In Is distributing software that makes modifications to video games legal? an example snippet of a video game license is given, which reads:
You may not copy the Software (except as specifically permitted herein) and, except as expressly permitted by law, you may not modify, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble or create derivative works of the Software.
Presumably "as specifically permitted herein" gives you the right to copy the software to your computer and into memory to run it. But no such exception seems to be given allowing you to "modify" or "translate" the software where technically necessary. I'm not aware of any common computing platform where loading an application does not usually involve "modifying" it (to link it together in memory with required system dynamic libraries). And similarly, "translating" running software (from instruction set architecture instructions to some internal representation of micro-operations inside the CPU) is technically necessary for execution on almost any real computer. And setting a global variable in an anonymously-mapped page in memory will create a derivative work; the software almost certainly creates ephemeral derivative works of itself in normal operation.
Is it common for software license agreements to be so poorly drafted that, if taken literally, they fail to usefully license the software as would be needed for execution on real machines? Do courts tend to expand them to grant the necessary permissions after all, to fulfill the intent of the agreement? Or do they tend to read them restrictively, giving developers a free pass to extract damages from any ordinary users they don't like? Is there a statute about this that "expressly permits" people to actually use software they license?