Remix OS, a new desktop OS based on Android-x86 landed yesterday, but it comes with a pretty nasty EULA that should definitely be read by its users.
Many people don’t bother to read the EULA for a new operating system or application, but that is always a good idea. Unfortunately, the EULA is a huge document and most of the time you need to be a lawyer to get the finer points.
It turns out that Remix OS has a user agreement that is clearly shown before launching the OS, and it’s written in a human language that’s easy to comprehend. That’s why Remix OS users noticed really quickly that there is something very wrong with it. In fact, if any of your applications would have this kind of EULA and demands, you would immediately delete it.
Remix OS is made in China
The most obvious explanation is that Remix OS is made in China, which is not a democracy. It’s run by a government that enforces censorship and that wants to know everything that is happening. If you’re fine with the EULA, by all means, continue to use Remix OS, but you should really take a (second) look at it.
Users are warned that they will be breaking the law if they are caught leaking state secrets, subverting the government, and undermining national unity. It already sounds like it’s taken from an Orwellian world, but it gets worse from here on.
“Harming national honor and interests; Inciting ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, and undermining national unity; Undermining national religious policy, promoting cults and superstitions; Spreading rumor, disturbing social order, undermining social stability,” reads the EULA that’s been posted in a Reddit thread.
The last part of the agreements is the one that really caught people’s attention. Users agree to irrevocably waive any and all ownership, legal and moral rights to their content.
It’s also true that this kind of EULA is also present for devices from other Chinese companies like Xiamoi or Huawei.
Since this distribution is made in China, it’s not clear whether this will apply in other countries where the laws are very different. In any case, this is a good reminder that we should all read the user agreements more carefully.