Short for End-User License Agreement, the type of license used for most software. An EULA is a legal contract between the manufacturer and/or the author and the end user of an application. The EULA details how the software can and cannot be used and any restrictions that the manufacturer imposes (e.g., most EULA’s of proprietary software prohibit the user from sharing the software with anyone else).
Not every EULA is the same. Some contracts stipulate acceptance of the agreement simply by opening the shrink-wrapped package; some require the user to mail back to the manufacturer a signed agreement or acceptance card; some require the user to accept the agreement after the application is installed by clicking on an acceptance form that appears on the user’s monitor. This last method is typical of applications that can be downloaded from the Internet. In all instances, the user has the option of not accepting the EULA, subsequently surrendering the rights and ability to use the software.
As in typical legal contracts, the EULA protects both parties from liability if the software is used in a way not intended by the manufacturer or author.
The EULA also is often referred to as the software license or user license.