Before clicking the "I Agree" button that accompanies software products' dense End User License Agreements (EULA), it's always best to check with Infoworld's Ed Foster first. He is unrelenting in his careful criticisms of EULAs, and, this week, he takes on a section of Microsoft Vista's EULA that aims to stifle the speech of product reviewers and critics. He writes:
"[I]f Microsoft has the right to put even the mildest of restrictions on a consumer's rights to comment on their products, why can't a carmaker or an appliance manufacturer have a censorship clause hidden somewhere on their website? There is nothing is copyright law that gives software publishers the right to restrict the rights of their customers to criticize their products."
Last week, Brooklyn Law School Professor and former EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer highlighted a number of other dangerous terms in Vista's EULA. For a user's guide to EULAs, read EFF's white paper.