The Strange Phenomenon of End User Licence Agreements (EULA's)

I've noticed over time that I never read EULA's any more and just accept them on face value, so as I was about to embark on a clean build of my new PC I though it was a good time to put this right and started reading them, here is how I got on .........

Windows 7
I was going to install Windows 7 professional, so that seemed like a good place to start, as I obviously had no internet access at this point so I followed the link on another PC, and found that the Microsoft Windows 7 Professional English EULA is 5485 words long.

Wikipedia says
"The average adult reads prose text at 250 to 300 words per minute"
So 275 seems as good a figure as any to use, so that will be my baseline. Remember I never said I would understand any of them, merely read them.
Word Count So Far : 5485
Time to read : 19.94 Minutes

Leaving Windows 7 updating itself I decided to listen to a bit of light music, where better than YouTube so I hopped over there.

Oh Dear....

Never one to quit at the first obstacle, I followed the "Get the latest Flash Player" link, of course I wasn't going to install it without reading the Adobe Software Licencing Agreement, so I clicked on the link helpfully provided

Excellent, that certainly saved me some time, however on the next box I had a difficult dilemma

Did I want Chrome and the Google toolbar?, actually I thought I just wanted Flash player, however as they had helpfully auto selected them in case I needed any help, and although very tempted I declined at this point and continues to install Flash Player.

Of course now I have a real dilemma, through no fault of my own I have not read Flash Player's EULA and I could well be contravening all sorts of laws, and I didn't want that on my conscience so I headed over to 

And downloaded their "Personal Computer Software License Agreement" 
At this point I realised I would need some sort of PDF reader as the file was in PDF format, no matter, I headed back to Adobe and selected their fine Acrobat Reader, and of course clicked on the link to read the EULA, oh dear... (again)

Never mind, they helpfully supplied a link, which I clicked. The eagle eyed among you may have spotted the problem here, classic chicken and egg situation, can't read the "Personal Computer Software License Agreement" as I don't have a PDF reader yet, in the end (and as I'm a bit of a maverick, I took the risk of flouting all manor of by-laws and installed it anyway, safe in the knowledge that I could read it later.

Oh dear, now I must admit at this point I was very tempted with these Google related products, but I managed to resist and went on with the install
Finally able to open the "Personal Computer Software License Agreement" for Flash Player 

It contains 5421 words (actually it's much longer but I only read English)

Word Count So Far : 10906
Time to read : 39.65 Minutes

Oh, I almost forgot, i still need to read the Acrobat Reader "Personal Computer Software Licence Agreement", It contains 5208 words

Word Count So Far : 16,114
Time to read : 58.59 Minutes

No problem, we are cracking on now, so obviously I need some productivity tools, and I'm plumping for Office 97 (as I have a licence for it)
I've read the "MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS" in the root of the CD, this has 10289 words (sigh!)

Word Count So Far : 26,403
Time to read : 96.01 Minutes

This is turning into a bigger job than I'd envisaged, never mind, onward we go

I've noticed that this is the same one I read from the CD, so I can happily accept it. However there is also a 'read me' , surely I should read it, otherwise what's the point of it being named readme

Now do I want 'Intranet Settings' turned on, I've honestly no idea, maybe I will skip this one, after all, I don't know what manor of evil may ensue if I enable it.

At this point, Windows update has prompted me to reboot to install 124 updates, this seems like a good idea so I do as they wish, however on logging back in I'm faced with yet another dilemma

I'm no idiot, so I obviously click on the 'Further Information Terms and privacy statement', this takes me to the 'Internet Explorer privacy statement' which contains 6451 words

Word Count So Far : 32,854
Time to read : 119.46 Minutes

I then select Internet Explorer, as it's made by the people who make the OS so surely will be the quickest and most secure

Right, I'll have a bit of that, IE 11 sounds perfect, Obviously I read the 'Software Licence Terms', which turns out to be another 6200 words

Word Count So Far : 39,054
Time to read : 142.014 Minutes

I don't click the Bing and MSN defaults, as the dilemma with flash and the Google products earlier has left me with a big decision to make, so I will come on to that later, then I click "Get Internet Explorer 11"

Have I ?, Then why did you offer it to me

The finished PC has the bare minimum needed, and I think sums up why these EULA's are not worth the screen space they take up, I'm off to bed now as I've lost the will to continue, but I will report back as I install any further software


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