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License trading and bundle splits no more

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blue_fireball_eater

blue_fireball_eater

Moderator

from Nashville
2,765 posts

johnred wrote:

Honestly, if I was still handling my own support and I was getting license transfer requests, they'd quickly become great friends with my delete key. I encourage other developers to do the same.

I am not a developer, but I think this would be a terrible policy, and I would absolutely lose any respect that I had for that developer if they never responded to me. There are developers who do not allow license transfers, and that is fine, but I still would expect a reply saying so if that is their policy. Even a reply linking to a FAQs page with the answer would be infinitely better than no reply at all.

Applications are an incentive to purchase, but the support is often just as important and is a huge factor in justifying the cost of licenses. If all they are going to do is to sell an app without support, then they should give us the keys to the source code so we can maintain it ourselves.

avatar is from Penfield & Jasper, 1954

January 10, 2010 8:44 am
johnred

johnred

Directorate

1,869 posts

blue_fireball_eater wrote:
johnred wrote:

Honestly, if I was still handling my own support and I was getting license transfer requests, they'd quickly become great friends with my delete key. I encourage other developers to do the same.

I am not a developer, but I think this would be a terrible policy, and I would absolutely lose any respect that I had for that developer if they never responded to me. There are developers who do not allow license transfers, and that is fine, but I still would expect a reply saying so if that is their policy. Even a reply linking to a FAQs page with the answer would be infinitely better than no reply at all.

Applications are an incentive to purchase, but the support is often just as important and is a huge factor in justifying the cost of licenses. If all they are going to do is to sell an app without support, then they should give us the keys to the source code so we can maintain it ourselves.

You win the Entitlement of the Day award.

John Casasanta
MacHeist Director
tap tap tap chief

January 10, 2010 8:58 am
scottm

scottm

Administrator

from Minnesota
114 posts

johnred wrote:
blue_fireball_eater wrote:
johnred wrote:

Honestly, if I was still handling my own support and I was getting license transfer requests, they'd quickly become great friends with my delete key. I encourage other developers to do the same.

I am not a developer, but I think this would be a terrible policy, and I would absolutely lose any respect that I had for that developer if they never responded to me. There are developers who do not allow license transfers, and that is fine, but I still would expect a reply saying so if that is their policy. Even a reply linking to a FAQs page with the answer would be infinitely better than no reply at all.

Applications are an incentive to purchase, but the support is often just as important and is a huge factor in justifying the cost of licenses. If all they are going to do is to sell an app without support, then they should give us the keys to the source code so we can maintain it ourselves.

You win the Entitlement of the Day award.

You win the Asshole of the Day award.

Scott Meinzer — I break things at MacHeist
flickr | twitter | tap tap tap

January 10, 2010 9:00 am
phillryu

phillryu

Administrator

1,569 posts

scottm wrote:
johnred wrote:
blue_fireball_eater wrote:

I am not a developer, but I think this would be a terrible policy, and I would absolutely lose any respect that I had for that developer if they never responded to me. There are developers who do not allow license transfers, and that is fine, but I still would expect a reply saying so if that is their policy. Even a reply linking to a FAQs page with the answer would be infinitely better than no reply at all.

Applications are an incentive to purchase, but the support is often just as important and is a huge factor in justifying the cost of licenses. If all they are going to do is to sell an app without support, then they should give us the keys to the source code so we can maintain it ourselves.

You win the Entitlement of the Day award.

You win the Asshole of the Day award.

You win the Favorite Partner of the Day award for shitting on John.

Co-Creator of MacHeist, Clear, Partner at tap tap tap | follow me on twitter

January 10, 2010 9:01 am
denny_crane

denny_crane

Sky Pirate

from Canada, eh?
1,702 posts

This is a good thread since it's ultimately constructively touching
on some large issues & concerns. And they are being addressed
and discussed in ways which put to right, the aspects which had
in fact gone of the proverbial track. (see post #43)

I'm also sure this discussion would not have occurred were it not for
2009 being the "Year of the Bundle."

Come to think of it, 2009 was also the "Year of the Bumble Bundles."
(I'll refrain from naming the obvious in reference to, as to minimize any additional pain)

Use Denny's DropBox Link > CLICK HERE! Because I need extra some space - The Final Frontier!

January 10, 2010 9:46 am
Wupper

Wupper

Automaton Tech

119 posts

I Don't know what all the fuss is about, I agree, I really don't like the idea of splitting bundles, didn't really agree with the idea behind it. Was also worried for the poor developers who would I'm sure worried about people who might buy the bundle only to sell the whole lot off, only to serial mine the apps.

I have only once asked to share in a bundle, and I'm also happy in retrospect that it fell through, I bough a damn good piece of software from good advice from members on this forum.

If people what good bundles then lets work as a community and note destroy what has I think been a damn good bunch of deals from this site and others, it would work against this site, and it community if we are seen to advertise the idea of splitting, said bundles. If we want better software and better deals then we should, and I am happy to pay 50 bucks for a bundle, it's really not a lot of money, considering what we get in the run up, and in the bundle.

I have told so many people I know the best place for a great community is here at Macheist, from real mac heads to newbies, there is so much to learn form the other members.

On another note, I don't see the point in starting to call people any names, or give them any silly awards, it can only lead to silliness, and flaming, I find it best to ignore the silly people, and let them fade away

Just my fiddy cents

You call it Purple I call it Magenta

January 10, 2010 11:14 am

strangetpwn

Automaton Tech

122 posts

blue_fireball_eater wrote:

Applications are an incentive to purchase, but the support is often just as important and is a huge factor in justifying the cost of licenses. If all they are going to do is to sell an app without support, then they should give us the keys to the source code so we can maintain it ourselves.

Support is the only incentive and is the only factor involved when purchasing a license. The reality is that there is not a single app that can't be found and used for free, there is no reason to pay for an app if all you want to do is use it now, other than perhaps the warm and fuzzy feeling of having done "the right thing".

Payment whether directly to the developer, through a bundle, or as a trade, is payment for the piece of mind that you have access to future support, be it indirect simply through continued updates and development, direct technical support from the developer for a specific issue, or simply the knowledge that your registration information isn't going to be blacklisted in the next beta or point release.

I find the timing of this new policy "highly convenient" since it comes nicely after most other bundle organizations have finished their activities but before Macheist holds its flagship event. If trades and bundle splits are ruining the bundle market (the Directorate's analysis not mine), why did they sit back and say nothing while the practice was rampant last month?

Secondly I find the accusation that piracy is the root of this problem and the blame being shifted to "a few bad apples" completely laughable. As said above, anyone interested in pirating software will just go to the usual places and do so. There is absolutely no reason to complete such a transaction via the Macheist forums since you are then involving an innocent third-party and so greatly increasing the risk of being caught. If Macheisters are frequently being defrauded in trades, why is there little evidence or complaints about it on the forum?

By the same token it would be much more profitable to relieve school children of their dinner money, than it wold be to try and con someone in a license trade here, since with the former you don't get stung for PayPal fees.

The Directorate should have just said bundle splits are funding terrorism, that would have been more believable.

Earn us both 5000MB extra space when signing up for Dropbox, thanks

January 10, 2010 11:42 am
kingkaramel

kingkaramel

Automaton Tech

from Germany
415 posts

I think we're discussing two questions at the same time that should be seperated:

1. Should licenses be transferrable?
2. Should MH support license transfers.

On 1: Most comments on this questions are too MacHeist-centric. Developers have to make this decision with the long-term success of their business in mind, and a bundle sale is not the only thing to be considered. People are used to selling and buying material goods, they can also do this with most boxed copies, so it's quite logical that some of them offer their customers the same possibilities. It's also MacHeist-centric to discuss this question as if only MH buyers ask for license transfers. Regular customers do that too, and for legitimate reasons in almost most cases, I suppose.

On 2: I can perfectly understand that you disapprove of this forum as a place for license trades for the reasons you stated. And I agree that is a reasonable decision.

Nonetheless, some of your arguments don't convince. You offer full licenses, and if the devs agree to sell those and offer transfers for regular customers, they also have to do so for bundle buyers (and they do). If they don't want to allow your customers license transfers, nothing prevents them from offering special MH licenses (except the Directorate, MH licenses wouldn't sell as well as full licenses). That's also true for loot. Furthermore, compare the number of offers in the thread to the number of bundles sold, it's just a minuscule fraction. The devs are mature enough make their own decisions, and if you think they didn't know what to expect, well, you could have told them. The phenomenon wasn't new. And, as stated above by strangetpwn, the piracy argument isn't very convincing either.

Again, I think your decision not to support license trade is okay, but attacking those transferring licenses in such a general way just doesn't work...

January 10, 2010 12:29 pm
agg23

agg23

Big Game Hunter

514 posts

DreadedKilla wrote:

Oh well... gonna look elsewhere for license trading then.

Could you please inform me of the site you find?

Thanks,
agg23

An Apple a day keeps Windows away.
Get free Dropbox space!

January 10, 2010 1:22 pm
Chriswan

Chriswan

Sky Pirate

from Jakarta, Indonesia
1,194 posts

Miah wrote:

Less than 10,000 bundle sales, even after a sizeable extension. The "early bird" bonus didn't ever run out

I suggested on their forum at that time to add MU Desktop as a sales incentive, it's a great software (very useful and looks pretty) and they don't have to spare a dime to pay anyone, since it's their own product

Their forum was not to crowded, so my message kept on the first page when sorted by time for quite some time, surely someone who moderate the forum read it...

Thanks a Lot

January 10, 2010 1:35 pm
mtaylor

mtaylor

Big Game Hunter

755 posts

The law is on the side of the customer with regards to the resale of software. (Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc.)  This also applies to the so-called "free" licenses given away.  It has been established that anything given away is in fact the property of the recipient and can be sold without restriction.  (UMG Recordings, Inc. v. Augusto).  I find it personally in poor taste to be selling licenses obtained for free, on the website that gave them away.  Nevertheless, it is actually legal in the U.S. to do so.  I'm not sure where the impression that MH is a haven for causal piracy comes from, apart from the name "Heist"... which should imply some sort of professional piracy is taking place. :-D

See you all for #4.

In communist russia, the normal force pushes on you!

January 10, 2010 4:30 pm
paradime

paradime

Automaton Tech

471 posts

If people feel strongly about selling or trading bundle apps, they should definitely put together their own forum to facilitate these transactions. Let's see who'll be the first to do so. wink

Man is a genius when he is dreaming.
- Akira Kurosawa

January 10, 2010 7:17 pm
agg23

agg23

Big Game Hunter

514 posts

paradime wrote:

If people feel strongly about selling or trading bundle apps, they should definitely put together their own forum to facilitate these transactions. Let's see who'll be the first to do so. wink

Are you going to?  I'd be happy to start such a forum, provided that the community would help.  PM me if you have any ideas/input.

An Apple a day keeps Windows away.
Get free Dropbox space!

January 10, 2010 7:51 pm
paradime

paradime

Automaton Tech

471 posts

agg23 wrote:

Are you going to?  I'd be happy to start such a forum, provided that the community would help.  PM me if you have any ideas/input.

Actually, the best person IMHO is someone like Izdale or Denny since they already have established sites that people here tend to visit. I also subscribe to Izdale's daily newsletter so for him to host this type of forum would be perfect.

However, I'm sure if developers are pressuring MH in any way, they might do the same to others.

Man is a genius when he is dreaming.
- Akira Kurosawa

January 10, 2010 7:58 pm
matthewlowery

matthewlowery

Automaton Tech

from England
383 posts

Starting a new forum sounds cool. If anyone does it, let me know so I can help out smile

Twitter
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January 10, 2010 8:11 pm
Jo123

Jo123

Automaton Tech

310 posts

paradime wrote:

Actually, the best person IMHO is someone like Izdale or Denny since they already have established sites that people here tend to visit. I also subscribe to Izdale's daily newsletter so for him to host this type of forum would be perfect.

However, I'm sure if developers are pressuring MH in any way, they might do the same to others.

I have that feeling something's in the making... wink

EDIT: Can't even write one line without a typo

January 10, 2010 8:28 pm
agg23

agg23

Big Game Hunter

514 posts

I am thinking of starting a forum.  The only problem is the lack of funds.  Do you know of any way we could start such a site for free (or someone could donate a domain name, hosting, etc...)?

We could make it a community project if you guys would like to donate time and money smile

An Apple a day keeps Windows away.
Get free Dropbox space!

January 10, 2010 8:34 pm
Wasgo

Wasgo

Sky Pirate

from Vancouver, Canada
1,278 posts

phillryu wrote:
scottm wrote:
johnred wrote:

You win the Entitlement of the Day award.

You win the Asshole of the Day award.

You win the Favorite Partner of the Day award for shitting on John.

John does come across as an asshole, as usual. That being said, it's probably best for this particular community for license trading not to occur here.

Silver Snakes Assemble!

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January 10, 2010 8:47 pm
izdale

izdale

Sky Pirate

from the U.S.
1,769 posts

johnred wrote:

You can use the argument that more users = better, but at what cost? If a developer get hundreds of thousands of new users through participating in a bundle, with virtually no energy expended from them, I consider that a big win... but if they have to manually deal with a large bunch of the I-paid-two-dollars-for-this-through-a-split-and-I-want-you-to-serve-me-now crowd, that's a big loss, IMO.

The reason I see license transfers as a plus for developers comes in the form of paid upgrades, if they have one in the future. Someone who got an app they will never use will never upgrade it, but transferring to someone who wants it is a higher chance of getting that upgrade taking place to a newer version. But that doesn't apply in every situation.

I think that MacHeist has done it right from the start, allow licenses to go to someone else when purchasing the bundle by entering their name and email. If they wanted, developers could just not allow license transfers for bundle purchasers because they already had the chance to give it to someone.

strangetpwn wrote:

I find the timing of this new policy "highly convenient" since it comes nicely after most other bundle organizations have finished their activities but before Macheist holds its flagship event. If trades and bundle splits are ruining the bundle market (the Directorate's analysis not mine), why did they sit back and say nothing while the practice was rampant last month?

It does seem to come at a convenient time, now that other bundles are over and MacHeist is likely the next one... But it's still the right decision as far as the MacHeist forums are concerned. I still support the idea of bundle splits in general, especially when there is a system that allows splitting it without having to contact developers. But if you need more than 2 apps in a bundle, then you should just buy the bundle.

Find deals on Mac apps at Mac App Deals

January 10, 2010 9:52 pm
tech

tech

Sky Pirate

from Rantoul, Illinois
1,516 posts

izdale wrote:

The reason I see license transfers as a plus for developers comes in the form of paid upgrades, if they have one in the future. Someone who got an app they will never use will never upgrade it, but transferring to someone who wants it is a higher chance of getting that upgrade taking place to a newer version. But that doesn't apply in every situation.

With the growing list of those wanting apps or suggesting trades as opposed to those just giving them away, it would seem hard to believe that those same people will be all that interested in paying money to upgrade.  Why not just try to wheel and deal for the new version or move on to the next great thing?

Personally I thought it looked like the bundle splits and trading/giveaways/requests were starting to form a snowball effect.  It seemed to be growing and I had a feeling regardless of the likelihood that MH4 will be here soon that it might come to a stop soon.  The other thing of it is if it's happening here it's probably happening in a number of other forums.  It's just not good business sense to allow this when MH needs developers to be successful and the developers need to feel comfortable with them.

<insert out-dated referral link here>

January 10, 2010 10:09 pm
phillryu

phillryu

Administrator

1,569 posts

kingkaramel wrote:

I think we're discussing two questions at the same time that should be seperated:

1. Should licenses be transferrable?
2. Should MH support license transfers.

On 1: Most comments on this questions are too MacHeist-centric. Developers have to make this decision with the long-term success of their business in mind, and a bundle sale is not the only thing to be considered. People are used to selling and buying material goods, they can also do this with most boxed copies, so it's quite logical that some of them offer their customers the same possibilities. It's also MacHeist-centric to discuss this question as if only MH buyers ask for license transfers. Regular customers do that too, and for legitimate reasons in almost most cases, I suppose.

On 2: I can perfectly understand that you disapprove of this forum as a place for license trades for the reasons you stated. And I agree that is a reasonable decision.

Nonetheless, some of your arguments don't convince. You offer full licenses, and if the devs agree to sell those and offer transfers for regular customers, they also have to do so for bundle buyers (and they do). If they don't want to allow your customers license transfers, nothing prevents them from offering special MH licenses (except the Directorate, MH licenses wouldn't sell as well as full licenses). That's also true for loot. Furthermore, compare the number of offers in the thread to the number of bundles sold, it's just a minuscule fraction. The devs are mature enough make their own decisions, and if you think they didn't know what to expect, well, you could have told them. The phenomenon wasn't new. And, as stated above by strangetpwn, the piracy argument isn't very convincing either.

Again, I think your decision not to support license trade is okay, but attacking those transferring licenses in such a general way just doesn't work...

This is true that people do this outside of MacHeist, and we certainly can't impose rules or policy on those people / their activities outside the forums. But you should understand that transferring licenses is VERY different from something like the market for used games or books. There is no hard copy to trade, and thus no way to cleanly verify an honest trade unless both parties actively check in with the developer. Then, there is no guaranteed way to transfer or guaranteed support to do so from the developer – I realize a handful of particularly nice developers will respond to emails and change your licensing information, but trust me, that's a level of service you should be thankful for, rather than expect from every indie dev. And unlike a book, the very way you own a piece of Mac shareware is by personalizing your copy.

Now, on a related but different point, some of you here have been asking for perspective from developers. I'm not going to name names, but I did check in with several developers out of curiosity, and these were the main points:

• Two of the developers try to entertain such requests, but at least one of them does it on a case to case basis, depending on how annoyed or pleasant he is at the time
• None of them have some automized license transferring mechanism set up
• One developer specifically noted that they have no check on max use of individual licenses, which is pretty common. (There's a lot more business done on trust in the Mac shareware community.)
• License transfer requests are not common. They are very uncommon, and two of the developers specifically pegged it as 80% / 95% from MacHeisters respectively, though they estimate there's more going on without developer communication. All the developers I hit up specifically commented that they are uncommon requests.

What it comes down to is there is no clean, global system or market set up for used shareware license trading. This means that all the things you can typically count on in a regulated market goes out the window, unless someone steps in to regulate it themselves. And I think it's safe to say we do not have the time or interest in either becoming Ebay for software licenses, or letting an unregulated version of Ebay spring up unchecked in our forums.

In terms of an overall stance on license transferring/trading, I think it could be a positive thing. But I see it as something that would only really work nicely and dependably if everyone's supporting it, which is definitely not the case right now.

strangetpwn wrote:

I find the timing of this new policy "highly convenient" since it comes nicely after most other bundle organizations have finished their activities but before Macheist holds its flagship event. If trades and bundle splits are ruining the bundle market (the Directorate's analysis not mine), why did they sit back and say nothing while the practice was rampant last month?

Secondly I find the accusation that piracy is the root of this problem and the blame being shifted to "a few bad apples" completely laughable. As said above, anyone interested in pirating software will just go to the usual places and do so. There is absolutely no reason to complete such a transaction via the Macheist forums since you are then involving an innocent third-party and so greatly increasing the risk of being caught. If Macheisters are frequently being defrauded in trades, why is there little evidence or complaints about it on the forum?

By the same token it would be much more profitable to relieve school children of their dinner money, than it wold be to try and con someone in a license trade here, since with the former you don't get stung for PayPal fees.

The Directorate should have just said bundle splits are funding terrorism, that would have been more believable.

A few days ago one of the moderators started a thread in our internal board flagging and documenting several cases of members being conned in the trades thread and being traded pirated licenses. I don't think the victimized members wanted to really yell in the thread about how they got ripped off, but trust me, at least a couple members have gotten screwed so far. Could the offender have just gone and found a pirated license to use? Sure, but apparently this pirate prefers trading away his pirated licenses for clean, legitimate ones. tongue

I don't know if this was a rampant problem – we assume it wasn't, and that most of you were behaving fine. But it has happened, and MacHeist members getting screwed by other members in a MacHeist thread is something we have zero tolerance for. As soon as we found out, we started working on this policy change.

And your conspiracy theory about us implementing this policy as some kind of an anti-competitive move is... well, straight up paranoid. I don't think bundle-split threads have ever significantly affected our own bundle sales, but they were definitely infecting and taking over every single competing bundle's thread. And to be clear, piracy and conning did not factor into the policy change for bundle splitting. Only for used license trades.

EDIT: This part is pretty random, but the situation reminded me of the history of the Haight/Ashbury district in San Francisco. During the 60's, it became a haven for the hippie movement, and a place for open trust, free love, blabla. Something of a paradise sprawling over a few city blocks. Over the next ten years however, gangs like the Hells Angels swooped in to exploit the group and ran the place to the ground with meth, etc., attracted by what they perceived as easy targets.

When you have a group of people creating a thriving, unregulated market based on honesty and trust, it becomes something of a beacon for shady, selfish and evil people to come in and exploit this trust. It's unfortunate that this kind of thing happens so regularly like clockwork, or air filling a vacuum, but the swing of momentum seemed similar in the license trading thread.

Co-Creator of MacHeist, Clear, Partner at tap tap tap | follow me on twitter

January 10, 2010 10:34 pm

Jeff_R

Automaton Tech

187 posts

I personally think that if MacHeist has stated this policy, it might be better to respect their decision by not using this forum to discuss setting up alternative forums. Of course, I'm not speaking for them; just my own view.

January 11, 2010 12:15 am
denny_crane

denny_crane

Sky Pirate

from Canada, eh?
1,702 posts

Jeff_R wrote:

I personally think that if MacHeist has stated this policy, it might be better to respect their decision by not using this forum to discuss setting up alternative forums. Of course, I'm not speaking for them; just my own view.

+11teen

Use Denny's DropBox Link > CLICK HERE! Because I need extra some space - The Final Frontier!

January 11, 2010 1:08 am
markrof

markrof

Automaton Tech

from UK
433 posts

denny_crane wrote:
Jeff_R wrote:

I personally think that if MacHeist has stated this policy, it might be better to respect their decision by not using this forum to discuss setting up alternative forums. Of course, I'm not speaking for them; just my own view.

+11teen

+1

Have a nice day

January 11, 2010 1:19 am
WhiteFang

WhiteFang

Dirigible Captain

from a cliff in the arctic ocean.
2,847 posts

I support the decision.

Just as you wouldn't stand in the lobby of a supermarket discussing how to split up the latest edition of Penthouse amongst yourselves, the bundle splits discussion is and has always been rather inappropriate here...

^5 for the courage.

(favourite paradox) This page intentionally left blank.

January 11, 2010 1:21 am
rbr

rbr

Automaton Tech

from The Happy, CA
257 posts

markrof wrote:
denny_crane wrote:
Jeff_R wrote:

I personally think that if MacHeist has stated this policy, it might be better to respect their decision by not using this forum to discuss setting up alternative forums. Of course, I'm not speaking for them; just my own view.

+11teen

+1

+uno

PurpleCompadres

January 11, 2010 1:28 am
flec65

flec65

Big Game Hunter

from Montréal QC
504 posts

Jeff_R wrote:

I personally think that if MacHeist has stated this policy, it might be better to respect their decision by not using this forum to discuss setting up alternative forums. Of course, I'm not speaking for them; just my own view.

+1 on this and the new MacHeist Forums policy as well.

January 11, 2010 1:54 am
JPDyson

JPDyson

Moderator

3,580 posts

If you guys are that hung up on trading and splitting, trade email addresses and work it out elsewhere. There's a good chance that, given the word from on high was "no more splits and trades", that the discussion and planning of the same will fall under the same policy.

I hate that I have to draw out the obvious like that, but it is what it is.

PM me | Twitter

January 11, 2010 1:56 am
mikeyfindlay

mikeyfindlay

Sky Pirate

from Northern California
1,091 posts

WhiteFang wrote:

I support the decision.

Just as you wouldn't stand in the lobby of a supermarket discussing how to split up the latest edition of Penthouse amongst yourselves, the bundle splits discussion is and has always been rather inappropriate here...

^5 for the courage.

Agreed, but that comparison to Penthouse doesn't make sense to me. A bundle is made up of several complete applications, a magazine is a complete item in and of itself. A better analogy would likely be splitting the cost of a newspaper, wherein each person walks away with their favorite section of the paper.

Plus, if people were splitting newspapers instead of each person buying their own copy, that newspaper's publisher would sell significantly less newspapers and make significantly less profit as a result.

Commercial software developers do what they do to turn their passion into a profit, plain and simple. If we reap the benefits of their (mostly) exquisite software, they should profit from the sale of that software. It is that motivating factor that keeps developers doing what they do best.

And although I did indulge in one bundle split on these forums, and I decided afterwards that it was not worth the trouble. Besides, it is surely a huge discouragement to software developers who spend so much time and energy creating the great software that we all use on a daily basis.

I like a good deal on software as much as the next guy, but johnred's gotta eat too. wink

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January 11, 2010 2:40 am
mil

mil

Sky Pirate

1,273 posts

Some great points that I agree with from @blue_fireball_eater, @kingkaramel, @mtaylor, @izdale, @phillryu.

There are good developers and there are great and passionate developers. Sometimes it takes time to figure out what category one falls in.

Why isn't the "Apps for Sale/Trade" thread still not deleted??? Does it have something to do with post counts going down if done and resulting in worldwide chaos? wink tongue

SpiderOak - get an additional 1GB space for free when you sign up from this link. I'm late to the SpiderOak referral party. big_smile

January 11, 2010 4:53 am
The_Boss

The_Boss

Automaton Tech

from Sydney, Australia
323 posts

Quite a silly policy really as bundle splits and licence trading has no real bearing on MacHeist whatsoever. I understand the protection stance but even still it's a person's choice to take the risk, MH shouldn't have to protect these people. Overall, i don't mind the new policy, it doesn't really affect me anyway. I just think it's a bit silly.

On a related note, developers that don't support licence transfers suck majorly. I don't care if the customer bought your product for $100 or $0.50, they paid you, you owe them the product as well as the customer service that goes along with it. It is your fault you sold your product for such a price, thus as a developer you must also be prepared for the influx of lots of customers due to that low price. The consumer is not at fault for for buying your app for $2 and should not be treated like a leech compared to customers that paid full price. All developers should support licence transfers. I'd have thought that would be standard.

Meh, a bit of a rant but i speak the truth.

▛▞▞▟ Ooh wacka do wacka diddily do I'm so BLUE! ▙▚▚▜

January 11, 2010 8:17 am
johnred

johnred

Directorate

1,869 posts

mikeyfindlay wrote:

I like a good deal on software as much as the next guy, but johnred's gotta eat too. wink

As Phill mentioned, this issue hardly affects us directly. There are barely a handful of bundle splits for our bundles, compared to several tens of thousands of sales. Do the math.

I'm pretty surprised that people like strangetpwn come in here and make accusations about us having some sort of ulterior motive with this decision when, in reality, this was simply us identifying a growing problem and handling it the way that we felt was most appropriate. The problem was affecting developers more than anyone else.

The_Boss wrote:

Quite a silly policy really as bundle splits and licence trading has no real bearing on MacHeist whatsoever. I understand the protection stance but even still it's a person's choice to take the risk, MH shouldn't have to protect these people. Overall, i don't mind the new policy, it doesn't really affect me anyway. I just think it's a bit silly.

We're a software site. We noticed that an insidious form of software piracy was growing through these mechanisms. We put a stop to it because we have neither the time, nor inclination to babysit the forums for illegal activity.

The_Boss wrote:

On a related note, developers that don't support licence transfers suck majorly. I don't care if the customer bought your product for $100 or $0.50, they paid you, you owe them the product as well as the customer service that goes along with it. It is your fault you sold your product for such a price, thus as a developer you must also be prepared for the influx of lots of customers due to that low price. The consumer is not at fault for for buying your app for $2 and should not be treated like a leech compared to customers that paid full price. All developers should support licence transfers. I'd have thought that would be standard.

Whether you pay full price for an app or 50¢, the license entitles *you* to use the product and "the customer service that goes along with it". By "the customer service that goes along with it", I mean issues pertaining to the app itself and *your* use of it. This typically doesn't cover the issues related to selling it to someone else, taking out your trash, or whatever.

It's very unreasonable to expect it and where you're of the mindset, "all developers should support licence transfers", I'm completely of the opposite mindset, where I feel that developers shouldn't be bothered with them in the least.

John Casasanta
MacHeist Director
tap tap tap chief

January 11, 2010 9:27 am
JackV

JackV

Sky Pirate

from Germany
1,072 posts

johnred wrote:

It's very unreasonable to expect it and where you're of the mindset, "all developers should support licence transfers", I'm completely of the opposite mindset, where I feel that developers shouldn't be bothered with them in the least.

And this is the other extrem.

Here are two samples of how it can be done

Customer friendly and very clear license grant:

If you don't like this license grant:

   a. Let us know, we'd appreciate the feedback.

   b. Stop right now, and ask for a refund. We'll cheerfully do so.

[...]

You may:

         a. run the Software on any computer, so long as no more than one
            person per license is ever using the Software at any one time.

         b. transfer all your license rights in the Software, the backup copy
            of the Software, the related documentation and a copy of this
            License to another party, provided the other party reads and agrees
            to accept the terms and conditions of this License.

Not so customer friendly:

Piece of Software that has no license information on the web site or accessible in the app or the helpfile. Yet it is out of development and still sold without a hint on the website. Snow Leopard support is also missing.

or:

You may also make one copy of the Software in machine readable form solely for backup purposes. As an express condition of this EULA, you must reproduce, on the backup copy, the ABC copyright notice in the following format:"(C) 2007-2009 ABC Ltd.

[...]

The software contains copyrighted material, trade secrets and other proprietary material and we retain all intellectual property rights in the software. In order to protect these rights, you may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble or otherwise reduce the software to a human-perceivable form. You may not separately publish, sell, market, distribute, lend, lease, rent, sublicense or create derivative works based upon the software in whole or in part. However, this license is not to be construed as prohibiting or limiting any fair use sanctioned by copyright law, such as permitted library and classroom usage.

ABC offer a free fully functional trial of XYZ for Mac enabling you to decide it’s suitability for your needs prior to purchase. Once a license is purchased it is non-refundable.

I wouldn’t ever consider asking for a transfer of the second license. If you don´t want it make it clear. But I also reconsidered my intention of buying the software.

I write about Juice on Entsafter.co

January 11, 2010 10:03 am
Lioness

Lioness

Sky Pirate

from Universe (Sweden)
1,474 posts

JackV wrote:
johnred wrote:

It's very unreasonable to expect it and where you're of the mindset, "all developers should support licence transfers", I'm completely of the opposite mindset, where I feel that developers shouldn't be bothered with them in the least.

And this is the other extrem.

Here are two samples of how it can be done

Customer friendly and very clear license grant:

If you don't like this license grant:

   a. Let us know, we'd appreciate the feedback.

   b. Stop right now, and ask for a refund. We'll cheerfully do so.

[...]

You may:

         a. run the Software on any computer, so long as no more than one
            person per license is ever using the Software at any one time.

         b. transfer all your license rights in the Software, the backup copy
            of the Software, the related documentation and a copy of this
            License to another party, provided the other party reads and agrees
            to accept the terms and conditions of this License.

Not so customer friendly:

Piece of Software that has no license information on the web site or accessible in the app or the helpfile. Yet it is out of development and still sold without a hint on the website. Snow Leopard support is also missing.

or:

You may also make one copy of the Software in machine readable form solely for backup purposes. As an express condition of this EULA, you must reproduce, on the backup copy, the ABC copyright notice in the following format:"(C) 2007-2009 ABC Ltd.

[...]

The software contains copyrighted material, trade secrets and other proprietary material and we retain all intellectual property rights in the software. In order to protect these rights, you may not decompile, reverse engineer, disassemble or otherwise reduce the software to a human-perceivable form. You may not separately publish, sell, market, distribute, lend, lease, rent, sublicense or create derivative works based upon the software in whole or in part. However, this license is not to be construed as prohibiting or limiting any fair use sanctioned by copyright law, such as permitted library and classroom usage.

ABC offer a free fully functional trial of XYZ for Mac enabling you to decide it’s suitability for your needs prior to purchase. Once a license is purchased it is non-refundable.

I wouldn’t ever consider asking for a transfer of the second license. If you don´t want it make it clear. But I also reconsidered my intention of buying the software.

Agree with Jack fully on that one, if developers take on a non-pleasant attitude towards buyers it's likely that I chose another application just because of that. If it's not an app that I want so much that I can't be without it, haven't happened this far though.
In most genres there is many similar apps, and in my choice the developers approach is most important if I'll buy. If they are unresponsive or show other unpleasant behavior I'll most certainly will pass. Business that have no solid base of ethic don't get my attention, not for long anyway.

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January 11, 2010 11:31 am

ayodh14

Automaton Tech

105 posts

I don't think most people realize here that its not only developers that depend on us, we also depend on them to provide some of the great apps. If in the end developers think that it is too much of a hassle with little gains and move one, we the mac community will be the looser.

That said I like developers who reply to my mails, even if it is saying "sorry we do not support transfers". May be all developers should make this their official policy and end this thread.

January 11, 2010 11:42 am
danco

danco

Automaton Tech

from London, England
280 posts

Bundle splits seem to me a different issue from license transfers. In a license transfer the developers have to go to some effort to make the transfer, and may well not want to do so, especially if there are a large number of requests because of a bundle. The only cases where I would insist that  a developer should transfer a license is if the license is tied to a particular computer or email address, and one of these has changed, the user still being the original one.

In a bundle split, developers only have to issue the one license they would have to do anyway. The problem here would be that the bundle organisers have to go to some trouble to allow purchasers to give different information for the various pieces of software. I am quite happy with splits not being permitted. But if they are permitted, then I feel it is fair to allow people to post looking for others to split a bundle with.

From the developers' point of views, if someone buys a bundle and is not interested in one item, then all the developer gets is their price for the item. If the bundle is split at the time of purchase, then the developer gets an interested user who may well pay an upgrade fee later and may recommend the program to others.

Daniel

January 11, 2010 2:17 pm
WhiteFang

WhiteFang

Dirigible Captain

from a cliff in the arctic ocean.
2,847 posts

mikeyfindlay wrote:
WhiteFang wrote:

I support the decision.

Just as you wouldn't stand in the lobby of a supermarket discussing how to split up the latest edition of Penthouse amongst yourselves, the bundle splits discussion is and has always been rather inappropriate here...

^5 for the courage.

Agreed, but that comparison to Penthouse doesn't make sense to me. A bundle is made up of several complete applications, a magazine is a complete item in and of itself. A better analogy would likely be splitting the cost of a newspaper, wherein each person walks away with their favorite section of the paper.

Plus, if people were splitting newspapers instead of each person buying their own copy, that newspaper's publisher would sell significantly less newspapers and make significantly less profit as a result.

Commercial software developers do what they do to turn their passion into a profit, plain and simple. If we reap the benefits of their (mostly) exquisite software, they should profit from the sale of that software. It is that motivating factor that keeps developers doing what they do best.

And although I did indulge in one bundle split on these forums, and I decided afterwards that it was not worth the trouble. Besides, it is surely a huge discouragement to software developers who spend so much time and energy creating the great software that we all use on a daily basis.

I like a good deal on software as much as the next guy, but johnred's gotta eat too. wink

That was the point I was making.

It really doesn't matter if you "split up the newspaper" or "tear up the magazine", it's still a single sale divided on several people.

Physical loss of sales.

Which is exactly my point smile

(favourite paradox) This page intentionally left blank.

January 11, 2010 3:11 pm
mtaylor

mtaylor

Big Game Hunter

755 posts

johnred wrote:

...
As Phill mentioned, this issue hardly affects us directly. There are barely a handful of bundle splits for our bundles, compared to several tens of thousands of sales. Do the math.

Sure it does.  Based on the language you've used, I think your partner developers are spooked about the issue.  There's a perception that macheist enables and encourages piracy.  Who would want to do business with a bunch of dirty pirates? :-P lol.

johnred wrote:

I'm pretty surprised that people like strangetpwn come in here and make accusations about us having some sort of ulterior motive with this decision when, in reality, this was simply us identifying a growing problem and handling it the way that we felt was most appropriate. The problem was affecting developers more than anyone else. ...

so, the problem is what?  An influx of transfer requests, which are legally protected by US law?

johnred wrote:

...We're a software site. We noticed that an insidious form of software piracy was growing through these mechanisms. We put a stop to it because we have neither the time, nor inclination to babysit the forums for illegal activity.

so the problem is software piracy?

johnred wrote:

It's very unreasonable to expect it and where you're of the mindset, "all developers should support licence transfers", I'm completely of the opposite mindset, where I feel that developers shouldn't be bothered with them in the least.

Nobody really expects this, we just want it.  Listen to your users John, they are the market, and the market is making a polite request.  (or a hamfisted demand, depending on your point of view).  The market has changed a lot since bundle purveyors such as macheiest showed up.  People no longer buy 1 or 2 software licenses a year; in my case, I picked up probably 30-50 last year; 10 of which I actually use.  If a developer does not support license transfer, I can legally sell and transfer the software myself, in a "first sale" right protected by courtroom precedence and for that I don't need this forum.  As it stands, I've transferred 3 licenses to other people, and received two, all without incident, and in all cases, the developers were helpful and friendly, prompt and courteous, with a feeling of mutual respect.

I do think that this is an important issue for developers to tackle.  There has to be a better solution apart from "delete key" and I have seen a vision of that in the attitude of the devs that handled my license transfers.  It's only too bad that it was a time cost for them and should the trend of transfer requests increase, given court support for such activities, and the massive influx of software license holders caused by macheist, et. al, automated systems will be required to prevent further time usage to satisfy a customer's desire.

In communist russia, the normal force pushes on you!

January 11, 2010 3:12 pm
rampancy

rampancy

Moderator

from Denial.
3,889 posts

strangetpwn wrote:

I find the timing of this new policy "highly convenient" since it comes nicely after most other bundle organizations have finished their activities but before Macheist holds its flagship event.

kingkaramel wrote:

...Most comments on this questions are too MacHeist-centric.

Unless you haven't noticed, these are, after all, the forums associated with MacHeist. It's worth remembering this; while discussion and promotion of other bundles is all well and dandy, this by nature isn't a forum that's bundle-agnostic. I also don't see any problem with The Directorate taking notes on what has and hasn't worked with other bundles, and if you've been following up on things since 20MacApps back in Jan. 2008, there have been plenty of examples for John and Phill to take note of. From their point of view bundle splits and other associated activities are one issue they need to address that has only recently been effectively addressed.

Secondly I find the accusation that piracy is the root of this problem and the blame being shifted to "a few bad apples" completely laughable.

The issue isn't purely one of piracy; it's of developers having to bear an additional workload which they really shouldn't have to work with, and it's with people being blatantly dishonest with their trades. We've had two major incidents where people traded pirated serials for legitimate ones under blatantly false pretenses. I myself have agreed to two bundle trades, and in both cases got the short end of the stick (thankfully they were duplicate licenses). And don't get me started about the people who foolishly think that some one will trade their version locked loot licenses for apps like Photoshop. I remember one user who thought she could get away with trading one of her Team Reward apps for Coda.

If people think this is a laughable reason for trying to put a clamp on such dishonesty, I wonder if their reasons for doing so are simply just born out of a continued desire for ripping off other users and developers.

tech wrote:

It's just not good business sense to allow this when MH needs developers to be successful and the developers need to feel comfortable with them.

Exactly. The people who are against this decision aren't seeing things more clearly from the point of view of the developers.

The_Boss wrote:

All developers should support licence transfers. I'd have thought that would be standard.

Are you willing to step forward to create an effective and easy-to-use license scheme which will allow developers to efficiently transfer serial codes from one user to another? Are you willing to develop such a system that ensures that such trades are done honestly?

Unless someone is willing to actually come up with a viable solution for indie software licensing which effectively deals with trades and minimizes costs in labor and time for developers, I don't think that it's "the truth" for anyone to say that they're entitled to anything.

Marathon Forever.
AppShelf: MacHeist 3 Loot
AppShelf: nanoBundle 1
Check Reciept Page for nanoBundle 2 AppShelf Files.

January 11, 2010 3:59 pm
Chriswan

Chriswan

Sky Pirate

from Jakarta, Indonesia
1,194 posts

phillryu wrote:

Sure, but apparently this pirate prefers trading away his pirated licenses for clean, legitimate ones. tongue

I can confirm that this is true; This mentality is a common one among computer users in my country

Many of them actually prefer to have a legit license (registered on their name if possible) than a pirated license as long as they don't have to pay

Thanks a Lot

January 11, 2010 4:02 pm
pschorr

pschorr

Big Game Hunter

from Pittsburgh, PA
675 posts

Entitlement Theory: Because I want to; I can.

I think I have this thread understood.  The owners of this site said that a particular activity needs to stop.  Enough reasoning is given by Phil in the opening thread.

License trading is indeed messy/dangerous particularly when you dealing with near anyone, with the likelihood of knowing, let alone trusting, them is very small.  Ending up with pirated software is straight up bad.  Especially if I have no idea if they fully gave up their right to the original copy.  Thinking of "backing-up music CDs" and ripping MP3s before selling them to a used retailer.

Likewise with bundle splits.  We know that not all devs transfer licenses.  In bundles where splitting/gifting is not an option, someone still ends up with a copy of your "buy-in" license and that license may or may not even get to you in your name.

Since trading and splitting have originated(?) here, does not grandfather it into this site as acceptable behavior.  Many of the other bundle sellers do provide some form of community.  Why not discuss it at its source?  At the minimum you may find that others deem this just as unacceptable.

My point: If you don't like the policy, go elsewhere to do it.

I have a twitter

January 11, 2010 4:28 pm

WLCMac

Tinkerer

14 posts

This decision has entered a heated debate.... humm..... good points from both defendants and prosecutors.

Excellent.

May I also recommend a developer whom I have made two separate attempts at license transfers - the developer of "Dragthing." This is my way to thank him for his patience. I deeply appreciated.

January 11, 2010 4:34 pm
Wasgo

Wasgo

Sky Pirate

from Vancouver, Canada
1,278 posts

rampancy wrote:

Unless someone is willing to actually come up with a viable solution for indie software licensing which effectively deals with trades and minimizes costs in labor and time for developers, I don't think that it's "the truth" for anyone to say that they're entitled to anything.

As always for these issues, it's important to note that legal requirements may affect what people are entitled to receive. A contract for a sale places specific legal obligations on the buyer and the seller, as well as conferring specific legal rights.

For all physical goods, buyers have the right to sell purchased goods, regardless of the intent of the seller. Similarly, sellers of a copyrighted work, retain the legal ownership of the content when they sell a specific instance, such as a book.

It's all very easy for John to claim that buyers don't deserve anything for software, or that it's a more difficult market so they shouldn't be able to transfer, but John doesn't get to decide legal rights. As the seller is the one who imposes a DRM scheme upon the goods, it may be that they are legally obligated to transfer that license upon request. Or it may be that the courts decide that licensing of virtual goods allows sellers to restrict further resales. As of yet their has been no binding decision.

The important thing to take away is that buyers may be completely entitled or they may not, but it's not up to people like John to decide. Developers can choose what actions they take while it remains a legal grey area, but any statements about what people are entitled to are wishful thinking at best.

Silver Snakes Assemble!

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January 11, 2010 4:51 pm
Lawdom

Lawdom

Automaton Tech

from Iowa
142 posts

Kudos on putting the kibosh on trading licenses and bundle splits. Selling/trading licenses seems antithetical to the altruistic nature of this community.

January 11, 2010 5:18 pm
j3snyder

j3snyder

Big Game Hunter

from Yerington, NV
978 posts

...but it is up to the directorate to decide how their website will be used.

Wasgo wrote:
rampancy wrote:

Unless someone is willing to actually come up with a viable solution for indie software licensing which effectively deals with trades and minimizes costs in labor and time for developers, I don't think that it's "the truth" for anyone to say that they're entitled to anything.

As always for these issues, it's important to note that legal requirements may affect what people are entitled to receive. A contract for a sale places specific legal obligations on the buyer and the seller, as well as conferring specific legal rights.

For all physical goods, buyers have the right to sell purchased goods, regardless of the intent of the seller. Similarly, sellers of a copyrighted work, retain the legal ownership of the content when they sell a specific instance, such as a book.

It's all very easy for John to claim that buyers don't deserve anything for software, or that it's a more difficult market so they shouldn't be able to transfer, but John doesn't get to decide legal rights. As the seller is the one who imposes a DRM scheme upon the goods, it may be that they are legally obligated to transfer that license upon request. Or it may be that the courts decide that licensing of virtual goods allows sellers to restrict further resales. As of yet their has been no binding decision.

The important thing to take away is that buyers may be completely entitled or they may not, but it's not up to people like John to decide. Developers can choose what actions they take while it remains a legal grey area, but any statements about what people are entitled to are wishful thinking at best.

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January 11, 2010 6:49 pm
Wasgo

Wasgo

Sky Pirate

from Vancouver, Canada
1,278 posts

j3snyder wrote:

...but it is up to the directorate to decide how their website will be used.

As I previously stated, I think this is probably best for this site. That does not mean I agree that users who believe they are entitled to transfer licenses are spoiled children.

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January 11, 2010 7:46 pm
frigginjoe

frigginjoe

Big Game Hunter

from Long Island
697 posts

I will miss the people who ask for a Pixelmator license for 6 straight months regardless of how low the price gets.

http://www.twitter.com/frigginjoe
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January 11, 2010 10:30 pm
danco

danco

Automaton Tech

from London, England
280 posts

WhiteFang wrote:

[
It really doesn't matter if you "split up the newspaper" or "tear up the magazine", it's still a single sale divided on several people.

Physical loss of sales.

Which is exactly my point smile

Not necessarily. Guarantees one sale. Without the split, there might have been two sales, but there could easily have been none, with both people deciding that the price was too high for the portion of the newspaper that interested them.

Daniel

January 11, 2010 10:49 pm
rpcohen

rpcohen

Automaton Tech

from Baltimore, MD
486 posts

Developers should charge $3-$5 for each bundle split license transfer.  This would would not only pay for the couple minutes it takes to change a license but would also probably net the developer significantly more than they earned on the original sale of their app in the bundle.  Everybody wins.

January 11, 2010 10:51 pm
WalrusCP

WalrusCP

Big Game Hunter

from NoVA
897 posts

frigginjoe wrote:

I will miss the people who ask for a Pixelmator license for 6 straight months regardless of how low the price gets.

I have to admit, there was some really asinine stuff that went on in the thread in question. People wanting to trade invites for $100+ applications, people refusing to purchase apps when they were half-price or better, and the attempts to trade loot applications drove me nuts. Sadly, there were people honestly looking to make legitimate trades, but I don't expect the Directorate to police the forums to facilitate legitimate trading. It's just not why they're in business, and it's their prerogative to shut the thread down. It stinks that they have to do it, but it is what it is.

As for all the discussion on whether developers should or shouldn't allow license transfers, I am of the mind that they need to be explicit about their policies in their licensure agreements. If they don't want the headache, make it part of the agreement from the outset. Otherwise, I think they have to at least entertain such requests, if but to provide customers with quality service: even if it's to politely explain to a license holder that they won't perform the transfer (just draft a form email and send it on out as needed). I think developers at least owe that much to a customer. But I don't think they "owe" someone who purchases a license the right to transfer. I just think it's wise for developers to spell out their policy in the license agreement or at least on their site.

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January 11, 2010 11:06 pm
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