I have an Intel wireless adapter in my laptop and I went to their website to download an updated driver. In order to begin the download, I was required to agree to the Intel Software License Agreement, a section of which contains the following statement:

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What does this mean when applied to software necessary to make a piece of hardware function correctly? If I conduct business over the Internet (using the wireless adapter) am I violating the license?


2 Answers 2


In practice, Intel wouldn't be bothered whether you use the software or not, even if the use is commercial. Intel would be bothered if you use the software, and something goes wrong, and your company sues Intel for damages. In that case, Intel whips out the license agreement and shows the judge that you had no license for commercial use, therefore Intel cannot possibly responsible for damages to your business.

So if you conduct business over the Internet (using the wireless adapter) and because of Intel's negligence the wireless adapter stops working, causing as a consequence your business to go bankrupt, you have no chance getting damages paid by Intel.

  • 1
    This might be the right answer, but it seems like a roundabout way of asserting a waiver of liability, since it also leaves open the possibility of pursuing claims against anyone for commercial use. I agree that presently it doesn't make sense for Intel to bother with such claims. But if, for some reason, it became rational for them to, then they could. Which is perhaps the other reason: It's sort of a civil insurance policy Intel can hold against many potential opponents. (I.e., "Are you a business thinking of suing Intel? Better make sure you don't use any of their products!")
    – feetwet
    Sep 7, 2016 at 16:24

I reached out to Intel and received the following reply, which clarifies the wording:

By non-commercial use, we mean that you agree that you will not receive a fee, salary or any other form of compensation for the software (you may not sell it). While we're not saying we don't care what you do with it, you could say we are more interested in restricting what is done to the software itself.

This is clarified, as much as anything written in legal jargon can be, with the following note:

"2. You may not copy, modify, rent, sell, distribute or transfer any part of the Software except as provided in this Agreement, and you agree to prevent unauthorized copying of the Software."

In short, using this software as a tool to conduct your business will not go against the terms of use, so long as your business does not consist of commercializing our software.

  • 1
    It's almost funny how the literal words of the TOS and their position about what they "really" mean diverge do much.
    – user6726
    Feb 2, 2017 at 23:11

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