License doesn't envision expiration of old Reflector version

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License doesn't envision expiration of old Reflector version

Postby AvonWyss » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:53 pm

The FAQ states the following:
The free version will continue working until May 30, 2011.

That is something unheard of when starting to ask money for new versions of a product, and I wonder whether this is actually legal under the conditions the tool was provided under. Why would RedGate be allowed to take away a license for a tool downloaded previously for free?

By downloading the software I obtained a license for it. Neither point 4 nor 10 do limit the duration or schedule a termination of the license, provided that I don't breach it. As far as I understand, as long as the software remains installed on my computer, RedGate would breach its own license by making it stop working on May 30, 2011. I encourage everyone to investigate this on their own and also think about possible steps if RedGate does indeed break its own license.
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In the justice system, it's called extortion.

Postby tlomba » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:28 pm

I completely understand the need to generate revenue for software which was intended to be provided free, but there are some major issues that need to be dealt with. Unless I'm not understanding correctly, current V6 versions which were provided free of charge, will stop working on a given date, unless we pay you money? That's not software licensing, that's extortion. Like AvonWyss, I entered into an agreement when I downloaded and installed the application. That agreement gave me the understanding that I could use the product free of charge. Forcing me to upgrade to a new version and making the current version no longer function.. that's not only unethical, I'm quite certain it's criminal.

It seriously makes me question purchasing, or even using currently purchased products from redgate, since at any time you may force a new update on me which renders my software unusable until I pay you more money.

I'm guessing I must have missed something and the current version will remain free and functional long past the release of V7, otherwise this sounds like a brand suicide. It's hard enough to get over the fact that you promised the community to keep it free, but then forcing every current user to pay you or lose functionality, that's literally brand suicide. The redgate brand will forever be tarnished with greed and dishonesty.
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Really Redgate? REALLY!!!

Postby irritateddeveloper » Wed Feb 02, 2011 8:22 pm

what kind of nonsense is this? disable a free version and FORCE us to pay for v7 without being able to continue to use a version that was previously free? Did I just fall into the twilight zone? With all the economic problems we're facing right now, the last thing anyone needs is to be offered the choice between vaseline and paying up.

So I'm thinking that I will just disable the use of all redgate products for this unethical move and find a home with one of your competitors.

Why don't you give this back to Lutz instead. He didn't screw us when he was maintaining it.

You want us to pay for v7.. fine, w/e.. but outright disabling what we are using now is evil.
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This looks dead wrong

Postby Mike Gale » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:38 pm

I think software developers should get paid for their work. After all if somebody does a great job, do we, who enjoy the results, want him to starve?

Paying for something also gives you a stake, some control (small), a better chance that it will keep going and a better chance of good documentation.

So I think paying is a good idea. (Provided price is reasonable! It needs to be! I'm sure there are other developers, like me, who don't use it regularly but are pleased on the ocassions when they do want it.)

Having said that if a free version, goes dead on you and forces you to pay, then we seem to be in the land of criminal behaviour.

I'm not convinced that this is the case, and I've checked the online help (no chm) and can't find anything on that, but I'm hoping that won't happen.

In addition, Lutz brought this into the world. I don't know what his deal with Red Gate is, but if it's now paid for I hope he's getting an ongoing cut of the action.

I've also seen one time fees before. In my view a bad idea. You get ongoing improvement, ongoing work and pay once. It just doesn't work, do the math.
Last edited by Mike Gale on Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mike Gale
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Re: This looks dead wrong

Postby qstarin » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:48 pm

Mike Gale wrote:Having said that if a free version, goes dead on you and forces you to pay, then we seem to be in the land of criminal behaviour.

I'm not convinced that this is the case, and I've checked the online help (no chm) and can't find anything on that, but I'm hoping that won't happen.

You must have missed the part where RedGate said that is exactly what they are going to do.
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Postby AvonWyss » Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:16 pm

From the zdNet interview with Greg:

The current version of Reflector is version 6.5 which will expire on April 15th 2011. We didn’t think this was enough notice for the community so we decided that we would release version 6.6 today along with the announcement to give users access to a free version until May 30th. We are hoping people will use this time to get used to the idea of charging or find an alternative way of solving the problems they used to use Reflector for.

...and we should all be grateful for the generosity, right? But then again, expiring the old version before the new is even release would not have may any sense whatsoever commerically, so...

In any way, while Reflector has been force-updating itself in the past, the license grantet to us as the users of the free version does not put an expiration date on the use of V6. And that's what makes all this talk about the timebomb having been part of the product forever pretty much void.
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Postby volend » Fri Apr 15, 2011 1:48 am

The fact that you're making the product paid is very unfortunate. However, the most disappointing of all things happened to me just minutes ago, when I launched .NET Reflector V6.
It took about 2 seconds, and then a warning popped up.

Warning: This is not the latest version of .NET Reflector. Would you like to get the latest version?

There were two buttons which read:
- Yes
- No

Naturally I clicked the no button, and the executable went through a self-destruct sequence.

Nice! Not! :x

However, it makes me wonder. Why would a free tool have such a sophisticated mechanism, to check whether a new version exists and self-delete if it does. If I had to guess, and I'm terrible at guessing, I'd say this transition to a paid license was very well planned.
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Postby chew22 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:50 pm

On the ethics end of things, Reflector is acting just like all the hackers malware out there.

It compromises your desktop, then gives popup messages saying your computer is infected, and gives you a PayPal account to put money in.

Awesome job with the malware development there, Redgate.
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