MS legal threat derails Foxpro on Linux demo
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Thread: MS legal threat derails Foxpro on Linux demo

  1. #1
    AO Decepticon CXGJarrod's Avatar
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    MS legal threat derails Foxpro on Linux demo

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/30325.html

    What do you guys think about this? Should you be able to run a Microsoft program on a Linux system if you bought the license? Does anyone know if this is mentioned in their EULA?
    N00b> STFU i r teh 1337 (english: You must be mistaken, good sir or madam. I believe myself to be quite a good player. On an unrelated matter, I also apparently enjoy math.)

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    If you paid for the license(s), I dont see a problem....... Besides, didn't they just port MS Office to linux?
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    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    I'd like to see the EULA.

    After all Microsoft has been through in the way of litigation I would like to see them try to get away with placing text in the EULA that says you can *ONLY* run their products on a Microsoft Windows operating system platform.

    I think the whole concept of the EULA should be challenged legally and reworked. It seems that through the EULA I am in effect leasing the software. I don't actually own the product and am bound to follow the rules laid out by the vendor.

    Further, the vendors are allowed to sneak crap into the EULA like "oh, by the way we're going to monitor your network traffic" or "by agreeing to this you agree that we can scan your address book and forward emails to everyone you know letting them know about our great site".

    I don't understand how it has held up this long as the standard method of protecting software. It seems that the purchaser has no rights and the vendor has no obligation to provide a quality or secure product.

    I know that is somewhat of a rant, but does anyone else feel like we as consumers get screwed by EULA's left and right and that the vendor doesn't seem to be responsible for anything?

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    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
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    The EULA has become pretty onerous in the last few years. I don't know anybody who actually reads them, and I have seen some that include the right to install spyware on your system. I don't know that a EULA like that has ever been challenged in court, but it sure would be interesting to watch.

    I haven't kept up with it in the last few years, but I know that when I was in law school there was a move on for a new section to the UCC which would govern sales and licensing of software in the same way that the current UCC governs sales of other goods. The proposed Article 2B would address a lot of these issues, but it seems to have stalled in the last few years. Maybe it's time to re-think Article 2B....

    http://www.law.uh.edu/ucc2b/
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    The reality is that the worlds consumers are like one big crack whore addicted to the bad treatment and subpar products from companies they loath, and yet won't do anything to help themselves because they lack the will power to make a change.

    Stop buying their crack, and they will stop treating you like sh?t.... It's that simple in my very humble opinion.
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    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    I haven't actually tried this yet, but the one thing that it did occur to me an EULA was good for is for returning an opened software product.

    Stores generally have policies that you can't return a software package once you break the celophane seal or in some other way open the container.

    However, it is generally not until you have opened the container to view the hardcopy EULA or when you get down to installing the program to view the electronic EULA that you are presented with the EULA and given the opportunity to accept or not to accept the EULA.

    I can't speak to all, but some EULA's state that if you do not agree with the terms of this EULA, take the product back from whence it came and return it. Even for those that don't state it, I think you could make an argument.

    If I take an opened copy of Microsoft Office XP back to Best Buy they will tell me it sucks being me because the package is opened. However, if I state flat out that I do not agree to abide by the terms of the EULA and therefore must return the program I think they might have an obligation to take it back.

    Any thoughts?

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    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    If I take an opened copy of Microsoft Office XP back to Best Buy they will tell me it sucks being me because the package is opened. However, if I state flat out that I do not agree to abide by the terms of the EULA and therefore must return the program I think they might have an obligation to take it back.
    Nope. It just means you don't agree to use the program. Not that you can return it. The reason they don't want to take opened packages isn't because of liking or disliking the software. But rather copyright issues. It'd be really easy to buy some software, take it home, copy it and then return it, saying you didn't agree with the EULA.
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    Sounds reasonable to me. Although I honestly believe that they know nobody reads EULA's, I wouldn't think they would
    make such requests if they weren't serious. Come to think of it... this sounds like something Pitr would do.
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    AO Security for Non-Geeks tonybradley's Avatar
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    The reason they don't want to take opened packages isn't because of liking or disliking the software. But rather copyright issues. It'd be really easy to buy some software, take it home, copy it and then return it, saying you didn't agree with the EULA.
    I realize and agree with the point you made. However, from a legal standpoint that seems to me to be another serious issue with the EULA. If I don't agree with the EULA I cannot install, and therefore cannot use, the program. However, I can't know whether or not I agree with the EULA until after I open the package which means I have already spent the money and can't recoup my losses.

    If they want to ensure you don't copy the program and return it so they won't accept software that has been opened, they should place the EULA prominently on the outside of the box so you can read it before deciding to purchase the product.

    Do you think users of TurboTax would have installed this year's version if they read the EULA and found out that Intuit would also be installing C-Dilla spyware software on their machine and that removing C-Dilla would disable TurboTax? I doubt it. If that would have been written on the outside of the box I think there would have been many more TaxCut converts.

    I just think the whole concept of the EULA is faulty. Lets look at it from the perspective of other copyrighted works. Having Microsoft say that you can't run FoxPro on a Linux platform is the same as Sony telling you that its against the law to view a Sony DVD except for on a Sony DVD Player.

    If I buy a book- its my book. I can't claim it as my own or "modify" it by adding a paragraph here or there, or cite references from it without giving credit, but I can read it wherever the hell I want. The publisher / author has rights to the content, but that physical copy of it is mine.

    So, why is it that computer software gets to treat copyrighted works completely different than other copyrighted works? To tie this back into the ever-popular DMCA threads- the DMCA was supposed to modernize copyright law to take the information age into account. Instead we still have messed up copyright law as it pertains to electronic media and legitimate legal researchers are being persecuted using the DMCA as the legal basis for squashing their work.

    We need more techies in government to set this cascade of increasingly screwed up laws straight and provide some understanding on Capitol Hill of how this stuff works.

  10. #10
    Just a Virtualized Geek MrLinus's Avatar
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    If they want to ensure you don't copy the program and return it so they won't accept software that has been opened, they should place the EULA prominently on the outside of the box so you can read it before deciding to purchase the product.
    Ah but the software manufacturers aren't thinking of you. They are thinking of themselves. They want the product sold, whether you want it or not. That's why the EULA is often "activated" once you open the package. I wouldn't be surprised if Turbo Tax made sure of the fact that the spyware would disable it and wrote their EULA to protect the use of it (aka you "knew" it was going to be installed). This technique is an old one.

    The software manufacturers will probably fit this one as it "assures" that their software is sold. I mean, look who started it and was successful with it: Microsoft.

    I suspect (quite strongly) that the manufacturers figure no one will read the EULA. So they figure they can get away with whatever they want. The proportion of society that actually takes the time to read it is so miniscule it's not biggie off their nose. It's like Privacy Policies, Legal Notices, etc. Heck, it could be in big, bold letters and still no one would read it. They, the consumers, would rather read about how this software will improve their life, make them slimmer, make them famous, make them rich, etc. than figure out if the manufacturer is screwing them or not.

    So, why is it that computer software gets to treat copyrighted works completely different than other copyrighted works? To tie this back into the ever-popular DMCA threads- the DMCA was supposed to modernize copyright law to take the information age into account. Instead we still have messed up copyright law as it pertains to electronic media and legitimate legal researchers are being persecuted using the DMCA as the legal basis for squashing their work.
    BWAHAHAHA. I'm sorry. But DMCA supposed to modernize copyright works? (laws?) It doesn't do a thing. No law yet that I have seen will deal effectively with the issue of copyright as long as the idea of the fact that information should be free exists. The idea of Open Source and that the Internet is a source of information, based on it being freely distributed and encouraged are the things that the DMCA is fighting. It's not kazaa or what-have-you. Those are just tools that perpetuate the concept. Many people still remember or want to experience the idea of free stuff online. That's what we all got told when we went online: lots of free info. Sites that charge better have something really good.

    And if it's on the 'Net, then I can use it because it belongs to everyone (or so the concept goes). This is why we are seeing so much plagarism. People think its ok to distribute information, which is what they are attempting to do. What they often don't realize is that those words, that software, has an owner sometimes. The DMCA will have a hard time changing an idea if it doesn't know what that idea is.
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