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> From: Scott Maxwell <smaxwell(--nospam--at)engin.umich.edu>

> And the thing that you don't mention is that many software companies are
> now writing into their EULAs that users cannot publish/write reviews of

I can't be bothered reading EULAs anymore. I just use the software
because I want/need it. I don't have much option after I've made the
basic choice of function and price.

Are there any engineering software vendors who publish their EULA on the
web site to be viewed without buying or, at least, downloading the
product?

> And don't get me started on "dongles".  I have serious problems with being
> treated like a criminal when I honestly pay for something.  I understand
> that companies must protect their software from piracy, but some of the
> policies that accompany the use of "dongles" are objectionable at best
> (i.e. companies that make you buy the program AGAIN if you lose your
> "dongle", which happens to be the size of a quarter or so [at least
> today's USB dongles] and can EASILY get lost)...especially when there are
> other methods to slow down potetnial pirates (NO method will prevent
> piracy...if someone wants your softtare bad enough, they will get
> it...dongle or not).

I view dongles like the lock on my car door ... it stops casual
vandalism - crimes of opportunity. There is a low crime rate in my
neighbourhood but I understand the general value of putting the locks on
every car.

I have been in the offices of companies where I see several forms of
copyright infringement, such as, photocopies (now digital scans) of
books/standards/articles and multiple copies of software operating under
single user licenses. We have had discussions at length, on this list,
about reusing drawings and details. The rationale is always the same -
cost.

There's an easy way to stop dongles. We, as an ethical profession, must
do the ethical thing and refuse to work with unlicensed software.
Additionally, the licensing bodies must target engineering profesionals
(especially in management roles) for supporting the environment that
permits copyright and contract infringement to continue.

In the end, it is financially beneficial to all of us.

My car door lock analogy fails when you consider these *&^% car locks
that keep locking automatically. 

> And while I am ALL for shameless Mac plugs (life would be so much better
> if I could dump these frackin' Windoze machines), the fact is that Apple

I'm preparing to update the Macs on my network. The next time,
apparently, the Apple will come with an Intel processor. I don't know if
it will still be called a Mac. I don't know if there will be engineering
software available to run on it.

-- 
R. Paul Ransom, P. Eng.
Civil/Structural/Project/International
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
<mailto:ado26(--nospam--at)hwcn.org> <http://www.hwcn.org/~ad026/civil.html>

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