FC: New York sues Network Associates over no-criticism shrinkwrap

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Thu Feb 07 2002 - 10:31:41 PST

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    I haven't read the complaint or the license agreement myself, but perhaps 
    this is what the NY AG is upset about:
    >...supporters have scoffed at the notion that publishers would use 
    >shrink-wrap licenses to prohibit public criticism of their products. 
    >Nonetheless, our friends at Network Associates seem prepared to do just 
    >that with their click-wrap license for VirusScan 5.15. "The customer shall 
    >not disclose the results of any benchmark test to any third party without 
    >Network Associates' prior written approval," reads one part of its EULA, 
    >immediately followed by: "The customer will not publish reviews of the 
    >product without prior consent from Network Associates." Network Associates 
    >declined to comment on why it includes these terms in the VirusScan license...
    Anyone know if there have been similar lawsuits over this before?
    It seems to me that if the user knowingly agreed to a no-criticism license, 
    then, heck, it's a contract and there's no reason for the NY AG's office to 
    get involved. If you don't like the contract, buy someone else's virus-scan 
    software. If a sufficient number of users are peeved, Network Associates 
    (or someone else) will offer criticism-allowed licenses, and the market 
    will self-correct. But whether or not the agreement was entered into 
    knowingly is the real question here, I suppose...
    From: "Richard M. Smith" <rmsat_private>
    To: "'Declan McCullagh'" <declanat_private>
    Subject: New York Files Suit Vs Network Associates
    Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 13:16:27 -0500
    Message-ID: <02c101c1b003$8f9ff5a0$6601a8c0@rms>
    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
    X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
    X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
      NEW YORK (Reuters) - Network Associates (Nasdaq:NETA - news), owner of
      anti-virus software maker McAfee.com, was named on Thursday by the New
      York state attorney general in a lawsuit that seeks to end
      restrictions the company puts on critical commentary by consumers.
      In a statement, N.Y. Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said his office
      had filed a lawsuit that calls on the company to put an end to legal
      restrictions whereby the company seeks to block consumer free speech
      rights to comment on its products.
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