Illegal to disable some spyware?



OK – for starters, the keylogger that sunbelt talks about here is a legitimate piece of software for sale. Like anything though it could have illegit uses. Apparently retrocoder is upset that Sunbelt’s software detects spymon and gives the option of disabling it. Spymon is a commercial keylogger. They’ve claimed that it’s against their EULA and copyright law to “reverse engineer” their product. More specifically they’ve complained as such….


If you read the copyright agreement when you downloaded or ran our program you will see that Anti-spyware publishers/software houses are NOT allowed to download, run or examine the software in any way. By doing so you are breaking EU copyright law, this is a criminal offence. Please remove our program from your detection list or we will be forced to take action against you.

I think for one this should bring into question just how enforcable non-standard EULA requirements are. “Anti-spyware publishers/software houses Not allowed to download, run or examine the software in any way”….

Apparently on their website they claim…

This software package is a copyrighted product. As such the owner of the copyright expressly forbids any use, disassembly, examinination [sic] and/or modification by anyone who works for or has any relationship or link to an AntiSpy or AntiVirus software house or related company. If you do produce a program that will affect this softwares [sic] ability to perform its function then you may have to prove in criminal court that you have not infringed this warning.

Infingement [sic] of a copyright licence is a criminal offence .

Which would be a clever license agreement for an adware program. I mean, this keylogger is supposedly legit, but let’s say you made a EULA along this lines…..

“This software is a copyrighted product. As such the owner of the copyright forbids any uninstallion, or other circumvention methods of the ads it presents. Any attempt to disable or circumvent these advertising methods in the software is a breach of this copyright. Use is forbidden by anyone related to or working in the antispyware, or antivirus industry. Legal action will be brought against any company seeking to disable this software.”

It’s NOT a big leap. Let’s say you added this….

“As a part of agreeing to instally this software, you agree that links will be sent to all of your email contacts strongly encouraging them to download and install the software. Attempts to prevent that invitation will be regarded as a breach of your license.”

(A little viral marketing clause…)

And if that is able to be upheld as a “clickwrap” license, then virus writers need to be redesigning their wares… they might be able to get legal protection from antivirus companies…

Absurd.

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