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Ebay's Vero Program

Guest Will

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Guest Matt Kirby
- - maverick - i've just checked out the link you posted and it looks like this person is only selling shareware or freeware programs - if that's the case then they're not really ripping people off are they????

They are ripping people off - if the software has been released by the author as freeware (or cheap shareware) then people are better off downloading the software direct from the author rather than paying some other muppet to burn a CD-R.

When shareware first started (before the 'Net kicked off) the only way to obtain the software was from shareware libraries, on disk, through the post. For this service the library would charge a fee for the disk, copying and postage. This money didn't go to the author; it was a charge for the service provided by the shareware library- with the authors consent (usually part of the T&Cs in the EULA (not that they were called EULAs back then!)).

Today you would be mad to pay someone to give you something that you could download yourself for less money- and that’s before even thinking about the cheek of someone charging for software when the author gets nothing. These people are not providing a service- it could be argued that they are collating the software in one place but most if not all freeware for Smartphone is available on Mono’s site as a free download. Why pay and wait for it in the post when one visit to either Mono’s site or MoDaCo and you will have everything you need?

It would be different if all of the software being sold in this way permitted this in the EULA – which I doubt very much. If you write software and are happy for it to be distributed this way then fine, put that in your EULA and there is no problem. The problem occurs when authors don’t want their software distributed this way and people do it anyway.

I've written software myself (see sig) and have released it for free if anyone finds it useful - and I would object to someone making money off of the hours of work that I put in creating the software. The short EULA that goes with it states that the software is not to be distributed without my permission – that’s all I ask for giving the software away for free.

Well, that’s my 2 cents….. :)

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Guest MrCheese

Matt Kirby - i do see your point about people making money selling other people's stuff, but are they really muppets?? i mean if they disclaim to the public that their disk contains, amongst other things, some freeware software - surely it's the people that buy this stuff instead of as you say downloading it for free that are the real Muppets!!!??? The ebay-seller is not really affecting the author as he/she wouldn't reap any financial gain anyway - the only people losing out are the dumbo's buying the disk. And perhaps they're not even losing out cos if they didn't realise the software was easily downloadable for free then they're probably quite happy to pay for it :roll:

the ongoing discussion about software piracy/cracking/unlawfully distributing is a very interesting one as i allways find i sit on the fence -sure i can see the fustration of the hardworking developer - i can also see the enjoyment of the young kid "kazzaa -ing " a copy of XP professional for free, that would have cost him loads, only to go out of date within a few years anyway. Surely the majority of money made is by business's buying legit copies with a licence?

also -out of interest, the T &C that you place on your software that you don't want it distributed - - does this constitute a legally binding disclaimer or simply a polite request that you hope people respect :?:

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As you say the mugs are the people paying for something that they could have downloaded - so the Ebayer is ripping them off.

As for EULAs the whole area is a bit grey legally- they are intened as a licence to use the software - you can only use the software if you agree to the terms in the licence.

AFAIK this has never been tested in court - how many times have you opened shrink-wrapped software with a lable stating "By breaking this seal you are agreeing to the conditions of the enclosed EULA". How can I read the EULA and decide if I agree without breaking the seal? :roll:

Personally if someone did break the terms of the ELUA for my software I would only attempt to sue if they were making a shed-load of cash from it- otherwise it's not worth it. So in that sense my EULA is more of a polite request than something that I will back-up with a team of lawyers.

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