You Don't Own What You've Bought

from the right-of-resale-doesn't-matter dept

Just a sad reminder that, thanks to ridiculous software licensing practices, if you buy used equipment on eBay, you might not be able to use it. In fact, if it’s from some companies like Cisco, you might want to make sure you hide it from anyone who works there. People who have bought used equipment, and then had the original company find out about it are discovering that the company is saying their software license is not valid and they need to buy a new one – even though the equipment was already paid for by the original owner. Apparently “owner” is the wrong word, because these companies are basically saying you never actually own what you’ve bought. This is nothing new, of course, but the stories included in the article demonstrate just how ridiculous this practice is. Buy a data storage system for $4,000, and then have the company tell you you need to pay $15,000 if you actually want to use it? Have a Cisco rep spot a router you bought on eBay and have them demanding relicensing fees and an “inspection”? Thanks to bizarre intellectual property rules, you no longer own what you buy.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “You Don't Own What You've Bought”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

this won't stop the after market industry...

My philosophy on Cisco IOS has dramatically changed in the last 10 months… I used to believe that it was a superior product worth buying, but with all the recent exploits, I have come to realize that it’s just another bug ridden product with too many features and not enough testing.

Cisco should follow the Ascend (Ass-End) TAOS development model of letting the customers install and test new code for free. Sure everyone complained about the quality of Ascend TAOS code when they had a bad release, but there are plenty of boxes out there that are still humming along with code from the 1990s (those folks just happened to have caught a nice stable release for their hardware rev. and feature set)

A couple of thoughts for the cisco end of things:

1 – shut up and support your products… I can alway load linux on cisco equipment. You wouldn’t want me to do that, would you?

2 – I could start buying my routers from Juniper or better yet, roll my own. You wouldn’t want me to do that, would you?

3 – Crappy IOS that doesn’t get upgraded because of stupid company policies makes you, Cisco, look bad… very bad in some cases. You don’t want that do you?

4 – You’re training Hight School students with the false expectation that they’ll have a high paying job by displacing older workers with more experience. In between pissing off both parties, who’s jobs are being outsourced to India at a record pace, do you ever wonder why your IOS ends up on P2P networks and nobody buys support contracts from you any longer?

5 – Jesus… enough already… just get a clue.

With corporate incompetence so blazingly obvious is it a wonder that the economey is in such bad shape?

Anonymous Coward says:

Buy IOS from the same place you bought the hardwar

You know…

Resellers (who are often “Cisco Authorized”) are more than happy to sell you the IOS licenses in addition to the hardware. If a cisco rep. gives you a load of shit about your gear, just point them at the resller.

In some cases the resellers are more than happy to provide support to. You can clue you cisco rep. in that he/she/it needs to calm down by letting them know that you could just go to the realler for your support.

Besides all of that, I see no reason to let a official, honest-to-god cisco employee see my critical infrastructure. Same really goes with all vendors. They can invite me to their lab to demo their stuff, but there’s no way I’d expose my well thought out network to a walking (strong-arm) sales pitch. Sounds like pointy-haired boss type of thing to do.

Anonymous Coward says:


Happened to me. I wanted to buy a NetApp on eBay to use at home, and called NetApp to see about getting docs. They would not give out docs unless you were a ‘registered customer with a support contract’. OK, so what does it take to get a support contract.

Well, it turns out the hardware needs to be sent back to NetApp and they will re-certify it for $15,000, then you have to license each protocol you want to use. Thanks, but no thanks. $400 for the hardware and $20k for the ‘certification’? Sounds like a ripoff to me. I don’t think I would recommend a NetApp to anyone, esp. since companies like RAIDzone are now making clones based on Linux and IDE drives…

00111, license to Linux (user link) says:

Greed is for amatures...Well said Top Dollar.

I dont know if this trend is from pure greed or just a desire on the part of personel to say something really stupid.
Hopefully with Linux coming into its own and everyone being touched by the freedom it brings an end can be put to such foolishness.
Companies that want to pursue such negative tactics will suffer for their greed. Time to bring back the seven deadly sins.
Amen brother.

bastard sam says:

Re: Greed is for amatures...Well said Top Dollar.

What I’m not understanding is how the market tolerates this behavior. Many vendors have always wanted to do such things, but only recently have been able to legally, sigh. I think it’s just silly this market, with things the way they are, and competition tougher than it’s ever been.

Brian says:

What do you expect?

Geez, I guess there’s really a lot of people that believe that it sucks to have to pay for what you get.

There’s plenty of open-source options out there for accomplishing whatever you want to do. You don’t want to pay for software? Fine. Use Linux for your desktop operating system, another PC running LRP for your router, still another PC running SAMBA with a big pile of cheap hard drives for your network attached storage. Don’t forget to tweak the kernel for optimal performance and apply every update available to keep it secure!

For the rest of the world (businesses in particular), that doesn’t want to have to wait for the open source community to get off their collective ass and respond to questions about why Windows XP machines can’t log into the Linux NAS, or why route updates aren’t propagating across a subnet, or IPsec negotations are failing between two different versions of FreeSWAN, there still remains the option to plunk down a fistfull of dollars to have a crew of reasonably sharp people work around the clock if need be to fix your problems.

You get what you pay for. If you’re smart enough to make it work reliably, go with Open Source. If you’re the average Joe and want to see things work the way you expect them to and have someone to cry to if they don’t, go buy an off-the-shelf solution that will most likely work right the first time around.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...