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Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

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Postby johnzilla on Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:37 pm

nanashiwanderer wrote:the funny thing is what will the courts uphold. The courts in the ADOBE SOFTMAN declared that software is a product and a person has the right to resell any software. (which is infact) transfer regardless of a liscence. From this a person owning academic software for example can sell his software to any where. I don't think the courts would uphold you can't loan software out, if there on the line of thinking they were then.


It comes down to the license. If the license is explicit, and you agree to the terms, that's that.

If the license is not explicit, or poorly written and open to interpretation, then you can run into situations where the courts will clarify the license terms, which may benefit the customer but may also benefit the author.

Again, when you "buy software" you aren't "buying software". You're buying a license to use a copy of the software. That license is property, just like the actual software is property. Note that the copy of the software you have to use is NOT property...it isn't yours. The author is just allowing you to use it under certain terms. You may have other rights, like fair use, parody, satire, archiving, etc. that are granted to you by law, but otherwise whatever the license says it what it says.

I'm really having a hard time believing that there are people posting here and saying it is OK to ignore the terms of a license. If that's true, then everyone who thinks it grants me a lifetime, royalty-free, cost-free license to use all of their music compositions and recordings however I like, whenever and wherever I like. Is that really your intent when you record a song you wrote? Maybe it is...there are definitely people around who think that everything should be free for everyone no matter what, and that's cool, but an agreement is an agreement.

If I booked time in your studio, and agreed to your terms, but then decided later that I didn't think your rate was reasonable because it didn't really fit with my creative freedom and actually wanted to double the amount of studio time at no extra charge, would you let me do it? I don't think so. So why then, is it reasonable to expect a software author to give you two licenses for the price of one just because you think that's how it should be?
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Postby ronsavoy on Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:25 am

I actually agree with most of what you wrote, johnzilla - I agree completely that a software manufacturer can write whatever they want into a license and that the buyer is legally obligated to follow it should he or she buy the license. I also understand the difference between buying a license and buying a piece of software. If that's all that we're arguing, that software developers can do whatever they want with their software and license and the consumers choice is either abide by the license or not buy the license, then there is no argument. Done!

I was simply stating an opinion about how I think licenses should be implemented, and the logic for that opinion. Does anyone need to listen? Of course not. But I still stand by what I wrote - in my opinion, software licenses should afford the same level of protection to software developers as "durable goods" manufacturers intrinsically have. Why? Because no one who is remotely ethical could complain about such a license. It smacks of fairness: you bought the right to use a piece of software. You can do with it what you can with every other thing you "own" - you can sell it, give it away, lend it to someone, but you can't create copies of it for ANY REASON (to sell, lend, give away whatever). You bought one copy. Do what you will with that one copy, but as soon as you turn that one copy into two, you're stealing. It's not complicated.

Again, let me reiterate (because people seem to have a hard time understanding what I'm saying) that I'm not saying this is the way it is and that I'm not suggesting everyone treat software this way. I'm saying I think this is the way it should be. The problem, in my view, is that once you need a legal document to protect your rights (which the software industry definitely does!), it is very tempting to abuse that document and write all sorts of self-serving stuff into it. Don't you think if Honda could force you never to lend your car or resell it they would? They could use the same logic you've used - by your reselling your car you're depriving them of a sale which they have a "right" to! How dare you! But the absurdity of this is obvious, just as, to me, the onerous "non-transfer" clauses in software are absurd.

If a person is happy using outdated software and the developer has given them no reason to buy the latest and greatest, or they simply can't afford it, (the analogy being a used versus a new car), then the developer, like every other business owner, needs to find new ways of enticing new customers. Or... they could just make the whole resale market illegal! That's one way to get new customers I guess! Very clever!

You know what, I take it all back - I'm going to start a business selling DVDs that only one person can watch (after all, I'm not selling the movie, but a license for that movie, which I can write anything I want into). They can't let anyone else watch it, or sell it, lend it, or give it away. I'm going to be rich!!
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Postby nanashiwanderer on Fri Feb 23, 2007 12:55 pm

I just checked part of what gave weight to the softman case, is the user didn't install the software.
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby monaro on Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:32 pm

Hey there guys :D

I know this is an old thread but is it true that you cannot sell EWQL software???????

Does this mean that if I see it for sale I cannot buy it???? :shock:
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby bryla on Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:47 am

You can only buy it from soundsonline.com or authorized dealers. Not used.
Copyright doesn't mean you have the right to copy
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby monaro on Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:21 am

Wow, thats pretty strict stuff man
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby bryla on Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:37 am

That's standard.... Maybe you should read licenses, 'man'
Copyright doesn't mean you have the right to copy
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby monaro on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:16 am

I only have a small amout of software so I appologize for my not being up to date with the multitude of end user licences.

Reason 3
absynth
Mc dsp project pack
Ambience
Cubase LE
Clone ensemble

All legal, all original, all paid for and all registered to me.

I havnt checked what mcdsp have to say about it, but NI and Propeller headz dont mind if you sell your software.
I was, until now unaware of such an agreement.
For the record, I dont use pirated or illegal software, other wise you can be sure I would not have asked the question publicly.Instead I would have proceeded straight to ebay and bid on the aformentioned, bargain priced and original software, keeping my sweet mouth shut.

On the contrary my friend, I went straight to ebay and alerted the seller, who like me, was also unaware of the "till death do us part" end user agreement.
He then thanked me and imediatly withdrew the listing.
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby Big Tim on Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:58 am

Software licensing is hugely complex. Anyone who has to deal wth Microsoft's multifarious business licensing models will tell you what a complete nightmare it can be to just get a single machine fully licensed on a network.

A quick scan through the EULA for Word 2007 reveals the following:
Microsoft wrote:1. OVERVIEW. These license terms permit installation and use of one copy of the software on one device, along with other rights, all as described below.
2. INSTALLATION AND USE RIGHTS. Before you use the software under a license, you must assign that license to one device. That device is the “licensed device.”  A hardware partition or blade is considered to be a separate device.
a. Licensed Device. You may install and use one copy of the software on the licensed device.
b. Portable Device. You may install another copy on a portable device for use by the single primary user of the licensed device.
c. Separation of Components. The components of the software are licensed as a single unit.  You may not separate the components and install them on different devices.


3. ADDITIONAL LICENSING REQUIREMENTS AND/OR USE RIGHTS.
a. Remote Access. The single primary user of the licensed device may access and use the software installed on the licensed device remotely from any other device. You may allow other users to access the software to provide you with support services. You do not need additional licenses for this access. No other person may use the software under the same license at the same time for any other purpose.

This is pretty standard stuff, and a variation thereof is almost universal.

Edit: In the case of business software, most licensing agreements allow the company to be identified as the primary user, thereby allowing any employee of that company to sit at any licensed machine and legally use the software. This is often known as "per seat" licensing, as opposed to "per user".
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby Cerealx59 on Sun Dec 21, 2008 2:38 am

The fact that this thread exists is disappointing.

Once a product is bought and paid for, it should be that the owner can do as he or she pleases, with it.

I will never feel guilty about loaning a friend MY property!

This is simple common sense guys.

There is clearly no intent here to circumvent the possible winfall of the software company. No one is trying to resell or make a profit in this case, so this is totally legal.

I gotta tell ya guys, I think some of us worry too much about these kind of things.
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby bryla on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:50 pm

Every manufacturer has different rules... read the EULA
Copyright doesn't mean you have the right to copy
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby Blue Bear Sound on Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:54 pm

Cerealx59 wrote: Once a product is bought and paid for, it should be that the owner can do as he or she pleases, with it.

Ummm... you don't BUY software, you pay a license to use it...... BIG difference. ^m
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby Cerealx59 on Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:07 am

Blue Bear Sound wrote:
Cerealx59 wrote: Once a product is bought and paid for, it should be that the owner can do as he or she pleases, with it.

Ummm... you don't BUY software, you pay a license to use it...... BIG difference. ^m


I understand that. Unfortuntely I believe that is a huge problem in today's totalitarian software regime. Look. I pay for all of my software. Including my rather pricey copy of Nuendo 3. However i would feel no guilt If I let one of my less fortunate friends come over and "borrow" the use of my DAW, and/or my softsynths, if he was working on a demo or something else of that nature. I believe to argue anything else is just splitting hairs.

Blue Bear, I understand how licensing works, I would just argue against it in principle. Especially when it is clear; at least in this case, that there was no "pirating" taking place. :P
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby monaro on Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:15 am

I hear ya man but unfortunatly in order to stay on the right side of the tracks you gotta play theire filthy greedy game.
Its not a case of the poor struggling software manfacturers just trying to get by as there are many companies both smaller and larger producing similar programs without the "to death do us part" end user agreement.
Do what I do man, dont buy !ANYTHING! from a company greedy enough to lay claim to such unreasonable rights.
If other companies can get by without such an agreement, so can they.

Does it help stop piracy and llegal use?.........nope
Doe it stop people re selling the software?.........nope
Does it make me want to out lay thousands on their sotware?........nope




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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby Cerealx59 on Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:49 pm

You rule monaro! 8)
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby bryla on Wed Dec 24, 2008 8:48 am

Monaro: It's actually the small companies that have the loose agreements and are very helpful with license transfers. It's the big companies that just don't care about transfers, and don't allow resell
Copyright doesn't mean you have the right to copy
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Re: Is it illegal to use legal software on a borrowed computer?

Postby earthloop on Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:35 pm

This thread illustrates perfectly why I still prefer hardware !!! :roll:
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