You’ve all downloaded a program before. The installer is the usual: Welcoming you to the installer, a screen about how much space it’ll take up, and the huge legal information everybody just blindly agrees to. I recently read an article about how much stuff companies like to hide in the license agreement, and I thought it might be kind of interesting to read one, Today, we’ll be looking at the one in the iTunes + Quicktime installer. Just a side-note, the window for reading is kind of small, which I suppose is just there to make it harder to read.
After all the opening “THIS IS ITUNES. IT’S FREE SO IF YOU BOUGHT IT YOU SHOULD RETURN IT.” stuff, we get to section 1:General. The section isn’t very long, and I didn’t find anything too suspicious. The first paragraph says things about how you need to follow the rules, and the second says that you don’t own any of Apple or any other company represented in iTune’s things.
Section 2: Permitted License Use and Restrictions. The first thing I found was “You may not make the Apple Software available over a network where it could be used by multiple computers at the same time.” Meaning, you can’t use iTunes in a position where more than one people could be using it. Meaning, it’s against this license agreement to have your friend connect to your computer from downstairs and use iTunes on your computer upstairs. What?
Section 3:Transfer. This should be interesting. The first strange thing I noticed was right in the first paragraph.It says you can make a one-time transfer of all your Apple Software stuff, but you need to include ALL of it. That means you need to move your music, the program files, the installer, and those hidden files you wouldn’t normally find. Also, you can’t keep any of the software and the other person needs to agree to the license agreement as well, meaning they need to install it, uninstall, THEN get all the files moved over. The last part of section 3 says that if an update comes out the completely replaces an old version, you can’t transfer both and you can’t use them both at the same time.
Section 4: Consent of use to Data. And we’re not even halfway through yet! I would like to think of this as the Stalker Clause, because it mostly just says that it’ll collect all the information about your computer and send it to Apple so they can “make their software better,” which is funny because iTunes doesn’t support half the computers in my house anymore. Good job, Apple!
Section 5: iTunes Store and Other Services. The first thing section 5 states (other than declaring that you buy things on iTunes) is that songs on iTunes have explicit language and the podcasts could be totally wrong, and that isn’t their fault. Apple also says here that third party content and what anyone does with it isn’t their fault.
Section 6: Termination. This section declares that
Apple has a fleet of terminators that will kill you if you pirate anything the agreement is good until they remove it, and to stop using their things when they do remove it.
Section 7: Limited Warranty on Media. These are always my favorite! They happened to write this one in all caps to make it harder to read. It’s confusing, but it’s saying that ALL warranties will last 90 days, but they might not, but they will. Erm, okay then Apple.
Section 8: Disclaimer of Warranties. Yeah, we get it, we can’t hack your ipods then expect a refund when they break. There IS something interesting, though: “APPLE DOES NOT WARRANT AGAINST … THAT THE OPERATION OF THE APPLE SOFTWARE OR SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR-FREE, OR THAT DEFECTS IN THE APPLE SOFTWARE OR SERVICES WILL BE CORRECTED.” They’re selling you broken products and they just said it isn’t covered! Great! That’s not the only thing in section eight either!
“APPLE SOFTWARE IS NOT INTENDED OR SUITABLE FOR USE IN SITUATIONS OR ENVIRONMENTS WHERE THE FAILURE OF, OR ERRORS OR INACCURACIES IN THE CONTENT, DATA OR INFORMATION PROVIDED BY, THE APPLE SOFTWARE COULD LEAD TO DEATH, PERSONAL INJURY, OR SEVERE PHYSICAL OR ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE OPERATION OF NUCLEAR FACILITIES, AIRCRAFT NAVIGATION OR COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL, LIFE SUPPORT OR WEAPONS SYSTEMS.”
But I really wanted to listen to Eminem while on life support! And how will I go on without my Quicktime movies in the nuclear power plant?
9: Limitation to Liability. We’re about halfway done now. They didn’t say anything interesting, but they used the word “Tort” and that sounds kind of cool. They finally un-stick the shift key about halfway through, and they mention that they won’t fix any damages exceeding $50.
10:Export Control. Looks like your friends in china will have to go on without an American iTunes. Also, you can’t use iTunes if you’re on the U.S. Department of Commerce Denied Person’s List or Entity List. If you were wondering, you can find a super old version of that list Here. Also, there’s something here that tops the funny thing about quicktime at a nuclear power plant. “You also agree that you will not use these products for any purposes prohibited by United States law, including, without limitation, the development, design, manufacture or production of missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.” Yes. I want to make nukes with iTunes. I want to fire missles with quicktime, and my iPod is a biological weapon at the touch of button. Looks like I can’t though, so I’ll have to just use the Zune instead.
11: Government End Users. This doesn’t apply to me, therefore I don’t care.
12: Controlling Law and Severability. The license agreement is governed by the state of California, and the UN has no business changing that. Okay.
13: Complete Agreement; Governing Language. It seems to say that the English version of the license agreement is always correct, whereas non-English versions are not.
14. Third Party Acknowledgements and Terms. Stating that they use tons of third-party stuff, and naming a few things (like mpeg4 and H.264)
15. Third Party Software Service Terms and Conditions. The first part talks about how they use “Gracenote,” which seems to be Anti-Piracy stuff. Part B is about Kerbango Tuning Service Terms and Conditions.
And that just about finishes this License Agreement! With all the distractions, this took me about an hour to read, and there was nothing to bad in it. SO what have we learned today? ITS NOT WORTH READING.