A few weeks ago, we discussed news that the Federal Trade Commission was planning to look into DRM
and the way its characteristics are communicated to customers. Now, Joystiq's Law of the Game column speculates that EULAs could be on the FTC's list
to review as well.
"I would be willing to guess that within the next few years, the often maligned End User License Agreement ('EULA') may fall into the realm of being regulated as further 'consumer protection.' Is it necessary? ... The first and most common method [of consumer protection] is what is known as a 'plain language requirement.' The idea is that contracts written by lawyers are full of legal terms and are written in such a way that it takes a lawyer to decipher the actual meaning of all of the clauses. ... on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, it could be required that companies abandon EULA contracts all together in favor of a collection of FTC approved bullet points. The development and legal communities would, I assume, vehemently oppose this idea, but it is possible. Basically, the FTC would come up with a list of things all EULAs include, then a list of optional provisions that the licensor (the game company) could include."