Poll

What do you think is ok?

You should pay for everything.
18 (7.3%)
Tweaking hardware is ok, downloading or tweaking software is not.
22 (8.9%)
Tweaking hardware and software is ok, if it is mine I can do what I want.
155 (63%)
Everything is ok as long as it saves me money.
31 (12.6%)
Something else.
20 (8.1%)

Total Members Voted: 237

Author Topic: Stealing: The double standard?  (Read 95090 times)

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Offline w2aew

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #75 on: March 04, 2013, 10:33:29 pm »
If you pay for it, its yours to do with as you please. If you dont pay for it, its stealing.
So if I pay for some software which contains features which my license doesn't normally unlock I'm free to unlock those features?

In my opinion - no, you are not free to unlock those features, assuming those features are things that you would normally have to pay to have unlocked.  Same holds true in an instrument.  Hacking it to enable features that you would normally have to pay extra for *is* stealing. 

Examples:

Hacking a DMM to turn it into a more expensive model, or to enable an optional feature that you didn't pay for = stealing.

Hacking a DMM to add blue LED backlighting to the display = not stealing, OK.
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Offline uprightsquire

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #76 on: March 04, 2013, 10:57:31 pm »
There is no upgrade path between, for instance, the 1052E and the 1152E. I think this makes a (possibly the) difference. I do see it as begin different to hacking access to, say, serial decode features that  are pay to unlock.

Rigol says that the 1152E is a completely different beast.  I cant pay for the extra bandwidth, thus, I am not depriving anyone.

What If I could mod the 1052E to 75Mhz? Or the 1152E to 125 or 150....? Is that the same, or different?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 10:59:37 pm by uprightsquire »
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #77 on: March 04, 2013, 11:37:10 pm »
If you develop any bit of software, or anything for that matter, I assure you that somewhere in it are replications of other people's work, those who came before you, those from whom you learned the craft of programming, so how do you account for these contributions, how are these folks compensated with their justly deserved revenues? If, as the programmer/software designer, you only get a tinny fraction of the total revenue's, how is it then fare to talk about "intellectual property" and "justly deserved revenues" when some unspecified group of "share" holders and CEO's are getting most of the benefit?

Software programmers use 3rd party components and libraries frequently.  A lot of them cost money.  I know I've bought component sets, icons, etc and used them to develop software for sale.  Those 3rd party suppliers got paid by the software developers (before one copy was even sold), so why shouldn't the software developers get paid too?

Software companies have costs too.  I'm guessing that a lot of people have no idea of how much work goes into writing, testing and debugging a piece of software.  In the case of big software companies, why aren't their shareholders entitled to make money from selling the software?  They are the ones that stumped up the money (in advance) after all.

Its reasonable what you say but for myself its a question of how much do the share holder's and CEO's take and is this distribution fair, overall? I, for one, often question this and ask myself how a company can justify the prices they charge, i.e., $5000.00 for Altium as it was quoted by someone on this form? After you tally up the labour, capital expenses, rework, upgrade costs, and the total revenues over the life of the product is this price, as one example, still reasonable?

It's really simple.  If you don't like the profit structure of the company selling the hardware / software, don't buy it!

Just because you don't like it doesn't give you the right to hack / pirate it.  There are some things I personally think are too expensive, but I don't assume that I'm therefore entitled to hack / pirate my way around them.
 

Offline JuiceKing

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #78 on: March 05, 2013, 12:27:15 am »
If you pay for it, its yours to do with as you please. If you dont pay for it, its stealing.
So if I pay for some software which contains features which my license doesn't normally unlock I'm free to unlock those features?

In my opinion - no, you are not free to unlock those features, assuming those features are things that you would normally have to pay to have unlocked.  Same holds true in an instrument.  Hacking it to enable features that you would normally have to pay extra for *is* stealing. 

Examples:

Hacking a DMM to turn it into a more expensive model, or to enable an optional feature that you didn't pay for = stealing.

Hacking a DMM to add blue LED backlighting to the display = not stealing, OK.

Agreed. I think this distinction is helpful.

It's an interesting question whether a hardware vendor has any legal recourse if you hack an instrument to turn on locked features. I suppose if this becomes a material problem for hardware vendors they will start making buyers agree to license terms and issue (software) keys to activate their products.

But even if there's no legal recourse for the vendor, that hardly makes it right.
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #79 on: March 05, 2013, 01:00:15 am »
If you pay for it, its yours to do with as you please. If you dont pay for it, its stealing.
So if I pay for some software which contains features which my license doesn't normally unlock I'm free to unlock those features?

Yes.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #80 on: March 05, 2013, 01:16:02 am »
Where do we draw the line? Nobody thinks it's wrong to overclock their own PC (though selling overclocked PCs without telling the buyer is at least frowned upon). That's more or less the same as hacking a 50MHz Rigol to 100MHz. Even unlocking extra cores or pipelines is considered OK.

What about region unlocking a DVD/Bluray player so you can view movies you legally purchased in another country? (Never really understood the point of the region lock in the first place. With DVD players being so cheap, a region lock is pretty ineffective even if it couldn't be hacked.)

And what if you buy a crippled piece of hardware and completely overwrite the software with some open source image or one you wrote yourself, completely unlocking it?
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #81 on: March 05, 2013, 01:17:34 am »
There is no upgrade path between, for instance, the 1052E and the 1152E. I think this makes a (possibly the) difference. I do see it as begin different to hacking access to, say, serial decode features that  are pay to unlock.

Rigol says that the 1152E is a completely different beast.  I cant pay for the extra bandwidth, thus, I am not depriving anyone.

That also raises an interesting point. What if the company deliberately lies to customers and/or tries to deceive them by saying it's a different design when it's in fact not?

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #82 on: March 05, 2013, 01:20:15 am »
Just because you don't like it doesn't give you the right to hack / pirate it. 

But that's one of the main arguments here.
When you buy something, a physical item, money and ownership of that item has changed hands, who is to say you don't then have the personal right to do whatever you like with that item you now own?

The poll shows what I am sure the majority of people think, you do have the right to do whatever you want with the item you bought.
And that's not just in our industry, but the consumer one too, with jail breaking your iPhone or whatever.

Dave.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 01:22:30 am by EEVblog »
 

Offline fcb

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #83 on: March 05, 2013, 01:23:23 am »
An interesting thread..

As I see it, alot depends on what you have to do to get the enhanced features, the agilent multimeter being a fascinating case:
To upgrade the meter you change the setting in an unprotected EEPROM, you haven't had to copy new firmware into the unit that you have obtained in breach of a EULA or obtained under false-pretense (like the Rigol scope upgrade).

So I have no problem with the legality of the multimeter upgrade, or even changing the front end bandwidth of a scope in hardware - I'm less comfortable about the Rigol firmware upgrade. The fact that Rigol keep supplying Dave with test-gear kinda of tells you their attitude to the whole thing...
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #84 on: March 05, 2013, 01:31:32 am »
But even if there's no legal recourse for the vendor, that hardly makes it right.

"right" in who's view?
If I purchase an item which I now legally own, I believe I have a moral right to do whatever I want with that item I now own.
Moral "rights" and "wrongs" are developed by society and are shaped by society, and are usually followed up by legal laws which are also shaped by society.
If the majority of society think it's "right" to do whatever you want with an item you own, then that will end up the prevailing view.
There are those who will still disagree, but tough, keep fighting  :P
When those views change, companies will need to change with them. No point trying to sue everyone who hacks their iPhone or oscilloscope, when society has dictated that's an ok think to do, and in fact someones right to do. Companies in that case have to adapt or die.

And that is why I will always fight for the right to hack anything that I legally own, I like to think that by doing so, I participating in the natural evolution of rights in our society. Even if, technically speaking, those views may currently be "illegal".

Dave.
 

Offline MikeK

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #85 on: March 05, 2013, 01:44:25 am »
And, what I would like to point out, what an incredibly dangerous precedent if something you own is actually not something you own.
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #86 on: March 05, 2013, 02:19:32 am »
Just because you don't like it doesn't give you the right to hack / pirate it. 

But that's one of the main arguments here.
When you buy something, a physical item, money and ownership of that item has changed hands, who is to say you don't then have the personal right to do whatever you like with that item you now own?

That particular quote was referring to software, not hardware.  Sorry if that was unclear.
 

Offline Rick Law

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #87 on: March 05, 2013, 02:32:34 am »
And, what I would like to point out, what an incredibly dangerous precedent if something you own is actually not something you own.

It wont be a precedent.  If you purchased an e-book, you don't have a book to leave to your children.  You have no control of your property.  All controls rest with someone else.  Publishers get away with it by selling you merely "a license to read" the book.  So, there it is. 

I don't like it, but I think that is something that will be with us for a while.  I am, in my way, protesting by not buying any e-book.  I want something that is mine and e-book doesn't fit the bill.

BUT - I understand more college books are digital only.  Students coming out of college in a few years will not have known the joy of visiting a library.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2013, 03:23:06 am by Rick Law »
 

Offline JuiceKing

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #88 on: March 05, 2013, 03:43:31 am »
But even if there's no legal recourse for the vendor, that hardly makes it right.

"right" in who's view?
If I purchase an item which I now legally own, I believe I have a moral right to do whatever I want with that item I now own.
Moral "rights" and "wrongs" are developed by society and are shaped by society, and are usually followed up by legal laws which are also shaped by society.
If the majority of society think it's "right" to do whatever you want with an item you own, then that will end up the prevailing view.
There are those who will still disagree, but tough, keep fighting  :P
When those views change, companies will need to change with them. No point trying to sue everyone who hacks their iPhone or oscilloscope, when society has dictated that's an ok think to do, and in fact someones right to do. Companies in that case have to adapt or die.

And that is why I will always fight for the right to hack anything that I legally own, I like to think that by doing so, I participating in the natural evolution of rights in our society. Even if, technically speaking, those views may currently be "illegal".

Dave.

I think there must be limits to buyers' rights in this situation, because it's not just the physical hardware that you are buying. More and more, you are buying that plus a license to use certain configurations or functions. In a "fair trade" it's hard to justify a buyer getting something for nothing when he gets it quite obviously at the seller's expense. I don't see how this changes, no matter how difficult or easy it is to break this lock.
 

Offline Lightages

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #89 on: March 05, 2013, 05:07:05 am »
I was trying to resist jumping back in here. I have failed.

In the past you purchased something and it was purely a hardware product. If you wanted to improve it, change it, whatever, there was no impediment at all. Of course if you improved on an object, repaired it when it wasn't designed to be repaired, you "robbed" the company that made the product of another sale. Too bad for the company but it was moral and legal.

Shift a century and to the power of the corporation growing. Corporations are made to make money for the shareholders, even if it means to the detriment of anyone else. Now corporations have BIG influence on what laws are made, and usually to the detriment of anyone else. Get the laws changed so modifying software in something is illegal and now you can make all your devices reliant on software and illegal to repair or modify. So all any company needs to do now is design whatever they want, design in any obsolescence, intentional timed failure, a "bug" that makes people want to buy the next thing to get one without a bug, and hide behind the government backed (and bribed) hijacking of the right of an individual to actually own something and have the right to use it as they see fit. And if you find out about these intentional problems or limitations hidden in the software, you have just become a criminal for that fact of looking.

The law is no longer a just process but for sale to the highest bidder or blackmailer. Trying to tell people that they can't do what they want with what they paid their money for is just the corporations pulling the puppet strings of the law makers so they can make more money. It is not just law, it is robber baron time all over again.
 

Offline JuKu

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #90 on: March 05, 2013, 08:23:17 am »

When you buy something, a physical item, money and ownership of that item has changed hands, who is to say you don't then have the personal right to do whatever you like with that item you now own?
When you buy something, you agree to exhange money for a service or a physical product. You bought model x and agreed not to pay the extra for model y, that the company also offered. If you hack the x to enable y, you break the agreement you made with the company.

Example: Changing bits in software* to make a scope to be a higher bandwith model: Not OK. Disassembling a scope and putting your own pre-amp section in to increase the bandwith: OK. Using the manufacturer's schematics without permission for that: Not OK. Selling a kit that you designed for that: OK. Copying the kit without permission for that: OK towards the scope manufacturer, not OK to the kit maker.

*: Or putting in a solder blob to enable extra features. I did that when I was younger and didn't fully understand what buying someting really means.
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #91 on: March 05, 2013, 08:45:13 am »
I think there must be limits to buyers' rights in this situation, because it's not just the physical hardware that you are buying. More and more, you are buying that plus a license to use certain configurations or functions. In a "fair trade" it's hard to justify a buyer getting something for nothing when he gets it quite obviously at the seller's expense. I don't see how this changes, no matter how difficult or easy it is to break this lock.

I contend that situation where hardware companies are crippling products is the wrong way to do it, and if they chose to do so (which I support is their right), it's their risk. The legal onus should not be be pushed to the consumer so that they can't hack a product they have bought because a seller decides to take that risk as part of their business and marketing strategy. That is wrong, and IMO, companies that do this (and try to fight it) will lose. The people who want to be able to legally hack their purchased products will ultimately win.

Dave.
 

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #92 on: March 05, 2013, 10:18:08 am »
I contend that situation where hardware companies are crippling products is the wrong way to do it, and if they chose to do so (which I support is their right), it's their risk.

If you order a horse and then a race-horse turns up with heavy weights in the saddle;  who's the fool?  you for not removing the weights?  or the company for not selling you a donkey?

Regarding software;  the company I work for who make software accept the fact the piracy is just a part of the business;  what I think is stupid is the way some companies who use the power of the internet to globally mass market products and to maximize their sales profits, then get upset when a 15yr kid someone finds out how to defeat their software and distributes the solution on the internet somewhere.

 

Offline JuKu

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #93 on: March 05, 2013, 12:02:46 pm »
Can't be long before end user agreements become commonplace on hardware sales, too.
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Offline amyk

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #94 on: March 05, 2013, 12:05:25 pm »
I think one of the reasons for the different thinking between hardware/software is that at some fundamental level, with hardware you really are physically getting something for your money, a carefully arranged set of atoms, and those particles are yours. It costs resources to produce every single item. With software, all the cost is in the initial effort to write it, to create a pattern of bits, and duplication is essentially free. Creators of software like IP laws because they make it easy to spend the effort of creation only once, and continue to earn from it thereafter.

Regarding software;  the company I work for who make software accept the fact the piracy is just a part of the business;  what I think is stupid is the way some companies who use the power of the internet to globally mass market products and to maximize their sales profits, then get upset when a 15yr kid someone finds out how to defeat their software and distributes the solution on the internet somewhere.
Some companies like Microsoft would rather you pirate Windows than use Linux or Mac, because it gives them more marketshare and can actually drive sales. Notice that all their antipiracy countermeasures don't display messages like "you're stealing, we'll sue you" but make a sales pitch with "upgrade to genuine software". I wouldn't be surprised if some people at Altium think like that, rather non-profit hobbyists pirate their product and get used to it, then become a customer and/or recommend to others if/when they get a job, than use KiCad/DipTrace/Eagle/etc.
 

Offline JuiceKing

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #95 on: March 05, 2013, 12:57:35 pm »
I contend that situation where hardware companies are crippling products is the wrong way to do it, and if they chose to do so (which I support is their right), it's their risk.

If you order a horse and then a race-horse turns up with heavy weights in the saddle;  who's the fool?  you for not removing the weights?  or the company for not selling you a donkey?


If after ordering a meal, you notice an error in the check in the restaurant's favor, do you complain? And if it's in your favor?
 

Offline JuiceKing

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #96 on: March 05, 2013, 01:05:40 pm »
I think there must be limits to buyers' rights in this situation, because it's not just the physical hardware that you are buying. More and more, you are buying that plus a license to use certain configurations or functions. In a "fair trade" it's hard to justify a buyer getting something for nothing when he gets it quite obviously at the seller's expense. I don't see how this changes, no matter how difficult or easy it is to break this lock.

I contend that situation where hardware companies are crippling products is the wrong way to do it, and if they chose to do so (which I support is their right), it's their risk. The legal onus should not be be pushed to the consumer so that they can't hack a product they have bought because a seller decides to take that risk as part of their business and marketing strategy. That is wrong, and IMO, companies that do this (and try to fight it) will lose. The people who want to be able to legally hack their purchased products will ultimately win.

Dave.

Since you are opposed to robbing banks :) it sounds like we are disagreeing about intellectual property rights in particular. In addition to the fairness/justice issue, there are utilitarian grounds for supporting IP rights, e.g., it promotes innovation. Are there no circumstances where IP should be respected?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #97 on: March 05, 2013, 01:10:20 pm »
Software pirating is blown out of proportion the figure’s for lost revenue are artificially inflated. It may apply slightly to this $29.99 shareware crap. You can’t count people who would never be able to afford the package as lost revenue like a typical $5k plus CAD package. If pirating really is that bad then a smart company would realise that their is a significant potential market out there they are failing to capitalize on.

And that is precisely Atlium's problem. They are too stupid and ignorant to realise the massive opportunity that lies in the lower market segments (that they initially founded the company on). The almost 100% of users who pirate the software and use only 10% of it's capability. A huge number of those users would happily pay for the 10%, and it would cost Altium almost nothing. Yet it would gain them increased seat number bragging rights, increased income for no outlay or overhead, and a huge community that would contribute to all their wacky content ideas.  |O

Dave.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #98 on: March 05, 2013, 01:18:04 pm »
Since you are opposed to robbing banks :) it sounds like we are disagreeing about intellectual property rights in particular. In addition to the fairness/justice issue, there are utilitarian grounds for supporting IP rights, e.g., it promotes innovation. Are there no circumstances where IP should be respected?

This is not about IP rights.
My view is clear and simple.
- If you pay for something, be it hardware or software, you should a) own that copy, and b) have the right to personally do with that copy whatever you want.
- If you don't pay for it, and you use it, you are stealing it.

If a company wants to try and hide IP inside a product they sell you, then they are doing it wrong!
I should not have to bend my rights of ownership in a product because some company wants to play "hide the IP" to eek out every last dollar in their supply and marketing chain.  :--

IP is a red herring.

Dave.
 

Offline Excavatoree

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Re: Stealing: The double standard?
« Reply #99 on: March 05, 2013, 01:39:22 pm »
This talk of various hardware mods reminds me of some Fluke models that require no modification to any electrical component.   The Fluke 10 and 11, for example have the PCB conductive pads, and the software for the features of the model 12, but the rubber buttons are shaved and covered with plastic.  All one must do is drill a hole in the plastic case and push the button that's already there.   

Even stranger, the software for the 10 IS different, it lacks the auto switch from ohms to volts, but it still has the capacitance check and the min/max functions accessed by the covered buttons.   
 
 


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