Microsoft adds anti-piracy terms to EULA

August 14, 2015 // 12:10 p.m.

Tags: #anti-piracy #eula #licence #piracy #windows #windows-10

Companies: #microsoft

Microsoft has come under fire for changes to its End User Licence Agreement (EULA), brought in at the start of the month, which warn users that they may find unauthorised software and hardware automatically disabled.

Microsoft's Windows 10 launched late last month, and the combination of some impressive new features and a free upgrade offer for users of previous Windows releases has seen considerable uptake. Some, however, are unhappy with changes the company has made to what information it gathers on its users and how much of that information is transmitted back to the company, and now there's another reason for complaint: a new EULA which warns of automatic deactivation for unauthorised software and hardware.

A change to the Microsoft Services Agreement sets out the company's new policy. 'Sometimes you’ll need software updates to keep using the Services. We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorised hardware peripheral devices,' the revised Section 7(b) reads. 'You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services.'

While vaguely worded, the intention appears to be to give Microsoft carte blanche to push out software updates which block the use of pirated software on its operating system, a move which it likely hopes will both ingratiate itself to third-party companies while also protecting its cash-cow product lines like Microsoft Office. The warning that 'unauthorised hardware peripheral devices' may also be rendered unusable by updates is a little less clear in its intentions, but gives Microsoft considerable leeway in how it addresses devices it would rather not have associated with its operating system.

Microsoft has yet to respond to requests for clarification on the new EULA changes, which came into effect at the start of the month.
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