disk equals license

From: Uncle Roger <sinasohn_at_ricochet.net>
Date: Wed Feb 11 21:23:56 1998

At 12:24 PM 2/11/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Sounds legit to me. If I found a disk set of Autodesk 3d Studio in the
>dumpster, just the disks, no manuals, I'd sure as heck use it, but wouldn't
>expect any company support. If I then came across a higher version for that
>product and it was cheaper if you already owned a previous version (say it
>takes the older version disk to upgrade to newer, then I'd expect to pay
>the cheaper price, because it is upgrading the program found on my original

It really depends upon the company, I imagine, but I support the notion
that if your dumpster set is the last version purchased for that license,
(i.e., the former owner hasn't upgraded and is no longer using the program)
then sure, you can upgrade it. If, however, that's not the last version,
then it is not a valid version.

As I see it, there is a reason for offering an upgrade discount. The cost
of a piece of software is made up of several things: development costs,
media/packaging costs, support costs, and (of course) profit. If you can
eliminate any of those, you can reduce the price. Downloading software
with on-line manuals eliminates the media and packaging cost, so that is
often cheaper.

If you sell a piece of software to someone who already knows how to use it,
you can budget a lower support cost, hence the upgrade price. Fishing a
set of disks out of the dumpster does not necessarily reduce your expected
support needs; in some cases it may (hey, if you're dumpster diving for
software, you're probably not a newbie) and in some cases, it might
increase your need for support ("I installed this software, but it won't
run" [three hours later] "oh, you're missing the frobnitzer disk. I'll
send it to you."). (Note that making your software compatible with XYZ,
the most popular program can reduce support needs as well, hence the
competitive upgrade idea.)

>I'm sure any cold blooded lawyer worth his salt could tear down my logic
>and send me to the big house for having those disks and running them, but
>how many would take the time, effort and money to try?
The SPA has done that -- to set examples. But realistically, I wouldn't
worry about it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- O-

Uncle Roger "There is pleasure pure in being mad
roger_at_sinasohn.com that none but madmen know."
Roger Louis Sinasohn & Associates
San Francisco, California http://www.crl.com/~sinasohn/
Received on Wed Feb 11 1998 - 21:23:56 GMT

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