Do you read the ridiculous boilerplate conditions in the “end user license agreement” that accompanies computer hardware and software? You might not believe the ridiculous terms many companies pop in there and pretend you’ve agreed with by opening the packet.
Take the Nintendo 3DS portable console. Nintendo apparently reckons they:
- have the power to remotely “brick” your console if they don’t like what you’ve done with it;
- can keep records of who you are and where you go; and
- have full commercial rights to any photographs you take with it.
That last one in particular is utterly absurd – and you’d hope no court would enforce it – and you’d hope that, like most of these agreements, these terms are more in the nature of an ambit claim, there to protect the company if it inadvertently cocks up and lets something out about a user by mistake. That Nintendo doesn’t actually intend to collect a huge database of personal and private information about customers and to go through their private pictures one by one to see if they find anything juicy and saleable. (Although it seems very likely that they have every intention of using the first one, deliberately destroying your equipment if you dare do something with it they don’t like, like run a different operating system on it and homebrew software. You know, like Dell bricks your PC if you install Linux*.)
Whether they end up utilising these extraordinary powers they claim you’ve granted them, it’s rather contemptible that they’d claim they can do these things. And a reason, while they persist in this anti-consumer nonsense, to avoid giving them any of your money.
*They don’t, of course. Even Microsoft only deletes a user’s Xbox Live access if they find they’re using a modified console – they don’t actually break the console remotely.