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DataViz license - Mac Applications & Software

Until I received MacLinkPlus Deluxe 14, I considered DataViz a reputable software company that produced a good product. The product may still be good, but the terms on which they offer it are unacceptable. Today will be the first time that I've returned a software CD because of the license agreement. Near the end of the license comes the following: DataViz shall have the right, upon reasonable prior notice and during regular business hours, to audit/inspect any computer network on which this program is installed to monitor compliance with the terms of this Agreement. including but not limited to confirming ...

  1. #1

    Default DataViz license

    Until I received MacLinkPlus Deluxe 14, I considered DataViz a reputable
    software company that produced a good product. The product may still be
    good, but the terms on which they offer it are unacceptable. Today will
    be the first time that I've returned a software CD because of the
    license agreement.

    Near the end of the license comes the following:

    DataViz shall have the right, upon reasonable prior notice and during
    regular business hours, to audit/inspect any computer network on which
    this program is installed to monitor compliance with the terms of this
    Agreement. including but not limited to confirming the number of
    computers on which the program is used.

    [odd punctuation pasted verbatim]

    Since the machine on which I would have installed MacLinkPlus is part of
    a network of three computers in my home, I would be subject to this
    clause, and would have been implicitly authorizing DataViz to enter my
    home and snoop through my computers.

    I can't imagine why they'd ever bother to do such a thing, but I'm not
    going to grant such authorization, even if I expect that they will never
    exercise it.

    Other companies have gotten burned putting similar terms in their
    licenses. Borland (IIRC) put similar language in its Java development
    software, and got burned badly for it. Apple has similar language in
    its developer agreement, but at least it lets you know in advance, and
    it applies only if you accept pre-release software from Apple.

    Perhaps DataViz thinks that the threat, however implausible, of sending
    auditors into customers' homes will discourage piracy. But the pirates
    are precisely the ones who haven't agreed to the license, and who
    haven't registered their software. The license works to the detriment
    of users who are doing the right thing, and it can only discourage
    people from purchasing legitimate software.

    I don't use pirated software, and I haven't installed and won't install
    the software from the CD which I'm returning. But I can imagine people
    deciding that they're actually better off if the copy which they have
    isn't licensed.

    --
    Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
    Add to /etc/hosts: 127.0.0.1 sitefinder.verisign.com
    Gary Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: DataViz license

    Gary McGath wrote:
     

    A post like this would HAVE to come from the advocacy group.
    But it doesn't matter what spurious or illegal clauses any
    company might insert into its contracts. In the U.S., at least,
    the Fourth Amendment supercedes any such clause and renders it
    null and void. They had some bad advisors when they wrote that,
    probably some halfwits who had spent their lives immersed
    in Napoleonic code or some other wretched idiocy.
    George Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: DataViz license

    In article <com>, George Williams
    <com> wrote:
     

    Are you a lawyer? If so, is the above your professional opinion? Does
    it constitute "legal advice"? If the answer to any of those questions
    is "no", you'll forgive me, I trust, if I take what you say with a
    pound or two of salt.
    Ed Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: DataViz license

    In article <com>,
    George Williams <com> wrote:
     

    Well, it was posted to the advocacy group, since it struck me as being
    on-topic. I don't know what you mean by a post "coming from" a
    newsgroup.
     

    I'm not familiar with any legal cases in which the Fourth Amendment was
    held to nullify clauses in private contracts. Could you explain
    further? I've had consulting contracts where I had the right to audit
    my client's site to make sure they were using the code I provided them
    only in accordance with the contract; those were, as far as I know,
    legal and enforceable.

    A consumer-level audit clause is a lot more intrusive than a consulting
    audit clause, but what's the Fourth Amendment case law which shows it's
    illegal?

    --
    Gary McGath http://www.mcgath.com
    Add to /etc/hosts: 127.0.0.1 sitefinder.verisign.com
    Gary Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: DataViz license

    Gary McGath wrote:
     

    It constitutes an unreasonable search without due process of
    law. They would never exercise it unless it were accompanied
    by some kind of consulting or support agreement, which they
    wouldn't have with a typical consumer.
    George Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: DataViz license

    In article <panix.com>,
    Gary McGath <com> wrote: 

    Frankly, I decided to bypass version 14, as (a) I don't use it all that
    often, and (b) version 14 does not seem enormously advanced on version 13,
    which I own a licensed copy of.

    On the other hand, this licensing agreement is absurd, and I wouldn't
    upgrade now to 14 even if there were compelling reasons to do so. It's
    not that DataViz is likely to want to go spelunking through my home
    machines, but that they are by force insisting on the right to do so
    strikes me as loathsome.

    Y'know, Wolfram does a very respectable job keeping the reins tight on
    Mathematica, and yet there is nothing nearly so intrusive in their
    licensing agreement, at least I don't recall anything so noxious.
    Companies have a right to try to limit piracy, but they don't have the
    right to go snooping on my computer.

    Thanks for bringing this to public view.

    David Derbes
     


    david Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: DataViz license

    In article <com>,
    George Williams <com> wrote:
     
    >
    > A post like this would HAVE to come from the advocacy group.
    > But it doesn't matter what spurious or illegal clauses any
    > company might insert into its contracts. In the U.S., at least,
    > the Fourth Amendment supercedes any such clause and renders it
    > null and void.[/ref]

    No, it doesn't. The Fourth Amendment applies only to government action.
    DataViz is not a government nor a government agent, therefore there is
    no Fourth Amendment issue.

    The provision may violate other laws (e.g., the laws against breaking
    and entering).
    --
    D.F. Manno
    net

    Nobody Died When Clinton Lied
    D.F. Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: DataViz license

    In article <211020031621200504%rr.invalid.com>,
    Ed Reppert <rr.invalid.com> wrote:
     
    >
    > Are you a lawyer? If so, is the above your professional opinion? Does
    > it constitute "legal advice"? If the answer to any of those questions
    > is "no", you'll forgive me, I trust, if I take what you say with a
    > pound or two of salt.[/ref]

    Actually, unless he's a Judge, and these are his hours of work, I'd
    start slathering up with salt, lawyer or not. ;-)
    Kent Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: DataViz license


    "Gary McGath" <com> wrote in message
    news:panix.com... 

    [snip]

    It wouldn't be worth their while to do this to home users. It's obviously
    a clause for business users.
    They want to protect themselves against companies that might steal dozens to
    hundreds of copies, and they would go after the ones who have the money to
    pay big fines when caught.

    So relax, and stop tearing down Mac developers. Their market is small
    enough as it is...

    Edwin


    Edwin Guest

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