoft et de ses
    fournisseurs et votre recours exclusif seront, selon le choix de
    Microsoft de temps à autre sous réserve de toute loi applicable,
    a) le remboursement du prix payé, le cas échéant, pour le Produit
    ou b) la réparation ou le remplacement du Produit qui ne respecte
    pas la présente garantie limitée et qui est retourné à Microsoft
    avec une copie de votre reçu. Vous recevrez la compensation
    choisie par Microsoft, sans frais, sauf que vous êtes responsable
    des dépenses que vous pourriez engager (p. ex., les frais d'envoi
    du Produit à Microsoft). La présente garantie limitée est nulle
    si la défectuosité du Produit est causée par un accident, un
    usage abusif, une mauvaise application, un usage anormal ou un
    virus. Tout Produit de remplacement sera garanti pour le reste de
    la période de garantie initiale ou pendant trente (30) jours,
    selon la plus longue entre ces deux périodes. À l'extérieur
    des États-Unis ou du Canada, ces recours ou l'un quelconque des
    services de soutien technique offerts par Microsoft ne sont pas
    disponibles sans preuve d'achat d'une source internationale
    autorisée. Pour exercer votre recours, vous devez communiquer
    avec Microsoft et vous adresser au Microsoft Sales
    Information Center/One Microsoft Way/Redmond, WA 98052-6399, ou à
    la filiale de Microsoft de votre pays.

    DÉNI DE GARANTIES. La garantie limitée qui apparaît ci-dessus
    constitue la seule garantie expresse qui vous est donnée et
    remplace toutes autres garanties expresses (s'il en est)
    mentionnées dans tout document, emballage ou autre communication.
    Sauf en ce qui a trait à la garantie limitée et dans toute la
    mesure permise par le droit applicable, le Produit et les
    services de soutien technique (le cas échéant) sont fournis TELS
    QUELS ET AVEC TOUS LEURS DÉFAUTS par
    Microsoft et ses fournisseurs, lesquels par les présentes dénient
    toutes autres garanties et conditions expresses, implicites ou en
    vertu de la loi, y compris notamment (le cas échéant) les
    garanties, devoirs ou conditions implicites de qualité marchande,
    d'adaptation à une fin particulière, de fiabilité ou
    disponibilité, d'exactitude ou d'exhaustivité des réponses, des
    résultats, des efforts déployés selon les règles de l'art,
    d'absence de virus et de négligence, le tout à l'égard du Produit
    et de la prestation des services de soutien technique ou autres
    services ou du défaut de fournir une telle prestation, de
    l'information, du logiciel, et de tout contenu s'y rapportant à
    travers le Produit ou autrement découlant de l'utilisation du
    Produit. PAR AILLEURS, IL N'Y A AUCUNE
    GARANTIE OU CONDITION QUANT AU TITRE DE
    PROPRIÉTÉ, À LA JOUISSANCE OU LA POSSESSION
    PAISIBLE, À LA CONCORDANCE À UNE DESCRIPTION
    NI QUANT À UNE ABSENCE DE CONTREFAÇON
    CONCERNANT LE PRODUIT.

    EXCLUSION DES DOMMAGES ACCESSOIRES, INDIRECTS
    ET DE CERTAINS AUTRES DOMMAGES. DANS TOUTE LA
    MESURE PERMISE PAR LE DROIT APPLICABLE, EN
    AUCUN CAS MICROSOFT OU SES FOURNISSEURS NE
    SERONT RESPONSABLES DES DOMMAGES SPÉCIAUX,
    ACCESSOIRES, EXEMPLAIRES OU INDIRECTS DE
    QUELQUE NATURE QUE CE SOIT (Y COMPRIS
    NOTAMMENT, LES DOMMAGES À L'ÉGARD DE LA PERTE
    DE PROFITS OU DE LA DIVULGATION DE
    RENSEIGNEMENTS CONFIDENTIELS OU AUTRES, DE
    L'INTERRUPTION DES AFFAIRES, DE BLESSURES
    CORPORELLES, DE LA VIOLATION DE LA VIE
    PRIVÉE, DE L'OMISSION DE REMPLIR TOUT DEVOIR,
    Y COMPRIS D'AGIR DE BONNE FOI OU D'EXERCER UN
    SOIN RAISONNABLE, DE LA NÉGLIGENCE ET DE
    TOUTE AUTRE PERTE PÉCUNIAIRE OU AUTRE PERTE
    DE QUELQUE NATURE QUE CE SOIT) DÉCOULANT OU
    SE RAPPORTANT DE QUELQUE MANIÈRE QUE CE SOIT
    À L'UTILISATION DU PRODUIT OU À L'INCAPACITÉ
    DE S'EN SERVIR, À LA PRESTATION DE SERVICES
    DE SOUTIEN TECHNIQUE OU AUTRES SERVICES OU À
    L'OMISSION D'UNE TELLE PRESTATION , À
    L'INFORMATION, AU LOGICIEL ET À TOUT CONTENU
    S'Y RAPPORTANT À TRAVERS LE PRODUIT OU
    AUTREMENT DÉCOULANT DE L'UTILISATION DU
    PRODUIT OU AUTREMENT AUX TERMES DE TOUTE
    DISPOSITION DU PRÉSENT CONTRAT OU
    RELATIVEMENT À UNE TELLE DISPOSITION, MÊME EN
    CAS DE FAUTE, DE DÉLIT CIVIL (Y COMPRIS LA
    NÉGLIGENCE), DE RESPONSABILITÉ STRICTE, DE
    VIOLATION DE CONTRAT OU DE VIOLATION DE
    GARANTIE DE MICROSOFT OU DE TOUT FOURNISSEUR
    ET MÊME SI MICROSOFT OU TOUT FOURNISSEUR A
    ÉTÉ AVISÉ DE LA POSSIBILITÉ DE TELS DOMMAGES.

    LIMITATION DE RESPONSABILITÉ ET RECOURS.
    Malgré les dommages que vous puissiez subir pour quelque motif
    que ce soit (y compris notamment, tous les dommages susmentionnés
    et tous les dommages directs ou généraux), la responsabilité
    intégrale de Microsoft et de l'un ou l'autre de ses fournisseurs
    aux termes de toute disposition du présent contrat et votre
    recours exclusif à l'égard de tout ce qui précède (sauf en ce qui
    concerne tout recours de réparation ou de remplacement choisi par
    Microsoft à l'égard de tout manquement à la garantie limitée) se
    limite au plus élevé entre les montants suivants : le montant que
    vous avez réellement payé pour le Produit ou 5,00 $US. Les
    limites, exclusions et dénis qui précèdent (y compris les clauses
    ci-dessus), s'appliquent dans la toute la mesure permise par le
    droit applicable, même si tout recours n'atteint pas son
    but essentiel.

    La présente Convention est régie par les lois de la province
    d'Ontario, Canada. Vous reconnaissez irrévocablement par la
    présente la compétence des tribunaux de la province d'Ontario et
    consentez à instituer tout litige qui pourrait découler de la
    présente auprès des tribunaux fédéraux ou provinciaux ayant
    juridiction pour la ville de Toronto, province d'Ontario.

    EULAID:WX.4_PRO_RTL_EN

    • You therefore agree that, if you elect to download a license from the Internet which enables your use of Secure Content, Microsoft may, in conjunction with such license, also download onto your computer such Security Updates that a Secure Content Owner has requested that Microsoft distribute.

      This is the only weirdness I found. "If you get a key from us, we are permitted to install additional locks."

    • ...you may not use the Product
      to permit any Device to use, access, display or run other
      executable software residing on the Workstation Computer,.. .

      Doesn't this mean that you can't connect a monitor to a machine running XP and then use it to display any executable except Windows XP?

      Yes, this is taken out of context, but I didn't see anything else that would refute this interpretation.

      P.S. I'm assuming that this is the real EULA and not just a joke. But I could be wrong (it's happened before)

    • The only thing missing from this EULA is a statement like, "Do not make illegal copies of this End User License Agreement."

    • YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS EULA BY INSTALLING, COPYING, OR OTHERWISE USING THE PRODUCT.

      So using the CD as a coaster still binds you to the EULA?

      Insert witticism here
    • You may permit a maximum of ten (10) computers or other electronic devices (each
      a "Device") to connect to the Workstation Computer to utilize the services of the Product solely for File and Print services, Internet Information Services, and remote access (including connection sharing and telephony services).

      No streaming cameras? No X-10? No RTTY?
      Except as otherwise permitted by the
      NetMeeting, Remote Assistance, and Remote Desktop features described below, you may not use the Product to permit any Device to use, access, display or run other executable software residing on the Workstation Computer, nor may you permit any Device to use, access, display, or run the Product or Product's user interface, unless the Device has a separate license for the Product.

      No web, FTP or gopher servers, apparently including IIS (hooray!), no VNC, probably no SSH or telnet daemons, inasmuch as M$ are certain to define their miserable CLI as a part of XP's user interface.

      Now for the scarey bit:

      There are technological measures in this Product that are designed to prevent unlicensed or illegal use of the Product. You agree that we may use those measures.

      ...even if they deliberately or accidentally fail, for example, by refusing to run certain important Open Source products. Remember ``DOS ain't done 'till Lotus won't run?'' Add this clause...
      Internet-Based Services Components. The Product contains components that enable and facilitate the use of certain Internet-based services. [but note that this doesn't actully restrict the scope of the following claim to Internet-based service software] You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the version of the Product and/or its components that you are utilizing and may provide upgrades or fixes to the Product that will be automatically downloaded to your Workstation Computer.

      OK, here's the big one: we can change any of your software (the ``Product'' and/or components such as applications built to run on it and containing parts of it (runtime library interface module etc) without notice, and you agree to this. This includes new ``measures'' to prevent ``unlicenced or illegal use'' - and it's no great stretch of the imagination to visualise this including software made illegal by the SSSCA such as Apache, PHP or Screem [screem.org] (does FrontPage things only better, faster, cheaper and safer).
  • by gentlewizard (300741) on Friday September 21, 2001 @12:56PM (#2330486)
    This seems to be a trend. Oracle's most recent software licenses have started to include additional restrictions, such as not being able to use the software to conduct third-party training. This obviously is designed to protect Oracle's own Education centers, but isn't that a restraint of trade? Why should they be able to say what uses you can make of the software?

    I think there's a case to be made that End User License Agreements are accepted by users under duress, because there is no acceptable alternative to the software once it's in production and the company is relying on it for its core business processes.
    • Not to mention that the user is not presented with the EULA until *after* he's bought the software. Sure, he can return it, but this is an added inconvenience. At the very least, the EULA should be required to be readily visible prior to purchase (either on the box or available at the retail locations where the software is sold).
  • In the original conspiracy theory posted by /. numerous people pointed out that the clause only referred to the use of the MSN and MSNBC components, which are basically web services of a sort.

    This new article only states that the sentence does appear in the EULA, which was not in dispute.

    What was in dispute was whether the sentence was taken out of context.

    This new article doesn't provide any new evidence.
  • The next American revolution will be fought over corporatism. The next Bill of Rights will extend the prohibitions on governmental restrictions to corporate restrictions.

    Wasn't it Sirius Cybernetic Corporation that Douglas Adams mentioned in HHGG that was predicted to be the first against the wall in the next revolution? He was a prophet...
    • The Encyclopaedia Galactica defines a robot as a mechanical apparatus designed to do the work of a man. The marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation defines a robot as "Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun To Be With". The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy defines the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes", with a footnote to the effect that the editors would welcome applications from anyone interested in taking over the post of robotics correspondent. The Marketing and Legal departments are two very different evils.
  • by tmark (230091) on Friday September 21, 2001 @01:03PM (#2330541)
    So you don't like the terms that attach to FrontPage ? Simple, DON'T USE IT AND RETURN THE PRODUCT. After all, this is what everyone who objects to the (equally dubious) clauses of the GPL are told, isn't it ? Why is one set of restrictive conditions being vilified while another set of restrictive conditions sanctified ? Certainly in both cases consumers and users have plenty of choices available.
    • > DON'T USE IT AND RETURN THE PRODUCT.

      Well duh. We'd all love to see that. We don't like these terms and we just want to make sure everone knows them before they buy a product.

      The GPL exists to keep software free and encourage others to create more free software. It's the *whole* point, it's widely advertised, and it's no secret.
  • I know that the majority of programmers working at Microsoft are rather bright.

    I wouldn't mind it one bit if they all took a sick day at the same time, to tell Microsoft that they are sick of the Lawyers and the Marketroids screwing around with the public like this.

    This has nothing to do with the quality of the product.

    It was for reason like this that people start to sabotage repressive regimes.

    This is evil, whoever put it in. And they wonder why people don't like them.

    In times like these people and companies should assert and protect their rights. Not try to rip them off.

  • ...are nothing new, but this reaches a new level of control that seems hard to comprehend.


    It's probably a pipe-dream, but I really do suggest that writers of EULAs, licences, etc, start by reading some books on how to recognise what is mutually beneficial and what is merely abusive.


    I suggest starting with some light reading - "For Your Own Good", "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" and "The Road Less Travelled" are probably good places to start. You might notice that none of them specifically talk about EULAs, or indeed about computer software. However, they have a LOT to say about the mind, what stimulates it and what kills it.


    I accept that no two people are going to agree on what is a sane policy or attitude, but one thing is certain. Unless people DO start thinking about such issues, we're going to see a lot more EULAs like this. And worse.

  • by frankie (91710) on Friday September 21, 2001 @01:17PM (#2330656) Journal
    Every time one of these stories comes out, an apologist says "I'm sure it was just an accident, their lawyers/marketers/whoever made a dumb mistake". And this is just the ones where they got caught, the mainstream media cared, and they backed down. There's plenty of other shit they do that slides by.

    Sorry, but after the same exact set of events repeats itself dozens of times over the course of a decade, you can't chalk it up to accident any more. This is malice.

  • I'm a .NET developer and recently I've been building solutions using Windows, SQL Server, Etc. I can usually be found defending MS as Slashdot generally has an unfair bias against them. This, however, SHOCKS ME. How many more donations to the EFF do I have to make this year? I used to say MS's biggest weakness (and challange) was it's inherint security problems in Office/Outlook. Now I'll have to tack on truly draconion EULA's.
  • A couple of people have suggested that if one doesn't like the FrontPage EULA, you shouldn't use it, That may work for individuals, but what about corporations?

    Are they not allowed to say anything negative about Microsoft (like reporting on sleazy things they did in the DOJ trial) just because their IT department decided that everyone's going to use FrontPage to generate web content? What about a news organization?

    Think about if other companies did this. I remember back in 1997 when it fashionable to back Apple, you'd have writers penning very biased anti-Apple articles from their own PowerBooks (hey! I'm talking to you, Wired).

    I guess this all stems from the idea that you can't buy software; you only license it. It'll only get worse when they put annual subscriptions into play because they won't have to take you to court; they'll just refused to renew your subscription.

    I wonder if this means that Microsoft will someday decide to not renew some Microsoft-investigatin' journalist's subscription to their products because of some condition like this in the EULA.
  • How many stories do we need to see about this before the Slashdot guys bother to just CONTACT MICROSOFT? Would it really be so horrible if Taco or Roblimo stopped surfing the web for a few hours and actually called up MS and asked what the deal with the license is?

    I realize that they aren't really journalists, but can't they just show a little bit of responsibility if they are going to keep posting about this?
  • Hey Reyacta,
    That's a good article you've written here. I'm still wondering about one point: you actually gave Microsoft money, oh my, for a product you disagree with.

    I think that the EULA authorises you to get a refund if you can't or don't want to comply with it. Did you use that opportunity to test how respectful of their own license they are? I believe that if they don't refund you, then they break their own license and then you're pretty much free to use the product according to your local laws and not the license. Did you actually give it a try?
  • by jd10131 (46301)

    I've seen mention of this three times on ./, except that it has yet to be posted correctly or without bias. A paragraph prior to the one currently in question defines the use of the term "the Software" as the FrontPage Server extensions. I have copied the relevant portion of the EULA below.

    FrontPage web components. For purposes of this section, the Software means the FrontPage Web components, including the MSNBC news headline compone nt, the MSN MoneyCentral Stock Quote component, and the MSN Search component.

    I am not one who supports M$, their practices often disgust me, and I find their software to be cumbersome. However, I think that there are far too many people who will jump at any opportunity to cry murder. I am dissapointed that no one took two minutes to read the appropriate section of the EULA.

  • I saw someone use frontpage, and it sure sucked.
    persoanlly I think you would have to be an idiot to use it...

    thus the 'reviewer' would never actually agree to the eula.
  • He could just add a clause in the use contract of PGP stating:

    "Do not use PGP for bad stuff."
  • "Assuming that the End-User License Agreement for Microsoft Frontpage
    actually contains that provision, keep in mind that many contracts contain
    illegal (or at least overreaching) clauses. My guess is that the provision
    was included in the EULA as a scare tactic, and that a court would strike
    down the provision if the EULA was ever litigated. "

    psxndc

  • also this seems like an unenforcable thing to begin with. not because there aren't ways to tell how a page was created but because there are so many people using MS products that disparage them as well. thats why they disparage them cause they are forced to use them. i just don't like the idea that these EULAs can be used to tell me how to do just about anything. if microsoft says that i have to wear plaid pants when using winME then what am i going to do? (I know use Linux) this is getting bizarre. i believe that the justice department needs to take a sliver away from the hunt for osama to bitchslap MS.
  • Even if this may be quoted out of context, it is something we need to be extremely vigilant about. For some time, I have seen such clauses coming, and this is just the beginning.

    What needs emphasizing is that the standards we use to communicate must be in the public domain. If not, if an industry standard controlled by a company becomes widespread, the company can put in such clauses in effectively prohibit certain unwanted kinds of speech, typically we will see first speech that critizes the company.

    Now, mark that The Universal Declaration of Human Rights [un.org] specifically grants the right to express yourself in any medium. If, say one company owns an industry standard that is the only way to communicate by speech, this human right does no longer exist.

    That is why Ogg [xiph.org] is so important. It will make a standard for the public domain, and this standard is the only thing that saves free speech in the multimedia age. No Ogg, no free speech.

    Similarily, we must make sure that similar bodies, working on other public domain standards, such as the W3C [w3.org] are successful. Without them, we're screwed.

    An for those saying that "just don't use FP", well, you see, we all know M$ wants to control these commodity protocols, and M$ hardly cares about a bunch of geeks anyway, so us boycotting M$ doesn't help. Joe Sixpack must understand the problem, cause if he doesn't, they'll win, and turn the web into their network, and make sure FP is the only authoring tool you can use. It'll be the end of free speech too...

    Ensuring that the standards are in the public domain is even more important than that software is Free (as in speech).

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