Monday, November 14, 2005

music fans, whatever you do, don't go bankrupt

man, i love the EFF. courtesy atrios, we find this tidbit on the eff site. apparently installing malicious software isn't the only egregious aspect of sony's copy protection. their EULA (end user license agreement) is full of all kinds of ridiculous nonsense. as eff says, if you buy a real cd, you own it. but if you buy a sony DRM-crippled pseudocd (emphasis in original):

  1. If your house gets burgled, you have to delete all your music from your laptop when you get home. That's because the EULA says that your rights to any copies terminate as soon as you no longer possess the original CD.
  2. You can't keep your music on any computers at work. The EULA only gives you the right to put copies on a "personal home computer system owned by you."
  3. If you move out of the country, you have to delete all your music. The EULA specifically forbids "export" outside the country where you reside.
  4. You must install any and all updates, or else lose the music on your computer. The EULA immediately terminates if you fail to install any update. No more holding out on those hobble-ware downgrades masquerading as updates.
  5. Sony-BMG can install and use backdoors in the copy protection software or media player to "enforce their rights" against you, at any time, without notice. And Sony-BMG disclaims any liability if this "self help" crashes your computer, exposes you to security risks, or any other harm.
  6. The EULA says Sony-BMG will never be liable to you for more than $5.00. That's right, no matter what happens, you can't even get back what you paid for the CD.
  7. If you file for bankruptcy, you have to delete all the music on your computer. Seriously.
  8. You have no right to transfer the music on your computer, even along with the original CD.
  9. Forget about using the music as a soundtrack for your latest family photo slideshow, or mash-ups, or sampling. The EULA forbids changing, altering, or make derivative works from the music on your computer.

that reads like something out of the onion. but the EFF isn't being snarky. all that stuff is really in there, most of it in fairly explicit terms. if you search the EULA for "bankruptcy" you will indeed find this passage, point #2 of article 9:

Without prejudice to any other rights SONY BMG or any SONY BMG PARTY may have hereunder, the term of this EULA shall terminate immediately, without notice from SONY BMG, and all rights you may have hereunder to use the LICENSED MATERIALS shall be immediately revoked, in the event that you: (i) fail to comply with any provision of this EULA, (ii) fail to install an update of the SOFTWARE that was previously provided to you by the SONY BMG PARTIES within the time specified, or (iii) file a voluntary petition or are subject to an involuntary petition under applicable bankruptcy laws, are declared insolvent, make an assignment for the benefit of creditors, or are served with a writ of attachment , writ of execution, garnishment or other legal process pertaining to any of your assets or property.

1 comment:

syntax said...

i wonder how similar the eula's are on the bootleg copies of acid pro, vegas, and... umm... heh heh

not that i was really planning to anyway, but i'll be damned if i give sony another nickel of my money again.