Instant Messaging: December 2009 Archives

The Futility Of EULAs

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Here we have a typical IM toolbar (SweetIM), which has a rather curious EULA.

Sweet? Nope..., originally uploaded by Paperghost

Yes, they really want you to download this program. What particularly caught my eye was the age requirements on the EULA:

Please note: (1) you MUST be 13 years or older to install or to use the SweetIM Software. If you are not yet 13, do not download SweetIM Software

Thirteen? I must admit, I don't see many applications with an age requirement as low as that.

Okay, fine. You want to allow 13 year old kids to download this thing, fair enough; they're not stupid. However, if you're going to aim your app at kids that young, you probably shouldn't include a EULA that takes about six weeks to read.

Seriously, check it out.

Ten points to anybody who can explain how a reasonably intelligent adult could plough through that lot, let alone a kid. The default narrow web browser it opens in (see the above screenshot) makes it appear to be even longer than it actually is. I dusted off our EULA Analyzer to see what it thought of it all; the results are pretty much as you expected. That is to say, completely ludicrous:


According to the above, an application that they want thirteen year olds to use has a EULA that's BEYOND twelfth grade reading level. For those of you not in the States, a twelfth grader is usually seventeen or eighteen.


170 sentences, 5,000+ words, 34 odd words per sentence......enjoy, kids!


About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Instant Messaging category from December 2009.

Instant Messaging: November 2009 is the previous archive.

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