end user license agreement [English]

Syndetic Relationships

InterPARES Definition

n. (EULA, abbr.) ~ A contract, typically between a software vendor and an end user, that specifies rights and restrictions on use of the software, ownership, liability and damages, and warranty.

General Notes

EULAs are sometimes called 'shrinkwrap' or 'click through' agreements, as users indicate they accept the terms by opening the package or clicking a button on a webpage. EULAs typically stipulate that the user has not purchased a copy of the software, which gives them some rights under copyright law, but are merely licensing it from the vendor under more restrictive terms. For example, EULAs typically prohibit sale of the licensed software to another party, even though copyright law allows the sale of products under the doctrine of first sale.


  • Newitz 2005 (†894 ): Sometimes referred to as "shrinkwrap" or "click-through" agreements, [end user license agreements] are efforts to bind consumers legally to a number of strict terms – and yet you never sign your name. Frequently, you aren't even able to see a EULA until after you've purchased the item it covers. Although there has been some controversy over whether these agreements are enforceable, several courts have upheld their legitimacy. (†2687)
  • Wikipedia (†387 s.v. end-user license agreement): In proprietary software, an end-user license agreement (EULA) or software license agreement is the contract between the licensor and purchaser, establishing the purchaser's right to use the software. The license may define ways under which the copy can be used, in addition to the automatic rights of the buyer including the first sale doctrine and 17 U.S.C. § 117 (freedom to use, archive, re-sale, and backup). (†1253)