Whenever you download a program, you usually have to accept the EULA, and if you don’t you can’t use the software. The EULA terms vary tremendously, ranging from “This software is free; use it as you like” to an open-source license (like the GPL), to a giant “PLEASE READ THIS LICENSE CAREFULLY” agreement. Eventually, you’ll just start clicking “I agree” out of habit, much like when using Windows Vista with UAC turned on.
Every now and then when I’m board, I will get out the manual to one of my video game and proceed to read it, from the start to the back. If I’m really board, I’ll read the usage agreement (word of advice: never do this. It will make you more board than when you started. :P). Well, one night in September 2012, I was semi-board, and I had been looking under my bed for something and had pulled my video game box to the edge. I opened it, pulled out the manual to LEGO Indiana Jones 2, and flipped straight to the EULA (I’ve read the other part more than I care to). I started to skim the EULA (skipping the ALL CAPS section), when I saw some terms that I’m not so sure I agree to anymore. After reading a bit more, I found out what I’m supposed to do if I do not agree with them.
In this post, I’m going to quote some of these interesting terms (I still agree to some of them; I haven’t broken them all), and will (humorously) explain, to my knowledge, what they exactly mean. (If you want to look at the EULA yourself, it is located in the program files as EULA_US.rtf.)
All rights not specifically granted under this Agreement are reserved by LucasArts and, as applicable, its licensors. You may not: (1) except in connection with the installation of and game play associated with the Software, copy the Software in its entirety onto a hard drive or other storage device and you must run the Software from the included Compact Disc (“CD”) or Digital Versatile Disc (“DVD”); (3) modify or prepare derivative works of the Software, except as may be allowed herein; (6) design or distribute unauthorized levels; (7) reverse engineer the Software, derive source code, or otherwise attempt to reconstruct or discover any underlying source code, ideas, algorithms, file formats, programming or interoperability interfaces of the Software by any means whatsoever, except to the extent expressly permitted by law despite a contractual provision to the contrary, and then only after you have notified LucasArts in writing of your intended activities;
Yelling section here
The license term shall commence as of the date you install or otherwise use the Software. You may terminate this license by disposing of the Software and erasing any components residing on computer equipment. Without prejudice to any other rights of LucasArts, this Agreement will terminate automatically if you fail to comply with its terms and conditions. In such event, you must destroy all copies of the Software and all its component parts. Your disposal or destruction of the Software and any component parts must be done in accordance with applicable law. Except for the license granted herein and as expressly provided herein, the terms of this Agreement will survive termination.
Your eyes are probably glazed over by now. 😛
Let’s look more closely at these terms, shall we?
- I cannot, other than by installing the game, copy the entire contents of the disc to my PC (that means I can’t make an ISO), and I have to run it from the DVD (translation: there is no disc-less version).
- I cannot create something based on the game (what, I can’t even make a fan fiction referencing the story line?)
- I cannot create nor share unauthorized levels (what is an unauthorized level? A level built with the level editor? Then why did you even allow it to be added in the first place? Maybe that’s why you coded folder paths into the level builder’s save files.)
- I cannot extract the .DAT files containing the game files, nor can I try to uncover what formats that used for the code, 3D models, audio, FX, or anything they did not use but was added anyway. Confusing legal talk here, and I must send a letter (U.S Postal Service) to LucasArts telling them that I’m planning on extracting the .DAT files and modding the game.
- I can, at any time, not agree to this EULA by getting rid of the game and deleting any related files to it (including videos/screenshots?).
- The EULA will automatically be null and void if I break any of the rules set out in it, and I must (here’s the kicker) destroy (not delete, not throw away destroy (2 ton Anvil! :D) the game and anything related to it (my computer! :(), and I must do it according to the local law regarding disposal of electronics. However, the EULA will remain in effect (it just contradicted itself!)
After all this, I’m not so sure if I agree to this EULA or not. Yes, I want to play LIJ2, but I also want to mod it.
I guess the question is, Do You Agree?