I read about a useful application now available on GNU/Linux as a $free beta download. A .deb package was provided and did install easily on my Debian Jessie 64-bit system.
The programme mostly worked as advertised but despite Aspell being distributed with the package, spell-checking did not work out of the box. Otherwise, the appearance, layout and documentation were all first-rate. So far so good. Then I looked around for a licence. Buried in the .deb was some HTML but this was in your face:.
The “About” tab showed this:.
The text of the licence includes the usual stuff and this: “1. Licence
Upon accepting the terms of this agreement, the Licensor grants you, the licensee, (â€œyouâ€) and your family that live with you at the same address (â€œfamily membersâ€) a non-exclusive, non-transferable limited licence to use the accompanying Scrivener Apple Mac version software, including (if applicable) electronic documentation and associated material (the â€œSoftwareâ€) strictly in accordance with the terms and conditions of this licence agreement.
This licence agreement enables you and your family members to use the Software on your own respective computers within your household but you may not copy or transfer the Software to any other computer or hard drive. Any members of your family not residing at your address for eight months of any year or more are not family members for the purposes of this licence agreement and must purchase a separate Software licence.
Additionally, you may make one copy of the Software for back-up purposes, maintaining always the same copyright information as the original, and you may also install one copy of the Software outside of the household provided it is for personal use by you or a family member and reasonable steps are taken to ensure that no one else can use the Software.
You are taking responsibility for the actions of your family members and agree to indemnify the Licensor for any breaches of the terms of this licence agreement by you or your family members.
You and your family members are not permitted to copy the Software otherwise than for use of the Software for normal operation in accordance with this licence agreement. You shall not (save as to the extent allowed by law) disassemble, decompile or reverse engineer the Software, nor translate, adapt, modify, lease, rent, loan, redistribute, sub-lease, sub-license or create derivative works from the Software. You must ensure that the copyright notice of Licensor is duplicated as it appears in or on the Software on all authorised copies.
This licence agreement does not entitle you or your family members to use the Microsoft Windows version or any other version of the Software unless you have entered into a separate licence agreement for that version.”
Some of that is entirely reasonable but the part about having only one backup copy is just plain silly on Debian GNU/Linux. The APT package management system clearly keeps one backup on each PC on which it is installed. So, if you have N PCs in your household upon which you install the programme, you have 2N-2 violations of the licence. One can manually delete those extra backups but they want us to download to each machine rather than copying over the LAN which is so simple with GNU/Linux… Also, the typical user will run the application before seeing the licensing terms yet is considered to have accepted the terms by running the application…
I know why authours of software include such restrictions, to make sure they get paid per whatever. On the other hand, we should not have to enslave ourselves and our families in order to use a smooth, convenient application on our PCs. That’s like selling our children or self-flagellation before having any fun at all to nullify evil. It’s just evil to accept such restrictions. The licence began with “PLEASE READ THIS LICENCE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THIS SOFTWARE. IF YOU USE THIS SOFTWARE THEN YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS OF THIS LICENCE AGREEMENT.” Sweet, eh? I did not agree and purged the .deb from my system. I am not a slave. I do not agree to be bound in slavery to the authours of software. To add insult to injury, the authours presume to enslave us while we perform them the free service of testing their beta-software.
Give me FLOSS any day. I can examine, run, modify and distribute the software under a licence that comes along for the ride on a $free download. That’s freedom and the right way to do IT. Information should be $free and unencumbered by burdensome licensing terms.
I purged the files left by the programme after converting the .rtf it had created to ODT.