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EULA Dissection- What to Look For in a EULA

by Wayne Porter, Jan Hertsens

Date: 09/05/2006

For the sake of education we selected a random eula from an application called the TinkoPal EULA. Have a look as we highlight some of the language and conditions you would accept in this EULA.

TinkoPal EULA Page: http://www.tinkopal.com/terms.html

EULA Key Metrics:

Number of Characters: 34791
Number of Words: 5653
Number of Sentences: 145
Average Words per Sentence: 38.99
* Flesch Score: 4.71
** Flesch Grade: 22 = Beyond Twelfth Grade Reading Level

There are also some interesting clauses in this EULA that might surprise the user if not read carefully. Here are a few reasons people don't seem to care for the after effects of an adware install- especially in the Enterprise environment. This agreement (which requires the equivalent of a master's degree to truly understand it) is patently ridiculous and potentially dangerous because of the the ability to upload arbitrary code. Our advice is to avoid the application.

Let's take a closer look at some key aspects of this EULA.

Sentence 5: By accepting to download the TinkoPal you are also accepting that TinkoPal may also deliver to you advertisements.

Sentence 6: The timing, frequency, placement and extent of advertising is subject to change and shall be determined by TinkoPal at its sole discretion.

Sentence 7: TinkoPal may from time to time, at its sole discretion, provide automatic upgrades to the Software through electronic dissemination and other means to add capabilities, functionality, or enhancements and may also include third party applications with its upgrades.

Sentence 26: Modifications of Agreement TinkoPal may modify this Agreement or the Software or Services provided at any time without providing notice to you.

Sentence 27: Such modification will be made by posting a revised agreement on its web site and such modification shall be deemed effective immediately upon posting of the modified Agreement.

Sentence 35: Attached Files This Product contains and will install technology that enables third party companies, sponsors, advertisers or TinkoPal to deliver additional products or software applications to the End-Users' system.

Sentence 39: TinkoPal also includes thirdparty applications from our advertising partner (ABI NETWORK ADVERTISING SOFTWARE) Terms and conditions: http://www.abetterinternet.com/policies.htm 1. Acceptance of This Agreement - This End User License Agreement ("Agreement") is a contract between you ("you") and BetterInternet, LLC ("ABI") and governs your use of software downloaded from abetterinternet.com ("Software"). Please read the terms of this Agreement carefully before downloading, installing and using the Software.

Sentence 40: This Software will collect information about websites you access and will use that information to display advertising on your computer.

Sentence 42: Moreover, the ads will appear while you are surfing the Web, not just when you use the Software. Sentence 45: 2. Functionality - This Software delivers advertising as well as various promotional messages to your computer screen while you view Internet web pages.

Sentence 47: In addition, the Software may be bundled with or installed in connection with Promotional Applications (see Section 14 below for more information about Promotional Applications). By installing the Software, you understand and agree that the Software may, without any additional notice to you, perform the following: display pop-up ads and various other ad formats of third party advertisers; display links to and advertisements of related websites based on the information you view and the websites you visit; store non-personally identifiable information regarding your Internet browsing and usage habits; redirect certain URLs, including your browser's default 404-error page; provide advertisements, links or information in response to search terms you use at third-party websites; provide search functionality or capabilities.

Sentence 48: 3. Uninstall and Remove Software - You may uninstall the Software at any time by visiting www.mypctuneup.com.

Sentence 49: Other attempts to uninstall the Software, such as via anti-spyware software, will not effectively uninstall the Software, and may result in the Software re-installing itself.

Sentence 53: You agree not to initiate, permit, authorize or assist any third party or application to remove the Software from your computer, or disrupt its proper operation.

Sentence 56: 4. Software updates - You understand and agree that ABI may, without providing additional notice to you: update the Software; install added features, functionality or additional software, including search clients, toolbars and shopping applications; install desktop icons and installation files; and install software from ABI affiliates

Sentence 74: However, the Software does collect certain types of non-personally identifiable information about individuals who install and use the Software.

Sentence 86: You agree not to publicly disseminate performance information or analysis (including, without limitation, benchmarks) developed by you or obtained from any third party relating to the Software.

Sentence 93: 10. Indemnification - You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless ABI and its affiliates, and each of their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, information providers and licensors, from any claims, costs, losses, damages, judgments and expenses, including but not limited to reasonable attorney's fees and expenses, relating to or arising out of any breach of this Agreement or any use of the Software by you, or by any other person using the Software through you or using or accessing your computer.

Sentence 113: To protect ABI's systems and users, to ensure the integrity and operation of ABI's business and systems, or in response to subpoenas, court orders, or legal requirements, ABI may access and disclose any information that it considers necessary or appropriate, including IP addressing, traffic information and Web usage paths. Sentence 114: By using the Software, you expressly consent to the foregoing use and disclosure.

Sentence 115: 14. Promotional Applications - During the process of downloading and/or using the Software, you may also be offered the possibility to download software from third party software vendors pursuant to license agreements or other arrangements between such vendors and yourself ("Promotional Applications"). Please note that the Promotional Applications are subject to different license agreements or other arrangements, which you should read carefully.

Sentence 116: By downloading and using Promotional Applications, you accept such license agreements or other arrangements and acknowledge that you have read them and understand them.

Sentence 128: 17. Changes - ABI may change any of the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement, including the privacy policy referenced in Section 6 above, and other policies and guidelines governing the Software, at any time in its sole discretion.

Sentence 129: Notices of material changes to this Agreement will be posted on ABI's website at www.abetterinternet.com when they become effective.

Ask yourself- is it really worth it?

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For more information on how to analyze EULA's try Facetime's EULA ANALYZER Beta Tool.

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