Like so many folks, I myself don’t even bother reading through legal mumbo-jumbo in software license agreements and just click the ‘Agree’ button

A trained professional—lawyer and developer Robb

Schecter—took it upon himself to read through Apple’s end user license agreement for El Capitan to spell out any limitations in plain English so you don’t have to.

You don’t own El Capitan per se when you download a copy of the operating system from the Mac App Store: instead, you’re actually borrowing it and Apple still owns it.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise: that’s how software has been distributed for decades. But, I doubt many people are aware of El Capitan’s limitations pertaining to virtualization, business use and more.

Just a couple of highlights from Schecter’s post:

  • Apple didn’t sell you this software. They still own it, in fact, you’re just borrowing it, just like any other Apple software.
  • You can use El Capitan in two virtual machines, and on one computer, but these virtual machines cannot be used for business (unless you’re a developer).
  • Fonts that come with El Capitan are also borrowed to you, you don’t own them.
  • You’re not allowed to remix Clock sounds.
  • Slideshows made with Photos cannot be used for commercial purposes.
  • You cannot use El Capitan with illegal copies of anyone’s stuff.
  • Running El Capitan on Hackintoshes and non-Apple hardware is a no-no.
  • You mustn’t operate a nuclear power plant with El Capitan or send the software to Sudan.
  • Using MPEG/H.264/AVC videos created on your Mac for commercial purposes requires additional licensing for the coded.

For those wondering, El Capitan’s license lets you leave the operating system on the Mac that you’re selling or giving away. It does permit you to make one copy of El Capitan for backup purposes, which is exactly what happens when you make a full Time Machine backup of your system.

Clearly, Apple is no different than all the others when it comes to software licenses. And just like most other companies, Apple is bound by these legal agreements so every word is carefully chosen to limit liability as much as possible.

The terms and conditions of Apple’s end user software license agreements can be found here. The full text of El Capitan’s end user license agreement is available on Apple’s website in the form of a PDF document.

Source: Robb Schecter