After reading Roch’s posts and thinking more about EULAs, I got to brainstorming some ideas that might increase consumer readership. Some might ask why it matters that consumers read EULAs in the first place and some might ask why companies should care to get consumers to read their agreements. Consumers should read EULAs so that they are made aware of clauses that a lot would not agree to. An example is EA and their new game service Origin where, originally, before it stirred up so much attention, the EULA stated that by installing the application, permission is given to “collect, use, store and transmit technical and related information that identifies your computer, operating system, application usage (including but not limited to successful installation and/or removal), software, software usage and peripheral hardware.” In other words, you are giving EA access to your computer hard drive.
On a lighter note – you could get $1,000 like this lucky person for reading a EULA:
So why then, should companies care to get people to read EULAs to the point of providing incentives? Because maybe then, if a judge knows that a person has scrutinized the agreement, it might actually be enforceable.
Ideas to increase consumer readership:
Sprinkle in various prizes throughout the agreement, like PC Pitstop did in the link posted above. These could be monetary prizes or they could be a code for unlocking a special weapon, character, or level in the game you have purchased.
Provide a list of code words, ask the consumer to locate them all throughout the agreement. When they are found, the specific paragraph numbers are sent back to the company and the consumer is entered into a draw for a prize.
The most drastic but most effective – not allow the consumer to play the game until they read the agreement. Random letters, code, numbers or characters will be strategically placed throughout the agreement. The consumer must locate them all, in order, and input it into the opening screen of the game in order to begin playing.
Of course with these comes the issue of transferability, if you sell your game, the password has already been used and the new user will have no incentive to read the agreement.
Any other ideas/thoughts on ways to increase EULA readership? Is it even necessary? And even then, will the EULA be enforceable?