Think twice before buying a Stots dovetail jig.

I've never seen anything quite this bizarre. Stots (www.stots.com) makes the TemplateMaster dovetail jig. Actually, it's more like a jig for making the dovetail jig which is then used for the actual dovetails. I was looking around for my first dovetail jig ( I tried doing it by hand once, then decided no way!).
In any case, if you read the user agreement on his web site (which seems to written in an intentionally hard-to-read font), you'll find that you're not actually buying the jig. You're only buying the rights to use the jig. These rights are restricted to the person that actually bought the jig. You may also not sell the jig to anyone else, nor allow anyone at any other shop to use it.
So, if you've got a woodworking business that's lucky enough to have more than just yourself in it's employ, you'll need to buy a template for every woodworker in the shop. If an employee quits, then I guess you'll need to throw the template away and buy a new one for the next guy.
Thinking of buying one to try out, and if it doesn't suit your needs you'll just it sell on EBay or at your next garage sale? Think again. You could be sued for damages for violating the terms of the agreement.
Think that buying something actually means that it belongs to you, and that no court would ever actually uphold such an agreement? Think again. Some recent court rulings have gone the other way.
These fine print contracts that you've agreed to by the simple act of opening the package used to be limited mostly to computer software. Now they're showing up on actual physical products that have nothing to do with a computer. Either Mr. Stots has hired an over-zealous lawyer, or he's pretty unethical himself. In any case, I would *never* buy anything from his company.
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This is pretty lame, so you called and asked for your money back and they said no? Then call them and tell them you will contact the BBB. Then call them! File a formal complaint and perform a chargeback on your credit card.
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And did you contact Mr. Stots himself before posting in here? As an individual purchaser, such a limitation really wouldn't bother me one way or the other. And if I was in business, I'd probably be investing in something like the Leigh dovetail jig pretty quickly.
Clint

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says...

http://www.gripe2ed.com/scoop/story/2003/10/22/221921/32
I would never "license" a tool as opposed to buying it. Applying computer concepts to tools is asinine. Make that "more asinine" than when applied to software :-).
Stots is on my bad guy list as of now. I will send email to the company urging that they change their act and suggest that others do likewise.
--
Where ARE those Iraqi WMDs?

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IANAL, but IFAIK, those 'shrink wrap' agreements have never been upheld in court.
Within the United States, contract law is relatively uniform from state to state. It seems possible that provisions in his 'licensing agreement' conflict with contract law in your state and then the 'doctrine of first purchase' or some such would apply.
IOW, like Microsoft he may just be blowing smoke up your wazoo but unlike Microsoft he probably does not have the budget or the lawyers to harass you for blowing it back out.
It might be fun to post the original query to misc.legal.moderated where more knowledgible people might commment.
--

FF

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Hans -
Yes, the EULA reeks of Microsoft, but that being said, I've been happy with my use of the jig and have had it for several years. I've built several templates and have had good luck in making quick, speedy joints.
Lawyers contaminate everything.... The Spam of professional circles as it were...
Anyway, I think that trying to enforce Stots EULA would be a real trick. Maybe you can buy a "Router License" akin to a "seat license" for multiple user software. :-) You might look at the Katiejig, I think... It seems similar IIRC...
YMMV
John Moorhead Lakeport, CA
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If you're really that intimidated by an end-user license agreement than you need to drink some stronger Scotch and get some courage. Holy crap.
If you have a shop and have employees and want them to use templates you make from Mr. Stot's template master..... DO IT! How in God's name do you think he'll find out? If you want to sell the jig to someone else (I concede that ebay might be a little overt) then go ahead! Do you really think Mr. Stot is going to sue someone for damages in the amount of $20? As if he could even find out anyway.
I really wonder how some people get through the day if they're this afraid and/or affected by these types of things.

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Normally, I'd agree with you. This guy just may do that. One every page of his web site there is a statement My lawyers, probably with good reason, insist on the following:
It is also in the manual (downloadable) and a replacment warranty for 50% but you have to certify that you are honerable. It just seems a bit strange. I'll do business elsewhere. Ed
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| | I really wonder how some people get through the day if they're | this afraid and/or affected by these types of things.
Companies that put into place these weird license agreements that limit your options (e.g., to resell the item) do so because they've created a business model that relies on it. That gives them an incentive to come after you, because they'll lose revenue if they don't. Now that doesn't mean they will, because they can't possibly know of every violation of the license. But it means that you can't rely on their apathy once they know what you've done.
I can see the need to license rather than outright sell things like software or music or printed text. There's a difference between owning the item upon which it has been reproduced, and owning the intellectual content that the reproduction contains. When I buy a book I buy the right to read it, resell it, ignore it, throw it, use it to prop up a table, or keep in the bathroom as backup toilet paper. All that has to do with the distribution medium. Nothing legally prevents me from using my Windows XP installation disk as a coaster, hockey puck, or clock face. But I can't take the contents of the book (or the disk) and do as I like with them. That's considered a different legal object than the physical medium which is mine to keep.
The notion of licensing a physical object seems odd to my non-lawyer sentiments. If I buy a screwdriver, it's mine. If I want to pry the lids of varnish cans with it, that's my business. If I want to give it to my brother to use as an ice pick, that's my business. If I want to weld it to a plate of steel and call it art, that's my business. I can see the subtle difference between selling a tool, and selling a tool to make a tool. But my past experience is in engineering where we make tools that make tools to make tools, and so forth. I don't see that buying a CNC mill gives Cincinnati Milacron the right to the assembly jig that I make on it, or limits my ability to sell the thing to a smaller shop when it becomes obsolete.
I really hope this tool-licensing thing doesn't catch on. It's so ... wrong. As for the dovetail jig, it's not as if those guys make the only dovetail jig in the universe. We've been making dovetails for eons without his spiffy meta-jig. Vote with your wallet.
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Ask the womon whose 13-year-old daugher downloaded some songs and is now being sued by the RIAA.
Ask Tommy Chong.
Ask the researcher who was threatened with jail if he gave a paper on how to decrypt some lame encryption method.
Ask the company that was legally restrained from selling refilled inkjet cartridges for Lexmark inkjet printers.
A women was sued by Warner Brothers for trying to sell napkin holders that were covered with fabric she bought that had Bugs Bunny images on it.
Funny? You won't think so when they come for you.
Wake up, folks, we are giving up our freedoms one by one.
--
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Nobody lays out:

I'm trying to spot the shrink wrap agreements in your list. The little girl was stealing, breaking copyright laws. The only news is that the RIAA found a way to enforce those laws...whether or not the laws are right as written is another story, but in modern history, the profits from the sale of intellectual property belong to the developer/creator, not to anyone who can download them.
Tommy Chong was screwed by a bad law which has zip to do with creative items, IIRC. He was nailed for illegal possession of drugs, or possession with intention to sell, another bad law that's been around for decades.
Lexmark should NOT be able to contorl the use of their product in such a manner: IIRC, that case is being appealed.
Warner Bros. has a right to protect the use of the images they use to make a living for all their employees and stockholders. If you think this is rough, screw around with Mickey Mouse.

We are, but not in the manner you suggest.
Charlie Self
"Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle." Bob Hope
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I agree with all your points but one. the WB case, they were paid for their image when the women bought the fabric. She was constrained from using that fabric for an item she was going to sell. In this case WB wants $$ every time the material changes hands.
BRuce
Charlie Self wrote:

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BRuce


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I laughed after I bought my Stots jig. It was just like buying software. Then I peeled off all the stickers and blacked out the Stots name in all places in the manual. I've been happy with it ever since.
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I wonder, is it a tool or a plan for a tool? If the latter, are the regulations different for a plan than a tool?
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Hans Lehmann wrote:

...then the answer is rather the same as the one advocated by the "free as in speech, not as is beer" open source movement in software terms. Make your own jig making jig, and place its design under some variant of the GPL - Please make, copy and other wise disseminate this idea, but if you improve it, pass on the improvements to whoever wants them, and since you didn't pay for the original idea, don't expect or ask for payment for the improvement.
Steve
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Steve wrote:

Just get people to pay you to show them how to use it. :)
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Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Come and get me.
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please remove @com.com and change att and dott to @ and .

Thanks, Sam (trying to minimize spam)
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This is exactly how I feel. I, for one, will not cower from a sheet of paper.
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