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A Message to Adobe

Dear Adobe.
The installation of your Flash player software on my PC just asked me to update, and tick a box to confirm I had read the terms and conditions.

Unlike, I suspect, most of your users, I like to try to at least briefly glance at terms and conditions documents before I click to agree with them. I was a little baffled when I clicked, and was delivered, not to a page with the terms I was agreeing to on it, but a Monstrous List of Licence Agreements

Undeterred, I checked the version of Flash that was trying to install itself, selected the appropriate agreement and tried to look at it.  My browser fell over.    I was starting to feel challenged.  But I did not give up.  I tried again.   I realised that my browser had fallen over because your document is 280 pages long.   And it starts out in what I think, without further information, is Arabic.

I persisted.  I searched for 'English' in the document, as that is my mother tongue.  But it appears that identifying the English form of the terms in a heading is not something you felt would be helpful.  

So, I thought about words that were likely to appear in the EULA for which I was searching, and ran a search for 'Conditions'.  This at least brought me to the European languages.  I briefly considered reading the EULA in French, but felt that my knowledge of legal French was not sufficient.  It is, however, sufficient to allow me to identify other search terms, and I finally discovered the English EULA on page 66. 

Something tells me that you didn't really expect me to find it.  

By this blog post, I am varying our agreement to state that I do not accept any of the conditions that are written in any language other than English in your EULA document, and also to state that you are a bunch of devious and legalistic weasels.

  If you agree to this variation, please continue to cause Flash to update itself.  If you do not agree, please cease sending me updates to your software .  I am sure you will agree that posting this on a well known blogging platform is just as easy for you to find  and read as it was for me to read your document, and what's more, if you don't like this idea you can tell me in a comment, which is more than I can do with your monstrous PDF file.




( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
9th Nov, 2010 14:58 (UTC)
Oddly I did the same when presented with yesterday's update - though I baulked at the long list and (thank goodness) never got to the 280 document stage.

D'you think that they know that in the UK (and probably a lot of the other countries on that list) such licences aren't worth the bandwidth they occupy?
9th Nov, 2010 15:27 (UTC)
I discovered a multiplicity of weasel word paragraphs dealing with the law in the EU, and special provision for Germany (apparently the law in Germany requires its own weaselly paragraph). So someone has at least looked into this...

The executive summary seems to be : if anything goes wrong, whether it's our code or your computer, you can't sue us: also don't decompile our code. Only put in a more confusing and menacing way...

I was intrigued to see that Flash cannot be legally installed on any device that is not a PC. Some sort of 'neh to Apple' statement....?
9th Nov, 2010 22:06 (UTC)
How did they define 'PC'? Arguably an iPad / iPhone / iPod touch is personal and arguably it is a computer.
10th Nov, 2010 12:23 (UTC)
I tried to check the definition, but was again unable to load the PDF file. I think it did exclude mobiles...
9th Nov, 2010 15:22 (UTC)
Now I'm trying to envisage the facial expression and body language that goes with "grumpy yet amused"...
9th Nov, 2010 15:31 (UTC)
It's that openmouthed indignant face I make that goes with extravagant arm-waving. :-p
9th Nov, 2010 15:55 (UTC)
Ah. Like the expression one might assume upon finding out that a tribe of proud desert warriors are actually robots?
9th Nov, 2010 17:12 (UTC)
That's the one!
9th Nov, 2010 22:06 (UTC)
You're never going to forgive me for that are you?
9th Nov, 2010 22:18 (UTC)
Bubbles won't; she felt quite violated, and I don't think she'll ever be the same again. :-)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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