|From: Jeff T. Polczynski
Date: Wed, Jun 28, 2000 3:15 PM
Subject: High-Tech Warranty Project -- Comment, P994413
1. Where to draw the line for software warranties. It is essential, that software manufacturers be liable for damage, lost time, lost money, and lost productivity of poorly written software. It is an unfair practice that software manufacturers may force you to waive all your rights as a consumer in order to use their software which you have paid them for, in good faith. Notice however, that there are software products on the market which require no money be paid in order for their use. As the saying goes, "You get what you pay for," there should be no need for a warranty of such software, usable without payment.
2. Right to refund. Unlike physical product, which degrade over time, with use. Software never degrades. The features it contains on day one, remain with that software until the end of time. Thus, purchasers of software should have the right to return software, at any time, for a full-refund of the purchase price.
3. Advertising software. Software companies frequently make advertising claims about their products which are, in actual use, not true. Using the software, however, requires accepting a license which in effect states: this product does not work, if it does work you are lucky. And thus all attempts at holding a company to its advertising claims are ruined, because to test the software, you must agree to these obscure licenses. Software companies should be held more liable for the advertising claims they make.
4. Licenses. No other consumer product requires the buyer to delve deep into the mysteries of contracts, legal-terms, and rhetorical chicanary. And the whole contract is put into affect by the harmless click of a button. Absolutely unacceptable. If a software company wishes me to be bound into such an agreement they can at least provide free legal counsel for their customers so that we know what we are getting ourselves into. Point-and-click shrink-wrap license agreements are unacceptable. They should not be allowed. It is far too convenient for the software manufacturer and far too dangerous for the consumer.