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May 05, 2010

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Randall Newton

The technologists inside companies like Autodesk hate this EULA stuff as much as users. They are the unwilling tools of the lawyers. Nothing is released by a software company (a free product, a press release, etc.) until "legal" gives it the stamp of approval. That's one reason why in-house bloggers catch so much internal grief in some companies.

Kevin E

"just residents of white countries...."

Oh come on Ralph. I think you need to redact that from you post and then apologize.

Randall Newton

On my world map, the USA is lavender and Canada is orange.

SeanDotson

In other CAD news:

Solidworks give birth to half-bat half-man child! PTC is abducted by aliens! Siemens has a love child with Bigfoot!

R. Paul Waddington

The reason Ralph Autodesk did not react to your suggestion is their EULA is un-enforcable. Autodesk will always avoid a direct showdown based on the EULA for that reason only; just as they have always refused to discuss it with me.

I proved this once and for all when I asked Autodesk (thru' Bass) to provide a statutory declaration or an affidavit in support of their claims - and they would not do so!

Their EULA is rubbish and if they think otherwise they sould stand up and support it; else stop making misleading statments. My invitation still stands.

Dietmar Rudolph

Earth to Ralph, re. "Unhappily, my call for EULA justice went unheeded, and the law was broken many, many times." Please keep in mind, that an EULA is NOT a law. Maybe it's an agreement (as its name implies), maybe it's a contract (as the vendors wish to believe), and maybe it's ignorable black dots on a screen to click away (for most users). But it definitely is not a law.

SeanDotson

Right. Because the CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation would not provide an affidavit to a single person who has been criticizing Autodesk for the last dozen or so years, then your have PROOF ("once and for all")!

Even you Paul have to see the absurdity in that logic.

Autodesk can choose to sell products where they want, just as I can choose to not do business with certain countries (We won't sell to a few South American countries)

And Ralph, suggesting that Autodesk is being racist (even in a "satirical manner") by this policy is just supermarket tabloid journalism.

Ralph Grabowski

It is law, in that Autodesk can call in the public justice system to enforce the contract -- as its press releases on piracy explain.

SeanDotson

A law is created by a government.

Corporations can enforce contracts violated by an individual or company who violates this contract by using the justice system. This does not make an EULA a law.

Kevin Schneider

After looking into it we will open up downloads to all the same locations as the traditional download.

And I would like to correct the original article. You wrote "cannot be read until after the software is downloaded and installed." The point of this delivery method/download is that there is no install.

-Kevin Schneider
Autodesk, Inc.

Carl

Earth to Grabowski

Delighted to hear there's a thing called the Internet. You probably invented it with Al Gore

Carl

Kevin E.

The EULA is not a law. The EULA is a contract or argeement between the vendor and the customer. If the EULA is broken, then the vendor can choose to take it to the courts (law). The same would be true for the customer if the vendor broke the terms of the EULA.

R. Paul Waddington

And still people graple with the truth and the facts as they stand.
Backing their EULA up with a legal document would have to the easist way to shut my comments down.
Choosing not to take this SIMPLE step is laziness; do they like seeing my comments in print, is it good for their business (all publicity is good...sic) or is it that what I say is the truth?

Kevin E

Waddington, how much of an impact do you think your comments are having? I am guessing it ranges somewhere between 0% to 0.0005%.

Steve Johnson

The EULA is not law. (Is there an echo in here?) It may not even be an agreement. The closest you can get is that it is a document that may or may not have legal implications, under certain circumstances that would have to be determined by the courts on a case-by-case basis. That's a pretty long way away from being law.

R. Paul Waddington

Kevin E,
0% to 0.0005% of what?

Reality is users are being, and continue, to be deceived by software vendors about the legitimacy of the EULA and the invasive actions. 'Goof balls' who sit on the fence or comment from the back seat instead of taking an active role in how their society is controlled have little effect on how or why I think the way I do.

It is fine, for some, to stand on the side lines and watch as society is changed for the worse; those same type of people stand and watch a mugging or 'people round up' and do nothing! But there are those willing to stand up for what is better for society than just owning more ‘productivity’ tools, cars or money.

If you want to defend Autodesk's EULA and actions and the similar actions of other software vendors, that's fine by me Kevin E. are you being paid for it or are you doing it for no return or reason - which is it.

If it is for the former then your reason are obvious, if it is either of the latter then what’s the point of taking a jibe at me? Do the yards I have done and either add to the argument with facts or please just continue to sit on the side lines and benefit from what ever the outcome may be.

Kevin E

0% impact on affecting EULAs, and bringing attention to the cause. Of the millions of users that use cad products, what percentage do you think read cad blogs or have any interest in cad outside of their job?

I don't work for Autodesk. A EULA and a mugging aren't even comparable. As far as the "yards" of work you have done, about the only thing I have watched you do is make comments on blogs.

You believe the EULA is unenforcable. Why is that? Because the CEO of Autodesk didn't respond or try to sue you (maybe he didn't know just who he was dealing with)? If you don't think the EULA is enforceable, why don't you start giving people copies of your install discs and serial numbers? I am sure there are many torrent sites you could post that to. Or why don't you buy one license and install it on 50 computers in your business? Just make sure to tell Autodesk about it after you have it done. I bet we would find out how enforceable that EULA is in those cases. But you wouldn't have anything to worry about.....right?


R. Paul Waddington

9 May 2010

Kevin E, in answer to your first question; I don't know 'how many' and it is not even worth the effort to find out. I know what those I deal directly with think about these issues. That's important and all I need to know.

Attitudes to the un-acceptable actions and in society are embedded within the people of that society. To allow any person or entity to conduct themselves in a manner that adversely affects others is the same whether it be the use of a EULA to enforce an unacceptable act or a mugging.

Any person who does not, when they can, speak out when they see an unreasonable act or actions is complicit in that act. There is no excuse to defend person(s) who stand on the sidelines and allows a change to society or a mugging - except to say they are not human, don’t think or are in agreement with the un-acceptable act!

The EULA in un-enforceable for all the reason I have published. In Autodesk's case this is reinforced because of their actions - or inaction - in relation to their response to my requests.

As for the distribution of Autodesk's products: the EULA is not what is used to protect Autodesk against distribution. The laws applied in these cases are to do with copyright. I have clearly stated to Autodesk and in public that I DO NOT ACCCEPT A SINGLE PIECE of their EULA: but I know and recognize that does not give me the right to distribute ‘my copies of their' software - but it is NOT the EULA that defines that knowledge. It also why Autodesk don’t want a fight that is only about the enforceability of the EULA.

It is WRONG of you or any body else to confuse these two and or think I do!

If I did distribute, as you taunt, I would have something to worry about. Truly, is it so difficult for you to see the difference?

SeanDotson

Then don't buy their software Paul. It's pretty simple. Don't live in a subdivison where they have rues you do not like. Don't buy gas from companies who have policies that are environmentally unfriendly. Vote with your dollar. But DO something other than complain about it all the time.

Dear God I'm so tired of your blathering on. You've been doing it for almost what, 10 years now. So how's that working out for you? Amazing progress you've made. (rolleyes)

BTW, still think MDT is superior to Inventor?

R. Paul Waddington

Sean,

You think I should put my ‘money were my mouth is’ without knowing exactly what I have done and it has been very costly. You think I should violate the EULA to test the waters and yet you fail to see my very public rebuttal of the EULA as being a total ‘violation’.

Would you prefer Sean, my commitment be self immolation in front of Autodesk’s office – would that be sufficient commitment for you and others Sean?

To paraphrase you Sean, if you don’t like what I say don’t read it.

Rachael

Alright you lot, quit the eye rolling and mud slinging and get back to the point(s): The available information on the legality of EULA's in the US is confusing.
At US-cert.gov they class it as Legally Binding (http://www.us-cert.gov/reading_room/EULA.pdf) .

In Wikipedia it is said to be questionable in some parts of the US. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_license_agreement)

An interesting point is that for a contract to be legally binding (http://www.allbusiness.com/legal/contracts-agreements/731-1.html) this article states: "Both parties must be competent enough to enter into the contractual agreement. They may not be minors (under 18 years of age), under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or of unsound mind. They also must have the legal power to enter into the agreement; this particularly pertains to people representing an outside interest, such as a company or third party. The main question becomes, "Do they have the legal power to carry out the terms of the agreement?"

While I am not going to go into the issue of whether CAD engineers are of sound mind :) (do not roll your eyes Sean!), I do wonder how many of them, opening and installing software, have the power to carry out the terms of the agreement? If this invalidates the EULA, then it is a pointless exercise by the software vendors.

Evan Yares

I've been known to talk about legal issues related to EULAs. Probably more than anyone in the CAD industry.

But here's the bottom line: You can't win. You can't break even. You can't get out of the game.

Want to argue that Autodesk's EULAs aren't enforceable? Go for it. You'll be facing the attorneys of Morrison Foerster (commonly known as "mofo" for very good reason.) Autodesk management won't even blink at the cost of litigatimg the issue, because the company's entire business is built on the assumption that EULAs are enforceable.

This has nothing to do with right or wrong. It has to do with how much you can afford to spend on attorneys.

Steve Johnson

Vernor has managed to beat the mofos without billions behind him. So far, anyway.

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