If you have an iPhone, chances are you operate it with iOS 7. And if you do, you have already agreed to the iOS 7 licensing terms. It’s not as Orwellian as you might fear: the addition of Siri introduced some creepy verbiage about contact information, and Apple makes no warranty whatsoever regarding the performance of iOS 7. And as for 2(d), which requires the user to store only those songs and images for which he or she holds the copyright? If we’re reading it right, it prohibits one of the only things we intend to do with our smart phones in the first place.
But otherwise none of the language is terribly inventive or alarming. Those of us who regularly execute contracts will not be surprised by anything here: don’t use the operating system to break the law. Don’t copy it or reverse-engineer it. Don’t sue Apple for more than $250. Don’t call if it malfunctions. If you disagree with any of these terms, go get a refund on your phone.
For those who would still rather be sure, we have taken the basic outline of the license, stripped away the legalese, and refitted the structure with something a bit more lightweight. The activists in the crowd are encouraged to discuss paragraph 4(c) with Apple directly. How can the user possibly agree on behalf of one contact in their address book, not to mention all of them? It’s an onerous, ridiculous, and vague provision. And it’s way too late for most of us to get a refund.
iOS SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT
Single Use License
(a) You lease iOS 7. You do not own it.
(b) iOS 8 may differ from iOS 7. The license for iOS 8 may differ from the license for iOS 7.
2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions.
(a) You may not copy iOS 7…
(b) …with the exception of making one backup copy.
(c) You may not reverse-engineer the iOS 7 source code. You may not attempt to reverse-engineer the iOS 7 source code.
(d) Because the storage of material on your device represents a digital copy, you must achieve the highly-improbable act of using iOS 7 to store only those materials for which you own the copyright, or those materials you are legally entitled to reproduce.
(e) You may not use iOS 7 to break the law.
(f) You are responsible for any data charges incurred during your use of iOS 7.
You may only sell iOS 7 by selling the device on which you use iOS7. You must provide the buyer a printed copy of the IOS 7 license, and the buyer must agree to it. You must subsequently delete your one backup copy of iOS 7, if applicable.
4. Consent to Use of Data.
(a) Apple will monitor literally everything you do with iOS 7, unless you turn off Diagnostics and Usage Collection in your phone settings. If you do not turn it off, Apple will share your iOS 7 usage with its partners and third-party developers, “as long as the diagnostic information is in a form that does not personally identify you.”
(b) Find all instances of “Diagnostics and Usage Collection” in the above paragraph and replace them with “Location Services.”
(c) The Siri function collects and stores your voice samples. It sends Apple the names, nicknames, phone numbers and any other data from your user profile and address book, all in the interest of making Siri more responsive.
(d) FaceTime ain’t like the video phones you saw on The Jetsons.
(e) Do not use iMessage to break the law.
(f) Apple may store images from My Photo Stream on the cloud. Older images may be deleted.
(g) If you agree to share photos via iCloud Photo Sharing, other people will see them.
(h) If you use Maps, Apple knows exactly where you are, but will not collect that data in a way that personally identifies you.
(i) When you use iOS 7, Apple will provide internet-based ads relevant to your interests. If you enable Limit Ad Tracking, you will receive the same number of ads, but they will not be relevant to your interests.
5. Services and Third Party Materials.
(c) While using iOS 7, you may encounter objectionable language and content. If you do, Apple is not liable.
(d) While using iOS 7, you may encounter inaccurate, incomplete, untimely, invalid, illegal or indecent content. If you do, Apple is not liable. While using iOS 7, you may encounter content that is noncompliant with copyright law. If you do, Apple is not liable.
(e) iOS 7 apps do not necessarily constitute professional financial advice. iOS 7 Maps does not necessarily provide the best directions. Do not run over pedestrians while using Maps.
(f) Do not use iOS 7 to transmit computer viruses across the internet or harrass anyone.
(g) If an iOS 7 function is for some reason illegal in your country, Apple may–but is not liable to–remove or disable that function.
Apple may terminate your use of iOS 7 if you fail to comply with the license. In the event of termination, you must nevertheless continue to comply with the license.
7. Disclaimer of Warranties.
7.1 If you use iOS 7 in a commercial capacity, parts of Article 7 may not apply.
7.2 You acknowledge that you use iOS 7 at your own risk.
7.3 Apple offers no warranty for iOS 7.
7.4 Seriously now, Apple offers no warranty for iOS 7.
7.5 Do not use iOS 7 to operate a nuclear facility, air traffic control tower, life support system or military weapon.
7.6 Back to this warranty thing, no Apple employee–whether verbally or in writing–can offer a warranty for iOS 7.
8. Limitation of Liability.
Apple is in no way liable for any legal damages related to your use of iOS 7. That said, if Apple is indeed found liable, the damages are limited to US$250.
9. Digital Certificates.
Apple makes no warranty with respect to digital certificates.
10. Export Control.
Do not export iOS 7 illegally. Do not use iOS 7 to develop, design, manufacture or produce missiles or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.
11. Government End Users
iOS 7 governmenet users are to be considered commercial users.
12. Controlling Law and Severability.
California law applies. United Nations law does not apply. United Kingdom use is governed by United Kingdom law. If one portion of this license is found unenforceable, the remaining portions shall still be effective.
13. Complete Agreement; Governing Language.
The iOS 7 license represents the entire agreement between you and Apple as it pertains to your use of iOS 7. The iOS 7 license supercedes the iOS 6 license. If a contradiction exists between the English version of the license and translated versions of the license, the English version supercedes the translated version.
14. Third Party Acknowledgements.
Despite what you just read a moment ago, you are also bound to iOS 7’s electronic documentation.
15. Use of MPEG-4; H.264/AVC Notice.
(a) If you want to use MPEG-4 recordings for promotional or commercial use, contact MPEG LA.
(b) If you want to use AVC recordings for promotional or commercial use, contact MPEG LA.
16. Yahoo Search Service Restrictions.
Yahoo Search may not be licensed for use in your country.
17. Microsoft Exchange Notice.
If you invite Microsoft to the baby shower, do not invite Apple, too. There’s an app for that.