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iTunes Prohibits Terrorism 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the great-songs-come-with-great-responsibility dept.
Afforess writes "A recent closer look at the oft-skimmed EULA agreement for iTunes has an interesting paragraph in it, Gizmodo reports. '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.' Although humorous, some readers suggested that this may be a defense measure to previously discussed price changes in the iTunes music store."

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iTunes Prohibits Terrorism

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  • Boilerplate. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@NoSPaM.mac.com> on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:01PM (#27564841) Journal

    That language probably came right from the EULA for Mac OS X.

    -jcr

    • I read the exact words on the Mosso.com Terms of Service
    • I Agree, but the fact still remains that this has been in the iTunes EULA since iMacs came in assorted candy colors, and people where still trying to figure out which direction you held the round hockey-puck mouse.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Doctor_Jest (688315)
      Well, there goes another good idea. No sense in downloading protest songs on my iPod to incite the masses! :)
    • by DavoMan (759653)
      "Trying to child-proof the world makes us neglect the more important task of world-proofing the child." Best. Signature. EVER
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "genius" mode made me want to kill the guy who designed it.
    • "genius" mode made me want to kill the guy who designed it.

      No need to do that - just take his computer away from him, since he isn't doing anything useful with it anyway. And as for the name... well, Village Idiot comes to mind.
    • If you can't figure out genius mode, maybe you aren't one.....

  • This has been in apple product license agreements for years. I first remember stumbling into it back in the summer of 2004, and I imagine its been in there for much longer.
    • by FooAtWFU (699187)
      Java always had some fun stuff too. I remember downloading some sample applets (the 'clock' applet, for instance) and the license at the top of the source had the disclaimer that the program was not intended for use "in the design, construction, or maintenance of any nuclear facility".
      • Sadly, you can just picture it.

        "Hey, we need a timer for our core temp regulation system." "Umm, there's a clock applet with sample code..." "Perfect!"

    • by rhathar (1247530)
      This is VERY old news. It's even been on Slashdot several times before (the 'iTunes' EULA came up at least twice, which has the same clauses).

      binspam, dupe, slownewsday AND old news.
    • by _Spirit (23983)

      This has nothing to do with Apple, if you want to know about the US of A's imperialistic agenda, learn about Export Controls and how they use them to control companies and customers outside their normal jurisdiction. The viral nature of the GPL is kids play compared to this.

  • Seriously how old is this. These aren't recent changes it's been in there for a while.

    It's a joke. Haha. Isn't it cool that at least someone at Apple has a sense of humor

  • I'm not sure terrorists are terribly concerned with the fine details of an EULA... could be wrong though.
    • Or iTunes:

      Terrorist #1: My brother, with this 'iTunes' we will FSCKING KILL the infidels! *throws chair*

      Terrorist #2: Yes...Glory be to Mic...errr...Allah!
      Terrorist #3: Allah damn it! *spits* The EULA says we cannot use it in violation of U.S. Laws!
      Terrorist #1: I'm gonna FSCKING KILL Apple! *throws chair*

  • Seriously? (Score:4, Informative)

    by AdmiralAudio (990385) on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:04PM (#27564883)
    Maddox already noted this 2 years earlier than the article in March of 2007: http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=macs_cant [thebestpag...iverse.net]
  • This has been around since itunes 4, or maybye even earlier than that.
    • by turbidostato (878842) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:32PM (#27565533)

      What I don't understand is this:

      '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.'

      Does that mean than all deveopment, design, manufacture and production of missiles, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons are prohibited by United States law? One certainly would think otherwise seing the seer number of missiles, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons that USA does indeed develop, design, manufacture and produce.

      Anyway, fortunately the EULA does not explicitly forbid its use for the development, design, manufacture or production of conventional weapons, air bombs, mines, grenade-launchers, mortars and/or laser beams, plasma rays, antimatter doom day devices, et al.

      • Production of chemical weapons is illegal in the United States. We ratified the Chemical Weapons Ban and according to the OPCW, we have destroyed 45% of our stockpile.

        Seeing as we had over 10,000 tons, I'd say we don't really need to produce any more as we already have more than anybody else.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          I think your numbers are a little low (and by that, I mean a lot low). Back in 1992, the U.S. had over 25,000 metric tons of the stuff in total, and more recent numbers say that the U.S. has declared 31,500 tons. The latest I've heard suggests the U.S. still has somewhere in the ballpark of 17,000 tons remaining, so the 45% is probably about right....

          • Probably right. The numbers I read were for VX and mustard only, which does not encompass our entire arsenal.

      • You can't build missles with iTunes. Fair enough, but what kind of missles? Say I am working on an amateur rocket, one of the simple kits you used to be able to buy and I listen to my iPod (not that I got an iPod, I got an iRiver all the cool of the small i in front without the cost) am I in violation?

        Is iTunes banned for NASA? Note that the language states things US laws forbids INCLUDING work on missles, this reads as including legal work on missles.

        EULA's, yet another sign lawyers should be shot. Why p

        • by Megane (129182)
          It's still a computer. An iPod nano or Shuffle with its firmware replaced could theoretically become a guidance system. All you need is USB-based missile control hardware.
      • "I guess I could give up one of my doomsday devices and still be feared."
  • Shit. (Score:3, Funny)

    by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:05PM (#27564907)

    I hope Apple doesn't enforce this provision too strongly.

  • I can't find it on google, but I recall hearing about some jail where they published a 'Prisoner Code of Conduct' that prohibited inmates from committing acts of terrorism. I though it was the most hilarious thing I'd ever heard, but I suppose if it were true someone would have posted something about it somewhere online.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:11PM (#27564963)

    Violating dozens of federal and local laws was one thing, but I for one do not want to run afoul of Apple's EULA!

  • Here it is in my pocket. And I'm not being suicide bombed right now, so you know it works.

  • by rob1980 (941751) on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:13PM (#27564985)
    Does that mean playing Amy Winehouse at a party is off limits?
  • "Terrorism" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mqduck (232646) <<ten.kcudqm> <ta> <kcudqm>> on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:13PM (#27564987)

    Isn't it a bit of a leap to use the word 'terrorism' as shorthand for "missiles, or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons"? Missiles aren't even necessarily weapons.

    When did "weapons development by those the United States doesn't like" become the definition of terrorism?

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Did you miss the last 8 years?

    • Who asserted that definition of terrorism?
    • by ianare (1132971)

      Missiles aren't even necessarily weapons.

      A missile is always a weapon, by definition [merriam-webster.com]

      • Missiles aren't even necessarily weapons.

        A missile is always a weapon, by definition [merriam-webster.com]

        Historically, they referred to any projectile in airborne motion. Pretty much all sub-orbital, orbital, and super-orbital spacecraft are launched on large missiles. Modern usage usually refers to a propulsion device with a warhead, but the fact is that any projectile technically qualifies as a missile.

    • When did "weapons development by those the United States doesn't like" become the definition of terrorism?

      Since the Bush era?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I would imagine it has something to do with the export regulations on strong cryptography, something they probably use in their DRM code.

    • by db32 (862117)
      Whoa whoa whoa...who the hell do you think you are? Making reasonable statements about a story that only exists so that Apple haters can have a good laugh at how stupid Apple is? I mean...why do you think no one is pointing out that Oracle had the exact same language in their EULA about 10yrs ago or that you had to agree to those terms before you were even allowed to download the trial version. You sir, are completely out of line.
  • "oft-skimmed EULA agreement" goes to a Gizmodo article.
    "interesting paragraph" goes to the whole EULA with no PDF warning.

    I assume Gizmodo reprints the EULA in its entirety, while the EULA itself is made up of one interesting paragraph? Or am I supposed to figure out which is the interesting one myself? Here's a novel, I think you'll find one of the passages there very entertaining.

    I mean, I was ready to complain when I couldn't tell which was the main link and which were merely supporting materials. But

  • So as the plane was about to fly into the WTC, it miraculously swerves and avoids it. The hijackers voice comes over the PA system: "Passengers, We have just realized that the act we were about to perform would violate our iPod EULA. We may be foaming at the mouth islamofacists, but we're passionate about quality as well. We will return you to the airport and hijack a bus to the nearest Apple store."

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/13/iphone_taliban/ [theregister.co.uk]

  • by Daimanta (1140543)

    Somebody actually read the EULA, I simply thought it was an old design tradition. Just write a big block of text and include a "Next" button. Variants may include clicking one or more checkboxes.

  • by Anachragnome (1008495) on Monday April 13, 2009 @08:52PM (#27565285)

    Terrorist #1: Hey, did you read the EULA for this thing?

    Terrorist #2: No. Why?

    Terrorist #1: All the more reason to bomb them into the Stone Age. Here we are, building a nuclear weapon, and those crazy Americans are sweating the LEGAL ramifications.

    • " All the more reason to bomb them into the Stone Age. Here we are, building a nuclear weapon, and those crazy Americans are sweating the LEGAL ramifications."

      Ha! you will take USA to Stone Age but USA will bury you with its lawyers by EULA infrigement for all the eterny. Take THAT, you vicious terrorist!

    • Terrorist #1: Hey, where is...um...how you say? Cupertino?

  • by Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) on Monday April 13, 2009 @09:15PM (#27565407) Journal

    Terrorists around the world were heard saying: "Curses, foiled again..."

    • by arkhan_jg (618674)

      Now we see why the government has been going to so much effort to make RULAs valid contracts; now they can lock up suspected terrorists for 20 years for EULA violation, without having to prove any of that tricky stuff.

      Just like they nailed Al Capone for tax fraud, they'll nail Bin Laden for buying Rick Astley tracks on iTunes...

    • Terrorists around the world were heard saying: "Curses, foiled again..."

      I'd argue the exact opposite: now that we know for sure that iTunes can be used to these purposes (otherwise apple wouldn't have included it in the EULA, right?) they'll double their efforts to find out how...

  • by dameron (307970)

    They'll have to just scrawl their taunts on the sides of the bombs with chalk, rather than have them embellished with beautifully proportioned females and flaming decals.

    Oh hell, who am I kidding, they can just use wingdings. [wikimedia.org]

  • ...I mean the itune's EULA thing has been talked about since a very long time... I don't see how this is news... is so old.
  • ... to run it on mission critical medical equipment?

  • I somehow feel that terrorists would not want to pay for a license from Microsoft or Apple. And even a pirated version of Windows would make them very nervous everytime automatic updates ran, would you like your system connecting to an American company's servers when American Predator drones are flying overhead waiting for intelligence on your location. I guess you could run Windows unpatched, but that's just going to make suicide bombers press the detonator early. Linux has a more international flavor,

  • '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.'

    Does this mean the DMCA extends to all users of iTunes? Or does it only mean that you can't use iTunes to circumvent technology that prevents or controls access and copying?

    Does this make it illegal to rip CDs? Before the intarnets and CD burners, having the music only available on a physical object that you couldn't copy was effectively a copy prevention technology.

    The latter is probably a far-fetched interpretation; but look at RIAA lawyers---far fetched seems to fit well inside their modus operandi. O

    • by JoeInnes (1025257)
      Interesting question, although, as far as I can tell, EULAs are still relatively hotly contested in and of themselves as being a legally binding agreement.

      As a side-note, I'm not sure you made it very clear, but I think what you were trying to say is that it has no effect on US users (in order to be in breach of the EULA, the user has to be already breaking the law), it only has an effect in countries where the EULA holds as a binding agreement, but laws are different. The best example I can think of this
  • Wasn't this added in after the PR nonsense about the G3 being classified as a "supercomputer?"

  • I suspect this clause appears in the OS X eula (i never read it), but I used to work for a project funded by the US Army to develop HPC technology to support one hypersonic missile researcher. He was a Mac guy, and eventually we became Mac people. Anyway, now I'm working at a cancer research laboratory, and still using OS X (although all my computationally intensive stuff runs on my Linux cluster - I use OS X for my workstation where I prototype/develop and then move over to the cluster when I need to ru
  • I guess that will stop the terrorists! I'd hate to be in their shoes now.

  • ... but I can still use short clips of Kylie Minogue's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' as a personal defence sonic stun weapon, right?

  • This is just a legal disclaimer because iTunes includes algorithms that may be listed as dual-use items, similar to "strong" cryptography.
  • You see, its a not too well known fact that you can create atomic bomb simulations by writing iTunes visualizer plugins. The better your design, the bigger the explosion on the screen.

    And interestingly enough, all modern US atomic weapons license House of Pain's "Jump Around" directly from iTunes ... something about a timing dependency, I'm not sure.

    Now the rumor that the whole US economy can be modeled with a secret visualizer run against "Bohemian Rhapsody" is just crazy.

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