EULAs – Text vs Reality – Battlefield Punk Buster use case scenario

End User License Agreements (EULA) are those pesky long legal text documents that most people usually answer “YES”, “Next, next, next…”, “Finish” during software installs.

Let me tell you something: it’s NOT gibberish. I myself never bothered to read much of it, until I actually did start reading them. Since then, I’ve become an EULA addict avid reader: I now read every EULA out there for all the software, websites and services I use. Doing this has allowed me to understand many things like what companies can or cannot do when we agree/accept those EULAs.

Here’s a real true use case scenario of what the EULA’s text SAY vs the REALITY of what is means:

EA’s Battlefield

PunkBuster, a very invasive anti-cheat system is required to play most of EA’s multiplayer games, more specifically, the Battlefield franchise. Here are some examples of difference between EULA and reality:

1. Battelfield Free (web browser game)

EULA says: Punkbuster is not required to play the game.

Reality:  The installer doesn’t even proceed to install the game if you cancel Punk Buster’s installation.

 

2. Battlefield 3

EULA says : Punkbuster is not required to play the game. During the game install, you can choose to skip installing PunkBuster component. The game will run fine and play without a hitch.

Reality: 99.99% of all the game servers require PunkBuster to play online with other players. PunkBuster-less servers available: zero.

See? Although they abide by the EULA, the only available services require the anti-cheat component. If you ever take the time to read PunkBuster’s own EULA (I dare you), you’ll most likely never wanna  have such a program running on your computer, especially if you have any kind of sensitive information, important data, etc.

Conclusion

DO take the time to read legal documents. You WILL learn things and be more informed on what you’re getting into. Here’s one last example: the game Defiance’s EULA say that every chat sessions, text, voice, pictures or data will belong to the company and can be used as they see fit. It means they could take a voice recording of you and a friend within the game, make an ad out of it and you wouldn’t even have a say about it.

Enjoy EULAs!

Sirus
sirusdark.ca

References
-http://www.evenbalance.com/
-https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EULA
-http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1903684

Need help uninstalling PunkBuster? Lemme know! I just might just write an article about that…

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