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.
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  1. identicon
    Brian, 10 Dec 2003 @ 12:04pm

    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.

    -B

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