Dramatic License: Richard Dreyfuss Reads The iTunes ELUA

This image described by Richard Dreyfuss, iTunes EULA, Close-Encounters-of-the-Third-Kind-300x276
Context is everything — and conversely, much humor is based on stuff being taken OUT of context.  Songs like 2 Live Crew's infamous "Me So Horny" or Disturbed's "The Sickness" may be nasty, brutish, and shocking in their original form, but lay their words on top of the Swinging Vegas stylings of Lounge Against the Machine, and they're hilarious.  Another great example: an early SATURDAY NIGHT SKETCH in which Desi Arnaz read Lewis Carroll's JABBERWOCKY — in his native Cuban accent, with periodic Cubano spleen-ventings over the poem's surreal wordage.

In this spirit, CNET — vexed by the dense and difficult-to-navigate verbiage of most software's end user license agreements (EULA's for short) — decided to attack the issue head-on by drafting an Academy Award-winning actor to recite chunks of same, in as dramatic a style as they could.  (Hey, it works for the plays of Shakespeare, ya know?)

Enter Richard Dreyfuss.  Mr. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS (a tech/sci-fi nerd touchstone if ever there was one), Mr. Matt (JAWS) Hooper, Duddy Kravitz himself.  CNET handed him the iTunes EULA and said, in essence, "Knock yourself out."

Folks, you haven't LIVED until you hear Dreyfuss declaim "Please read the software license carefully" like a Hogwart's instructor from the HARRY POTTER series — or deliver the "Use at your own risk" in a cultured purr worthy of Anthony Hopkins.  And the Gruppenfuehrer hiss he puts on the "Effective until…" section wouldn't be out of place in STALAG 17.  Hilarious stuff.

[Visit CNET to enjoy the audio files to their fullest.]

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