Related link: http://news.com.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html
One interesting aspect of this article, on a reputable company that
had to pay $100,000 for software licensing violations they didn’t even
know about, is that it shows how far licensing has come from common
I’m sure most home computer users are in violation of their licenses
because they let family members use their computer.
The Ernie Ball company did what seemed perfectly reasonable and
natural–passing old computers to different staff–and found it was
against their Microsoft license. Who would know? And this happens even
though UCITA was largely defeated. No wonder software companies and
other so-called intellectual property providers say that education
about the “right” way to handle copyrights and licenses should start back in school!
Imagine if your carpeting company was allowed to determine everything
you could put on the carpet–or even if your bookseller was allowed to
tell you who could read the books you buy. (So far, you’re protected
by first sale rights–but of course DRM is threatening to erode that
Well, that’s what modern software licensing is like. (Meanwhile, the
click-to-accept licenses that come with downloaded software seem to be
getting longer and longer, as if they lawyers want to make sure you
couldn’t find the clause that bites you even if you took the time to
read the whole thing.) Licenses are out of touch with human nature,
even more than copyright law. To see how out-of-touch copyright law
is, I recommend Jessica Litman’s (hard-copy) book Digital Copyright.
Meanwhile, read the article to see how the manager of Ernie Ball
Has the software industry departed from common sense?