It is most unlikely that you are using your laundry powder under license,
and even if you were, ignoring use instructions generally means that you are
accepting liability for what would otherwise be warrantable defects. You are
not doing something that, in itself, is illegal.
>The question I am asking is how much of a licence aggreement is intimidation
>of the part of the software manufacturer and how much of it is actually
Approx 80% and 97% respectively. In my estimation.
>And what about upgrades? If I upgrade, crossgrade, upgrade, upgrade,
crossgrade and finally upgrade, do I have to retain possession of all of
>versions to still have a valid licence?
Depends on the conditions of the last upgrade.
>If I purchase some software, install it on my hard drive, and then discard
>the installation disks (which is my right as a consumer)
It may or may not be your right. The media copies that you are provided to
facilitate your use of the license are treated much as though they were
yours, but have some special constraints around them. In particular you are
usually required to take adequate steps to prevent unauthorised disclosure
of the software house's intellectul property. Disposal into an incinerator
would presumably be OK, but disposal where someone might (or more to the
point, did) obtain a copy of the copy you were provided, without payment of
a license fee, or a transfer of your license, might well be considered to be
a license violation.
>In all these cases is it my responsibility to prove the software is licenced
>(ie. prove my innocence) or is it the responsibility of the manufacturer to
>prove the software is unlicenced?
The presumption of innocence generally means that if there is a dispute, the
burden of proof is on the plaintiff. In this case, if the software house
were to attempt to revoke your license, they'd have to prove you'd violated
it. If they couldn't proove it beyond a reasonable doubt, then your license
"It often upsets a man's God fantasies to have (Misquoted? from )
someone shoot down one of his helicopters." (Ben Elton's "Stark" )