EULAgy

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One thing Old Media companies never tire of is trying to enforce and encourage ever-more stringent copyright laws on the rest of us regarding our use of New Media.

Have you ever read an End User Licence Agreement? Do you know what you’re agreeing to when you click Agree? How many of us don’t ever bother? How many of us read the Terms and Conditions when we join a FaceSpace or buy an airline ticket online?

The latest Old Media wheeze is to demand that, if a person is accused three times of copyright infringement, then they lose their internet access permanently, by having it cut off by their ISP.

This is the equivalent of saying that if you are accused three times of murder, you automatically get the death penalty – without a trial.

Being accused of something doesn’t make you guilty, unless the Old Media lobbyists have their way and a government passes a law that says so. The New Zealand government is trying to do just this. In doing so, they refuse to listen to reasoned arguments against, but they cave in to unreasonable pressure from Old Media.

Another example of this kind of craziness can be found on BoingBoing today, with an article about the Disney organisation trying to get you to “agree” to an End User Licence Agreement before watching a BluRay disc, or by walking under a sign!

Disney has a sickness when it comes to abusive EULAs and contracts. I once had to cancel a speech at Imagineering because the legal department wanted me to sign something saying that Id never use the word “Disney”; in print again without permission. The Laugh Factory attraction at Disney World’s Tomorrowland had a ridiculous EULA on a sign you agreed to the terms by passing under the sign in which you promised that any jokes you suggested were your own and that you would indemnify Disney from any copyright suits arising from the telling of the jokes the sign was not a joke. As though eight year olds can form contracts they cant, by standing under signs they cant, and as though most jokes people tell are original they arent.

via Boing Boing

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