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Microsoft EULA lets it disable pirated games

Windows-maker can force software updates and change configurations, prevent use of unauthorized peripherals

Microsoft's latest terms of service give it permission to scan users' systems and block them from playing pirated games, among other things. As spotted by Alphr, this month's changes to the end-user license agreement on Windows services includes a clause that lets Microsoft force users to apply software updates that can disable certain programs, functions, or even hardware peripherals.

"Sometimes you'll need software updates to keep using the Services," the agreement reads. "We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services."

While these service agreement updates took effect just days after the launch of Windows 10, they aren't explicitly tied to the OS. Instead, the agreement covers a range of Microsoft Services, including Skype, Office, Xbox Live, Bing, and the Windows 10 personal assistant Cortana.

Microsoft's service agreement also includes clauses that allow it to remove features or shut down access to third-party programs, or automatically download and install DRM updates for music, games, movies, and other content that uses them. The agreement specifies that Microsoft can change the terms at any time, and will notify users when it does. If they don't agree to the new terms, they must stop using the services and close their Microsoft and Skype accounts.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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