I have in mind a publicly-accessible website which stores and catalogs software EULAs. Users could contribute the EULAs they have encountered, and any visitor could view EULAs which have been contributed. To be thorough and fair, each EULA should be associated with the version of the product, date and location of purchase, and perhaps other information.
The technical aspect seems simple enough. The scripts to power it wouldn't be overly complex. When traffic and contributions are small, one or two people would be able to maintain the site. Staff needs should grow linearly, unless the site were to add functionality. Hardware and bandwidth needs would be those of a typical website.
Financial needs would be simple, but not necessarily easy to achieve. A small, unpopular, static website is cheap to operate. A large, popular, dynamic website is not. With no way to predict just how large, popular, or dynamic this website would be, I worry about funding. But there are plently of ways to generate money with a website.
My real concerns are with legalities.
EULAs are generally copyrighted just like anything else, and I doubt agreeing to a license gives a user any particular right to distribute copies of it. Basing a website on publishing other people's copyrighted works is risky at best. A software publisher could convincingly argue that such a web site is trying to deprive the publisher of sales.
I also worry about the consequences of inaccurate or misleading contributions. If this site is at all popular, it won't be possible to verify every contribution or gather enough EULAs by trusted staff members. If we publish a nasty EULA which turns out to be false, might we be guilty of some sort of slander or libel? How effective would a disclaimer such as "This EULA has not been verified and may not be correct" be at fending off legal attacks?
The legal concerns would be largely eliminated if we only published EULAs from companies who explicitly gave permission to do so. Some companies might even send us copies of their EULAs to ensure accuracy and to help inform their potential customers. Other companies would want no part of this project, and might fight us if we include their EULAs.
Obviously, this project is still at the "Wouldn't it be cool if..." stage. Ultimately it may be abandoned, radically changed, implemented as I see it, or taken up by somebody else. But I really do believe that the opportunity to read a EULA before paying money is important. If software publisher's won't give us that opportunity, we'll have to provide it ourselves.
Please help to develop (or destory) this idea. What have I overlooked? What is really involved with creating such a web site? Who would help the project, and who would attack it? What should such a web site do, and what should it avoid?