I decided to upgrade my Mac to El Capitan, but my computer said, on one condition: I must “carefully” read and agree with something. It even provided a
tiny cozy display window for viewing it:
And so I did what anyone else would: I cleared my afternoon schedule and got right down to business; reading, carefully, the entire document. It turns out that I was much too pessimistic! I needed only 33 minutes.
I should note that I’m an attorney with a good understanding of license, trademark, and copyright law. I’m also a software developer with 20 years’ experience. So your own read-through may take more or less time, accordingly.
I thought it’d be a “fun” project to see what the “El Capitan License” actually says. Cool idea, huh? Kind of like spelunking through a cave that everyone says they’ve been through, but maybe no one really has. What will I find wedged in a wall or lurking in the dark around the next turn?
- I can’t use the Capitan with illegal copies of anyone’s stuff.
- Apple didn’t sell me this software. They still own it, in fact. I’m just borrowing it.
- If I install more Apple software, those are on loan as well.
- I can use the Capitan in two virtual Machines, and on one computer.
- But these VM’s cannot be used for business. The only exception is for software developers (I guess they wouldn’t follow this rule anyways.)
- I’ve got to read the separate rules that came with the fonts, and obey them. (I can only borrow those too.)
- Those cool voices for the clock? — no remixing!
- Slideshows made with Photo; same deal, don’t even think about using them for some commercial purpose.
- I can’t sell access to my Mac via any kind of screen sharing.
- I gotta run it on Apple hardware (no Hackintoshes).
- I can’t help anyone else do that.
- I can make one copy as a backup.
- I can’t try to figure out the source code to any of this.
- I gotta follow all my local laws while I’m using it. (!) (Really? Whereever I live?)
- I can leave the software on the Mac if I sell it or give it away.
- I better not use anyone else’s hacked version.
- Apple isn’t responsible for my hurt feelings for anything I see on the web.
- If I break any of these rules, this deal is over and I must immediately delete everything.
- The Capitan comes as-is.
- I can’t send it to Sudan.
- I can’t operate a nuclear power plant with it.
- I cannot, don’t even think about it, just plain can’t, make money from MPEG/H.264/AVC videos I create. For that, I need to buy another something from somebody.
There you are. I took one for the team.
UPDATE: Thank you to everyone for the great positive response and encouragement to write more.