OK --- a question of ethics

Discussion in 'Dell' started by MB_, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. MB_

    MB_ Guest

    Just curious as to your opinions.

    Just a very quick summary as my saga has been memorialized in a bunch of

    I have a desktop and a newer laptop. I wanted to back both of them up. I had
    a very hard time getting the CD/DVD s-ware to mesh on both computers. Long
    story-- but I eventually gave up on that (too unreliable) and decided to get
    an external USB drive. I got a very good deal on a WD 120 GB drive. The 2
    drives for my computers are both 40 GB, and they have about 60% free space,
    so my ext. hard drive has plenty of room to back up both.

    I then ran into problems with their bundled B/U s-ware, Retrospect Express.
    I would completely B/U one computer. When I went to the other one, it would
    erase the other B/U set. I could probably fool the program by screwing
    around and changing folder names, moving files, etc. but I didn't want to do
    this for fear of screwing up the RESTORE feature should I ever really need

    I called WD tech support. They said the license only allows me to B/U ONE
    computer. Hence, the erasing is a licensing protection device in their

    Well, frankly, I am really quite ticked off. I spent a LOT of time trying to
    solve the CD issue and then I decided to go the ext. drive route. There was
    nothing on the outisde box saying it should only be used for one computer.
    But, after installation, I guess the fine print of the licensing agreement
    does say that (let's assume that's the case -- like many of us who install a
    variety of programs I admit to not reading the license before clicking the I
    Accept tab).

    OK, now for the ethical part. I reformatted my USB hard drive and made TWO
    partitions, E and F. I can now successfully back up my two computers (one to
    E drive and the other to F drive). The s-ware does not look beyond one

    I can do this, but should I? The argument against it is that I'm in effect
    stealing. OTOH, it is quite annoying when the license information occurs
    AFTER you install everything. Had I known about the license beforehand, I
    could have looked at other products. But, realistically, I can also return
    the product for a full refund. But it does seem like a bunch of BS that I am
    not supposed to B/U my two home computers.

    OK --- I would really appreciate your comments. I suspect we have reached
    that crossroads where we know what might be the proper/right/ethical thing
    to do (ie: either return the package or look into either upgrading the
    license or buying another drive). In fact, I'm really not sure whether this
    restriction to one computer is the s-ware license or the hardware license (I
    should check).

    The crossroads: what would you HONESTLY do???

    MB_, Oct 11, 2005
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  2. MB_

    Tom Scales Guest

    Only you can make a decision, but the "on one hand it is stealing" is pretty
    Tom Scales, Oct 11, 2005
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  3. MB_

    Jay B Guest

    you can use plenty of other software to backup your data, a lot of which
    is free.
    i use xxcopy from xxcopy.com and it works extremely fast and the
    shareware version (free) does everything you would need.
    then you could go back to one partition and have each computer see the
    entire drive.

    otherwise, i would keep what you have if you're happy with it.
    Don't worry about it. you could be doing worse things.
    Jay B, Oct 11, 2005
  4. MB_

    Rich Guest

    honestly? if the bundled software did not create a bit-for-bit image
    backup i'd toss it and get a backup package that does. and i'd
    license it properly for use on my desktop and laptop.

    if you don't want to spend $ on a new backup software package i'd
    still toss the bundled software and use the built-in winxp backup

    rich, n9dko
    Rich, Oct 11, 2005
  5. MB_

    PeterD Guest

    If you don't like the product's license, return the product. WD will
    get the idea quickly if users object, and simply return it.

    BTW, IMHO, this is a typical butt-headed move that defies logic.
    PeterD, Oct 11, 2005
  6. MB_

    Colin Wilson Guest

    The crossroads: what would you HONESTLY do???

    Use it on all your PCs.

    A license is typically phrased that you can only install it on one
    machine. Technically you`ve got it on two, but you`re only using it on
    one at any one time.

    Ergo, bollocks to them.

    Its not like you`re selling it down the local car boot sale.
    Colin Wilson, Oct 11, 2005
  7. MB_

    Tom Scales Guest

    In what way is it butt-headed? It's actually a pretty standard license for
    the 'SE' software that comes free with things.
    Tom Scales, Oct 12, 2005
  8. MB_

    Tom Scales Guest

    So you advocate stealing. I have not read the license, but I've written a
    few hundred and I would bet is says INSTALL not USE CONCURRENTLY.

    Tom Scales, Oct 12, 2005
  9. MB_

    Colin Wilson Guest

    A license is typically phrased that you can only install it on one
    I would class it as "fair use". If the OP was minded to, there was
    nothing stopping him downloading (stealing) a hacked version from one of
    the numerous p2p networks paying nothing to the developer, but he
    Colin Wilson, Oct 12, 2005
  10. MB_

    Tom Scales Guest

    Are you an attorney? It's stealing.
    Tom Scales, Oct 12, 2005
  11. MB_

    Colin Wilson Guest

    Are you an attorney? It's stealing.

    Look at all the IP Microsoft have "borrowed" (in advance of getting
    permission) over the years and ask why Bill isn`t in clink yet.
    Colin Wilson, Oct 12, 2005
  12. MB_

    Tantrum Guest

    Two partitions is as good as two physically separate drives, minus the
    physical aspects if the hard drive crashes, hardware-style. The only
    absolute ethical thing to do would be to purchase two licenses of
    everything that requires it, but that's just shitty. So, in reality
    (where most of us live), you'll simply pat yourself on the back for
    thinking to use two separate partitions to back up your two separate
    home PC's. For shizzle...nothing to lose sleep over. I back up my
    shit on a 250-gig on a server running a hacked copy of W2k3 S/E. How's
    that for ethics? Technically, crappy. But both you and I have already
    made our decisions on how much we're willing to accept another person's
    marketing strategy's price in exchange for their personal definition of
    legally-defined 'ethics'. In short, if you can hack it, find a
    work-around, or just plain cheat for a cheaper deal, **** them and rock
    on. Get nitpicky when it starts cheating you out of hard-earned
    dollars and cents.


    Tantrum, Oct 12, 2005
  13. MB_

    Tom Scales Guest

    Ah, rationalization
    Tom Scales, Oct 12, 2005
  14. MB_

    PeterD Guest

    Well, considering it is use with *one* drive (the one he bought) I'd
    say restricting him to being able to back up one computer qualifies as
    "butt headed". But, this is just my opinion.
    PeterD, Oct 12, 2005
  15. MB_

    dannysdailys Guest

    Just curious as to your opinions
    I'm surprised WD didn't come up with a way to stop the partitioning.
    I mean after all, you only bought one hard drive

    Don't worry about it, just pat yourself on the back for you
    ingenuity. In the old days, work arounds were a way of life. I
    surprises me that they did this in this way. It's too simple t
    crack and causes the customer nothing but a hassle

    If it bothers you, buy a copy of Nero Gold, it has an excellent backu
    dannysdailys, Oct 12, 2005
  16. MB_

    Leythos Guest

    It's actually quite simple - it doesn't matter what the OP thinks, what
    any of us think, or your opinion - the license is clear and no amount of
    BS will change that.

    You have the option to NOT use the product/software.
    Leythos, Oct 12, 2005
  17. Acronis TrueImage lets you create a boot disc that you can use on multiple
    computers. www.acronis.com
    Cathy De Viney, Oct 12, 2005
  18. MB_

    MZB Guest

    VERY interesting responses--- from the "holier than thou" types to the "I'll
    steal anything if it's not nailed down" types.

    I appreciate your honesty.

    I think there is an interesting dichotomy between what one "should" do
    versus what one WILL do.

    I find it hard to get around the fact that the license is clear (let's
    assume that). The fact that others do it and that it's done all the time and
    maybe big companies can also act unethically does not change the facts. As
    Tom says, ahhh....rationalization.

    Let me put it this way: if we all knew that we would get CAUGHT, would we do
    it? The answer is NO.

    ALL that being said, if the license is perceived as outrageous BS, and
    coupled with the fact that one doesn't know the details until AFTER buying
    the product (unless one goes to the site and maybe carefully reads the
    license -- but for me in this case it just never occurred to me that there
    would be a restriction), and perhaps the additional fact that one had to put
    some effort in getting the product (in my case it was on sale at Circuit
    City, 30 miles away), then one MIGHT be suitably pissed and therefore decide
    to use the drive on the 2 computers (yes, still rationalization).

    Sometimes, something might be "technically wrong," but certainly not be
    perceived that way (and I'm sure some sicko murderers also might think that

    Anyway, thanks for your responses. It is an interesting topic.

    BTW, I definitely know what I'm going to do.

    MZB, Oct 12, 2005
  19. MB_

    Rich Guest

    mel, in any case, the software license pertains not to the hard drive
    but to the software that was bundled with it. you can use and
    partition that hard drive any way you like with any software you like.

    rich, n9dko
    Rich, Oct 13, 2005
  20. MB_

    Ben Myers Guest

    This is a perfect example of what is called sneakware. You get a software
    product and do not find out the terms, conditions, and limitations until you go
    to install it. By then, it's too late to return it, 'cause the place where you
    bought it won't accept returns of software that has already been opened. So
    you're screwed if you adhere exactly to the terms of the license.

    This country once had various entities that looked out aggressively for the
    interests of the man-on-the-street. Manufacturers and retailers dealt with
    consumers on a basis of respect with some healthy caution thrown in. Never
    more... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Oct 13, 2005
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