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25 years of making people who agree with you cringe

25 years of making people who agree with you cringe

Posted Oct 21, 2010 21:35 UTC (Thu) by felixfix (subscriber, #242)
In reply to: 25 years of making people who agree with you cringe by madhatter
Parent article: How not to recognize free hardware

Silly rules are there for ego stroking.

I have rented apartments with illegal clauses in the rental agreements. One silly landlord tried to enforce one (cleaning deposit in California), I took her to court, and won.

The point isn't that the clause was illegal so much as it was unenforceable, and the same applies to silly clauses in EULAs. The only real enforcement the manufacturer has is to not honor a warranty if they can find a reason to show you have abused their product. In practice, the clauses you cite are as unenforceable in every practical aspect as the truly illegal rental clause the landlord tried to enforce on me.

I don't like flash, but I use it without having read the EULA, and I don't care what nonsense they have put in there. There is nothing they can put in the EULA that has any affect on me.


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25 years of making people who agree with you cringe

Posted Oct 23, 2010 18:19 UTC (Sat) by giraffedata (subscriber, #1954) [Link]

Silly rules are there for ego stroking.

I don't see how any ego gets stroked by Adobe including a silly rule in its EULA.

But I can see how Adobe would include a restriction even knowing that it would be silly to enforce it 99.9% of the time, because in some scenario (which you haven't thought of, but lawyers are paid to imagine) it could mean a lot of money for Adobe.

I have rented apartments with illegal clauses in the rental agreements. One silly landlord tried to enforce one (cleaning deposit in California), I took her to court, and won.

(for those of you following along, felixfelix is talking about a "nonrefundable cleaning deposit," which is the oxymoronic term some rental agreements use to refer to money you put up in advance to pay for cleaning when you move out, whether the apartment is dirty or not. In California, a renter does not have the power to commit to that).

But silly rules matter to some people on a moral basis, even if the law doesn't stand behind them. Some people believe it is wrong to renege on a deal, even when the government allows and encourages you to do it. If you gave your landlord money knowing that she expected to keep it and wouldn't give you the apartment without it, some would say you have a moral obligation to let her keep it.

The law lets you renege on that deal as an efficient device to eliminate competition (with other renters who might pay that cleaning fee) and create a different distribution of wealth than the free market would.

I know a case where a woman in New York City begged a landlord to rent her an apartment with broken plumbing, because she couldn't afford any normal apartment, lived there for 18 months, then took her entire rent for the whole time back. You can do that in New York, because it's the City's way of preventing apartments with broken plumbing from existing. But I can tell you lots of people would not have the chutzpah.

I also know of several cases of people borrowing money and not paying it back, possibly intending that all along, and the law supported it because the parties agreed to interest higher than 10%. Some would call that theft, and I also know of cases where people repaid everything in spite of the legal privilege not to.


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