Packaging EULA's

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Adam Smith, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Guest

    Hello,

    Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?

    Thanks

    --Adam--
     
    Adam Smith, Sep 9, 2006
    #1
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  2. Adam Smith <> scripsit:

    > Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    > Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?


    There's nothing neat in such dialog boxes. They exist just to please lawyers
    that imagine that the dialogs have a legal meaning and work with such issues
    since they cannot find neither a more profitable nor a more decent job.

    If you want to know how to piss off your visitors with such boxes on web
    pages, just look at the source code. You may need to ask the nearest kid for
    help in dealing with the way that the page may seem to have "hidden its
    source".

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Sep 9, 2006
    #2
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  3. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > Adam Smith <> scripsit:
    >
    >> Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    >> Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?

    >
    > There's nothing neat in such dialog boxes. They exist just to please
    > lawyers that imagine that the dialogs have a legal meaning and work with
    > such issues since they cannot find neither a more profitable nor a more
    > decent job.


    What makes you think they don't have a legal meaning, and why do you
    seem so disdainful about people placing conditions on the use of their
    property?

    > If you want to know how to piss off your visitors with such boxes on web
    > pages, just look at the source code.


    Do you get pissed off that a landlord wants you to agree to some
    conditions before allowing you to live in a house he owns?
     
    Harlan Messinger, Sep 10, 2006
    #3
  4. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Guest

    Harlan Messinger wrote:
    > Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >> Adam Smith <> scripsit:
    >>
    >>> Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    >>> Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?

    >>
    >> There's nothing neat in such dialog boxes. They exist just to please
    >> lawyers that imagine that the dialogs have a legal meaning and work
    >> with such issues since they cannot find neither a more profitable nor
    >> a more decent job.

    >
    > What makes you think they don't have a legal meaning, and why do you
    > seem so disdainful about people placing conditions on the use of their
    > property?
    >
    >> If you want to know how to piss off your visitors with such boxes on
    >> web pages, just look at the source code.

    >
    > Do you get pissed off that a landlord wants you to agree to some
    > conditions before allowing you to live in a house he owns?


    Well, I regarded that as coming from an immature, naive source. I am
    surprised that I haven't received any directions to the question though,
    or ahve I posted to the wrong forum (It so hard to tell).
     
    Adam Smith, Sep 10, 2006
    #4
  5. Adam Smith wrote:
    > Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >> Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >>> Adam Smith <> scripsit:
    >>>
    >>>> Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    >>>> Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?
    >>>
    >>> There's nothing neat in such dialog boxes. They exist just to please
    >>> lawyers that imagine that the dialogs have a legal meaning and work
    >>> with such issues since they cannot find neither a more profitable nor
    >>> a more decent job.

    >>
    >> What makes you think they don't have a legal meaning, and why do you
    >> seem so disdainful about people placing conditions on the use of their
    >> property?
    >>
    >>> If you want to know how to piss off your visitors with such boxes on
    >>> web pages, just look at the source code.

    >>
    >> Do you get pissed off that a landlord wants you to agree to some
    >> conditions before allowing you to live in a house he owns?

    >
    > Well, I regarded that as coming from an immature, naive source. I am
    > surprised that I haven't received any directions to the question though,
    > or ahve I posted to the wrong forum (It so hard to tell).


    Maybe if you elaborate on your application of this EULA you may receive
    more specific advice.

    How an application does it and a web site differers greatly. An
    application is compiled and interacts with the OS's API directly to
    create a dialog box. With a website you would need essentially a login
    form and you EULA page would log the user on to protected pages.

    --
    Take care,

    Jonathan
    -------------------
    LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
    http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
     
    Jonathan N. Little, Sep 10, 2006
    #5
  6. Adam Smith <> scripsit:

    > Well, I regarded that as coming from an immature, naive source.


    The EULA stuff you mean? Quite probable. (It's hard to tell what someone is
    referring to with a pronoun "that" in some text that follows a lengthy
    quotation.)

    > I am
    > surprised that I haven't received any directions to the question
    > though, or ahve I posted to the wrong forum (It so hard to tell).


    Then you apparently didn't read my response or you failed to understand it.
    Your question hardly has much to do with HTML, and I actually gave you
    directions to the _question_ indeed.

    ObHTML: If you want to see _huge_ amounts of keyword spamming, view
    http://www.econ.com
    on a text browser or view its source.

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Sep 10, 2006
    #6
  7. Adam Smith

    Andy Mabbett Guest

    In message <>, Harlan Messinger
    <> writes

    >Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >> Adam Smith <> scripsit:
    >>
    >>> Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    >>> Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?

    >> There's nothing neat in such dialog boxes. They exist just to please
    >>lawyers that imagine that the dialogs have a legal meaning and work
    >>with such issues since they cannot find neither a more profitable nor
    >>a more decent job.

    >
    >What makes you think they don't have a legal meaning


    Rather than asking Jukka to prove a negative, why don't you tell us what
    makes you think that they do?

    --
    Andy Mabbett
    Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards: <http://www.no2id.net/>

    Free Our Data: <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
     
    Andy Mabbett, Sep 10, 2006
    #7
  8. Adam Smith

    Nick Kew Guest

    Adam Smith wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes,


    where they are utterly unreadable. I always delete it and
    substitute "I can't read this in a ridiculous little text box",
    or words to that effect, before agreeing.

    > w/ I
    > Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?


    <textarea>

    --
    Nick Kew

    Application Development with Apache - the Apache Modules Book
    http://www.prenhallprofessional.com/title/0132409674
     
    Nick Kew, Sep 10, 2006
    #8
  9. Andy Mabbett wrote:

    > In message <>, Harlan Messinger
    > <> writes


    [snip]

    >> What makes you think [click-through agreements] don't have a legal
    >> meaning

    >
    > Rather than asking Jukka to prove a negative, why don't you tell us
    > what makes you think that they do?


    I remember this coming up a while back and, out of curiosity, I
    Googled[1]. The first result[2], and the one I remember the most,
    suggests that the binding nature of user agreements varies based on
    jurisdiction (not surprising, really), and is subject to certain
    constraints.

    Mike (not a lawyer!)


    [1] <http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=click-through+agreements+legality>
    [2] <http://www.andrewpatrick.ca/jitcta/jitcta.html>
     
    Michael Winter, Sep 10, 2006
    #9
  10. Andy Mabbett wrote:
    > In message <>, Harlan Messinger
    > <> writes
    >
    >> Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >>> Adam Smith <> scripsit:
    >>>
    >>>> Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    >>>> Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?
    >>> There's nothing neat in such dialog boxes. They exist just to please
    >>> lawyers that imagine that the dialogs have a legal meaning and work
    >>> with such issues since they cannot find neither a more profitable nor
    >>> a more decent job.

    >> What makes you think they don't have a legal meaning

    >
    > Rather than asking Jukka to prove a negative, why don't you tell us what
    > makes you think that they do?


    A click-through agreement possesses all the elements that, in the US at
    least, constitute a valid contract, and to anyone familiar with
    contracts this much is obvious. If you're interested, see

    http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c123.htm

    and in particular the part about parol contracts.

    It's Jukka making the claim that something that is obviously a contract
    isn't legally binding. Of course, the whole matter is muddied because
    Jukka may be talking about Finland or the EU, and I don't know the law
    there.
     
    Harlan Messinger, Sep 11, 2006
    #10
  11. Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >
    > A click-through agreement possesses all the elements that, in the US at
    > least, constitute a valid contract, and to anyone familiar with
    > contracts this much is obvious. If you're interested, see
    >
    > http://www.lectlaw.com/def/c123.htm
    >
    > and in particular the part about parol contracts.


    US contract law comes from British contract law, so I'm guessing the
    fundamentals might still be similar in the UK even after 230 years.
     
    Harlan Messinger, Sep 11, 2006
    #11
  12. On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 11:22:38 -0400, Harlan Messinger
    <> wrote:

    >Andy Mabbett wrote:
    >> In message <>, Harlan Messinger
    >> <> writes
    >>
    >>> Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    >>>> Adam Smith <> scripsit:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Many program & sites package their EULA's in neat dialog boxes, w/ I
    >>>>> Agree, Do Not Agree Radio buttons. Could someone say how this is done?
    >>>> There's nothing neat in such dialog boxes. They exist just to please
    >>>> lawyers that imagine that the dialogs have a legal meaning and work
    >>>> with such issues since they cannot find neither a more profitable nor
    >>>> a more decent job.
    >>> What makes you think they don't have a legal meaning

    >>
    >> Rather than asking Jukka to prove a negative, why don't you tell us what
    >> makes you think that they do?

    >
    >A click-through agreement possesses all the elements that, in the US at
    >least, constitute a valid contract, and to anyone familiar with
    >contracts this much is obvious.

    ....
    >Of course, the whole matter is muddied because
    >Jukka may be talking about Finland or the EU, and I don't know the law
    >there.


    I went to a seminar on the law relating to software in the Netherlands a
    few years ago. The speaker on this matter said it had not been tested
    before the courts, and it was uncertain whether a click-through
    agreement would stand up in the Netherlands. Apparently legal opinion
    was divided but he was inclined to think it would not.

    He further added that at least some clauses of some click-through
    contracts he had seen would definitely not stand up in the Netherlands.

    I don't know whether things have changed since.

    --
    Stephen Poley

    http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/
     
    Stephen Poley, Sep 11, 2006
    #12
  13. Stephen Poley <> scripsit:

    > I went to a seminar on the law relating to software in the
    > Netherlands a few years ago. The speaker on this matter said it had
    > not been tested before the courts, and it was uncertain whether a
    > click-through agreement would stand up in the Netherlands.


    Hardly anyone _wants_ to test it in a court. There would be a lot of
    expenses to lose and little if anything to win. But this still isn't an HTML
    issue.

    Well, I do have an ObHTML here:

    Given any normal www form or link that is claimed to constitute a contract
    when clicked on, based on stuff on the page where it resides, one can
    construct a link that leads to the same page and does not involve any kind
    of reference to any commitment or contract. (If the form uses POST method,
    you need either a little bit of JavaScript or a simple server-side piece of
    software.) So how could you prove that the user who enters the page has
    actually even seen your "click-through agreement"? Right, you don't.

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Sep 11, 2006
    #13
  14. Adam Smith

    Toby Inkster Guest

    Harlan Messinger wrote:

    > A click-through agreement possesses all the elements that, in the US at
    > least, constitute a valid contract, and to anyone familiar with
    > contracts this much is obvious.


    But if it's not delivered through HTTPS, then it could be tampered with
    en-route to the visitor, so you can never quite be sure whether it was
    *your* contract they agreed to, or some man-in-the-middle's contract.

    And speaking of tampering with HTTP en-route:
    http://www.ex-parrot.com/~pete/upside-down-ternet.html

    --
    Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
    Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact
     
    Toby Inkster, Sep 12, 2006
    #14
  15. Adam Smith

    Andy Mabbett Guest

    In message <>, Harlan Messinger
    <> writes

    >A click-through agreement possesses all the elements that, in the US at
    >least, constitute a valid contract, and to anyone familiar with
    >contracts this much is obvious.


    Claiming "this much is obvious" is hardly a strong argument; not least
    because it's far from obvious.

    --
    Andy Mabbett
    Say "NO!" to compulsory ID Cards: <http://www.no2id.net/>

    Free Our Data: <http://www.freeourdata.org.uk>
     
    Andy Mabbett, Sep 12, 2006
    #15
  16. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > Stephen Poley <> scripsit:
    >
    >> I went to a seminar on the law relating to software in the
    >> Netherlands a few years ago. The speaker on this matter said it had
    >> not been tested before the courts, and it was uncertain whether a
    >> click-through agreement would stand up in the Netherlands.

    >
    > Hardly anyone _wants_ to test it in a court. There would be a lot of
    > expenses to lose and little if anything to win. But this still isn't an
    > HTML issue.
    >
    > Well, I do have an ObHTML here:
    >
    > Given any normal www form or link that is claimed to constitute a
    > contract when clicked on, based on stuff on the page where it resides,
    > one can construct a link that leads to the same page and does not
    > involve any kind of reference to any commitment or contract. (If the
    > form uses POST method, you need either a little bit of JavaScript or a
    > simple server-side piece of software.) So how could you prove that the
    > user who enters the page has actually even seen your "click-through
    > agreement"? Right, you don't.
    >


    With a contract printed on paper, you also can't prove that the person
    who signs it has read it, even if his signature is under a printed
    statement reading, "I affirm that I have read this contract." So? The
    contract is still binding.

    If someone encountering a EULA chooses to engineer a hack to get around
    reading it, what would lead you to expect a judge to give him any more
    sympathy than would be given to a person who signed a hard-copy contract
    and then later claimed not to be bound by it because he hadn't read it?
     
    Harlan Messinger, Sep 12, 2006
    #16
  17. Toby Inkster wrote:
    > Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >
    >> A click-through agreement possesses all the elements that, in the US at
    >> least, constitute a valid contract, and to anyone familiar with
    >> contracts this much is obvious.

    >
    > But if it's not delivered through HTTPS, then it could be tampered with
    > en-route to the visitor, so you can never quite be sure whether it was
    > *your* contract they agreed to, or some man-in-the-middle's contract.


    I suspect an assertion that tampering had occurred would be required,
    along with evidence that it had happened. I wouldn't think it would be
    the starting assumption. After all, printed contracts can be tampered
    with, and, in the US at least, even oral contracts can often be
    enforced. A business issuing a EULA has a better chance of proving that
    it presented that EULA to the user, and of proving what the EULA said,
    than someone bringing an oral contract into court.
     
    Harlan Messinger, Sep 12, 2006
    #17
  18. Andy Mabbett wrote:
    > In message <>, Harlan Messinger
    > <> writes
    >
    >> A click-through agreement possesses all the elements that, in the US at
    >> least, constitute a valid contract, and to anyone familiar with
    >> contracts this much is obvious.

    >
    > Claiming "this much is obvious" is hardly a strong argument; not least
    > because it's far from obvious.


    If you know what constitutes a contract in the first place, yes, it is
    obvious, just as obvious as it is to anyone looking at me that I have
    two eyes, a nose, and a mouth. You don't have perform a complex analysis
    of a EULA to find the elements of a contract--they're right there.
     
    Harlan Messinger, Sep 12, 2006
    #18
  19. Harlan Messinger <> scripsit:

    > With a contract printed on paper, you also can't prove that the person
    > who signs it has read it,


    There's no need for proving that, and this has nothing to do with the
    discussion at hand, still less HTML.

    > If someone encountering a EULA chooses to engineer a hack to get
    > around reading it,


    then someone else can quite innocently follow a link and arrive at a page
    without seeing any reference to any contract, as I wrote.

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
     
    Jukka K. Korpela, Sep 12, 2006
    #19
  20. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > Harlan Messinger <> scripsit:
    >
    >> With a contract printed on paper, you also can't prove that the person
    >> who signs it has read it,

    >
    > There's no need for proving that,


    Right, so in the analogous web-based situation, someone running a web
    site ought not to have the initial burden of proving that the user read
    the EULA.

    > and this has nothing to do with the
    > discussion at hand, still less HTML.


    How does an analogy relating to whether a person read or didn't read a
    contract not have anything to do with a discussion on whether a person
    did or didn't read a contract?

    >> If someone encountering a EULA chooses to engineer a hack to get
    >> around reading it,

    >
    > then someone else can quite innocently follow a link and arrive at a
    > page without seeing any reference to any contract, as I wrote.


    And the company's web logs will show the the EULA was never requested by
    the user. (It seems to me a hack is easily prevented, by inserting a
    random string into a hidden INPUT tag [ObHTML] and expecting to receive
    that same string from the same IP to which it was sent and/or from
    within the same user session.)

    Anyway, as with any contract, the answer to the question of whether a
    EULA would be binding if a person did agree to it doesn't rely on the
    fact that it certainly wouldn't be binding if it had never been
    presented to the person.
     
    Harlan Messinger, Sep 12, 2006
    #20
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