This is a term used with increasing frequency
attempt to lure new customers in with grandiose promises
while detracting from their very basic rights. It is most often applied to computer software
and other items in digital format such as digital music
comes to mind) and eBooks
The implication of the statement is that the large print
"FREE MUSIC DOWNLOAD, LISTEN WHENEVER AND WHEREVER YOU WANT!!
often doesn't correspond to the small print
"You grant us permission to access, extract and upload (i) Music-related data as part of the listening-enhancement process and (ii) data relating to any program that we, in our reasonable discretion, determine interferes with the proper operation of officially licensed software for the decoding of the downloaded audio stream(s). You may not use this audio stream except with officially licensed software nor may you transport this data off of the original device to which it was downloaded. You may not share this data with anyone nor produce any copies. All copies of this digital music are owned by us and your license to retain a single copy of this digital audio may be revoked at any time. This digital audio cannot be listened to by anyone other than the licensee. Violation of this agreement can result in five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, for each infringement.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
now makes it completely legal. The sad part about this is that the EULA
which limits your rights usually cannot be read until the item has been purchased and used in some manner that would void the possibility of return. The end result is that persons who do not agree to the terms have no recourse.