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The End User License Agreement (EULA)

The EULA is a very important document that comes as a part of a software license (or license for any other products). This contains details of the terms and conditions that the parties to the agreement agree to comply with during the term of the license or as long as the agreement is in force. This might also contain some fine print especially in in click wrap license agreements - a common type of agreement often used in connection with software licenses. Such forms of agreement are mostly found on the Internet, as part of the installation process of many software packages, or in other circumstances where agreement is sought using electronic media. It allow companies to hide unfavourable conditions from their customers which might create some problems for customers in due course. But innocent or careless consumers don't read these clauses or terms and so end up signing agreements with terms and conditions that they don't really agree with. Here is an example to illustrate that end users don't read the EULA.

On 1st April 2010, Gamestation (currently owned by Game) temporarily added the following clause to its online sales contract:

By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions. We reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act.

If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction.

It wasn't just a gag though: the roughly 12% of customers who clicked the links were given a free £5 voucher. It's all in good fun, but it does demonstrate how dastardly EULAs can be.

An analysis of the terms of service of major consumer websites has found that they frequently contain clauses that impede consumer rights in substantial and often unexpected ways.

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Moral of the story: Read the EULAs before you click on the "I agree" button when you buy a license to any product online.