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
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.
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.
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.
I just found out about this myself. There's a pretty full discussion at:
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.
IANAL, but IFAIK, those 'shrink wrap' agreements have never been upheld
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.
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
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
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.
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.
| 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
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
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.
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
Funny? You won't think so when they come for you.
Wake up, folks, we are giving up our freedoms one by one.
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.
"Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle."
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.
Charlie Self wrote:
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.
...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.
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