Apple’s Fine Print? Richard Dreyfuss Will Act It For You

Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss has recorded dramatic readings of an Apple End User License Agreement, a bit of performance art initiated by CNET to illustrate the impenetrable nature of these legal agreements.

Four snippets are available online, which Dreyfuss reads in different voices, ranging from a vaguely Shakespearean tone for the “Please read” introduction to a Germanic-inflected dictatorial rendition of the “Effective until” passage describing the agreement’s termination.

Nearly all EULAs are largely incomprehensible to the general public, full of twisted legalese that runs for pages, which explains why virtually nobody actually reads them.

Occasionally, though, somebody does read one and discovers something surprising. For example, the original EULA for Google’s Chrome browser was found to give Google certain rights over any material it displayed. The company quickly responded to the uproar and changed the offending passage, explaining that the mix up came from reusing EULA language between products… suggesting that not even the company reads its own license agreements.

Dreyfuss also provided the voiceover for Apple’s signature 1997 “Crazy Ones” television spot that kicked off the company’s “Think different” campaign and arguably its return to form.

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