Some of the world's biggest computer firms have been accused of imposing unfair contracts on customers who buy their software. The National Consumer Council (NCC) has accused 17 firms, including Microsoft, Adobe and Symantec, of using unfair "end user licence agreements" (EULAs).
The NCC has asked the Office of Fair Trading to launch an investigation.
The NCC said the firms' EULAs were misleading customers into "signing away legal rights".
"Software rights-holders are shifting the legal burden on to consumers who buy computer programmes, leaving them with less protection than when they buy a cheap Biro," said Carl Belgrove of the NCC.
Software, EULA, Licensing, Microsoft, Adobe, Symantec, NCC