A perfect example is the service agreement posted by Juno in January, particularly the section in which Juno claims the right to use its customers' computers during their downtime to run its own "Computational Software." Juno's service agreement states, "In connection with downloading and running the Computational Software, Juno may require you to leave your computer turned on at all times. ... You agree that, as between you and Juno, you shall be responsible for any costs or expenses resulting from the continuous operation of your computer, including without limitation any associated charges for electricity, and that you shall have sole responsibility for any maintenance or technical issues that might result from such continuous operation. ... You expressly permit and authorize Juno to initiate a telephonee connection from your computer to Juno's central computers, ... and you agree that, as between you and Juno, you shall be responsible for any costs and expenses resulting from the foregoing."
As has been widely reported, in February Juno announced its Virtual Supercomputer Project, which will harness its customers' unused CPU cycles to sell as a distributed computing service. Juno has stated that at first it will use only volunteers for this project. However, by the terms of the service agreement Juno already had in place, its customers "volunteered" just by continuing to use the service: "Juno may change this Agreement at any time ... each time you use the Service reaffirms your acceptance of the then-current Agreement." If UCITA were law in Juno's home state of New York, the company could have taken over its customers' computers before it announced its plans.And it's not just your computer that's at risk with UCITA. A large number of software publishers include disclaimers for any personal-injury damages you may suffer when using their software. As the Windows 98 EULA says, even if the injuries resulted from "a failure to meet any duty ... " or other negligence on the part of the publisher, Microsoft is off the hook. Doesn't that sound like a license to kill to you?