2006-04-20 0838 Opinion: "Hi, I'd like to try on this shirt please. The blue one."

In a store, somewhere near you….

“Hi, I’d like to try on this shirt please. The blue one.”

“I’m sorry madam. Our store does not allow the trying on of clothes. We could show you a 30 second clip of a mannequin wearing the shirt if that helps.”

“Um….no, it’s ok. I’ll take it anyway.”

“Certainly. Do you accept the license to wear this shirt?”

“License? What license?”

“Ah. It’s standard stuff that just says that you agree not to lend this shirt to someone else, that you won’t sell it at a later date. You won’t wear it in a school, church, on an oil rig or in the Republic of Ireland. That we’re not liable if the shirt tears, doesn’t fit, or stains your skin. That kind of thing.”

“Why on earth would I agree to all that?”

“It’s for your own protection, madam. The license is designed to stop clothing piracy.”

“I’ve never heard of that!”

“Oh. Well, madam, clothing pirates want to sell you clothes that are identical to what we sell for $200, but for only $6. That’s illegal.”

“WHAT?! You’re protecting me from being able to buy this shirt cheaper somewhere else?! Here. Stuff your shirt, and stuff your license too!!!”

“Thank you madam. Have a nice day.”

We wouldn’t accept these terms for our clothing, so why accept it for your music, movies and software? Say NO to DRM and Closed Source software.

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