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Monday, February 12, 2007


Vista's Fine Print

[This is a guest post, written by David Vaile, Executive director, Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre -- Abi]

Michael Geist has put into words what many were thinking, in 'Vista's Fine Print Raises Red Flag'.

This explores legal, privacy and technical issues with Windows Vista validation, the new re-balancing of user rights in the End User Licence Agreement (you have less right to control your computer than you thought), and the implementation of functionality reduction (down sampling HD video resolution unless using the HDMI or similar DRM-aware video interface) at the behest of the MPAA.

The comments are interesting too, many succinctly setting out issues relevant to malware research - shows that these issues are accessible to a general audience, and that it is possible to encapsulate them simply:
"I have just read about Sony BMG and the FTC ruling that states that the action of installing DRM onto consumers machines without their knowledge is indeed illegal. It appears that Microsoft is doing exactly the same thing, but using the EULA to make it legal."


Anonymous Anonymous said:
There is no way Microsoft is doing anything in a sneaky way with Vista if you agree to a license agreement. The installer chooses to read it or not, and that cannot be Microsoft's issue if you choose to not read it. It is the same as any manual and warranty you get with a fridge or car. Unless you read it and accept it when you agree to purchase the item you cannot complain you did not know later on.
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