The Almighty EULA

One of my favorite blogs, Coding Horror, recently had an intelligent discussion of end-user license agreements (EULAs). When I say “intelligent”, I of course mean that it doesn’t credit them as being the ultimate evil in the world that will enslave us all.

EULA Hotel
It’s a real hotel in San Francisco! Thanks to King Molan for the picture.

Seriously, I think EULAs are very important. Many EULAs contain clauses that forbid binary reverse engineering. Whenever I install a piece of closed, proprietary software, I skim the EULA specifically to locate the section that discusses RE and the forbidding thereof. My reasoning is that if the clause is missing, then the software’s creators may just have the source available for download somewhere which would make any RE task superfluous.

Remember, don’t RE if you don’t have to.