Creative 0wnz Your Zen

According to tech2, Creative has released a firmware update for their Zen players that disables FM recording. I don’t even have one of these, and this makes me irate.

Why, do you ask, has Creative done this? Was it for your safety? Might the FM recording feature somehow interfere with your pacemaker?

With regards to your enquiry, you may like to know that the FM recording feature is removed due to licensing issue.

Oh.

Here’s my take: You forked over your $200, they forked over the Zen, and now you own it. End of freaking transaction. I don’t care how many “Accept” buttons you clicked, or how much shrinkwrap you broke: a sale is a sale.

And there’s a name for taking something back after a sale: theft. Creative better pray for a class-action. They’d be getting off easy, because this seems downright criminal to me.

Sure you say, the upgrade is optional. And, yea, perhaps there is a way to downgrade. But, damnit, if there is one single bug fix in that firmware, they had better get Jonnie Cochran on retainer. Go go Gadget EFF.

There’s some further discussion on the official Creative forums. Here’s one choice quote, from a Creative apologist:

How is it sneaky if they posted it publicly with the firmware release? Do you also sign contracts without reading them?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this fella has never closed on a house.

Really, people, of course we don’t read everything we sign. Contracts are written in a kind of pseudo-English which requires 7-years of college to properly parse. They use as small a font as they can. They make the contracts as long as possible. They are designed to screw you.

Update:
Since writing this, I’ve discovered The Small Print Project, which is a sort of catalog of ridiculous EULA terms.

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