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I have a software that is used by almost every country. I can not know what each country have as restrictions their laws.

Can I provide an EULA and say:

By using this software, software developer can not be hold liable for anything in any law jurisdiction and you are the responsible for any possible law penalty that might caused by using this software.

I do not want to be held liable for anything for my software. My software does not do any harm at all but I want to protect myself from any rare law condition.

Software and Usage Example:

  • My example software simply downloads Facebook videos for the user.

  • Downloading Facebook videos are not allowed by Facebook TOS. Facebook may cancel user account if it detects account owner downloaded a Facebook video.

Given both facts, user may sue me because of using my software that downloaded the video which caused her/him account to be canceled. Download action is done by my software. User may simply claim she did not know her account would be canceled by using my software.

And Facebook may sue me for downloading the Facebook videos. But the software runs on user computer and video is kept in user computer. Can software developer be hold responsible of a TOS breaking user action?

Given the answers by you, I can not think how can I protect myself for these circumstances and different country laws?

Can't I say my software is for education and can be only used as an experiment for video downloading in the EULA? Am I still bound to the infringing actions of users that use my software?

  • If lets say the laws of Belgium say that such a EULA would not be valid, then you wouldn't be protected in Belgium. Now taking you to court and getting money out of you might be difficult for someone in Belgium if you are outside the EU. – gnasher729 Sep 16 '16 at 12:37
  • Thanks. Then should I start my company in a small country outside of USA, EU, Canada etc. Like in Thailand or something? – John Bernard Sep 16 '16 at 21:35
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This paraphrases your condition, to capture what I think the intent is:

Software Developer grants permission for User to use Software, with the provision that Software Developer shall not bear any legal responsibility arising from the use of Software

Such a universal disclaimer of legal responsibility is not possible. A legally-enforceable agreement cannot override the law. If some action is illegal in a country, and the country legally treats end-users and software authors as equally responsible, then the disclaimer has no effect on your responsibility. If, by law, a user has a certain entitlement with respect to software, then the EULA cannot override that entitlement. E.g. in the US, if you own a copy of some software, you are by law entitled to make a backup copy and an EULA cannot forbid making a backup (which explains why vendors typically do not sell you a copy of the software, they sell you a license for the software). You generally cannot disclaim liability for negligence.

An EULA often includes hedge statements that "the user may have additional rights under local law", which are probably not obligatory (though there is no guarantee that there isn't a law somewhere requiring that users be informed of a local legal entitlement), but it is also not harmful. It could actually be harmful to the seller to imply that there is blanket immunity on the seller's part, because it is untrue and could be held to be deceptive (though deception usually involves attributing untrue "positive" things to an item, whereas a disclaimer would be "negative".

An EULA can easily have disclaimer statements, but there is no universal format for presenting such statements. In the US, a disclaimer must be "prominent" to be effective. But "prominent" could have a jurisdiction-specific definition. Hence there is no such thing as a "universal disclaimer".

  • "the user may have additional rights under local law" is actually really important. Most jurisdictions make it an offence to mislead a consumer - telling them they have no rights when they do can lead to big fines. See accc.gov.au/media-release/… – Dale M Sep 16 '16 at 0:36
  • Actual judgements for ACCC v Valve (so far, remedies have not yet been determined) are at austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/… – Dale M Sep 16 '16 at 0:43
  • user6726 and @Dale M, thanks for your answers. I have edited the question and provided an example for software and user. How can I handle EULA for all countries for the example case provided? – John Bernard Sep 16 '16 at 21:57
  • @JohnBernard hire a lawyer – Dale M Sep 16 '16 at 21:58
  • @DaleM I would do but finding one that can handle this tech cases is very difficult. It will also help me to understand law jargon before I can hire lawyer. – John Bernard Sep 17 '16 at 2:16

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