| 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.