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Toshiba and EULA 167

I can't really confirm if this is true or not, so take this as completely unsubstantiated, but Riverwind writes "I've been following the recent discussion of refunds on Microsoft software due to refusal of the EULA. Today I recieved a shipment of Toshiba laptops and found there is a sticker saying that you can't even take the computer out of the plastic bag it is in without accepting the EULA. I don't remember that being on there 2 months ago, but maybe I just wasn't looking for it then. Seems like I may be stuck with paying for software I never intend to use. " All I can say is WHAT?
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Toshiba and EULA

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  • I understand that MS requires OEM's to pay a per-processor fee for the right to sell pre-bundled software, but I assume that they don't charge per-processor for selling the boxed version. Sooo, allow the purchaser choose or opt-out of purchasing Win 95. If they choose to use it, retailers could offer to install the software for free. This would require a little more work on the part of the retailers, but it would befriend the Linux community, and beat the MS tax.

    Of course, If I'm completely wrong about this, let me know.

    -- Adam Schumacher
    N.A.R.T. #009
    P.W.T.T.K.S.S.S.T.H.U. #001
  • Don't quote me on this. Check your credit card customer agreement before trying this at home.

    Some credit cards may offer you a "consumer protection plan", where if you dispute a charge for specified reasons (I'm not sure how broad), then you may be able to decline charges through the credit card company.

    I repeat: Check your credit card customer agreement before trying this at home.

    If this is the case, then the handy thing is that the payment dispute is between your credit card bank and the vendor. Simplifies the hassles.

    Things may not go completely smoothly, and you stand a good chance of fscking up your credit record by trying to pull a stunt like this.

  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    Ok, so return the unit to them, force them to remove Windows, and get the refund. Since it's still in the original packaging, that makes it impossible for them to prove that you used the unit (or Windoze) at all.
  • Isn't that normal for an M$ OS?
  • I bet you that's going to bring more lawyers nocking down on Tobisha and Microsoft if it turns out true. The EULA only refers to the Windows software. If Tobisha wants to extend the EULA, they have to draft their own. I highly doubt Microsoft wants the DOJ adding *more* evidence to prove that it's a monopoly by saying that it's now controlling the hardware itself on a mass majority of the systems out there.

    Not a lawyer, and a bit scattered there.


  • The EULA is a Microsoft agreement. I don't see where Toshiba fits into the equation except as a reseller. It seems to me that they would not have the authority to unilaterally modify the terms of acceptance of the agreement on behalf of Microsoft.
  • Are our laptops toast?

    -- Eric

    (Linux Hardware Solutions)
  • Not that I'm starving, mind you, but I'm glad that not EVERYBODY builds their Linux box from scratch!

    What gets me is people who claim to be Linux fans who would rather get a box from Dell or Toshiba and bitch about it rather than get a box from VA Research or LHS that they KNOW works with Linux...

    -- Eric
  • but rather than satisfying those who don't want Windows on their machines and giving them choice, the manufacturers are searching for ways to FORCE the public to buy Windows.

    C'mon lawyers, help us out here. :| You gotta smell money!

    All we want is the ability to buy a machine with OS's other than Windows preinstalled or at the very least, a machine without an unwanted OS and it's price forced on us.
  • Posted by HolyMackeralAndy:

    Roll your own, I say.
  • Posted by SmashPumpFan:

    Isn't Toshiba doing what Microsoft used to do... trying to bundle IE4.0 with Win95? If people are not going to use something it should not be forced on them, and Toshiba should take note.
  • Posted by LOTHAR, of the Hill People:

    Being a simple caveman, I am not unaccustomed to modern society's complex laws and way of life. But it does seem natural that OEM's do not have the permission to modify the terms of Microsoft's EULA for Windows. The terms of acceptance are explicitly stated in the EULA and, I (with my tiny unevolved brain) believe that the Microsoft EULA overrides any EULA that an OEM might try to append. By distributing a Microsoft product (oops, license), the OEM implicitly agrees to support Microsoft EULA.

    Then again, this may be just a pile of mammoth dung
  • I have been avoiding Toshiba equipment ever since they sold the milling machine software to Russia. That has cost the US billions of dollars in developing more sensitive equipment to hear the prop wash.

    For those who have no idea what I am talking about... A decade (about) ago Toshiba sold top secret software (US developed) to Russia that permitted silent propellors to be milled for their nuclear submarines.

    Up to that time, the Russian subs were so noisy that it was easy to track them anywhere in the oceans. After Toshiba sold the milling machines and the software then it was much harder to track them and much easier to lose them in the oceans.

    For that reason, I will never purchase nor accept as a gift anything with the name Toshiba on it.

    I also use my influence not to allow my company to purchase them either.

    Toshiba did it for the money....


  • Go down to CompUSA and take the check that you pay for your equipment with and wrap it in a brown paper bag and seal it. On the outside, write "BY OPENING THIS BAG, YOU AGREE THAT THE AMOUNT INSIDE IS EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE AGREED UPON PURCHASE PRICE OF THE EQUIPMENT BEING PURCHASED". Make sure you write the check for $1. On the back of the check write "Possession and presentation for payment of this check indicates your agreement with the conditions stated on the sealed packaging it was delivered with. These terms are NON-NEGOTIABLE."

    When CompUSA refuses to take it, tell them "Well why would you ask me to agree to the contract inside your box that I have not read when you wont agree to the contract inside my bag that you have not read?"

    That should make a nice public scene ... and then get you thrown out of the store. *grin*
  • by sjames ( 1099 )

    Have a friend's young child play with the pretty new box with that wonderfully crinkly plastic. Call Toshiba to return the software. When they tell you that opening the plastic accepts the software agreement, point out that a three year old is not legally able to accept a license or enter into a legal agreement (you could even magnanimously waive that, and allow that they have no obligation to give the child a refund, but you still want yours).

    Alternatly, unless the laptops ABSOLUTELY must be used now, return the whole thing as they suggest. There's nothing like seeing product coming BACK to ruin the accountant's day.

    Windows, if it's so great why do they have to legally trick people into accepting it?

  • ...and their laptops are really nice. Guess I'll buy another brand now.
  • That makes sense. Customers refused the license agreement so they shipped back the OS without shipping back the hardware. Microsoft's solution: make usage of all computing hardware contingent on using Windows. Is it still okay to use the bathroom if I don't use Windows?
  • There was a discussion over this somewhere else on the web. I'll see if I can find it. Basically, the EULA defines "Software Product" to mean just the software. Once that is defined, the EULA is solely about licensing the "Software Product". Besides, unless you didn't purchase the hardware, you don't need a license agreement to use it (a warranty is a separate issue).

    I couldn't find the discussion, but you can read the EULA itself [], if you like. The definition and the refund information is in the first paragraph.

  • The essential difference, of course, being that the Windows EULA explicitly tells you that you are entitled to a refund if you don't accept its terms, and even tells you who to contact. Furrfu.
  • Oh, I see. []

    I'd suggest we have a contest for Most Creative Means of Accepting the EULA. Meanwhile, I predict that Windows Refund Newsletter Issue [] #4 is going to have fun with this one!

    Rick Moen
  • Here, "product" does not necessarily mean "software product", which is how some people are trying to define it.

    The EULA's I've seen say it the same way. You are entitled to a refund for the PRODUCT you've purchased, which in these cases is the computer SYSTEM (hardware + OS + bundled software). You're not buying just the hardware from these companies, you're buying the complete package.

    The EULA applies basically to the OS/software, but there is no provision for getting people refunds for ONLY the software component of their bundled system. The wording might seem ambiguous, but I believe, from a legal standpoint, it's in the vendor's favor, not yours.

    The fact that vendors have been providing refunds is simply their way of taking the most cost-effective route. Taking this issue to court is going to be too much of a hassle (and would be expensive). It's far, far cheaper for them if they just send a dozen people refunds for the unused OS. I wouldn't be surprised if the vendors never even pursued a refund for the unused licenses from Microsoft.

    Though don't get me wrong, there may be variations of the EULA that have provisions for getting refunds for ONLY the software component of the product. I'm also not a lawyer.
  • Right, but read it with a legal eye. The last bit of that paragraph mentions that you can return the "unused product(s)" for a refund. If they intended that to apply to the software, they would have used the previously defined "SOFTWARE PRODUCT" (note the caps). Since they're not doing that, "unused product(s)" does not necessarily refer to the software/OS. It refers to the "product" (the thing you bought: the PC + OS + bundled software). I think a lawyer would be able to comment better, but I'm reasonably certain that this is how the EULA was meant to be interpreted.
  • So call the computer company and ask them for another copy of the legal documents so you don't have to open your box. If they refuse this, they're just shifty bastards and you should buy elsewhere anyway.


  • Well, OK....yeah...but at least it tells you it's going to crash. :-)



  • I hate to say it, but this is not specific to Toshiba, Microsoft, or the computing industry. You don't usually buy everything in parts, and if you want to buy an preassembled product, you have to take everything that comes with it -- no refunds.

    Can I buy a car without a radio? Maybe, but probably not easily. I sure as hell can't buy any car I want and tell them to refund me for the radio. Or buy a TV and return the remote control? Or buy a portable CD player and return the headphones?

  • ...not for proving your point.

    Yes, I can buy a car without a radio. I did just that four years ago. Why? None of the factory installed radio/tape/CD-players provided satisfactory performance at a reasonable price. So, I said no to the radio when I ordered the car and installed a radio from a third party. The cost of the standard radio was subtracted(refunded) from the total cost of the car.

    Sound familiar?

    Can I buy a TV and return the remote? Yes, if the remote is defective, unsatisfactory, and/or not covered under the warranty that is offered with the rest of the unit. You can also get a third party remote.

    Sound familiar?

    For those that claim that the bundled os is a part of the computer, note that there are different warranties for the hardware and the software. The hardware explicitly states that it will work for x amount of time and what coverage is provided by the warranty. If the software(like the BIOS) is an integral part of the PC, then the warranty will be the same for it. The warranty for the software is explicitly different and states as a matter of fact that the software has no warranty and is not even expected to work. This makes the software defective, unacceptable, subject to return, and separate from the hardware.

    Can I buy a portable CD player and return the headphones....

    I think that you get the point.

  • I picked up an old Toshiba 2400CS (DSTN colour with onboard SCSI (!), 486 w/ 320 MB/8MB). I was anticipating headaches getting it to run Linux, but I found some Linux-on-Toshiba web pages that had Linux replacements for the Toshiba hotkey utilities, XF86 config files, etc. It's all working wonderfully under RH4.2. The hardest part was making it recognize my IBM "Home & Away" (ethernet + modem) adapter during the install so I could mount the CD over NFS. But the diagnostic messages were clear, and I just changed the signature in one of the PCMCIA config files to match the one my card was reporting (apparently there are slightly different models of the card) and I was off to the races.

    With very minor tweaking, I now have APM support (init 0 powers off, the LCD and backlights shut down when not in use), the hard drive spins down/up appropriately, I have visual hotkey feedback, my eraserhead pointer (and external mouse!) work properly, the modem and network connection are working, X works, etc. etc.

    Couldn't be happier! Now if I only had a bit more RAM...
  • A lot of people seem no to like this because of the viewpoint that they dont like the fact that the software is being deemed part of the computer - what you're forgetting is that you're already doing that - point in case BIOS code and video driver firmware for example. These are pieces of software that are just as important to the running of the computer, and also removeable/replaceable. The only difference is that you dont have to explicitly accept an EULA to use them. When the Open BIOS project gets somewhere will you all be returning your EEPROMS to award for a refund? The best solution is to ignore all the crap and either buy machines which dont bundle MS software, or to build your own.

  • But typically car dealers give you a choice of radio. If you don't like the radio in your car, they'll put in your choice of radio. If it's a more expensive model, I'm sure they'll charge you for it. But the point is that you have a CHOICE.
    Seems to run OK.
    FWIW, this page has lots of laptop links: top/
  • Some people (including me) really hate Track Pads and would prefer a trackpoint. (aka eraserhead) Unfortunately, IBM and Toshiba (and some Winbooks) are the only laptops you can get them on these days...
  • Although IANAL, those of you familiar with commerce law, will note that there is already
    and "out".

    Every purchase comes with an effective terms and conditions (Ts&Cs) usually in barely legible print
    on the back of a the order printed by a dot matrix printer or in microprint at the bottom. The Ts&Cs
    say things like how you will pay, how it will be shipped, and stuff like you can't ship it before
    September or if you don't have it in 30 days, I don't want it(mainly legalese).

    The uniform commerce code (UCC) specifies that the purchase order or acknowlegement with the latest
    date determines the Ts&Cs.

    The rule is simple, you send an order with Ts&Cs. The company either accepts these Ts&Cs or
    modifies them with a order acknowledgement with new Ts&Cs.

    If you order a computer, just put your own Ts&Cs. In your Ts&Cs, you can put things like I want a
    refund for M$ stuff, or I want to run Linux on it. If the company sends you back an order
    acknowledgement with their own Ts&Cs. If you don't like their Ts&Cs just REJECT the order.

    If the company doesn't send you an acknowledgement separate from the computer, just REJECT the
    shipment if it has different terms.

    According to the UCC if you accept the shipment, you automatically agree to their Ts&Cs (including
    any term like you have to use M$ sw).

    However, if you REJECT the order, and they ship it anyways, you have no responsibility for it.
    Just tell the FEDEX guy you don't want it. They can't even bill your credit card.

  • by WSH ( 3746 )
    Looks like a good reason not to buy Toshibas.
  • by randy ( 3911 )
    Dealers can roll their own with whatever OS they want. This means the small dealers, not just the large corps like Toshiba, Dell, Compaq etc. You might even find some dealers willing to sell you the barebones laptops that they can get, or at least sell you one complete, but with no OS. I know because I have been a small computer dealer as a second job for 8 years, and have several different sources for barebones laptops.
  • Sounds to me like a good reason to quit buying Toshiba Laptops.
    These days we dont really have to deal with companies that dont act like they want our money.
  • IBM's Thinkpads also have a similar sticker on the plastic bag the computer comes wrapped in.
  • Yup. I unboxed 150 TP770's. Each and every one of them had the sticker.

  • Of course "bad memory" matters to Windows! It's just that Windows users assume that crashes caused by bad memory are due to Windows bugs, and don't realise they are a hardware problem.
  • I'm no American, but he seems to be bad news, right? I suppose he will make minched meat out of Toshiba...
    -------------------------------------- ------------------
    UNIX isn't dead, it just smells funny...
  • Let's try this again.

    Here at work, I've been noticing a red sticker across the power supply connector on Dell's. It basically says the same thing, "By removing this sticker you agree to the license agreement of all software installed on this machine." Of course, this is kind of crappy and very dishonest of the manufacturer.
  • It figures.

    However, I was told by someone a few days ago that the EULA isn't even valid in Britain - you can't force someone to accept something before they have read it.

    Dunno if that applies here. It doens't sound legal, but IANAL.

  • Can I buy a car without a radio? Maybe, but probably not easily.

    Actually, that's incorrect. There have been several court cases over the years that have established pretty much unambiguously that customers are not required to buy things they don't want.

    The car radio is a classic example (particularly when FM radios started showing up). When car manufacturers started including radios in their vehicles, customers complained because the radio was of low quality and overpriced. Many people wanted to install after-market radios. But the manufacturers and dealers said, "Sorry, it comes with the car." Several cases later, courts reaffirmed the consumer's right to choose what they want to buy, and pay for only that.

    The wrinkle here is that, if the shrinkwrap "agreements" are to be believed, a sale is not taking place. Therefore the consumer doesn't enjoy the protections accompanying outright sales. You're entering into a contract, which lifts you out of consumer retail sale law and into the hideously twisted world of contract law. All your rights and remedies are spelled out in the contract; anything not in the contract is Your Problem.

    As I've been saying for years, this is evil. Shrinkwraps raise Caveat Emptor to what I regard to be unreasonable heights. (And... Why not? Here's a link to my editorial [] again.)


  • You can't accept 'parts' of an agreement without the permission of the other party. Usually this means both of you initialing (in hand writting with a blue or black pen) the part that is struck.
  • Some suggested strategies for dealing with EULAs are here [].

    One suggestion from that article: Before opening the envelope with the floppies, take the "agreement," get a pen, and draw a line through all the bits you don't like. Write your initials next to any and all changes you make. Do not strike out the phrase that reads, "By using the software, you indicate that you have read, understand, and agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement." If there's a clause forbidding changes unless signed by an authorized company representative, strike it out and initial it.

    This process of striking out words and phrases and initialing them is in fact the actual, legally-approved method of making amendments to a contract (for such changes to be binding, the other party would be expected to also initial your amendments to indicate agreement, or offer a counter-proposal. This is all part of the negotiating process).


  • My brother-in-law bought a Digital laptop, and promptly wiped the harddrive to install Linux (he didn't pursue any refund)

    He's a Linux newbie, so it was slow going, and I helped him get stuff set up, recompiled the kernel to support APM, etc.

    This thing came with a Winmodem, but there's an option to get a NIC+Modem combo. But, to get it, you have to send it back to the factory for installation (because the jacks are integrated into the back of the laptop, which is kinda nice.)

    So, he decided to cough up the $300 or so to have it installed, and sent it to be serviced.

    When it was returned, his hard drive was wiped out, and a fresh install of NT was on it.

    He just said "oh well" and started re-installing Linux, but I would have raised hell!

    Is this standard practice for factory service? Why would they need to wipe the hard drive to install a NIC? I suppose they couldn't test it otherwise... but they could have swapped HDs to test, then re-installed his original...

    We NEED a linux-friendly laptop vendor.
  • I've thought of doing this. I'd be willing to put up a website that featured a list of Linux/OSS hostle companies. Problem is I would have to find a place to host it. I was thinking about Geocities or something. My ISP allows webpages, at $5 for two megs.

    I think I need a new ISP.

  • I must say, that would be interesting...most resellers (ie, Future Shop in Canada) charge a re-stocking fee if you return a computer. Some less-reputable retailers even go as high as 15% of the purchase price. (OUCH!!) However, it might just be worth it to take the laptop back, in the bag, and say "I can not agree to the EULA if I haven't read it. Please open the bag and read it to me." Then, say, "Nope. I don't agree with that." That way,

    1) You didn't open the bag. (the retailer did),
    2) You did not agree to the EULA (and have a witness)
    3) The retailer MAY decide to refund you your money. (Not LIKELY, but it's possible.)
    4) If #3 doesn't happen, you can ask the retailer to witness you boot the machine with your trusty Linux boot disk and fdisk away. You can now return your Windoze CDs to Toshiba guilt-free.

    Of course, IANAL...But that SHOULD work...

    "If at first you don't succeed, use a bigger hammer"
  • Or, as one of my profs once said, "To assume makes an ass of u and me."
  • I think your analogy is off base. It's more like
    buying a car and being locked into an insurance
    policy to go with it. "Yes you can buy this car
    from us but only if you pay for this policy from
    XYZ insurance company. You can almost buy another
    policy if this one doens't fit your needs but you
    can't buy the car with out it." It's absurd right?
    The car needs _a_ insurance policy to run (more or
    less) but it doens't need _that_ insurance policy.
    So your locked into a deal you don't like and don't need
  • While I do agree with you, they don't seem to want Toshiba to config the computer "to your exact specifications". They want Toshiba to honor the EULA, which states quite clearly that if you do not agree with the terms of the license you should return the unused software to your vendor for a refund. I am not a lawyer, so I don't know the legalities, but I think you misunderstand the desire of those posting here.

    They may just want the option of buying a Laptop without Windows installed. That SHOULD be a choice. They would have LESS work to do since there is no software to install. Just boot a DOS floppy with a burn-in program to make sure the hardware works and box it up. They DO burn them in, I hope. Yes, it changes the assembly line somewhat, and adds what ammounts to another product to thier line. But it wouldn't have to be done much. This would be great for customers, however, I agree it is Toshiba's decision.

    Personally, I will not buy a laptop simply because I can't get arround the MS tax and I cannot just buy parts and build one, like I can with my clone desktops. For me, it would be a toy though, my portable needs are well served by my Palm Pilot. That may change in the future though, and if I can't get a new one without the MS tax at the very least, I will buy a used one to offset the cost.

  • well, they could tape it to the outside of the plastic bag. then they could avoid us big, bad Linux types coming after them asking for $$ back for their crappy OS.

    (this is even more pathetic for me to complain considering that I am running a dual-boot system, but only use 98, since too many Linux things don't work)
  • Why not ask for the EULA _before_ you purchase the product !!
    Then tell the reseller you don't agree to the EULA but still want the hardware.
    Maybe it'll work, maybe it won't :)

  • VA research sell good linux laptops but they're a bit pricy. Linux hardware solutions sell laptops at a fairly decent price.


  • My Libretto accepted Linux with no complaint (although during the install I had to jump through some hoops to get around the fact that there's no support for the weird PCMCIA floppy).

    I have nothing but praise for the Libretto. Pity I bought it so long ago, or I'd be fighting for my refund on the fifteenth. Even more of a pity that Toshiba is burdening such good hardware with such a worthless OS (and that annoying little windows key, but that's another rant).

  • I'll just repeat what other people have said.

    You aren't buying a computer, you are entering a contract. There is a huge difference. For all you know, the contract you enter sight-unseen could require you to forfeit all copyright on work you create with it to MS. You can't tell.

    This, in a nutshell, is why it's illegal. You really, really, *really* need to read contracts before agreeing to them, as they can make you do almost anything.

    As for this 'car without a radio', that's totally ilrelavent (sp?) to this. Frankly, I'm pretty certain I can sell whatever I want that's legal to sell seperately in whatever combination, unless I'm under a restraining order.

  • ...when you paid them the money. :)

    Look carefully, there is nothing that say they do or don't accept it, and certainly nothign that, either a) They haven't accepted it, so the whole things invalid anyway, or b) They already accepted it, stupidly without getting you at the same time.

    As a matter of fact, I wonder if you could add clauses. :)

    If they have the right to take your money, and then impose a 'contract' on you after the sell, you have just as much right to change it after the sell.

  • I just had a thought while posting here.

    Isn't the basic theory behind opening the bag that you agree to the 'contract' on the sticker?
    Well, what's stopping you from crossing out the sticker and initialing it, or just getting the kid across the street to open it, as minors can't enter into legal contracts.

    Actually, just give the kid the money + 5 dollars, and let him buy it, open it, boot it up, and click 'Okay' on anything, and then hand it over to you. (This might screw up a warrenty, though.)

  • Naw. I got a toshiba p75 laptop that works like a charm. (I cant remember the model at the moment tho.) It actually works much better than when I got it (it had w95 on it). I just wanna replace that toshiba logo with a linux logo. :-)
  • I find it interesting that we're being asked to accept a license agreement BEFORE we can even access it to read it.

    Hell, why not? They don't give a damn about us. They care about the green in our pockets.

    Sigh, yet another obstacle in the path of Linux bliss.

  • I like it. I think I might do it. :-) I still have checks that have the 19__ date on them, maybe a good use for them.
  • I read an article months ago that addressed this. Unfortunately I don't remember where, but there has been a test case.

    Apparently there some kind of uniform commercial code, that has to do with implied warranties, the definition of a contract, and I'm sure many other things. Not all states have to agree to it, and not all states do- it's not federal law, simply an initiative by a bunch of states to regularize their business law and facilitate trade.

    "Shrinkwrapped" licenses are a violation of this uniform commercial code. Which means that they're not binding in most states.
  • Folks, the EULA, while available in the software
    during installation is also available in the
    shitty little user manual that comes with Windows. It's right under the seal of certification of approval or something. Read this EULA which is NOT IN the bag with the laptop. Disagree with it. Call Toshiba, tell them "I do not agree with this EULA, should I send this shipment of 1000 computers back, or will you be sending me a refund for the Windows software?". Groovy.
  • If I ran across this bundling, eliminating my OS choice, I would immediately call your state's Attorney General and discuss the legalities of such an agreement. I just don't see, legaly, how such a contract can be binding without consent from both parties. I'm not a lawyer, so check into it!! If there are enough calls, your state may take some action!

    "Man könnte froh sein, wenn die Luft so rein wäre wie das Bier"
    "We could be happy if the air was as pure as the beer"
  • ``However, I was told by someone a few days ago that the EULA isn't even valid in Britain - you can't force someone to accept something before they have read it.''

    Hopefully this isn't just urban folklore: There was a court case I heard about years ago where someone successfully had a ``contract'' thrown out because customers were not actually reading them. The case involved a guy whose car was damaged by a parking lot attendant. The parking garage claimed they weren't liable for damages because of some fine print they had on the back of the claim check that stated they weren't responsible for any damages that occurred while you were parked in their garage. The judge said this was not a valid agreement since nobody reads the back of the claim check and wouldn't know about this loophole the parking garage had tried to create (perhaps they were just trying to discourage customers from suing them). The guy whose car was damaged won his lawsuit.

    I wonder if such a decision could be reached regarding these ridiculous EULAs. What's next? Claiming that by reading the advertisement for the computer you were agreeing to pay for Windows?

  • A Microsoft spokesman today spoke on the latest innovation from the makers of Windows:

    "For an enhanced customer experience we have integrated hardware into all Windows products. From now on hardware technologies will be an integral part of Windows. Our customers have demanded this sort of convenience."
  • Imagine if everyone here (OK, everyone with enough leeway on their credit limit) bought a Toshiba laptop, received the thing, then sent it back writing a note saying they disagreed with the EULA, they don't want Windows, only want to install Linux, etc.

    Maybe, just maybe, someone at Toshiba will go:
    "We're losing a lot of money restocking all these laptops because people want to install Linux. Hey, I've got an idea..."
  • Actually, I was suggesting to return them BEFORE you cracked 'em open, not ask them for a refund. But, whatever it takes ;-)
  • Little sideline on UK law: In the UK if I order a computer and state, for example "I want the computer to be waterproof" on the order form, when the computer supplier takes my money he/she agrees to supply my with a computer that will be fit for the purpose it was ordered for. So if I then drench my computer in water, and it stops working, I can legally send the computer back and get a refund/replacement free of charge. Up to a full seven years later. Of course the supplier, if he/she had any sense, would never ship me a "waterproof" computer in the first place...

    But what if I order a year 2000 compliant computer, ie to be Y2K compliant as shipped, and I get a box with Windows pre-installed? Is the computer supplier thereby betting his business on Windows being Year 2000 compliant? What happens if I send the computer back 6 years and 364 days later, telling the supplier that it caught the Y2K bug, only I was too busy to notice it until now. I'd like to see them try to replace that ancient beast.

  • First Post Bastard :)

    No seriously though; how can Toshiba do this without offering a Non-Windows laptop model separately (for less money)?!?
  • You better accept the EULA. By the way does the box have a full unedited version of the EULA? That is a Definate legal issue if not.
  • Now hang on, wasn't Toshiba the company who issued the original refund?

    Has anyone called Toshiba to raise this issue with the EULA / bag issue? I would like to think we're more reasonable then to boycot them over something that may be a misunderstanding. If they really are trying to keep from providing refunds this way, lets let them know we arn't happy. Although, personally, I won't buy Toshiba laptops due to technical reasons.
  • It certainly would get their attention, but to return something, you typically have to pay S&H, and for something as expensive and even a single notebook, you need to protect yourself with insurance. That's a cost few people are willing to eat, just to make a point.

    And I'm sure this is exactly what Toshiba and MS are counting on.
  • No, you can't expect a refund for the tape player in your car. You aren't presented with a EULA that explicitly states that you can. These people have purchased a computer, and the EULA that was included with it explicitly stated that they could return the software product for a refund.
  • I have an T3400 Laptop from Toshiba, and it will not support Linux, it won't take the boot floppy and if i try the loadlin way to get it to run Disk Druid Can't see the IDE Interface on it. I have to run W95, and from my experience, Toshiba makes it difficult at best to run a non-Microsoft OS (Even DR-DOS won't run on the T3400 :(
    It is a good idea to boycott any company that makes such crappy computers IMHO
  • There was a sticker on the copy of Adobe PhotoDeluxe that came with my scanner stating that breaking the seal constitutes agreement to abide by the EULA. Where was this document to which I was agreeing? Only on the CD-ROM inside the sealed envelope! It also would not let me install the software without completing the registration form. It gave me the option of printing the reg info on a sheet of paper that I have little inclination to mail in.
  • Yes, the Connectix's Virtual Gamestation CD was the same way : a sticker placed over the lid of the jewel case that said "By breaking this seal you agree to [EULA]. This agreement can be found inside this package behind the CD".

    I'm surprised no one has challenged such practices before.

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    Member in Good Standing,

  • Dell will charge you $249 ... only do it if you are buying a server or at least 50 workstations

    That's because Dell previously considered pre-installing Linux onto their machines a "custom order"; they'd only install Linux (or HP-UX) onto their boxes for big/good customers & only then if it was specifically requested.

    According to a story from yesterday [], that is changing (see other related /. article [] as well)

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    Member in Good Standing,

  • I recently bought a customer returned Portege 3010 and it had the same sticker, but it was originally purchased a month ago, so maybe it's not related to the Windows Refund thing at all.

    I'm sure MS has been using this time to simply rewrite the EULA so no refund is possible. This doesn't change the fact, though, that they promised a refund on all these old copies and have no intention of honoring it.

    Of course, we have to disagree with the license to get a refund. Which part annoys you most? I hate the "no disassembly" part myself. Too bad I already used Windows (to download another copy of Debian) so I'm not eligible...

  • I just spoken to a friend of mine (who happens ro be a lawyer) and he confirms that Toshiba could not enforce this unless the full EULA is visible on the outside of the item affected, in this case, the plastic wrapper around the laptop.

    Methinks this would be laughed at a lot in Britain. As for boycotting Tosh? - their laptops are shite anyway :)

  • What is important in this Windows refund idea is the movement. It's loud enough and causes trouble to both OEMs and Microsoft. According to the EULA we have to return the software product to get a refund if we don't agree with it.

    Let's suppose Microsoft rewrites the EULA and removes everything about the refund. It doesn't look good, a lot of people will protest loudly and the court case may be affected.

    I can just see two "good" solutions for Microsoft:
    1. Let people return Windows for a refund and pay with a smile on your face.
    2 Don't force OEMs to bundle Windows.

    Let's face it. Microsoft can easily pay for all the refunds. It's no big deal and they could still continue to bundle Windows for dummies that don't know of any better. And it could even be good PR.
  • Perhaps it's time for a list of manufacturers to boycott and the related list to support.
  • Isn't this a bit like saying "You cannot read the legal document in your hands until you have signed it." ?????
  • by Ty ( 15982 )
    Damn, I've always like Toshiba's notebooks...
  • This little sticker is placed on all new computers that come pre-installed with Windows on it, not just toshibas. I worked in an MIS dept for quite some time and personally I have seen them on NEC's, HP's, Toshibas, Dells, Gateways, and Microns. It always says the same thing. It has not just appeared in the last few months, it has been there for at least the last 3 years.
  • As a Linux newbie, I managed to load Slackware Linux on my Toshiba Tecra 700CT (cheating a bit by using Partition Magic to set up the dual boot with the pre-installed Windows 95). The current sticking point is figuring out the XF86 file to get my mouse to work. But I truly believe I will get this to work!

    Don Knutson,
  • You guys have, in effect, boycotted Toshiba for getting the info to make excellent boat propellers.

    How do you contrast that with the ideals of OSS? Should information only be free to people we like? It should be obvious that any hostile power running their military computers with Linux will certainly have an advantage over the M$ using countries (Including the U.S.)
  • Isen't it true that Microsoft Rules the world and no person on earth would ever deny they OS?

    pfft. Disgusting.
  • according to the US Uniform Commercial Code:

    1. You have the right to inspect the product before you accept it. - UCC 2-606(1)(a)

    2. If it is impractical for you to inspect a product before you take it home or to the office, then you have the right to inspect it there. -
    UCC 2-606(1)(b)

    3. If the product doesn't conform to the contract, you may:
    - reject the whole
    - accept the whole
    - accept any commercial unit or units and reject the rest. - UCC 2-601

    These shrink-wrap "licenses" are in direct conflict with your legal rights under the UCC, which is why the SPA is working so hard to revise the UCC. But until they do, they haven't a legal leg to stand on.
  • I'd like to see the DOJ make a case for tying, which is illegal. You can't be forced to accept one product (Windows) as a condition of acquiring another (the hardware).
  • I'm quite sure that Toshiba didn't do this to make things more difficult for you. They probably wanted to make the installation process easier for Windows users.

    As a consumer, your opinion matters to companies you buy products (such as expensive laptops) from. Let them know you are dissatisfied with this new 'convenience' and inform them that you will return the laptops if they do not allow you to receive a credit for the Windows installation which you do not want.

    If they are still uncooperative, simply return the laptops to Toshiba and buy from another brand. NEC for instance makes rather high quality laptops, and they do not come in EULA-sealed bags. There are also companies that will sell you laptops with Linux preloaded rather than Windows. Look into it, vote with your dollars.


An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"