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"stealing" FCP 7

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Bob Zelin"stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 6:33:08 pm

Hi -
now that FCP 7 (FCS 3) is no longer sold, is it ILLEGAL to install
a copy of FCP 7 on a new Mac computer, install the FCP software, and use SOMEONE ELSES serial #.

I am asking this question, because I have to install 5 new systems at a big company (that Apple would love to sue for software theft), but if they don't sell it anymore, is it theft ?

Bob Zelin

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Tim WilsonRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 6:55:04 pm

Putting the "zen" in "Zelin" - can you steal a product that doesn't exist?

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Mark SuszkoRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 7:09:55 pm

I can't give you a legal opinion. My mom loves to remind me every chance she gets how I'm not a lawyer.

As far as a moral opinion, again, I'm also not a professional ethicist but in the strictest, constructivist sense, it's technically immoral to use someone else's serial number to register a copy or copies of the product, regardless of if it is EOL or fully current and in production, and regardless of if or how much Apple makes or doesn't make from the deal. You signed a contract and made a promise to abide by it when you click the EULA OK button. If you don't believe in EULA's, maybe some of you believe in the Book of Matthew, which has a similar stance.

It is still Apple's I.P., they are very specific in the many pages of the EULA and you check a box in the EULA "shrinkwrap" agreement that this is what the situation is and you agree to it.

This is what we've always haughtily told the kiddies who come by here asking about pie rat head, ker-act'd or where's software (let's see if Ron's filter was smart enough to parse that sentence and hold this post for moderation or not).

Anyway, now it is us pros that are on the recieving end of the hard truth and faced with a moral dilemma.

Now some people will be up for many nights, soul-searching on this. It would be a "victimless crime". Punishment is unlikely. And if you already owned your copy, nobody is running detector vans up and down the street like the BBC license enforcers, tracking you.

The argument we always gave the kids about this was that while they might get away with it for a while, their problems would start when they needed support or upgrades or other help, while under paying client deadline pressure, and couldn't get it. That word would get out about them in the pro community and among the customer base as to the shaky reliability of depending on software you don't actually own. People would decide about your character from this.

So maybe it boils down to what your personal code demands. That's for each man to answer in his shaving mirror.

If you are asking me to predict what I *think* many people WILL do... I think they are going to go ahead and do what you're thinking about... but only as a stop-gap answer, while they work towards something else that is fully "legit". They are not going to sleep well until they have transitioned to something else without this "baggage". Another reason to curse "The Phone Company", as I now call them, for creating this problem.

I remember in the early days of Premiere, practically any shop with a computer to spare had a free or "borrowed" copy of Premiere on a terminal somewhere, as a back-up or second-tier answer for the odd edit job not suitable for their main suites. Yes, Adobe used to give out free copies of Premiere at one time, included in a promo bundle of apps and hardware from third parties, I dimly recall. I think they did it to try to get a critical mass of users early in the market, to capture mind-share. The copy protection in those early days was weak, and so illegal copies flourished on the early 'net. But owning a copy like this is not something you would be proud to admit to customers or people you want to impress, and those old versions are way old and gone now.

Some time back I bought a used copy of FCP4 on the condition that the previous owner de-registered it first, so there would only be one owner at a time. I have not even installed it yet, though I have an older imac that should be able to handle it at home, for quasi-pro stuff for friends and family. That imac is not upgradeable to handle LION or FCPx anyhow. If I could have a used copy of 6 or 7 at home for that same kind of hobby use, I'd love it. But that's all I would want to use it for, hobby use, not professionally.

I just don't have the kind of poker face it would take to sell a paying client on the idea that I wanted to install what was technically where's copies of software for his mission-critical business.

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walter biscardiRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 7:19:32 pm

What's the latest on that additional licenses deal? I thought that was about to happen. If you own the software you can purchase additional licenses for more installs.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Bob ZelinRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 8:12:11 pm

My "morality" is this - I am going to spend over $15,000 for 5 new MAC Pro computers - and I would give them the other $5000 for FCP 7 I could buy it. But I cant. So I give you 15 grand, and I "steal"
the software - which you won't sell me anyway.

Of course, the only problem here is that this client is a HUGE company, and if this not technically legal, they could get sued (which in turn would get me in trouble) - which is why I am asking.

Bob Zelin

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Mark SuszkoRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 8:39:26 pm

I think I addressed that in the first half of my answer. My own "civilian" reading of the legalese in the shrink-wrap suggests it would be technically illegal. Though I can't speak to the prospects for any enforcement. "The Phone Company" has many, hungry, well-paid lawyers on speed-dial, looking for things to do. Your client's lawyers are paid to identify and mitigate legal risk. To their company. Not to you. Do you feel lucky?

I'm interested in hearing any details about this possible olive branch Walter is referring to, it's the first I've heard of it. Is it a real thing, or just somebody wishing out loud?

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Craig SeemanRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 12, 2011 at 11:43:59 pm

Peter Wiggins states this in his blog after having attended a London meeting with Apple.

Apple are investigating the possibility of allowing existing volume licence holders to buy more seats. The problem is a legal one with licences. Glad to hear they are listening to our feedback. FCS3 box set will not be coming back.

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Jeff BernsteinRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:31:56 am

Similarly, I am investigating the possibility of purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Craig SeemanRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:45:20 am

[Jeff Bernstein] "Similarly, I am investigating the possibility of purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge."

To build an Apple Retail Store on site of course.

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Tim WilsonRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 1:01:21 am

[Craig Seeman] "[Jeff Bernstein] "Similarly, I am investigating the possibility of purchasing the Brooklyn Bridge."

To build an Apple Retail Store on site of course."

I happen to be the seller of this very bridge, and can offer you very special pricing.

Please note:

The Brooklyn Bridge now connects Manhattan to Queens rather than Brooklyn.

While it does not any longer allow gas-powered automobiles, there are electrical outlets at 100-meter intervals. Don't know what a meter is? Keep moving, jacka**.

It has also been resurfaced with an impact-resistant sheet of glass. We recognize that some people will find it difficult to drive or walk on, but it doesn't need to be repaved, and just looking at it, you'll feel much better about how you yourself look.

Craig, there is no Apple store on the bridge. That could be hazardous. Instead, there is built-in, end-to-end wireless so that you can use Face Time while you drive. On a sheet of glass. To Queens. In an electric car.

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Craig SeemanRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 1:15:12 am

I'm hearing there's a 50% discount on the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toll for those who own the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Mike CohenRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:38:17 am

I can sell you several acres of land that is planned to be used for the pilings for the Manhattan to Coney Island bridge/tunnel - it is pedestrians and unicycles only and is caught up in zoning negotiations. Apparently the local mimes union fears that their monopoly on unicycling is threatened. The ACLU is now getting involved.

I don't even know what this thread was about, but it is fun!

Mike Cohen

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Mick HaenslerRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 13, 2011 at 9:36:01 pm

I struggled with this very issue last week. In the end, no matter what Apple did, I just didn't feel right about it and decided to stay put for now. You don't have that option it seems as these are new machines with no previous version installed.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media

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Marv MarvinRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 14, 2011 at 2:54:38 pm

I'm no legal genius, but if you are taking a vote, I would say it is Illegal and Apple will not turn a blind eye.

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Craig SeemanRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 14, 2011 at 3:57:56 pm

[Marv Marvin] "Apple will not turn a blind eye."

Any lawsuit initiated by Apple would probably result in major industry bad press. Not that that's a guaranteed inhibitor. Given that Apple has never gone after jailbreakers either, I would speculate "blind eye" wins. I wouldn't be surprised if the "phone home" eventually resulted in black listed serial numbers. I'm sure Apple knows they've opened the flood gates to FCS pirating in the short term.

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John BaumchenRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 14, 2011 at 6:15:37 pm

Not that this is related to your post but I always wondered why is it that when a company steals from an individual, it's civil action, but when the reverse is true, it's a criminal action.

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Alan LloydRe: "stealing" FCP 7
by on Jul 15, 2011 at 2:33:08 pm

That would be because most private individuals do not have the means that enable them to bribe lawmakers (should I say "make campaign contributions to.." or "hire lobbyists to..." instead?) to tilt the legislation in their favor.

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