“Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software for any purpose with or without fee is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this permission notice appear in all copies.
“The software is provided ‘as is’ and the author disclaims all warranties with regard to this software including all implied warranties of merchantability and fitness. In no event shall the author be liable for any special, direct, indirect, or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of this software.”
Yes, there are a lot of things it doesn’t cover. There’s no copyleft in this license, and no restriction on commercial use, and so on. Some will argue the problems with that, but it’s also a strength—because the license does less, explaining these concepts is unnecessary, and the resulting license text is much simpler.
There aren’t that many licenses like that. Even Creative Commons summary pages state: “This is a human-readable summary of (and not a substitute for) the license. This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.” Who actually does that? But it seems dangerous not to.
$ wc -w * | sort -n
The problem with the "El Capitan License" is not the length but from vague phrases, unlimited scope, and inconsistency. It declare third-party agreements that doesn't exist in the document. It tries to limit fair-use, even if the law do not allow copyright licenses to do this. It tries to be both a sold product, a rented product, and a borrowed product. It try to limit commercial use for a product intended for commercial use.
Also, unlike EULAs, the GPL is meant to be understood. Have you read it? It is long, but without reaching EULA lengths, and it's written with clear definitions and a language that aims for clarity. It was written by hackers and lawyers. If you're having trouble understanding it, there's a FAQ:
Apple doesn't publish EULA FAQs, as they do not want widespread public understanding of each item in their EULA.
Not compatible with law in some jurisdictions. Which is one of the problems with complex licences - the more stuff there is in them the more chance they have of not being compatible with local law.
A copyright license gives positive rights. It gives you permission to do something that would otherwise be illegal. If you're not big on copyright, it's easy enough to write a very short license that boils down to "I give you ALL the permission."
A ToS takes rights. It's a contract to agree not to do something that would otherwise be legal, in exchange for permission to use the software or whatever.
That's why a copyright license boils down to "You can do A, B, C" while a ToS boils down to "You can't do A, B, C".
You need to agree to a ToS before using software for it to be valid, since it governs usage, and it can't take away rights unless you agree to it.
On the other hand, you don't need to agree to a copyright license, since it only governs copying, and it only grants rights. You only need to read it if you need the rights it grants.
In theory, tldrlegal.com is positioned to take this on, but in my experience they tend to deal with more pervasive licenses like MIT, GNU, etc.
I guess that's mostly the point really.
In any case, almost all warranty disclaimers start with "TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW" which, under consumer laws in most countries, requires the company to provide a product that can work as shown in all its advertising materials.
Which is an invalid clause in Germany and probably most other European countries. Any clause that goes beyond the extent permitted by the applicable law is automatically void in Germany. This is due to consumer protection laws. Therefore, most of these EULAs are probably void if it ever comes to law suit...
License agreements are long, the consumer laws are probably an order of magnitude bigger (and that's assuming you even know which bits are relevant)
My point is that Apple (and every other company) makes no attempt to define what their software is meant to be able to do. The license tries to wash their hands of everything that they can.
If I buy a camera and it can't take photos, it's not fit for purpose and I can return it. If I buy a computer to be able to (say) Facetime chat with my relatives, and it doesn't do that due to a bug or incompatibility, it's a murky legal quagmire whether or not I could get a refund.
"I gotta run it on Apple hardware (no Hackintoshes).
I can’t help anyone else do that."
Isnt help anyone else doing that taking away your legal right of free speech?
I have also seen agreements where the company says you may not publicly mention any security holes that you find in their software. Does a company have the right to take away your free speech in their license agreements? Have this been tried in the highest court?
Not in the US at least. In the US the legal right only prevents the government making laws that abridge them. It doesn't prohibit any private person or company from limiting speech in any way they like.
...that you agree to. In theory. And originally, only the federal government was so limited; states could and did have laws that would have been in violation of the first amendment, had the federal government instituted them.
??? Was Apple too cheap to buy the proper license for the default slideshow music? That sounds completely arbitrary and unexpected. (I doubt anyone will ever enforce this rule, but why is it there?)
Do you think Apple is required to write this? or is it just lawyers maxing out on the possibilities of licensing?
It's a long shot, but it's same kind of thing when your microwave says "it's not suitable for drying living animal"
Another company that does the same is Valve with Steam, you do not own any of the games you have in your library, you just have momentary right to play them and if, say, Valve goes bankrupt and Steam just vanishes from the Internet you have no right to complain that you can't play your games anymore.
It's just to cover their asses so some nutjob doesn't find a loophole and milk them for half their worth.
Where I live, a lot of those rules conflict with local law.
Has that not been the case for most of our history? Prior to the 20th Century most humans couldn't read legal documents of their time because they couldn't read. There's a reason "scribe" was a profession.
As for the 20th century, is there any evidence that legal documents were more legible earlier than they are now?
This one was interesting to me. I thought maybe macminicolo.net might fall foul of this, if they rented out a mac mini to you, but it looks like they instead make you straight-up purchase a mac mini. http://www.macminicolo.net/jvmx_secure_signup.html
I wonder if this term/condition was in previous OSX releases and that's why they went this way, or whether it was a happy accident that they went with users purchasing a mac rather than renting one.
It would be great to have a site for crowdsourced EULA explanations of this sort.
So now I'm brainstorming about the best way to publish more of these, enable crowd sourcing, and get other lawyers involved.
This was pretty surprising to me. Why does Apple not allow making money from MPEG videos that you create? Does this include uploading them to YouTube?
Apple and Microsoft licensed the H.264 codecs for content creation which is a per user cost. They know this based on how many downloads. Users who sell their videos need to pay MPEG-LA a license per view which Apple/Microsoft can't determine. Hence you are on your own.
Whether this is something people could actually get sued for is doubtful. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if some shady company who is nominally a member of the consortium chose to go after the more successful Youtubers. At the very least it's something a consortium company could use to take down videos they don't like.
But I could be mistaken, I haven't checked carefully.
As we saw with VP8 there is no such thing as a truly free and open codec. Back in the day MPEG-LA was going to setup a VP8 patent pool but didn't bother and instead just licensed Google the infringing patents. If they didn't do this VP8 could have been open but not free.
There are just too many large and powerful players with competing interests and a penchant for litigating against any possible upstarts. The only way to fix the situation is to exempt all file formats from patent claims as it is clearly anticompetitive.
This is clearly the correct answer, or at least part of it. Many real world problems in the technology industries would never have existed if intellectual property laws could not be applied to restrict communication and compatibility. Allowing patents to effectively restrict the transfer of data, because the tools available to either or both parties effectively require patented formats or similar, is either a tax on communication or a tool for censorship, depending primarily on the willingness of the patent holder to licence on useful terms.
Ironically, the US actually got this right in the case of fonts and copyrights, in that while a specific program to describe a font might be subject to copyright, the design of the font itself is not. Thus unlike certain other creative industries, no-one can go around claiming royalties on every publication displayed in a sans serif font because it looks a bit similar to something from the early 1900s and (insert dubious legal argument about derivative works restarting the copyright clock here).
Whatever, just remember we wrote it and if it fucks up, don't blame us.
C. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, THE APPLE SOFTWARE AND SERVICES ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” AND “AS AVAILABLE”, WITH ALL FAULTS AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, AND APPLE AND APPLE'S LICENSORS (COLLECTIVELY REFERRED TO AS “APPLE” FOR THE PURPOSES OF SECTIONS 7 AND 8) HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH RESPECT TO THE APPLE SOFTWARE AND SERVICES, EITHER EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND/OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ACCURACY, QUIET ENJOYMENT, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT OF THIRD PARTY RIGHTS.
D. APPLE DOES NOT WARRANT AGAINST INTERFERENCE WITH YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE APPLE SOFTWARE AND SERVICES, THAT THE FUNCTIONS CONTAINED IN, OR SERVICES PERFORMED OR PROVIDED BY, THE APPLE SOFTWARE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, THAT THE OPERATION OF THE APPLE SOFTWARE OR SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, THAT ANY SERVICES WILL CONTINUE TO BE MADE AVAILABLE, THAT THE APPLE SOFTWARE OR SERVICES WILL BE COMPATIBLE OR WORK WITH ANY THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE, APPLICATIONS OR THIRD PARTY SERVICES, OR THAT DEFECTS IN THE APPLE SOFTWARE OR SERVICES WILL BE CORRECTED. INSTALLATION OF THIS APPLE SOFTWARE MAY AFFECT THE AVAILABILITY AND USABILITY OF THIRD PARTY SOFTWARE, APPLICATIONS OR THIRD PARTY SERVICES, AS WELL AS APPLE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES.
+ the usual warnings about not being suitable for use in nuclear facilities, aircraft or air traffic control, life support & weapons systems.
(I wonder if they'll be adding self-driving cars to that list?)
The author is clearly Apple and they are not responsible just as in the BSD license:
The Capitan is AS-IS, of course.
Unlike BSD, there is no source and a bunch of other very restrictive limitations, which is what I was commenting about.
1. I can’t use the Capitan with illegal copies of anyone’s stuff.
2. Apple didn’t sell me this software. They still own it, in fact. I’m just borrowing it.
3. If I install more Apple software, those are on loan as well.
And so on.
Or was that just reduced for brevity.
Does this also apply to older versions of OS X that are actually paid for (such as Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion)? Or is this only for the "free" versions like Yosemite and El Capitan?
Even where there used to be potential distinctions between physical copies and things you acquired in purely digital form such as on-line downloads, the law is catching up in a lot of places. It's just doing so painfully slowly compared to the pace of development of technology, and sometimes with a few accidental/deliberate (delete as applicable) loopholes written into the newer laws that still seem rather favourable to copyright holders and the like.
Of course it's completely pointless since they would just pirate the software anyway.
other than that, everything is fine and dandy. and it boots a lot faster than osx ever did.
Thanks for writing this. It would be great to have the font licenses in plain English too.
I'll add one like this to my software now!
What we really need is a common legal markup language. Sadly, the few efforts that I've heard about seem to be stagnating.
Lawyers (finance people) will never stop innovating (increasing complexity), and they will not be one moment delayed by a protocol which falls short of their aspirations for sophistication (bamboozling). Therefore, the only adoptable protocols are mere transports. They might rigidly specify some commonly used things like property titles (stock orders) but foreseeing unusual or unknown requirements, such protocols will include custom extension features (user defined fields).
The end result is a protocol which is sort of useful but still does not suffice for the development of generic tooling. An example from FIX is the field which tells whether an order added or removed liquidity. The standard didn't have such a field, so now every exchange has its own different one.
If all exchanges have invented a liquidity-field, then there's
a good chance the next version of FIX will standardize it, no?
Imho the legal system is very much ripe for digitalization. Both on the low-end (where it pretty much consists of overhead), and even more so on the high-end, where the complexity of legal contracts between companies or states has long exceeded what any team of lawyers (much less a mere mortal) can comprehend.
Basically, if you want a protocol for legal documents, you may as well use an existing one, such as PDF, XLS, TeX, etc. Trying to embed more domain knowledge in the protocol will never work at a highly generalized level. It would be like asking HTTP to standardize e-commerce.
All I'm asking is that we upgrade their tooling and process.
Your outlook for the abstraction potential seems overly pessimistic.
Most of Law boils down to a cascade of intermingled conditionals,
nothing a computer couldn't handle.
Of course a bit of human intervention will always be required, for value judgements and the "hard questions".
However, in my (limited) experience with lawyers,
very little of the time and money that a lawsuit consumes
goes into the actual decision making.
The overwhelming majority is wasted on process and formalities.
Yes, "single source" is very much an euphemism.
In practice it's far from a single source, but rather
a poorly synchronized mess. Which is exactly
what I'm proposing to fix.
If we were to wrap it into a github-style model then cases
could be represented as branches. Case-law would evolve
in the form of patches and pull-requests.
And those aren't "remixed" - they're used straight - which makes me wonder what the full license terms are (I agreed blindly and can't find a copy of the license now...)
> F. Voices. Subject to the terms and conditions of this License, you may use the system voices
included in the Apple Software (“System Voices”) (i) while running the Apple Software and (ii) to
create your own original content and projects for your personal, non-commercial use. No other use
of the System Voices is permitted by this License, including but not limited to the use,
reproduction, display, performance, recording, publishing or redistribution of any of the System
Voices in a profit, non-profit, public sharing or commercial context.
So while you can be creative with these in private, you better not share it with anyone. I wanted to sum it up simply, and decided that no remixing probably captured the spirit of this well.
Unfortunately, no, that's not allowed, your host OS must be an apple supplied OS.
See also  and here's the excerpt:
(iii) to install, use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software
within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software
Or did I miss something?
The quote was shortened by me for brevity.
If you want a bit more context here's the slightly longer version of the quote:
.....you are granted a limited, non-transferable, nonexclusive license:
(i) to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running OS X Yosemite, OS X Mavericks, OS X Mountain Lion, OS X Lion or OS X Snow Leopard (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control;
(ii) If you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, to download, install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software for use either: (a) by a single individual on each of the Mac Computer(s) that you own or control, or (b) by multiple individuals on a single shared Mac Computer that you own or control. For example, a single employee may use the Apple Software on both the employee’s desktop Mac Computer and laptop Mac Computer, or multiple students may serially use the Apple Software on a single Mac Computer located at a resource center or library; and
(iii) to install, use and run up to two (2) additional copies or instances of the Apple Software within virtual operating system environments on each Mac Computer you own or control that is already running the Apple Software, for purposes of: (a) software development; (b) testing during software development; (c) using OS X Server; or (d) personal, noncommercial use.
Apple does not put any legal restrictions on what OS you choose to run on Mac hardware, you're free to install Windows on it (but then you'd better be complying with Windows' license terms)
Note that there is an interesting side case with vSphere ESXi where the host OS is a hypervisor not an apple provided OS. This appears to be legal as VMware clearly supports it, if an only if vSphere runs on apple hardware, but I'm not sure how that fits in the EULA.
The thing they DID begin to allow at some point is OS X running in a VM, on Apple host hardware, I believe.