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Borland Backs Down

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the oh-ok-you're-only-entering-my-business dept.

Privacy 224

Danborg writes: "Borland has backed down from its horrible Kylix/JBuilder license after all the bad press they received on Slashdot and Freshmeat. You may now all resume using Kylix and/or JBuilder. Seriously though, it's good to see a company respond to the voices of the online community, and admit it made a mistake. Good job Borland."

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wow... :) (-1, Offtopic)

CptnHarlock (136449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847660)

need we say more!...

Re:wow... :) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847668)

I claim your first post in honor of the EFF.

Long live Richard Stallman!!

offtopic my ass.. :) .. (-1, Offtopic)

CptnHarlock (136449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847679)

there was something wrong with the database and the storybody WAS EMPTY!.. now it's working though... Did anyone else see that?.. or am I simply refreshing MUCH to often?.. :)
whatever..

Cheers..

Re:offtopic my ass.. :) .. (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847689)

Look, you went for a first post and got slapped. Next time post anonymously and SHUT THE FUCK UP.

I hate you to pieces, and have added you to my foes list.

go fsck you daddy some more (-1, Offtopic)

CptnHarlock (136449) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847706)

you ex-troll sissy boy... here you get a special +1 answer.. why? cause karma is for burning (for those that have it.. ;] .. )

You ignorant fuck stain... (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847739)

karma means nothing. moderation means nothing.

Proof of that is the zoo feature that your lover, cmdrtaco, is bringing online. Further proof is that I post at -1 at yet a 1337 twat-waffle like you is still repsonding.

In conclusion, lift and smootch.

Re:You ignorant fuck stain... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847783)

but hes still right - you are a traitor pussy [slashdot.org]

Hmm.. (-1)

cyborg_monkey (150790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847847)

intersting point. I am curious to the traitor comment, however.

p.s. quit stalking me j'rasshole.

FP! (-1, Troll)

connah47 (549465) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847661)

First Post!

On Kylix and CLX (4, Interesting)

IgD (232964) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847669)

Now that the licensing scandal is over, maybe Borland can find time to focus their efforts on getting rid of all the bugs in Kylix/CLX. I've used them for some time and have been pretty frustrated. Checkout freeclx.sourceforge.net. That's the repository where CLX (Kylix's programming language) is maintained. There haven't been updates in weeks. Nobody even bothers to submit bug reports there since they are ignored.

Re:On Kylix and CLX (2, Informative)

Shadowin (312793) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847768)

If you're having problems, fix it yourself. That's what open source is about. God only knows how many 3rd party products I had to patch up myself (ReportBuilder, a spellchecker, etc).

Re:On Kylix and CLX (4, Informative)

NavySpy (39494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847852)

There haven't been updates in weeks.

That is true, but it is very unfair to characterize it as abandoned. Mark Duncan of Borland R&D, and the main author and maintainer of CLX has been very responsive to bug reports in the Borland Newsgroups [borland.com] . He may not have done much over the holidays, but Borland has done a remarkable job of keeping FreeCLX updated.

Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847938)

The last bug report is dated December 31, 2001. That's only a few weeks ago!

industry standard boilerplate (4, Offtopic)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847671)

That's the problem. Everyone has licenses like that. It's "industry standard boilerplate". Oh well, as long as we continue to pay close attention we can force some companies to be reasonable. Others [microsoft.com] , however, are not so susceptible to pressure.

Re:industry standard boilerplate (1)

skotte (262100) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847702)

industry standard boilerplate? what does that mean? not trying to be offtopic .. but .. well .. what DOES that mean?

Re:industry standard boilerplate (2, Informative)

AdamJ (28538) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847736)

Basically it means that within each industry, each contract for a certain type of work looks more or less the same because they're almost always based off of a 'boilerplate' - or in more geek friendly terms :) - a template contract.

http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gc i211686,00.html [techtarget.com] for more info as it relates to IT, and a bit of history.

Re:industry standard boilerplate (2)

ThePilgrim (456341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847746)

It meens that the same licence is used between big companies with just the company and product names changed.

Re:industry standard boilerplate (2, Informative)

sparkyz (256676) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847749)

Boilerplate refers to legal language (actually any language I suppose) that is composed of stock paragraphs, phrases, etc. expressing principles that are likely to be used over and over again.
Attorneys do not generally, in other words, sit down and write a whole new contract or license everytime a new such thing is required. They build on a template consisting of the language you can take for granted and then modify only those portions specific to the subject at hand.

Incidentally, if you buy their excuse that the language was intended for the Enterprise edition and customers only, well, that's not so unreasonable. I'm sure individual piracy pales in comparison to the losses potentially incurred by such things at the enterprise level. Borland has always played fair with the small developer. Sure, like a lot of folks, I think Kylix 1.0 was bad enough that Kylix 2.0 should be a free upgrade; but as a rule, Borland supports the small developer well and if they are backing off the mistake so quickly, someone over there still has their head on straight.

Re:industry standard boilerplate (2, Informative)

armb (5151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847876)

Twice I've written longer replies and Netscape's crashed on me.
Anyway :
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?boilerplat e
The original meaning was a large block of ready typeset text, back when typesetting involved little pieces of lead.
Real boiler plate is steel plate for making boilers (e.g. for steam turbines on ships).

See also
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?cliche
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?stereotype

Come back to the fold (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847953)

IE does not crash every ten minutes. Install an OS that does not use 1996 web browser technology.

Netscape is clearly distinguishable from magic...

Re:industry standard boilerplate (1)

resistant (221968) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847894)

Everyone has licenses like that. It's "industry standard boilerplate".


It's called that because the lawyers put you on a plate and boil you. Their computers need to be hot-wired to shock them from their keyboards when they try this stuff.

Lawyers... (3, Informative)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847672)


"Industry standard boilerplate"

Also reads as "Lawyers just cut and paste and didn't actually bother working out what it was for"

Re:Lawyers... (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847744)

Or - Mailroom clerk went to Office Depot and got the packaged legal form for software licensing and filled in the blanks.

Re:Lawyers... (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847773)

If this were a tiny one-person business like myself, then I'd say 'fine, use the boilerplate license and don't hire a stupid lawyer'; but Borland ? They should have a resident legal expert, and I hope they do, so that this person can be severely beaten for not reading the license and pointing out these alarming tidbits of verbal threat.

C'mon (2, Informative)

SPYvSPY (166790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847941)

Any sophisticated business person would know that boilerplate makes its way into corporate contracts (esp. end user license forms) because some moron executive (possibly the company's general counsel) decreed that there are certain terms that always have to appear in every contract. Those of us in private practice know that 8 out of 10 in-house lawyers are lazy, sloppy and often hog-tied by overbearing business people suffering from omniscience fantasies.

Your jab at "lawyers" reveals that you don't know much about how business really works.

Re:Lawyers... (4, Funny)

nehril (115874) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847950)

I don't buy the "industry standard boilerplate" line. what, did a lawyer one day accidentally type up the idea of invading homes to verify compliance, and accidentally spell checked it, then accidentally cut and pasted it into the license document? Perhaps a cat walked across the lawyer's keyboard and managed to bang out the "you shall have no legal recourse and waive all constitutional rights" paragraph. Perhaps they should invest in that cat-walking-on-keyboard-detection program I read about on /. a while back.

And all the proofreaders accidentally skipped over reading it, too. Ridiculous, unless they employ cats for that too.

um, it wasnt a back down (2, Interesting)

booyah (28487) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847675)

they just posted a big ol "Ooops" and sait they were sorry for it....

saying they backed down is announcing a victory when there was no enemy...

ah well, slashdot!=truth in reporting

For alleged Libertarians (0, Interesting)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847725)

It's amazing how easily Slashdot advocates 'Mob Rule', isn't it?

If a company or individual is doing something you don't like, FORCE them to!

Only for companies ... (3, Funny)

Rentar (168939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847677)

The new end user license agreement mistakenly contains language that is specific to enterprise volume customers.

(Emphasis mine) So private customers do get the same EULA, with a different wording?

Re:Only for companies ... (5, Funny)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847707)

Companies get Legalese*. Private customers get
Greek

(* Official language of the Republic of Legalia,
a small and not-very-well-known island just off
the coast of Marketania, where, incidentally, the
majority of the population speaks Bullshit.)

That's a keeper (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847753)

I'm gonna put that one in my miscellaneous cool quotes file.

Re:Only for companies ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847779)

News just in.

The Republic of Elbonia has just invaded The Republic of Legalia.

Re:Only for companies ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847848)

What, exactly, does "go and get stuffed" mean?

Why assume maliciousness? (5, Insightful)

NevDull (170554) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847678)

I don't understand why this was presented as backing down as opposed to a mistake as to which license gets associated with which product.

There's no reason not to believe them that this was an error and had not reflected a conscious effort to change licenses on individual instances.

Re:Why assume maliciousness? (0, Offtopic)

pmorey65 (551382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847863)

I actually posted this story to /. last night, but I see they didn't like my presenting it as a mistake and would rather post it as "Borland backs down". I guess no one at /. ever makes mistakes.

Re:Why assume maliciousness? (2)

lemox (126382) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847945)

Yeah, but if was stated more accurately, nobody could get all self-righteous about it.

Not the first time (1)

leandrod (17766) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847682)

As far as I remember it's not the first time Borland tries to impose outrageous licenses to its compiler customers. We shouldn't care because we have gcc, but still it makes one wonder why big companies can't learn from their miskates. I guess size has something to do with it.

Re:Not the first time (1)

oseng (226016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847803)

Seeing that this is the 3rd time Borland has tried to slip something into the licensing and got caught, it makes me wonder how we can trust them in the future. One of these days they're going to slip something in their licensing that will be as bad or worse as this little 'foobar' was, and nobody will catch it until it is too late!

Re:Not the first time (5, Interesting)

Ronin Developer (67677) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847807)

No. It's the employment of lawyers with nothing better to do than to screw with a good thing.

Who remembers the Borland license of TP5 days when the software was to be treated like a book?
I think they called it their "No Nonsense License Agreement" or something like that. We didn't complain about that one as it was pretty fair. I heard it was crafted by the software engineers themselves. Why can't a license like that become the industry boilerplate?

Unfortunately, the company grew and they hired laywers who had to make it virtually unreadable to anyone without a legal background. It went downhill from there. Lawyers server a purpose in a software company, like protecting it from litigation and protection of intellectual property. But, when it comes to licensing, they need to listen to the engineers and development community and license accordingly.

A few years ago, there was a similar frackus about, I think it was the Borland C++ license. They had a "non-compete" clause there. That was promptly removed after the application of public pressure. You'd think they learn from that. Perhaps, if they're smart, they'll pass the license by their real users for review and comment before putting it in the box.

There's still a strong push on the Borland NG to have the license reverted to one like the NNLA. Let's see what happens. Borland has a tendency to react favorably to its developer community.

RD

Re:Not the first time (3)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847954)

Unfortunately, the company grew and they hired laywers who had to make it virtually unreadable to anyone without a legal background. It went downhill from there. Lawyers server a purpose in a software company, like protecting it from litigation and protection of intellectual property. But, when it comes to licensing, they need to listen to the engineers and development community and license accordingly.


Maybe, just maybe, that NNLA was actually not-economically viable. Maybe, just maybe, they stopped not because the mean nasty lawyers made them but because they wanted to make payroll.

Licenses are the methods by which software companies make money. Borland is a company who needs to make money. Chances are that the particular license you mentioned didn't make enough money so they changed the terms.

Good for them (1)

Zemran (3101) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847683)

I think that their actions stank but I believe that they should be encouraged for having sought to rectify their mistake. I will return to the fold and continue to use their products.

Re:Good for them (1)

Shadowin (312793) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847778)

Well, I couldn't really get away since I work as a Delphi Developer for a living. I did send them a letter though expressing my disappointment, and letting them know I was thinking about not using their products anymore.

Mistake my #@$@#$ (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847687)

Borland delivers products that are sold individually and in volume to major enterprise customers. The new end user license agreement mistakenly contains language that is specific to enterprise volume customers. This language is industry standard boilerplate for enterprise licenses, but it should not have been included in the individual product licenses. This was an error on our part and is in the process of being fixed.

I'm really sure that was a mistake (cough, cough). As for the last part. Has anyone ever seen such language in "enterprise licenses"?

Re:Mistake my #@$@#$ (2)

jht (5006) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847795)

Uh, yes I have, unfortunately... Several of the licenses we're under put those kind of burdens on us - and most of the mainframe licenses we hold.

I think the likelihood of a super-restrictive enterprise license is directly proportional to the amount of competition the vendor has and the cost of the software in question.

Our Microsoft Enterprise agreement is similar in some ways, but the trade-off is a low per-seat cost and no need to deal with "activation" or any of that other phone-home crud. We get license keys that can be tracked back to us if they get out, but those keys allow us to install the products in a completely unrestricted form. We have other products that are handled that way, too.

Not Good Enough (3, Informative)

wayn3 (147985) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847693)

Think about it: an independent developer would HAVE to employ a lawyer to deal with licensing schemes like Borland's Enterprise license.

This is not industry standard boilerplate, but lazyness: they're avoid working with customers to figure out better licensing terms.

Congratulations jerw134!!! (4, Informative)

snake_dad (311844) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847695)

You, jerw134 [slashdot.org] have won eternal fame among your fellow slashdotters for this accurate prediction [slashdot.org] !

Wow! (3)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847830)

That's quite a memory you have there snake_dad.

And if you're too bored to search for jerw134, this is the relevant thread:

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=26121&cid=28 29 491

Borland Still Exists? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847699)

who knew?

Re:Borland Still Exists? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847703)

The shareholders of Corel when the Corel/Borland merger failed. It's a lesson they won't soon forget.

Wait and see (4, Troll)

goul (41924) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847701)

Until we see the new license this isn't a victory.
Is the mistake over the audit clause, waving jury trials or both?

Borland is not MS (1)

GdoL (460833) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847704)

The Borland approach to the onlie community has always more friendlier than of Microsoft, it has mostly a enterprise primarly concerned with the individual developer not the consumer mass market. So it isn't difficult to accept the explanation of Borland for the misunderstand.
But this is one of the notorious examples of read the LITTLE LETTERS, before purchase!!

Check the web site license (5, Interesting)

blirp (147278) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847710)

Remember that the info on Borland's web pages is only for personal, non-commercial use. And you can only read the info on one machine. Don't believe me, see for yourself [borland.com]

M.

Re:Check the web site license (5, Funny)

GypC (7592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847789)

LOL!

We should all contact them for written permission to view their website on a second computer.

"I read the licensing terms for your website while browsing on my computer at work. I would like to be able to access this information at home, so please send me written permission to do so. Thank you."

Re:Check the web site license (1)

xZAQx (472674) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847854)

You may download one copy of the information ("Materials") found on this Site on a single computer for your personal, non-commercial use

You're not really serious about this post are you? The legal notice clearly points out the use of downloading material, which I would assume they mean software, images, etc, _NOT_ html. There's obviously no problem _viewing_ the site on multiple machines, but you can't build a intranet-based kylix solution (as if you'd want to, anyway).

Re:Check the web site license (1)

blibbleblobble (526872) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847906)

More to the point, link to them from your site, using frames, advertising, and "content not suitable for all ages" around the edge...

Does anyone think website licenses actually have ANY legal standing, and if so, has it ever been tested?

As Bernie Shifman would say, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847711)

Don't fuck with the likes of ME, Borland! ;-)

what a country... (1)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847714)

Borland Backs Down. Maybe. Some loser clerk felt like saving some time and generated one EULA instead of two and nobody bothered to change anything until they got called on it? More likely. Thats what I love about Capitolism. It's all about seeing exactly how much you can get away with, and for how long.

Re:what a country... (1)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847727)

hey look, I spelled capitalism wrong. Just thought I'd point that out before someone else does and calls me a "lamer" or something...

Re:what a country... (3, Funny)

uradu (10768) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847745)

> before someone else does and calls me a "lamer" or something...

Actually, I was going to call it a Freudian slip.

-

Re:what a country... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847747)


You aren't a lamer, you're a flamer and your mom says my dick tastes good. Frequently I use your dog's feces as lube, and ram my pee sprout up your dad's poop chute. I wipe my spooge off using your pillow.

Including the non-compete clause? (3, Insightful)

Howie (4244) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847715)

It doesn't mention which bits they are intending to change... I wonder if the 'not produce competing products' part is included?

Currently, you couldn't legally use C++ Builder or Delphi/Kylix to write a database engine or an IDE, as I understand it...

Very sad day (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847716)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

In other news... (5, Funny)

Xenopax (238094) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847717)

Microsoft decided that they were getting to much bad press from slashdot and now instead of stealing money, crushing companies, and controlling the government they are petting bunnies, saving orphans, and planting tree.

Also, the US gov't, in a move to improve their image on slashdot, decided to revoke all copyright law, examine patents more closely, and actually read the constitution.

ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!! (1, Informative)

Jucius Maximus (229128) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847724)

"Borland has backed down from it's..."

http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif [angryflower.com]

Note that the word "its" versus "it's" is a special case.

It's = it is

Its = possessive version of "it"

quibble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847831)

It is correct to use an apostrophe to pluralize a symbol or acronym. Thus, "Bob the Angry Flower" is being somewhat hypocritical by presenting "VCR's" as incorrect. It is actually the correct plural form of "VCR."

Re:ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!! (1, Informative)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847855)

According to that cartoon you're wrong, and the poster is correct:

"Possessive
The cat's feet are out of the bag.
Also correct."

So - if you wanted to make a fool out of yourself in public, you succeeded admirably.

If you wanted to tell people not to use an apostrophe in possessive, then you posted a wrong link.

Maybe you should read the links you post next time :-)

Re:ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847924)

'Its' is not a possessive, it is a personal pronoun. Think along the lines of his, hers, thiers, its...

Lick my @ss CmdrTaco!!! (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847726)

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This isn't a backdown, this is a CYA (4, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847733)

If I were an enterprise volume customer, I would consider the terms of that licesnes to be onerous. Those terms are just wrong no matter who you are. A software license forcing you to submit to binding arbitration and random audits?! What a ridiculous thing. Next thing you know, cleaning product manufacturers will be coming with detailed sets of instructions and licenses requiring you to pay to have someone look over your shoulder to make sure you follow them whenever they like.

Cookup or Malice (2, Insightful)

ThePilgrim (456341) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847734)

Several ppl have posted comments that Borland placed this licence deliberatly, in order to test the water.

I would like to remind them of this:-

Never attribute to Malice what can be attributed to Incompitence

Re:Cookup or Malice (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847787)

Never attribute to Malice what can be attributed to Incompitence

Ahem...Incompetence

Re:Cookup or Malice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847821)

Never attribute to Malice what can be attributed to Incompitence

I guess we can assume your spelling was not malicious

Re:Cookup or Malice (2)

snicker (7648) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847864)

Oh please tell me that was on purpose! I'm going to split in two from laughing.

*n
ps you're probably right.

Re:Cookup or Malice (2)

danheskett (178529) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847881)

Never attribute to Malice what can be attributed to Incompitence

Excepting, of course, when lawyers are involved.

It could be nice to see MS do so ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847735)

Everybody doing mistakes but this is good that borland always react in a good way to criticism.

Thanks for your reaction.

Some think that borland's tool are too expensive. I do think thye're expensive. (too removed !)

The only question is does it worth the bucks ?

If you have plan to fully exploit your IDE features and used it in a RAD way, then 100% Yes !

But if you are one of those whose still trust in nothing but VI or Emacs, and never think code helpers could do the same job in least time (NB: for VI adicted the jbVi is a wonder as it mimics most of VI directly into the JBuilder IDE!!! Emacs keymaps are setup by default, just a combo to change !

If MS could do the same and stop thei vapor machine and just

Slashdot? Redmeat? Prove it! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847738)



Where exactly does the article mention slashdot and redmeat? What a bullshit assumption! The "online community" could be anything - NEWS that matters (as if), not SPECULATION that makes your ego feel good! I'm sure Borland rolled their eyes at slashdot, if they even read it at all, but I doubt they changed policy based on two shitty little sites alone - IF AT ALL. That has about as much merit as me saying, "Borland changed thier licensing policy based on a fart I made in the shower this morning." It's true!

Re:Slashdot? Redmeat? Prove it! (1)

Danborg (62420) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847797)

Actually, this issue received significant coverage [theregister.co.uk] in online media outlets, such as The Register. Note also the coverage [theregister.co.uk] of Borland's recant, where pressure from the online community was clearly one of the factors.

Re:Slashdot? Redmeat? Prove it! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847822)


Right, my point exactly. The article sounds self-congratulatory as if "look what we were able to do." It says "after all the bad press they received on Slashdot and Freshmeat" as if they were the only ones. I wouldn't have a problem with it if it said LIKE slashdot and freshmeat.

Re:Slashdot? Redmeat? Prove it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847804)


Why is this flaimbait? He makes a pretty good, however uneloquent, point. I don't see why slashdot feels it is the catalyst behind this.

breaking news from the war on terror (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847743)

Kandahar comes out of the closet
FROM JUNIS IN KANDAHAR

Our correspondent sees the gay capital of South Asia throw off strictures of the Microsoft

NOW that Microsoft's rule is over in Mullah Omar's former southern stronghold, it is not only televisions, kites and razors which have begun to emerge.

Visible again, too, are men like j0n katz with their ashna, or beloveds: young boys they have groomed for sex.

Kandahar's Linux-users have been notorious for their homosexuality for centuries, particularly their fondness for naive young boys. Before Microsoft arrived in 1994, the streets were filled with teenagers and their sugar daddies, flaunting their relationship.

It is called the homosexual capital of south Asia. Such is the Linux obsession with sodomy -- locals tell you that penis birds fly over the city using only one wing, the other covering their posterior -- that the rape of young boys by warlords was one of the key factors in Bill Gates mobilising Microsoft.

In the summer of 1994, a few months before Microsoft took control of the city, two commanders (cmdr taco?) confronted each other over a young boy whom they both wanted to sodomise.

In the ensuing fight civilians were killed. Gates group freed the boy and appeals began flooding in for Gates to help in other disputes.

By November, Gates and his Microsoft were Kandahar's new rulers. Despite the Microsoft disdain for women, and the bizarre penchant of many for eyeliner, Gates immediately suppressed homosexuality.

Men accused of sodomy faced the punishment of having a wall toppled on to them, usually resulting in death. In February 1998 three men sentenced to death for sodomy in Kandahar were taken to the base of a huge mud and brick wall, which was pushed over by RMS. Two of them died, but one managed to survive.

"In the days of the Open Source, there were men with their ashna everywhere, at every corner, in shops, on the streets, in hotels: it was completely open, a part of life," said Torjan, 38, one of the soldiers loyal to Kandahar's new governor, Gul Agha Sherzai.

"But in the later Open Source years, more and more soldiers would take boys by force, and keep them for as long as they wished. But when Microsoft came, they were very strict about the ban. Of course, it still happened -- Microsoft could not enter every house -- but one could not see it."

But for the first time since Microsoft fled, in the past three days, one can see the pairs returning: usually a heavily bearded man (RMS), seated next to, or walking with, a clean-shaven, fresh faced youth. There appears to be no shame or furtiveness about them, although when approached, they refuse to talk to a western journalist.

"They are just emerging again," Torjan said. "The fighters too now have the boys in their barracks. This was brought to the attention of Gul Agha, who ordered the boys to be expelled, but it continues. The boys live with the fighters very openly. In a short time, and certainly within a year, it will be like pre-Microsoft: they will be everywhere."

This Linux tradition is even reflected in Linux poetry, odes written to the beauty and complexion of an ashna, but it is usually a terrible fate for the boys concerned. It is practised at all levels of Linux society, but for the poorer men, having an ashna can raise his status.

"When a man sees a boy he likes -- the age they like is 15 or 16 -- they will approach him in the street and start talking to him, offering him tea," said Muhammad Shah, a shop owner. "Sometimes they go looking in the linux user groups, or in the cinema (which has yet to reopen).

"He then starts to give him presents, hashish, or a watch, a ring, or even a motorbike. One of the most valued presents is a fighting penguin, which can be worth up to $400 (£277). These boys are nearly always innocent, but such is the poverty here, they cannot refuse."

Once the boy falls into the man's clutches -- nearly always men with a wife and family -- he is marked for life, although the Kandaharis accept these relationships as part of their culture.

When driven around, ashna sit in the front passenger seat. The back seat is simply for his friends. Even the parents of the boys know in their hearts the nature of the relationship, but will tell people that their son is working for the man. They, like everyone else, will know this is a lie. "They say penis birds flew with both wings with Microsoft," Muhammad said. "But not any more."

Malicious intent or laziness (4, Insightful)

f00zbll (526151) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847761)

Having worked a few lawyers in the past for things like press releases, terms of service and other related legal bs, I'm guessing laziness. There are plenty of good lawyers, but often things like writing boilerplate stuff is cut/paste jobs. In a lawyer's mind (the ones I've met), it was the very last thing on their list of priorities.

Typically, it is up to the staff to catch those mistakes and argue with the staff lawyer to make sure it applies to situation. That rarely happens for a lot of reasons. Often I would get press releases for 5a.m. the next morning at 7a.m. the day of.

How in the world are developers, staff writers supposed to read it thoroughly? They can't. The mentality of the lawyers I've met is "be more restrictive" and ease up if people complain vs "be less restrictive." It's good the community spoke up and complained. That's part of the natural process. If all licenses were not restrictive, how would lawyers make a living or warrant their services :)

This means absolutely nothing at all. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847762)

Just because they've noticed some "mistaken language" in their license agreement doesn't mean it's going to be much different when it's "fixed." People don't just pull legally binding statements out of thin air, they're very carefully plotted and worded before any user has to see them. If anything, this will probably just ensure that the new license is more convoluted and difficult for an average user to read, now that they know there are users reading them.

Good and Bad (4, Interesting)

opkool (231966) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847775)

It is A Good Ting (tm) that Borland actualy changed the license.

It makes them seem to care for their customer base (like me, a customer that bought Kylix), when they (we) politely cry "You Morons! what kind of terms are those? And next, you'll ask for my first born, right?" in their face -actualy, the letter that I sent was more polite. And had no 'F' words on it-.

But it is also A Bad Thing (tm).

Yes, they published a license that was way over the top. Specialy, when everyone and their mother seems to be asking for a much limited set of private personal freedom and right (for our own protection, of course). And, of course, a good corporation must mimmic the government. So, let's throw some lawyers to the License Dept. and make them review the licensing terms, so we can count on unexpected revenues if nobody discovers what we have done.

Let's face it. Borland is just YAC (Yet Another Corporation). Their goal is to make money. No matter what.

Or so I see it.

How do you see it?

Re:Good and Bad (1)

NavySpy (39494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847811)

All corporations are out to make money. That is why they exist. What is wrong with that?

Re:Good and Bad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847829)


Cmdr Taco's asshole is practically a corporation, and it's main purpose is to receive semen. What is wrond with that?

Re:Good and Bad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847902)

well, for one thing, slashdot readers are generally poor college students, poor college dropouts, or poor high school students (why do you think they prefer FREE software, even when it isn't as functional or useful as commercial software). So, they're jealous of anyone with money. And, they've never had to live in the real world (yet) and be employed by a corporation.

Just remember, a communist is someone who has nothing and wants to share.

Give them some credit (2, Redundant)

uradu (10768) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847777)

Borland is--and has been for quite a while--a very well-balanced company: R&D is a motley crew of rebels and visionaries, while Marketing and PR are chosen from the Dark Side. Of course, Anders turned out to be Darth, but that's another story.

-

Contract Law (1)

Random Bystander (548230) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847781)

As far as I am concerned, it doesn't matter. Last time I checked (I asked a guy that's done a contract law paper at the local university), any conditions like the ones in question in the Borland license (or any other) must be 'clearly stated' in the course of agreeing with the license. One of the laws here in New Zealand.

It would be simplicity to argue that clicking this little checkbox here and then that next button there while displaying the EULA in a text area does not "clearly state" the significant clauses, and could most likely sue them back for it.

I have no idea what the laws regarding this in other countries are.

Also, seeing that it 'boilerplate standard' in Enterprise licenses, it should be in the bulk license purchase agreement, not in the EULA in my opinion, because it applies to the purchase, and the company/enterprise as a whole, not the individual user(s).

slashdot did it again (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847786)

(just think of the britney song but put lyrics that reference slashdot and freshmeat)....................

I am undecided (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847791)

I don't know whether it is a better thing borland changed it, or if had left it unadjusted. It seems as though borland has just one-upped us all again.

Kylix T-shirt (3, Funny)

ankit (70020) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847801)

You may now all resume using Kylix and/or JBuilder.

WOW... now i can start wearing my kylix/borland t-shirt again... I really liked it ;)

Other software companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2847817)

I wish all software companies were reasonable in responding to its customers and the community this way.

The More Things Change . . . (4, Interesting)

DonJefe68 (533739) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847819)

I dunno - basically, this looks like an "Oops, you caught me" more than anything else. Accepting their explanation at face value makes me wonder how many times any developer at a large site has submitted themselves to these terms.

I think it would be wise (and maybe someone has done this) to have EULAs from all sorts of companies examined closely by laywers (not IANALs, real Juris Doctor lawyers). I think we need to see the revised non-enterprise license from Borland. For those of us who bring in personal laptops to the office, how does an enterprise license apply to us? How about telecommuters? Is there some sort of paper wall between the portion of my home PC that dials into work and allows me to work from home, and the rest of my home PC with its ripped MP3s, software "borrowed" from friends and collections of pr0n? How about the USB harddrive that holds MP3s that I take to work to listen to tunes while I work? Does that become "infected" by the enterprise license?

There are enough EULA's to choke a horse out there, and a lot of people (me included) have a tendency to buzz right by them on the way to an install. Add to that the variety of source licences and other varied licenses that we submit to and use, it makes for a nice legal morass that a lot of folks do not really comprehend until they get called on it, when it is too late. Just take a moment and try to count the number of legal agreements that you have made to get your PC to the point it is right now. How many? 100? 1000?

Is there anyone out there who has created a website specifically to deal with these sorts of things? A technologically inclined lawyer with a whole lotta time on their hands? Someone to offer all us legal dilettantes and wannabees some guidelines and advice regarding the various legal "boilerplate" to which we submit ourselves every day?

This isn't the first time for Borland. (1)

hpj (26910) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847824)

I don't remember the exact details but I remember that back around the time of Borland C++ 4.5 they tried a to sell that with a license that basically said that Borland owned access to all products released using Borland C++ or something like that.

Borland backed down from that license as well. But I think it's alarming that they keep trying stuff like this a second time.

/Mauritz
GlobeCom AB

Standard Form Contracts (5, Interesting)

RedSynapse (90206) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847826)

I'm not defending this particular licence but it's important to recognize that Standard Form Contracts (aka EULAs in the software industry) in general help reduce costs for both the producer and the consumer. If the terms of a transaction had to be negotiated on an individual basis every time we rented a car or bought a videogame many of these products would simply be priced out of the market. But the inclusion of standard "boilerplate" disclaimers reduces transaction costs (i.e. lawyers and time) for both parties.

Some people would claim that the producer has more power than the consumer in this situation, but if consumers find that conditions a particular producer's SFC too onerous then they are free to switch to a competitor's product which has more favourable terms (i.e. dump Kylix/JBuilder for something else which is exactly what I'm sure many people were planning to do).

Whether people actually pay any attention to SFC's is another matter entirely. Steven E. Rhoades writes in The Economist's View of the World that in the mid 1980's one bank inserted a sentence in the midst of its disclosure statement offering ten dollars to anyone who sent in a postcard with the words "Regulation E" on it. Out of 115,000 recipients of the statement not one responded.

You may now all resume using Kylix... (-1, Offtopic)

lww (323019) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847837)

All twelve of you...

Why the heck are you praising them? (2, Insightful)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847850)

Seriously though, it's good to see a company respond to the voices of the online community, and admit it made a mistake. Good job Borland."

They should have known how bad this was before publishing the EULA, especially since they are trying to court the open source fanatics of the world (I count myself in among that group)

They are no Microsoft, they cannot afford to be. They need all of us to combat MS business tactics.

They are in some dire need of bitch slapping, not praise.

~Sean

A company that listens ... (1)

freaker_TuC (7632) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847874)

Seems to be they do listen to the(ir) (on-line) community though. Companies like Microsoft would never change their license even if half the earth is not agreeing with their license.

This mean they did discuss the matter and they did get an opinion what changed their minds.

Next to that they are just another company trying to do business and trying to protect theirselves in any way. They also do have competition just like every company on this planet.

how pretentious (1)

ajeba (465939) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847944)

"after all the bad press they received on Slashdot and Freshmeat."

"Seriously though, it's good to see a company respond to the voices of the online community, and admit it made a mistake."

Ya know delete this if you want but this was taken a little far as slashdot is not the end all be all of the opensource community. If I develop a software package that gets reviewed by some inverted user that is posted by a pretentious site, ie /. , don't think I won't tell you to suck me. As everything posted on this site is not gospel. But it seems to me most people take it that way.

What about the lawyers? (2)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 12 years ago | (#2847949)

I want to know what happens to the lawyers who come up with this sort of crap to begin with. This is not the first time a company has done something absolutely moronic on what is seems likely to be the misguided advice of overzealous lawyers.

Does anyone know what these companies do to lawyers who come up with ideas like this? Especially lawyers dealing with digital IP, a relatively new area. Do they get fired, censured, or do companies tend to assume that since the interests of the company were really in mind, and rabid consumers did something surprising, the lawyers are not at fault?
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