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Fight Woodworking Piracy: Add EULA Restrictions

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the damn-the-man dept.

Patents 662

An anonymous reader writes "Ed Foster's Gripelog discusses EULA restriction on a new woodworking tool. A small woodworking tool manufacturer, Stots Corporation, includes a license agreement on its TemplateMaster jig tool. The tool is licensed, not sold, and customers cannot sell it or lend it to others. Nor can they sell or lend the jigs they make with it. "Shrinkwrap licenses are showing up everywhere," a reader recently wrote. "I just bought a jig for making dovetailing jigs -- this is woodworker talk if it's unfamiliar to you. The master jig contained a license that says I've licensed the master jig, not bought it. The license says I can't lend or sell the master, and furthermore I can't lend or sell the jigs I make with the master." The reader was referring to Stots Corporation of Harrods Creek, KY, and the user agreement for its TemplateMaster product. Sure enough, the Stots license says TemplateMaster may be used "in only one shop by the original purchaser only" and that "you may not allow individuals that did not purchase the original Product (to) use the Product or any templates produced using the Product..." A FAQ document on the Stots website explains that the license is necessary because "the purpose of the TemplateMaster is to clone itself. Therefore we are verifying your honesty that only you will use the tool and you will not be passing it around to others to use for free. It is exactly the same as the 'shrink wrap' agreement that comes with almost all computer software. Please help us fight 'tool piracy'."

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Going for fp #6 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298362)

Can he do it?

Can't do it. (3, Interesting)

harriet nyborg (656409) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298402)

You don't buy a license to a physical item - like a dovetailing bit - you buy the bit. It's your's. You own it and have full right to use it for the purpose intended. You can sell it, loan it to someone else, and modify it (as long as the modification doesn't infringe someone else's patent).

The difference with this and a software license is that one rivalous, and one non-rivalous. I cannot loan someone my dovetailing bit without giving up posession myself. Thus, the bit is a rivalous asset.

On the other hand, software can be copied and shared with others without me giving up posession. In this manner, software as a product is non-rivalous. When you "buy" software you only ever receive a copy - the software company keeps posession of the original - so you what you are buying is a license to use.

Re:Can't do it. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298439)

that seems to be contradicted by the statement in the EULA that says "this is a product designed to copy itself" they are worried that sombody will make 100 1st generation jigs and give them to people who will use them as masters. Those people should buy the masters from them.

or so the theory goes.

Re:Can't do it. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298490)

Perhaps you should mention that to IBM who did exactly this with their mainframes for several decades without any legal problems.

Re:Can't do it. (4, Informative)

tony_gardner (533494) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298520)

There are some things where its not clear whether they are a physical object or not. Clearly they are talking about the master pattern for the dovetails. A dovetailer is a machine which cuts the end of a bit of wood into crennelations (up and down bits like on the top of a castle). It does this often by using a hand router to cut around a metal form which is the "master form" which then produces copies of the master form in wood. Obviously they think that their master form is an original pattern, and that copying is is analogous to photocopying a book. That is: they consider the pattern, rather than the metal of the form to be the thing of value. You could equally use the pattern of the metal to cut copies of that pattern into metal, rather than wood; thus destroying what they consider to be the value of the item: its rarity and uniqueness.

Having seen a few dovetail forms, I'd have to say it would want to be a pretty amazing form.

I think another way of looking at it would be to consider keys. your landlord can't stop you from lending your key to someone else, but I'd think that making copies of it and distributing it to all of your friends would create a bit of a stir, as would selling your key: and the key is also one of your "rivalrous assets".

Re:Can't do it. (4, Informative)

Afty0r (263037) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298532)

You don't buy a license to a physical item - like a dovetailing bit - you buy the bit. It's your's. You own it and have full right to use it for the purpose intended. You can sell it, loan it to someone else, and modify it


You can do, but in the USA, the company responsible for the EULA can take you to court for doing so. If you cannot afford a good enough lawyer to make a convincing argument that the EULA should not be valid, you will lose an enormous amount of money. In the event that you do hire a good enough lawyer, you will only lose a large amount of money.

This is an enormous, and rapidly growing, problem in the USA. Many other countries have employed a policy of "plaintiff pays" the legal fees, should they lose the suit - but in the USA one must initiate yet more costly action (I believe you call it a SLAPP suit?) in order to obtain these fees, and such suits are rarely succesful.

In the UK for example, our government offers "Legal Aid" - a scheme by which people can get free or reduced cost legal help for fighting cases. This greatly reduces the disincentive to fight that an ordinary (non supported) court battle would have, which in turn reduces the incentive for companies to sue individuals with cases that are not strong.

The end result is that in the UK there are very very few frivolous or weak lawsuits brought about against individuals, lower costs for everyone, and a fairer system for society.

Does anyone know why the US does not have a system for aiding people in legal battles, and why when a motion in court is found to not be enforcable in law, does the person who brought the suit (and therefore a large monetary cost) to someone erroneously, does not have to pay?

Re:Can't do it. (2, Funny)

HAL9OOO (682857) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298545)

If this catches on I suggest you dump your E-Bay stock! I mean if you don't own it, how can you sell it?

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298409)

Can who do what?

Re:Going for fp #6 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298476)

I think he was going for first post #6

Bah! (3, Funny)

niko9 (315647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298363)

Please help us fight 'tool piracy'.

The only tool piracy crime being perpetraed is that the lawyers in that company are able to procreate without supervision.

--

Re:Bah! (2, Funny)

lanswitch (705539) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298401)

But are you gonna be the supervisor? I'm not gonna watch that...

Re:Bah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298445)

I have a sterilization program in mind. It consists of a number of kits each containing:

1 leather bit
1 10 gauge shotgun
1 000 shell for said gun
2 stout men to hold the lawyer down
1 funnel, heavy duty steel, galvanized
1 extra absorbant self-adhesive gauze pad
1 Sterilization Certification sticker
and 3 shots of whisky

Re:Bah! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298521)

Are any of those shots of whisky for the lawyer?

Re:Bah! (3, Funny)

ocelotbob (173602) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298505)

It's a small price to pay if it means fewer lawyers in this world. Of course, many of these lawyers need to say hello to my little friend... [google.com]

Of course, this is all MHO

Simple (5, Insightful)

tobybuk (633332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298367)

Don't buy it if you don't like the conditions. Oh, and tell your friends not to as well.

Re:Simple (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298453)

But do they really have a right to slap restrictions on the use of everything under the sun?

Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

switched4OSX (668686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298471)

You may be right there, but what happens when this becomes the next great trend in the tool world?

Re:Simple (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298473)

Yes, vote with your feet.

Works until they all gang up and back everybody into a corner.

Re:Simple (4, Insightful)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298513)

The problem with shrinkwrap licenses is, that by the time you get the license you *have* already bought the thing. To change contract conditions after a sale was agreed is cheating. Why should you be bound by any private contract which you did not agree to?

Perfect case of why someone should be in charge (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298543)

How many joiners or carpenters are going to pay attention to these restrictions? They'll probably not even know about 'em. If they do, they'll think it couldn't possibly be meant to apply to their legitimate lending to their co-workers.

After a while, when almost every carpenter has tools under such a license, however, it gives company lawyers the opportunity to claim that the license is an accepted industry standard. At that point, they can start ENFORCING such rules, and building even more restrictive regimes on top of them.

This is a perfect example of why immoral licensing should be nipped in the bud by a rights watchdog organisation, regardless of what the consumers accept at the time.

Ladies and Gentlemen... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298368)

...Mastah Jig!

Yo wazzup y'all! Mastah Jig in the house! Word!

mad (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298369)

madness

And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

flyboy974 (624054) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298370)

If you disassemble it in order to figure out how to put it back together, that's reverse engineering. I believe that somebody will sue you for DMCA violations. Rather, they'll just send a supena to you and let you cry for a week before revoking your TemplateMaster license.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298395)

License physical objects you cannot. Rent them you can. Buy them you can. Interesting this is.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

jaavaaguru (261551) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298412)

What about televisions, dogs, etc? (I live in the UK)

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

ThaReetLad (538112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298428)

you're not licensing the dog, tv etc. You are licenced a right to own a dog, tv etc.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298467)

Yeesh.. I think I'd prefer to go and buy the whole paper for about 40p, and have eternal rights to look at it whenever!
Don't think they're going to get much joy from that kinda license...

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (2, Insightful)

mdxi (3387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298438)

That's "license" as in "tax", not "license" as in "purchase right to use".

Government != commercial entity.

Yet.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

in7ane (678796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298454)

You buy a license to receive the BBC's signal, not to own a TV (buy a TV, remove the tuner, use it as a monitor only and you don't need a license).

Now for licenses with dogs... You get a license to own a dog (like to own a firearm for lack of me being able to come up with a decent comparison), not that you license the dog from your local pet store. Although I can see it now:

this dog may be used "in only one household by the original purchaser only" and that "you may not allow individuals that did not purchase the original dog (to) use the Animal or any offspring produced using the Animal...". Please help us fight 'puppy piracy'.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298517)

You actually require a licence to operate a TV receiver in the UK. Whether it is used to receive BBC broadcasts is irrelevant.

Even if you could purchase a receiver that could not tune in to BBC frequencies you still require a TV licence to operate it.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

BlackHawk-666 (560896) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298528)

Actually, you don't even need to remove the tuner. They can't legally force you to potentially destroy equipment you have purchased. I own a TV and don't pay a TV license since I don't watch broadcast signals. All I had to do was ring up the licensing place and explain I had a TV to watch my DVD collection but I didn't watch broadcasts.

They reserved the right to come and inspect at some time and I said they could inspect all they like. A guy came around, saw I had a TV, signed his form and left. They haven't been back in the 3 years since.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298481)

You're not licensing a television, you're buying a license to have a TV set in your house (regardless of your ownership rights to the TV). Same for dogs, you are paying a license to have the dog in the UK, not for the property rights for the dog.

You couldn't go into a TV store and license a TV. You could rent one, buy one, lease one, buy one on credit or find some other interesting way of managing ownership, but licensing the TV set would not be one of them. Afterwards you would need to buy a license to have the TV, regardless of whether you obtained ownership to it, or merely usage rights.

Now, it's conceivable that you could structure a contract that would have similar implications to this "license", but it would be complicated, because when it comes to this kind of agreement the general approach of the courts (IANAL) is that "if it quacks like a duck..." - if you pay a one time fee for a product and have no further dealings with the company, and the product is a physical one, the courts would likely look at it and decide that for all practical purposes it has the properties of a purchase, and should be treated like a purchase regardless of any contract unless you had received clear benefits beyond a normal purchase that would make the restrictions equitable.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298529)

There are no dog licenses in the UK these days.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (1)

LaForce (688117) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298425)

I'm pretty sure that woodworking is still very much an analog art, and therefore does not fall under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Just a hunch.

Re:And don't tear about that antique dresser now! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298456)

Isn't it a violation of digital protection mechanisms when you hit your thumb with a hammer?

Forget Jigs... try Soy Sauce (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298371)

There's a generic brand of Soy Sauce (sold at Nugget Groceries, IIRC) that has "All Intellectual Property Rights Reserved" in an stern looking box on the side of the bottle. Swan Soy Sauce, maybe?

--
Evan "Tried it, went back to Kikoman"

Re:Forget Jigs... try Soy Sauce (1)

nucal (561664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298500)

They may have been required to use the warning by the soybean seed producers, especially if the seed was modified to be resistant to pesticides. This could be part of a legal measure to prevent farmers from illegally using seed produced on their own farms as opposed to having to buy new seed every year. Sort of the agribusiness version of music piracy ...

Generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298372)

*Generic shrinkwrap overlords comment here*

I wish this license BS didn't exist, But I think the future we are facing is one where you don't really own any of your products (They are all licesenced) and you can't do anything to change them (DMCA protection).

It's all gone Orwellian :/

Re:Generic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298459)

Is that the future that immediatly preceeds the one with a bunch of pissed-off have-nots (those who don't own a portfolio of intellectual properties) saying to themselves, "Huh. I own this gun. I own these bullets."

Re:Generic (1)

switched4OSX (668686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298491)

Of course, maybe by then the bullets will have a EULA saying you can't give them to someone else- and shooting someone is giving them the bullet.

Is this really a problem? (1)

Llywelyn (531070) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298377)

Um. This sounds like a bad attempt at mockery by the company, is it really an issue?

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298444)

well, it's not really an issue NOW.

but it may be in the future, and if companies keep adding them licenses to everything the general public will start to think them as legit and reasonable(after which it's just a short route to get them legalized).

so while it is absolutely stupid now the gov(customer protection officials) should move in and hit them with a very large clue bat *smack* right between their eyes, before they start making enough penetration to move from a bad joke into (perceived)reality.

Re:Is this really a problem? (1)

switched4OSX (668686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298512)

Government intervention unlikely- after all, most politicians have already been bought by major corporations. How do you think Microsoft gets away with not living up to the rulings against it?

Getting... (0, Offtopic)

grosa (648390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298378)

jiggy with it, is that forbidden by the EULA?

Don't you get protections with a licensed product? (4, Interesting)

admbws (600017) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298381)

So if you break your jig, or it gets stolen, you can phone up and ask for a replacement.

I once snapped a software CD and I got a new one. Can't be much different.

Re:Don't you get protections with a licensed produ (5, Interesting)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298399)

So if you break your jig

Except it isn't your jig, now is it? It's their jig that you just broke and you'll probably have to buy them a new one.

But how does this affect insurance? If it's their stuff and you only license it, they should cover the costs for keeping the jig insured against theft, right?

Re:Don't you get protections with a licensed produ (4, Insightful)

Phexro (9814) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298468)

"But how does this affect insurance? If it's their stuff and you only license it, they should cover the costs for keeping the jig insured against theft, right?"

Right. And the bank I financed my car through should be responsible for my auto insurance.

License-mania is a phase. It's happened before, and it will happen again. Western Union used to lease their telegraph machines, AT&T leased it's phone equipment, IBM leased it's computers, and so on. It will change, because in the end, it's a business model that antagonizes customers.

Re:Don't you get protections with a licensed produ (3, Funny)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298435)

So if you break your jig, or it gets stolen, you can phone up and ask for a replacement.

Why not just make a backup copy of it? If the whole point of it is to replicate itself then you can use it to make a backup of itself. Then if it breaks, just use the backup... or use the backup exclusively and store the original in a safe location. Or store your backup on Karpentryzaa (har har) for secure off-site backup.

Re:Don't you get protections with a licensed produ (1)

TheMidget (512188) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298486)

So if you break your jig, or it gets stolen, you can phone up and ask for a replacement.

As stated in their FAQ [stots.com] they do indeed send you a new template if you break "yours":

I damaged my TemplateMasterTM while cutting a working template. Is there anything I can do?

Yes. Fill out the Honor Statement in the back of your User's Manual (or print it out from the User's Manual on the CD-ROM) and mail it to us. We will replace our damaged master for 1/2 the cost of your original purchase as long as you have registered your product with us.

Re:Don't you get protections with a licensed produ (1)

MisterFancypants (615129) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298507)

But they charge you 1/2 the cost, which is probably about the wholesale cost... So its still kind of a ripoff.

Bill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298382)

Let's think of a way to blame this on Microsoft.

Re:Bill (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298502)

"Let's think of a way to blame this on Microsoft."

Dear sir, I'm afraid I have prior art on that; and can prove it. Your suggestion is in violation of my intellectual property rights. Please cease and desist immediately.

KFG

Oh. My. God. (-1, Offtopic)

cryms0n (52620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298383)

Oh. My. God.

These seeds may not be planted (5, Funny)

nuffle (540687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298387)

The sesame seeds contained in this package are inteded for consumption by the purchaser only. You hereby agree not to plant these seeds. Help us prevent plant piracy!

Re:These seeds may not be planted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298474)

Not funny at all... a dianthus plant I bought from a local garden centre had a label stating that it was a registered proprietary variety, and propagation of it was forbidden.

Welcome to the 21st century...

Re:These seeds may not be planted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298498)

That is how genetically engineered food works. You plant the seeds you buy from a company, the crops grow, but the seeds generated by those crops won't grow into new crops next year. Nice isn't it? If you live in Timbuktu, get those seeds and just plant them you now aren't selfsustainable as you have been before as you'd get the seeds from what you grow, no by being tricked into buying the seeds from that company under the promise of higher production you are now dependent on that company and have to buy seeds again.

-t

Re:These seeds may not be planted (5, Informative)

vidarh (309115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298516)

Don't joke about that - go read up on what Monsanto [monsanto.com] think is reasonable use of their seeds... Monsanto is one of the largest seed manufacturers in the world, and one of their pet peeves is that farmers who collect seeds from their harvest are undermining their income stream. To the point where they are trying to restrict it with license agreements, patents and genetically modified crops that don't produce viable seeds...

Re:These seeds may not be planted (4, Informative)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298523)

We've already been there and back with seeds with usage restrictions built in [guardian.co.uk] .

But on the subject of sesame seeds... they're a very big crop - the sixth largest [tamu.edu] in the world production of edible oil seeds.

And yes, there is valuable intellectual property [purdue.edu] in sesame seed genetics.

Re:These seeds may not be planted (1)

zcat_NZ (267672) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298527)

Help us prevent plant piracy!

Three words for you..

"Roundup-Ready Canola"

Re:These seeds may not be planted (1)

Sven Tuerpe (265795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298540)

You hereby agree not to plant these seeds.

Not funny. A couple of months ago I bought a hibiscus [americanhibiscus.org] plant. With it came this label [gaos.org] stating in serveral languages: "Propagation prohibited."

Rent a life! (5, Funny)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298390)

This is great! Pretty soon I can go through life without owning everything, and everything I use will essentially be rented. I will be relieved of the material need to own things. "Imagine a world with no posessions."

Not only that, if I get caught breaking the drug laws, the feds can't take anything that I own since I won't own anything. Best of all, when I get tired of my wife and daughter I just have to stop paying the license fees.

I'm free! Free! Free! This is better than living in New Hampshire!

Wife and daughter... Oh cr4p. I don't own anything anyway. This is bogus...

Re:Rent a life! (1)

3_doggz (714943) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298415)

Don't they say that all possession is thieft anyway? So why doesnt one big corporation own everything in the world and we'll rent it from them, Hay wait, isn't that Microsoft?

Re:Rent a life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298472)

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon [newschool.edu] said that.

Re:Rent a life! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298479)

This, and the grandparent, remind anyone of communism? Interesting points...

Re:Rent a life! (4, Funny)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298482)

This is great! Pretty soon I can go through life without owning everything, and everything I use will essentially be rented. I will be relieved of the material need to own things. "Imagine a world with no posessions."

Hey don't knock it - Buddhists have been doing this for centuries.

I can see it now (3, Informative)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298391)

EULA

License Rights

We grant you a nonexclusive, nontransferable limited license to use the woodworking tool for purposes of developing your new tools and cutting trees only. You may
also give, lend, or sell this tool to the third party. If you want to use the tool for any purpose other than as expressly permitted under this agreement you must contact
us to obtain the appropriate license. We
may audit your use of the tool. Tool documentation is either shipped with the programs, or documentation may accessed online
at our website.

Ownership and Restrictions

We retain all ownership and intellectual property rights in the tool.

You may not:

  • use the programs for any purpose other than as provided above, including but not limited to, literally hacking computers and harming others;
  • make tools that compete with our product lines;
  • distribute the tools unless accompanied with the document;
  • charge your end users for use of the tool;
  • remove or modify any tool markings or any notice of our proprietary rights;
  • use the tool to provide third party training on the content and/or functionality of the tool;
  • assign this agreement or give the tool, tool access or an interest in the tools to any individual or entity except as provided under this agreement;
  • cause or permit reverse engineering (unless required by law for interoperability), disassembly or decompilation of the tool;
  • disclose results of any program benchmark tests without our prior consent; or,
  • use any our company name, trademark or logo.

The good news. Star Trek replicators. . . (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298534)

are right around the corner.

The bad news, using them is illegal.

And so, boys and girls, the problem created by solving the problem of production was solved; and that's why we once again live in the dark and cold.

KFG

Live Satire (1)

Tom (822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298392)

Real life is a satire on itself.

I can't quite decide whether this is for real or a very elaborate prank. In case it is the later: Kudos. Very convincing.

Hey, I can do that, too! (1)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298393)

Ok, that's it. I'm patenting the Incline(tm), the Pulley(tm), the Lever(tm) and the Wheel(tm). Since every complex machine in use today has one or more of them incorporated, I guess I'm due, say, three quarters of the world's GNP.
Glad no one thought of that before me...

Re:Hey, I can do that, too! (1)

mlush (620447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298437)

Ok, that's it. I'm patenting the Incline(tm), the Pulley(tm), the Lever(tm) and the Wheel(tm).

I think UniLever may have beaten youto one of thoes

Re:Hey, I can do that, too! (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298525)

Ok, that's it. I'm patenting the Incline(tm), the Pulley(tm), the Lever(tm) and the Wheel(tm). Since every complex machine in use today has one or more of them incorporated, I guess I'm due, say, three quarters of the world's GNP.

Speaking from a non-mechanical-engineer standpoint, I'd have to say that I'd consider the Pentium 4 a "complex machine".

Is this really a new thing? (1)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298394)

Most physical objects get patented somehow - look at the bottom of any shaped bit of plastic and it will usually have a PAT number or at least PAT. APP. Maybe it's just the stupid shrink-wrap licence agreement that's new.

Re:Is this really a new thing? (1)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298423)

Those are normally design patents, not utility patents -- they don't stop other people making a product which uses the same principles to achieve the same effect, but instead restrict people from making products which look the same.

Self-replicating woodworking stuff? (1)

eidechse (472174) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298396)

Ugh...how do I scan my cabinets for viruses?

EULA killing AI (2, Funny)

t4b00 (715501) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298397)

Consider Artificial Intelligence might never happen because if this kind of thing, bots could be unable to "clone themselves" due to End User License Agreement.

Poetry in motion

this shit has gone too far. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298398)

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Patents, not shrinkwrap licenses (1)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298400)

If this gizmo is so damn cool, they should be using patents, not shrinkwrap licenses to protect it. Seriously, what kind of fool buys a car that requires you to use "Ford Brand Gasoline" in the agreement? Similarly, if they think they can use a piece of paper to keep someone from sharing THEIR OWN WORK, then they need to take the overpriced asshole of a lawyer who suggested the idea, and throw him out of a 20 story window.

First sale doctrine folks.

We have it allready (1)

ben_of_copenhagen (649118) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298433)

Think inkjet refills. Think cellphones (batteries). DVD-R & DVD+R. This happens all the time. You are right about the lawyer, though.

Re:Patents, not shrinkwrap licenses (2, Funny)

switched4OSX (668686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298533)

Screw the 20 story window. Throw the lawyer out of a 2nd story window, repeatedly. No use letting him die quick.

Re:Patents, not shrinkwrap licenses (1)

MacFury (659201) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298536)

what kind of fool buys a car that requires you to use "Ford Brand Gasoline" in the agreement?

All you have to do is make the fool believe he wants to buy Ford Brand Gasoline.

Patented dovetails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298403)

A friend of mine, recently had his house robbed. They took the draws from the bedside tables because that's where they assume the jewelery/watches are. So he went to a cabinet maker to have some draws made to replace the stolen ones. They refused because the size of dovetails joints are often patented. He was told he needed to find the patent holder for that particular size of dovetail joint.

Even stranger is that this didn't happen in the U.S., it was Australia.

Hmm.. (0)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298404)

the purpose of the TemplateMaster is to clone itself

Surely that is not the prupose, although I would agree to a statement something like this

the purpose of the TemplateMaster is to clone templates, which implies it can clone itself

What bothers me is that you could say the same thing about a lathe, which also has the ability to be used to create more of itself.

producing a tool capable of creating a copy of that same tool surely is a risky business venture.

It is a shame they resorted to such tactics, rather than more traditional methods.

Copyright violation in article (1)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298405)

Surely the licence agreement is subject to copyright law!

GNU (1)

Conspire (102879) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298406)

Who is going to write the recommended GNU license the company should switch to! And next thing you know they will invest in SCO!

Problematic if you're a treehugger. (0)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298411)

What exactly would a hippie do in a situation like this? On one hand, they would want to protest the fact that Stots isn't letting them share. Not to mention, a true hippie absolutely loves a good protest.

On the other hand, these tools are used to promote the murdering and desecration of helpless, beautiful trees.

I understand that you're torn, flower children. But I must ask, what would you do in this situation.

Re:Problematic if you're a treehugger. (1)

ottawanker (597020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298418)

I understand that you're torn, flower children. But I must ask, what would you do in this situation.
Speaking from experience, the answer to your question is LSD.

What's next? (1)

zonix (592337) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298442)

What's next, I wonder? 'Shrink wrap' (pun intented) agreements for condoms?

z

Y2K Compliant Guaranteed (1)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298450)

This tool is Guaranteed to be Y2K Compliant - http://www.claytool.com/ [claytool.com] - surely we need to adopt and embrace tools such as this? ;)

I should license my own tool (4, Funny)

webslacker (15723) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298460)

My tool has been used by way too many women far too long to make duplicates of me. In addition to charging women for the use of my instrument, I will require that they only use my hardware for personal use and not for creating pirated copies of myself.

Let's see what's right here and what's not (2, Informative)

dunstan (97493) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298464)

OK, let's treat this jig not as a tool, but as a pattern. What would seem reasonable with a pattern?

Would it be reasonable to make copies of the pattern and give them to one's friends to use in their own workshops? I would suggest not.

If I lent the pattern to my friend for him to make end products, that would seem reasonable.

If I lent the pattern to my friend, he made a copy, and then he used that copy to make end product while I used the original pattern to make end product, that would seem unreasonable.

But clearly these guys are taking the view that, while the jig itself can be considered goods which have been purchased, its use constitutes making copies - in the same way that when you buy a software CD, actually using it in your computer is considered copying (from the CD into memory). By using this logic, the maker has chosen to treat the use of the jig as copying, and *in* *law* he may well have a case.

This takes me back to the 1980s when the old Sun 3 machines came with an operating system "right to use" licence, and if used hardware was sold, then the puchaser had to purchase another "right to use" OS licence because he wasn't covered by the original licence. They stopped that years ago. More recently we've seem Microsoft suggesting to schools and charities that PC hardware donated to them by businesses probably has an OS licence which is non-transferable.

Anyways, rather than complaining about this EULA on a jig/pattern, if they really can be used to make replicas then there is clearly a need for a Free Jigs Foundation so that these silly people go out of business.

Dunstan

This is exactly the thing... (1)

ihatesco (682485) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298470)

That RMS warned us about when he talked about GNU.
Look here [stallman.org] and here [gnu.org] .

a reproducing tool (0)

dynamo (6127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298475)

"the purpose of the TemplateMaster is to clone itself"
uh..
why would you want to buy something that can only duplicate itself?
at least it's convienient.. how many 'copy-protected' materials are themselves violations of the DCMA - on themselves?

This is not the first user-liscenced tool/toy (0)

Zeromous (668365) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298487)

Do Not:

-squish Super Happy Fun Ball(tm)
-run with Super Happy Fun Ball(tm)
-throw Super Happy Fun Ball(tm)
-lend Super Happy Fun Ball(tm)
-make your own Super Happy Fun Ball(tm)
-have fun with Super Happy Fun Ball(tm)

Like Lawrence Lessig once said... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7298494)

That laws don't get changed by the consumer unless theres a large outcry. Things like this, combined with the FCC broadcast flag, and the RIAA lawsuits, could very well spell an end to the DMCA and copyright extensions, because up until now, the average consumer hasn't had to deal with the IP issues like the more tech savvy people have. In fact, 99% of them aren't even aware of these issues, but they will be soon.

Oh shit (3, Funny)

garethwi (118563) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298504)

I just lent my son a hammer for his school woodworking project.

If anyone asks for me, I'm in Mexico.

What are the chances (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298515)

that this when this starts to snowball it will cause the uproar that makes all non-point-of-sale contracts invalid?

I can dream, can't I?

do they think this is going to stop people? (1)

a.koepke (688359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298522)

We have software licenses and we still have software piracy.

Do you really think this is going to stop someone from lending it to a friend or replicating it. Software licenses havent stopped me copying software.

I really think this is 100% pointless.

Wha? (1)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298524)

You have GOT to be kidding me.
My god, where is this leading us to? Now we don't even own the stuff we bought in a hardware store?

Will someone PLEASE stop the madness?!

Imagine... (-1, Offtopic)

rsmeds (539318) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298535)

...a beowulf cluster of these! ...

sorry.

Rights... (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 10 years ago | (#7298541)

If this trend continues eventually we won't own anything at all. That would infringe on our self-evident rights to life, liberty and property... no wait... let's pursue *happiness* instead, who needs to own anything? ;-)
(Pursuit does not equal attainment)

-Don.
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