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License Terms: must upgrade every 4 months?

Posted: Thu, 22nd Dec 2005, 8:23am

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Evan Robinson

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"2.3 You will be entitled to use the Software (including updates) for a period of 4 months from either the date of purchase or continuing periods of 4 months after downloading any update. The provision of the updates is included in the original purchase price.

3. Licence: Restrictions on Use

3.1 To enable you to continue to use the Software you must within the period of 3 - 4 months of the date of purchase or the acquiring of the last update download the latest update. Failure to do so will result in you being unable to use the Software"

I find the idea that I can only use this software for a 4 month period without updating it...disturbing.

I don't like the implication that any given version of this software will break itself in 4 months. I don't like the implication that the money I pay to buy the software (OK, "license" the software) doesn't give me a permanent license to use the version that I buy / license.

What happens if FXHome doesn't produce a new update at least every 4 months? What happens if that new version doesn't work on my system, or breaks something I'm using, or is just stuff that I don't want?

The software (I used AlamDV a few years ago and EffectsLab DV before final) is great. I don't think I can say the same thing about the license agreement.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Dec 2005, 11:07am

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Simon K Jones

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I'm sorry to hear you have a problem with the anti-piracy system, and I understand your points.

You don't need to worry about us not producing new updates. Even in the unlikely event of FXhome closing down, we would release a final update to the products so that users could use them indefinitely.

Even without the anti-piracy system, we would still recommend people update their software about every 4 months, to benefit from bug fixes, interface tweaks and even new features. The system not only combat piracy, it also helps to ensure that everyone is using the most recent version of the program.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.
Posted: Sun, 25th Dec 2005, 11:53pm

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chipmandoo

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what about if you don't have access to the net for over 4 months?

all these types of anti piracy policys only harm the honest customer. As the pirates will just crack the 4 months blocker and be able to use it indefinatly, whereas the person who purchased it has to download an update.

I know its not a big deal, but there are some people who don't come on the net that often, or don't have it all together.

Last edited Sun, 25th Dec 2005, 11:56pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Sun, 25th Dec 2005, 11:56pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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chipmandoo wrote:

what about if you don't have access to the net for over 4 months?
The file you need to download each update is less than 10mb, it wouldn't be the hardest thing to get a friend to download for you now, would it? Not many people edit movies in places without any form of internet connection, except Waser... Who edits in the desert.
Posted: Sun, 25th Dec 2005, 11:58pm

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chipmandoo

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(I updated my post above)

http://www.kazeghostwarrior.com/

This guy went to alaska for 5 months to make his film.
Posted: Mon, 26th Dec 2005, 4:59am

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Evan Robinson

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I can certainly think of anti-piracy methods I'd like less.

Frankly, it just gripes me to have to put up with crap like this. As a software developer, I appreciate your desire to profit from your work, but as a consumer I expect to buy (not license) software and to have the right to work with it for as long as I like.

It's not going to stop me from buying and using the software, but I'm not happy about it.
Posted: Mon, 26th Dec 2005, 7:49am

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rogolo

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Evan Robinson wrote:

What happens if that new version doesn't work on my system
Aha! That happened to me with the big, new upgrade from the preview version of EL to the new version. I'm trying to sort it out with the FXhome team through e-mail, but they haven't responded to my last e-mail I sent almost a week ago...must be the holiday season or summat...
Posted: Mon, 26th Dec 2005, 8:46am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Evan Robinson wrote:

I can certainly think of anti-piracy methods I'd like less.
Yeah, it could be that starforce thing wink

as a consumer I expect to buy (not license) software and to have the right to work with it for as long as I like.
Though as a consumer you very rarely buy software, 90% of the time you're simply buying licenses.

It's not going to stop me from buying and using the software, but I'm not happy about it.
I'm glad to hear that, I'm sure in time you'll realise the upgrade system to be a good idea. I normally update the program before I even hit the timestamp as I naturally upgrade all my software reguarly. If you're a software dev then perhaps you're the same.

-Hybrid.
Posted: Mon, 26th Dec 2005, 4:18pm

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chipmandoo

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also, you just might not want to upgrade, or are in the middle of a production and want to keep the same version (incase the new one doesn't work on your computer, or there is a bug/technical problem with changing mid project)
Posted: Mon, 26th Dec 2005, 4:46pm

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AndrewtheActorMan

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I can see points of both sides.

However, I agree a bit more with Evan.

When I bought, say Adobe Premiere 6.5 I have bought it. I don't have to update if I don't chose to. I haven't updated it. I am the owner of the software, and as long as it works on my computer, I can use it. It won't break itself in 4 months.

Andrew
Posted: Mon, 26th Dec 2005, 5:19pm

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Simon K Jones

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AndrewtheActorMan wrote:

When I bought, say Adobe Premiere 6.5 I have bought it. I don't have to update if I don't chose to. I haven't updated it. I am the owner of the software, and as long as it works on my computer, I can use it. It won't break itself in 4 months.
That's incorrect. Adobe have granted you a license to use the software. It is a license you have bought - you do not own the software itself at all. This is the case with all software that I am aware of. Check your license agreement that you agreed to on installation, it should contain all the information.

The timestamp system we use is another matter entirely, of course. It has its pros and cons, of course, but we have yet to discover a more efficient method.
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 12:30am

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Evan Robinson

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The question of whether you "own" Premiere is still in doubt.

Shrinkwrap licenses are of questionable legality in the US unless they are visible BEFORE you open the package (according to my attorney with a startup a while back). Since almost all such packages present you with the license only after you open the package and are installing the software, there remains a question whether they are binding or not.

In some ways it's nice to have the ambiguity out of the way and stuck in your face as FXHome is doing. However, the idea that what I'm buying is only a four-month license is a bit frightening (although it would be a poor business move for FXHome to chop it down to that since people wouldn't "buy" their product if they did). But I have enough faith in human nature to give it a try smile.
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 12:34am

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AndrewtheActorMan

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I suppose the only way that this wouldn't work is if FXHome just said "haha! screw you all!" and then shutdown and never gave updates.

Please don't do that smile

Andrew
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 1:23am

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Serpent

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AndrewtheActorMan wrote:

I can see points of both sides.

However, I agree a bit more with Evan.

When I bought, say Adobe Premiere 6.5 I have bought it. I don't have to update if I don't chose to. I haven't updated it. I am the owner of the software, and as long as it works on my computer, I can use it. It won't break itself in 4 months.

Andrew
When I was 13 years old, I did not have respect or values, nor much knowledge of computers. I owned an illegal copy of Adobe Premiere. Now, name 1 place that has a working illegal copy of Chromanator or EL. None, because you have to update. If FXH went to this way, they would lose a lot of money because of piracy. You really can't pirate EL, and if you could they may be shut down because Adobe isn't affected by pirates quite as much as a small company could be.
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 3:22am

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AndrewtheActorMan

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This is an interesting thread.

I wasn't tryin despute the fact that "no! who cares about piracy! They can manage!" because FXHome has a lot of customers, but not as many as Adobe..etc. and piracy would indeed hurt. I am just thinking - and I don't mind it really personally - that it's a bit odd to have to update it. However, it's keeping pirates out of FXHome products, and that's its purpose so it's working.

I suppose those who think it's really stupid should come up with a better idea, eh?

Andrew
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 3:39am

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Kid

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Evan Robinson wrote:

The question of whether you "own" Premiere is still in doubt.

Shrinkwrap licenses are of questionable legality in the US unless they are visible BEFORE you open the package (according to my attorney with a startup a while back). Since almost all such packages present you with the license only after you open the package and are installing the software, there remains a question whether they are binding or not.
It is not in doubt at all, if you're attourney thinks it is then you need a new one. All of the licences start by saying that if you do not agree with them then you should return the cds for a refund.

Legally a licence can be restrictive as it likes because you are agreeing to it by using the software. You are only not presented with the licence before you use the software when you almost certainly have a pirate copy. If you choose to copy software for any reason do not be in any doubt that it is illegal.

Licences can often seem harsh but that is generally because most of the time people do not bother to read them and do not know what the norm is. For example, you are not permitted to resell copies of software but many people do.

In the case of FXHome the licence is not particularly harsher than anyone else's but the fact that the software times out draws attention to it. I think this is good because they lay it all out rather than hide it in small print.

The current system is good because it forces people to update. This means that technical support can be far more effective and that pirate copies can be actively blocked. Without these measures such a small company could not afford to support the product and because illegal copying has a larger effect on smaller companies it would be much more likely to go out of business.

Since you have to buy it online and the presets and stock footage are downloadable, plus the fact that the internet is so common, I do not think that not having a connection is really a valid argument.

The best thing is that it does not interfere. I am the first to gripe about cd protection that does not let you play cds on a PC or DVD protection that forces you to buy worse or more expensive DVDs in one region than another or the brown dots on movies that spoil your viewing when you pat but are not even in pirate copies, but downloading an update 4 times a year is not that bad when you probably would have updated more than that anyway.
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 6:07am

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Evan Robinson

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AIUI (and IANAL), the issue is that you don't get to read the license before you pay for the product and many suppliers won't let you return a product that's had the shrinkwrap broken. In other words, you're required to buy something that is hidden and unknown, which you cannot return. This is counter to the public good because it enables fraud. Courts have been in disagreement over the last 15 years or so as to the enforceability of such licenses -- and if they've come to an agreement it's not easily findable with Google.
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 11:05am

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Simon K Jones

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Evan Robinson wrote:

AIUI (and IANAL), the issue is that you don't get to read the license before you pay for the product
Indeed, that could be annoying. That's why we put the licence agreement in the shop, to make sure everyone can check it out before they actually buy.

and many suppliers won't let you return a product that's had the shrinkwrap broken.
I can't think of a decent shop in the UK that wouldn't let you take a product back. In fact, I believe there's a law that enables you to return any product no-questions-asked within 7 days of buying (I could be wrong on that one, I imagine Kid would know more).

Could be a very different situation elsewhere, but if you purchase from major stores I imagine it wouldn't be an issue.
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 11:25pm

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lukeskyslacker

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So if I haven't used it for six months, will updating fix the problem, or have I missed some magical deadline?
Posted: Tue, 27th Dec 2005, 11:32pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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lukeskyslacker wrote:

So if I haven't used it for six months, will updating fix the problem, or have I missed some magical deadline?
You dont lose the rights to the license ever, just you need to install the new version. Once you buy a product, barring any illegal behaviour you will always be able to access product details via your account.
Posted: Wed, 28th Dec 2005, 1:14am

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Evan Robinson

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That clarification/re-stating of the license and time terms makes me more comfortable. I like it.
Posted: Wed, 28th Dec 2005, 2:24am

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Lithium Kraft

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Yay. I hope you enjoy EffectsLab Pro! Now that you have a copy, we're eager to see something of yours submitted to the cinema. smile