Ethics questions

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Michelle Steiner, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. I have Techtool Pro 4.0.1 CD, and ordered (and received) the 4.5.1

    Can I ethically sell the 4.0.1 CD?

    Can I ethically give it away?

    I'm not asking for legal advice because you're not lawyers, but ethics
    are a different matter entirely.
    Michelle Steiner, Aug 1, 2006
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  2. Michelle Steiner

    Mike Guest

    If the 4.5.1 is truly an update CD, you will need the 4.0.1 CD if you
    ever have to re-install.

    If it's not an "update" CD, and will in fact install 4.5.1 without
    having a prior version installed, then I see no problem with
    selling/giving it away.

    Mike, Aug 1, 2006
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  3. Michelle Steiner

    Davoud Guest

    Michelle Steiner:
    This has aught to do with what kind of CD it is. The question is
    whether one paid full price or an upgrade price. If one paid full
    price, then one has bought a new copy and one may sell or give away the
    first copy.

    If, however, one purchased an upgrade at a price that was reduced
    solely because of one's prior ownership of the application, the
    original copy is uncumbered. It may be thrown away if it is not needed
    to install the upgrade, but it may not be transferred to another user.
    This is speaking from the ethical viewpoint only.

    Davoud, Aug 1, 2006
  4. Michelle Steiner

    Evan Platt Guest

    The dictionary defines ethics as:
    "A set of principles of right conduct.
    A theory or a system of moral values"

    Legally, you cannot sell software in most cases. I can't say for sure
    on Techtool, but typically you buy the LICENSE to use the software.
    And it generally states you cannot sell it.

    So can you ethically sell the software? Well, based on how I see the
    definition, no.

    Let's say I go to a country where women have no rights, and the law
    states that if a woman is in public alone, she can be stoned.

    I see a woman walking alone. Can I ethically stone her? Legally yes.
    Ethically? No. But this is almost the opposite of selling a piece of

    As a few others have mentioned, did you receive a discount on the
    upgrade purchase? ie is the upgrade $50, but if you bought it as a new
    customer, would it be $100? Then ethically you cannot sell the old
    Evan Platt, Aug 1, 2006
  5. Michelle Steiner

    Davoud Guest

    Oops! /encumbered/ .

    Davoud, Aug 1, 2006
  6. Michelle Steiner

    Hans Aberg Guest

    The copyright ethics is formalized by the international copyright treaty:
    There, in Article 4
    "Computer programs are protected as literary works..."

    So the same applies as for example books. You get to own one copy, and is
    free to do whatever you want with it as an ownership of a single copy.

    So I figure, if you have an updated version of a program, you still only
    own a single copy, and cannot sell the original CD unless you stop using
    the program itself: you can transfer the ownership, but you are not
    allowed to multiply it. Same applies to backups: you can make copies, and
    use them as essentially one ownership copy.

    Incidentally, Article 10 prohibits the introduction of national law that
    limits the copy owners normal use.
    Hans Aberg, Aug 1, 2006
  7. Read the licensing agreement.[/QUOTE]

    It is silent on the issue. It doesn't say anything about it.
    Michelle Steiner, Aug 2, 2006
  8. Michelle Steiner

    No one Guest

    Ah, but that's the legal opinion. Unfortunately, in my experience
    someone who has to asks about the ethics of an action is really only
    seeking permission/blessings to do what they had already decided to

    In other words, if you have to ask about ethics you probably don't
    have any.[/QUOTE]

    Balderdash, Balderstone. If I were not concerned about the ethics, I
    would have given it away or sold it without asking any questions.
    No one, Aug 2, 2006
  9. The fly in that ointment is that computer programs are licensed, not
    sold. When you buy a computer program, you "own" nothing. What you
    are purchasing is permission to use the program in accordance with
    the licensing agreement; you are buying a license, nothing more. You
    don't actually buy the program.[/QUOTE]

    And the program on the CD is not the program on the DVD; they have the
    same name, and probably share much of the same code, but they are not
    the same program.
    Michelle Steiner, Aug 2, 2006
  10. I bought it as an update, but it is a stand-alone product; I needed the
    serial number from my original 4.0.1 purchase.

    That renders my question moot; I can give away the CD, but I would not
    give away the serial number, so the CD would be useless.

    Even if the CD were not useless without the SN, the discussion confirms
    my original belief that it would not be ethical to give it away.

    The only reasons I asked are that the license and documentation are
    silent about it, and there have been software where the manufacturer
    allowed the user to freely give away earlier versions. The original
    version of Aldus Pagemaker was one such program.
    Michelle Steiner, Aug 2, 2006
  11. Michelle Steiner

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    There are times when I'm glad I have a keyboard protector. :)

    Speaking of software ethics, I'm constantly appalled at the number of persons
    who beg for free copies of fonts for which a fee is required. These requests
    are often phrased in what I call the "struggling artist" tone.
    TaliesinSoft, Aug 2, 2006
  12. How many licenses have you paid for? If it's more than one, then you
    can give one away or sell it. If it's one, then doing so is wrong.

    John C. Randolph, Aug 2, 2006
  13. Michelle Steiner

    Mike Guest

    Not necessarily. If someone had a valid serial number, but whose CD
    was lost/damaged/whatever, could use it. This is perfectly ethical IMO.

    Mike, Aug 2, 2006
  14. Michelle Steiner

    Davoud Guest

    There is no doubt in my mind but that you are correct. Ask enough
    people if something is ethical and you are certain to get the response
    you are looking for and an adoptable rationale to go with it. To the
    unethical -- those who need to ask -- this lifts the onus from them
    because someone else said it was OK.

    Davoud, Aug 2, 2006
  15. If you are an ethical person, with a robust moral value set at the core
    of your personality, then you will abide by the agreement that you
    consensually entered into when you legally acquired said software.

    The license agreement (by whatever name and/or acronym that is used)
    specifies the terms and conditions of your use and your disposition of
    the software. Often, but not always, the license states that you may
    resell your software to another person (like selling a car) or you may
    give your software to another person (like gifting a car). Again,
    often, the license agreement may also state that in doing so, you
    transfer both the software storage medium and all rights of software use
    to the receiving party (retaining none for yourself).

    Ethics is pure black and white to me. Ethics is a convenient rainbow to
    many people. You consensually agreed to abide by the terms and
    conditions of the license agreement. Ethically, you should keep your
    word (agreement).

    I am not a lawyer.


    Kurt Todoroff

    Markets, not mandates and mob rule.
    Consent, not coercion.
    Kurt R. Todoroff, Aug 2, 2006
  16. Michelle Steiner

    Jim Hill Guest

    That's what the seller says, but I disagree. First sale covers software
    as well as it covers cars and tampons. Ethically I'm in the clear;
    legally I'm probably not, but that's because IP interest have used the
    wealth to pervert the copyright bargain well beyond its purpose of
    "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts". So far as I'm
    concerned, the contract is void and I can do as I will.

    Jim, information doesn't want to be free but it damn sure doesn't want
    to be earning royalties for the creator's great-grandchildren
    Jim Hill, Aug 2, 2006
  17. Depends on the license. The ethics depend also on the license, as that
    is what you've "agreed" to do.
    Howard S Shubs, Aug 2, 2006
  18. Michelle Steiner

    fishfry Guest

    My personal opinion is that it's ok to give it away, but not ok to sell
    it. Legally there's probably no difference between those two options.
    fishfry, Aug 2, 2006
  19. Michelle Steiner

    Hans Aberg Guest

    The fly in that ointment is that computer programs are licensed, not
    sold. When you buy a computer program, you "own" nothing. What you are
    purchasing is permission to use the program in accordance with the
    licensing agreement; you are buying a license, nothing more. You don't
    actually buy the program.[/QUOTE]

    This is only true if the copy owner explicitly signs away owner rights.
    This requires that licensing conditions are made clear to the buyer well
    before the buy, and that proper contracts are written. This is rarely
    done, so in fact, the licensing conditions are then not legally valid - so
    copyright law applies.
    Hans Aberg, Aug 2, 2006
  20. Michelle Steiner

    Hans Aberg Guest

    Hans Aberg, Aug 2, 2006
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