Shrink-Wrap License is a software license contains an asserting language that the end-user in effect agrees to the license’s terms of breaking the shrink wrap and opening the package. Whether such licenses are legally enforceable remains a matter of legal debate. Unlike software purchased during the early years of computing, in which customers and software publishers directly negotiated with each other to determine license provisions. Most software is today purchased “off the shelf” at third-party retail outlets because the consumer may be unaware of the contract’s terms and is in no position to negotiate with the publisher concerning the terms of the agreement. A software license could be viewed as an unconscionable contract of adhesion. See commercial software, secondary user rights, site license, volume purchasing agreement.
Technipages Explains Shrink-Wrap License
A shrink-wrap license is an agreement between the publisher of software and the purchaser, and it is an end-user agreement between the two parties, the user and the publisher. The shrink wrap license contains the set of guidelines for the use of the software, installation guide, warranties, fees, and terms of usage of the software.
The shrink-wrap license is valid immediately the software product’s seal is broken. Shrink-wrap licenses are meant to be transparent enough for buyers to go through before they make their decision as to buying the software. The license must be easy to spot on the product, and the license should be printed on the product. Publishers of software cannot get the signatures of customers to show their agreement to the terms of usage of the software; hence, most commercial software is sold as though they are ordinary packaged goods.
Software publishers are now clamoring for the passage of the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), if this gets enacted by the U.S., its legislatures affirm the enforceability of software licenses even for users that unable to read the terms before using the software. Up until now, it has only been enacted in two states in the United States, namely Maryland and Virginia.
Common Uses of Shrink-Wrap License
- A shrink-wrap license is supposed to let the buyer of a product know that if he breaks the seal on the product, the product is now his.
- The use of shrink-wrap licenses for the sales of software does not change the ownership or the proprietorship of the software.
- The use of the shrink-wrap license shows it is a EULA (End-user agreement) agreement between the publisher and purchaser
Common Misuses of Shrink-Wrap License
- Breakage of the shrink wrap used in a shrink-wrap license does not equate to the breaker to have purchased the software.