Simmons Consulting, the Website of Toby Simmons

Red Hat Linux license in plain English


Found on is the Windows XP Home EULA (End-User Licensing Agreement) in plain English, at least as interpreted by

In the spirit of openness, I decided to give similar treatment to the Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® and Red Hat® Applications license agreement and product warranty. (You can find it on the Red Hat website.)

What it says What it means
LICENSE AGREEMENT AND LIMITED PRODUCT WARRANTY RED HAT® ENTERPRISE LINUX® AND RED HAT® APPLICATIONS This agreement governs the use of the Software and any updates to the Software, regardless of the delivery mechanism. The Software is a collective work under U.S. Copyright Law. Subject to the following terms, Red Hat, Inc. (“Red Hat”) grants to the user (“Customer”) a license to this collective work pursuant to the GNU General Public License. If you use our stuff, you agree to everything listed here.
1. The Software. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Applications (the “Software”) are either a modular operating system or application consisting of hundreds of software components. The end user license agreement for each component is located in the component’s source code. With the exception of certain image files identified in Section 2 below, the license terms for the components permit Customer to copy, modify, and redistribute the component, in both source code and binary code forms. This agreement does not limit Customer’s rights under, or grant Customer rights that supersede, the license terms of any particular component. There are lots of bits and pieces to our stuff. Except for some specific images mentioned below, you can generally copy, change or give away these pieces at will, unless the specific pieces don’t want you to. In those cases, you can’t. You must check each piece before you do.
2. Intellectual Property Rights. The Software and each of its components, including the source code, documentation, appearance, structure and organization are owned by Red Hat and others and are protected under copyright and other laws. Title to the Software and any component, or to any copy, modification, or merged portion shall remain with the aforementioned, subject to the applicable license. The “Red Hat” trademark and the “Shadowman” logo are registered trademarks of Red Hat in the U.S. and other countries. This agreement does not permit Customer to distribute the Software using Red Hat’s trademarks. Customer should read the information found at before distributing a copy of the Software, regardless of whether it has been modified. If Customer makes a commercial redistribution of the Software, unless a separate agreement with Red Hat is executed or other permission granted, then Customer must modify any files identified as “REDHAT-LOGOS” and “anaconda-images” to remove all images containing the “Red Hat” trademark or the “Shadowman” logo. Merely deleting these files may corrupt the Software. We made this stuff. And some other people made this stuff. Don’t pretend like you made it. If you make modifications to our stuff, remember, it still belongs to us. Our pictures and logos are exclusively ours and are embedded in our stuff. If you make changes to our stuff, then sell it to someone else, you must remove any references to us, including pictures, which will probably break everything.
3. Limited Warranty. Except as specifically stated in this agreement or a license for a particular component, to the maximum extent permitted under applicable law, the Software and the components are provided and licensed “as is” without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, including the implied warranties of merchantability, non-infringement or fitness for a particular purpose. Red Hat warrants that the media on which the Software is furnished will be free from defects in materials and manufacture under normal use for a period of 30 days from the date of delivery to Customer. Red Hat does not warrant that the functions contained in the Software will meet Customer’s requirements or that the operation of the Software will be entirely error free or appear precisely as described in the accompanying documentation. This warranty extends only to the party that purchases the Software from Red Hat or a Red Hat authorized distributor. The media you received (if any) is guaranteed to work for at least 30 days (if you get it from us), but the software that comes on it isn’t guaranteed at all. It might not even work like it is supposed to.
4. Limitation of Remedies and Liability. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, the remedies described below are accepted by Customer as its only remedies. Red Hat’s entire liability, and Customer’s exclusive remedies, shall be: If the Software media is defective, Customer may return it within 30 days of delivery along with a copy of Customer’s payment receipt and Red Hat, at its option, will replace it or refund the money paid by Customer for the Software. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Red Hat or any Red Hat authorized dealer will not be liable to Customer for any incidental or consequential damages, including lost profits or lost savings arising out of the use or inability to use the Software, even if Red Hat or such dealer has been advised of the possibility of such damages. In no event shall Red Hat’s liability under this agreement exceed the amount that Customer paid to Red Hat under this agreement during the twelve months preceding the action. If our stuff makes bad things happen to you, all we will do is give you a new copy of our stuff (if you can prove you bought it) or we’ll give you your money back, but no more than what you paid for it. Even if you lost your entire life savings and we knew that our stuff would do that to you, we will still only reimburse the purchase price.
5. Export Control. As required by U.S. law, Customer represents and warrants that it: (a) understands that the Software is subject to export controls under the U.S. Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”); (b) is not located in a prohibited destination country under the EAR or U.S. sanctions regulations (currently Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria); (c) will not export, re-export, or transfer the Software to any prohibited destination, entity, or individual without the necessary export license(s) or authorizations(s) from the U.S. Government; (d) will not use or transfer the Software for use in any sensitive nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, or missile technology end-uses unless authorized by the U.S. Government by regulation or specific license; (e) understands and agrees that if it is in the United States and exports or transfers the Software to eligible end users, it will, as required by EAR Section 741.17(e), submit semi-annual reports to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS), which include the name and address (including country) of each transferee; and (f) understands that countries other than the United States may restrict the import, use, or export of encryption products and that it shall be solely responsible for compliance with any such import, use, or export restrictions. You must comply with the regulations set by the United States Export Administration.
6. Third Party Programs. Red Hat may distribute third party software programs with the Software that are not part of the Software. These third party programs are subject to their own license terms. The license terms either accompany the programs or can be viewed at If Customer does not agree to abide by the applicable license terms for such programs, then Customer may not install them. If Customer wishes to install the programs on more than one system or transfer the programs to another party, then Customer must contact the licensor of the programs. We may give you stuff made by other folks and they set their own rules. If you don’t agree with their rules, don’t use their stuff. If you want to give their stuff away, you need to talk to them first.
7. General. If any provision of this agreement is held to be unenforceable, that shall not affect the enforceability of the remaining provisions. This agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of North Carolina and of the United States, without regard to any conflict of laws provisions, except that the United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods shall not apply. If any one of these rules turns out to be illegal, that doesn’t mean ALL of these rules are. Every rule stands on it’s own.

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