On my previous laptop, which crapped out earlier this year, I used Trend Micro's anti-virus program. When it came up for auto renewal yesterday, I canceled it, having found ESET more to my liking. To cancel, I had to agree to the terms of cancellation, which read, in part-

"Customer acknowledges that any continued use of the software product constitutes a willful copyright infringement on the part of Customer. By law, Customer may be liable for civil damages (including attorneys' fees) of up to 150,000 USD for each willful copyright infringement." (bold mine)

To renew the software would have cost me $44.95. To buy it new, $49.95. Using it without a valid license could cost me $150,000!!? This is not only absurd, it is symptomatic of an industry that views its customers as enemies, and spends as much time and money handcuffing us as it does developing better software. I quit using Trend Micro, and Norton Anti-virus before it, because both programs insisted on acting contrary to my wishes, and both companies wasted huge chunks of my time when I resorted to customer service.

My advice? Don't buy Trend Micro; let them soak some other sucker for $150 large, for its two-bit software. Find a company that wants your business, one that sees the user as a customer to be cultivated, not a thief looking to steal the silver.


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