Copyright © 2000, 2003
Robert G. Ferrell
END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR LIFE
It has come to my attention that some of my readers may be uncomfortable with the concept of a Supreme Deity. My instinctive reaction is to suggest talcum powder, but in the interests of parity I'll supply a couple of alternate configurations. If you're an atheist, substitute "NATURE" or "EVOLUTION" for "GOD." If you're an agnostic, try "WHOMEVER."
IMPORTANT-READ CAREFULLY: This End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a
legal agreement between you (either a single- or multi-celled terrestrial
life form) and the manufacturer ("God") of the carbon-based biological
entity ("ORGANISM") with which you acquired the operating system ("LIFE").
If LIFE is not accompanied by a carbon-based biological entity, you may
not use or attempt to reproduce LIFE. LIFE includes biochemical processes,
reactions to stimuli, reproductive capabilities, and energy transference;
in more advanced models LIFE may also include self-awareness and knowledge
of the system's eventual obsolescence. Documentation for LIFE is
self-generating and may not be reproduced without permission from God.
No warranty, express or implied, is provided concerning the accuracy of
this documentation or its suitability for use. By participating in
activities that contribute to the bioreproductive process, you agree to be
bound by the terms of this EULA. If you do not agree to the terms of this
EULA, God is unwilling to license LIFE to you. In that event you must
cease making use of LIFE immediately, and promptly contact God for
instructions on returning the unused components of LIFE for a refund.
LIFE is protected by planetary and universal natural laws, many of which
have yet to be elucidated. LIFE is licensed to you, not granted without
1. GRANT OF LICENSE.
This EULA grants you the following rights:
(a) Installation and use of LIFE.
You may install and use only one instance of LIFE per ORGANISM.
LIFE must be installed and operated according to God's instructions,
as set forth in prior documents (see "COMMANDMENTS," et al.).
(b) Storage/In Vitro Use.
LIFE may not be installed, dissected, reproduced, created, disrupted,
imitated, or simulated by any ORGANISM whatsoever except as outlined below.
Notwithstanding the foregoing and except as otherwise provided below,
any number of ORGANISMS may make use of LIFE, if compatible.
If LIFE is desired in an ORGANISM manufactured using non-standard
reproductive techniques ("IN VITRO"), all conditions and requirements
applicable to ORGANISMS manufactured using standard ("IN VIVO") techniques
apply equally to IN VITRO instantiations of LIFE. The components
necessary for LIFE may be stored cryogenically, so long as their eventual
use is wholly in accordance with the principles and practices set forth
in this EULA.
(c) Back-up Copy.
God provides a back-up copy of the algorithms necessary for LIFE encoded
in each fundamental component thereof ("CELL"). This copy is intended
for use by the subsystems of LIFE itself and may not be reverse engineered,
duplicated, or otherwise used except with the express permission of God.
Storage of one or more of these back-up copies for archival purposes is
permissible, so long as any use made of them is wholly in accordance
with the terms of this EULA.
2. DESCRIPTION OF OTHER RIGHTS AND LIMITATIONS.
(a) If LIFE is installed in a self-aware ("SENTIENT") ORGANISM, the
following additional restriction(s) apply. LIFE may not be reverse
engineered for the purpose of installation and operation in any
ORGANISM whatsoever, except under the terms of this EULA. Doing so
voids any and all warranties, express or implied, incumbent upon God,
and may result in civil and/or criminal penalties being assessed against
the actor, up to and including Divine Retribution by God or one of God's
designated agents (you don't want this, believe me). Since God is both
omniscient and omnipotent, customary preliminary legal proceedings are
unnecessary and will be waived in toto.
(b) ORGANISM Version Selection.
The genetic information necessary for operating LIFE is stored on
templates residing in each CELL ("DNA"). DNA may contain instructions
for expression of a large number of functional components ("GENES"),
not all of which are necessary for proper operation of any given ORGANISM.
You may install and express only those GENES intended for use by the
ORGANISM in which LIFE resides.
(c) Language Selection.
LIFE will support any number of types of ORGANISM-to-ORGANISM
communication ("LANGUAGE"). Acquisition and use of these LANGUAGES is the
responsibility of the individual ORGANISM, however, and no guarantee of
interoperability or mutual comprehension is offered by God. God does
guarantee, however, that all communications between the LIFE user and
the manufacturer will be monitored and acted upon as appropriate,
without limitation based on choice of LANGUAGE.
(d) Limitations on Reverse Engineering, Decompilation and Disassembly.
You may not reverse engineer, deconstruct, or disassemble LIFE, except
and only to the extent that such activity is expressly permitted by God
notwithstanding this limitation.
(e) Separation of Components.
LIFE is licensed as a single product. Its component parts may not be
separated for use in more than one ORGANISM, except as detailed elsewhere
in this EULA.
(f) Single ORGANISM.
LIFE is licensed with the ORGANISM as a single integrated product.
LIFE may only be used with the ORGANISM as set forth in this EULA.
Astral projection is a violation of this agreement, besides being
(g) Rental. You may not rent, lease or lend LIFE to any other organism,
although you may contract with God or God's agents for a new lease on
your own LIFE at any time, subject to availability and your past
performance as a LIFE user.
Without prejudice to any other rights, God may terminate this EULA if you
fail to comply with the terms and conditions of this EULA or for any other
reason, for that matter. In such event LIFE will cease to operate
This EULA does not grant you any rights in connection with any
trademarks or service marks belonging to or commonly associated with
God or any of God's agents. So enough with the fish-shaped automobile
(j) Component Sharing.
The ORGANISM may contain multiple redundant components, any of which may
be transferred to one or more other ORGANISMS in order to sustain or
enhance the quality of LIFE. This transfer must be voluntary and in
accordance with all applicable provisions of this EULA. An ORGANISM
that ceases to make use of LIFE may permanently transfer any or all of
its LIFE components to another ORGANISM without penalty. It is the
responsibility of the ORGANISM to ensure that the uninstall, transfer,
and reinstall are carried out properly, although both the ORGANISM
performing the transfer and the ORGANISM receiving the transferred
component(s) are entitled to contact God for technical support before
and/or during the procedure.
There are no upgrades to the basic LIFE package currently authorized by
God. Any addition, deletion, or modification of LIFE or any of its
subsystems voids the limited warranty provided by God, and the ORGANISM
bears the responsibility for all philosophical, sociological, biological,
or psychological damage/injury sustained as a result of this action.
Technical support will be limited to the components of LIFE supplied by
God as part of the original package, although God or God's agents will,
if requested by or on behalf of ORGANISM, make every reasonable effort
to provide comfort and solace following said damage/injury.
Technical support for LIFE is available toll-free at all times by
contacting God or one of God's agents by whatever means is most expedient.
All communications are monitored for the sake of quality control.
All inquiries will be addressed as soon as possible, although the
response to any given communication may not be immediately obvious
to the ORGANISM. Questions regarding the proper means of contacting
Technical Support or interpretation of the answers received thereof
may be directed to any of God's technical representatives, conveniently
located in houses of worship planetwide.
5. EXPORT RESTRICTIONS.
You agree that you will not export or re-export LIFE, as there is no
place outside the territorial jurisdiction of the universe to which to
export it (as far as you know). If you find one, you're looking too hard.