Shrink Wrap

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What Does Shrink Wrap Mean?

Shrink wrap is an end user license agreement accompanying software or hardware, conspicuously placed behind see-through plastic wrapping. It is however apparent to the consumer before they open the product wrapper. Once opened, the consumer agrees to the end user license agreement, which contains usage rights along with other specifications. The legal agreement is between the copyright owner or software vendor of the product and the consumer. The shrink wrap specifically refers to the heated plastic covering the digital media product. Unlike most, this type of license is not signed.

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Techopedia Explains Shrink Wrap

Even though shrink wrap licensing is widely accepted, some question whether it is a valid agreement since the consumer is not signing it. Some vendors have thus begun using a registration card or key to sign it. This provides them with an opportunity to protect their copyright in a court of law. The end user license agreement (EULA) contained within the shrink wrap may be located on a CD-ROM sleeve, or described within the user’s manual.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.