New Legal Stratagem: Kitty Did It

New Legal Stratagem: Kitty Did It

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Want to install some new software while avoiding the dicey legal entanglements of mile-long EULAs? Get someone else to do it for you. Your cat, perhaps.

We're all familiar with End User License Agreements, yet very few of us are aware of what's actually in them. They're a minor inconvenience, a wall-of-text speed bump on the road to getting our software installed, and yet for all we know we could be promising our firstborn to Peter Moore as we blindly click through them. And while the legal enforceability of these agreements has come into question recently, one woman has decided to sidestep the matter altogether by offloading responsibility for accepting these contracts to another member of the household - her cat.

Anne Loucks began the process of enlisting her cat's aid by creating a large, custom-built button (a piece of cardboard with "Kitty Agrees" written on it) for her feline assistant, named Simba, to press. She then placed it appropriately upon her laptop and after tabbing the focus to the proper onscreen button, attracted Simba to the keyboard with the promise of some lovin'. Voila - Kitty agrees!

How this kind of devious legal machination would hold up before a judge is questionable, of course, a fact Loucks acknowledges in The Agreeable Cat. "As he is not a legal entity, I don't really know how kitty's agreements would stand up in court, but I like to think he would be responsible for any breaches of contract, assuming the agreement is even enforceable," she wrote. "After all, he is not even of legal age, at least in human years."

And if you don't happen to have a cat around, she noted that other options are available. "This same strategy could be used with small dogs, children (preferably the neighbors') or even a carefully crafted button presser that moves up and down as the wind sways a tree outside your window," she continued. "Mother nature is responsible for the license agreement! I swear!"

via: Slashdot

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I thought we were done with cats in the news room. What is next? Puppy did it? There is a limit on how far arguements like this will go.

We need awards for people this creative. Who woulda thunk it?

This is the most awesome idea ever.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
We need awards for people this creative. Who woulda thunk it?

Agreed. This is an awesome idea.

Lvl 64 Klutz:
We need awards for people this creative. Who woulda thunk it?

I say 6034 cookies, do you agree?

Cute, but it'll never hold up in court.

-- Steve

I doubt most EULA's would hold up in court anyway, but it's a funny idea.

I've gotta give this person points for creativity, but this is just stupid. Just agree to the damn contract, and follow it or become a criminal. Don't try and offload responsibility to your damn cat. Besides, this doesn't say much for the person loving their cat if they're willing to trick it into taking responsibility for its owner's crimes.

And I've always wondered about those User Agreements. Nobody reads them before agreeing to them, so whoever wrote it really could get the person to agree to something they're not expecting. Like...charging money to their credit card? Maybe denying them access to the game after a few months? Could be anything, hell they agreed to it.

Anton P. Nym:
Cute, but it'll never hold up in court.

-- Steve

Doesn't need to. There's a better alternative, and that's to be (or claim to have been) drunk when you click the "I Accept". Legally, an intoxicated person cannot enter into a contractual agreement. As you would have been drunk when agreeing to the EULA, you cannot be bound by it, as the contract is null and void. That it doesn't pop up asking you to agree each time you boot the game is their oversight.

Trust me, it's how it works. At least, in Cannuckistan.

Khell_Sennet:

Anton P. Nym:
Cute, but it'll never hold up in court.

-- Steve

Doesn't need to. There's a better alternative, and that's to be (or claim to have been) drunk when you click the "I Accept". Legally, an intoxicated person cannot enter into a contractual agreement. As you would have been drunk when agreeing to the EULA, you cannot be bound by it, as the contract is null and void. That it doesn't pop up asking you to agree each time you boot the game is their oversight.

Trust me, it's how it works. At least, in Cannuckistan.

The tricky part on that is to prove to the court that you were sufficiently inebriated when you hit the clicky without providing the plaintiff enough evidence that you planned to get inebriated before hitting the clicky... because deliberately getting smashed beforehand would prove that you intended to clicky even while sober.

-- Steve

Anton P. Nym:
The tricky part on that is to prove to the court that you were sufficiently inebriated when you hit the clicky without providing the plaintiff enough evidence that you planned to get inebriated before hitting the clicky... because deliberately getting smashed beforehand would prove that you intended to clicky even while sober.

Oh that's simple. You just describe your daily routine as coming home from work, having a beer, supper, more beer, TV, more beer, then gaming. Being "drunk" as your normal routine wouldn't imply you went out of your way to get smashed for just that one thing.

Better.. send the company an email with the subject "EULA agreement amendment" The body of the email reads, "This electronic mail is a Legal Contract between <your name>, and <company name> as represented by an employee of <company name> receiving this email, which amends the EULA provided in [software title] purchased by <your name> in the following manner: All articles of the EULA are deleted. You may signify your accepance of this agreement by deleting or closing this email. Should you not agree, simply return the purchase price of [software title] to <your name> at <your address> who will return all purchased copies of said software to your office."

Send it with a return receipt.

Will it work? Who knows. But there's an argument to be made that it has every bit as much validity as an unsigned contract provided to you after the purchase of the software.

Of course, beyond that, I also intend to argue, should it ever happen, that my ram was a bit dodgy now and then so all that came up on my screen was a blank box with a button marked "Accept". I've replaced those chips since.

heres an even better one. build some rube goldberg machine to drop a pencil on the button and power it with the sun. THE SUN DID IT I SWEAR!

Except by setting up this device she shows intent to accept this EULA anyway.

 

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