My View

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My View

Postby londoner_86 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:00 am

FWIW - I'd like to put across my own view on all of this, as I do know people who work at Red Gate (but will not name them here for fear of the community managing to figure out their personal e-mail addresses).

1. Red Gate is NOT an evil company.
Let's look at the way they treat their staff for example. Seriously, just go to the careers page. They treat their staff amazingly. This helps to get them the best staff in the country. These are the elite. Intelligent people, who are not pronr to making mistakes.
Because they are treated so well, they genuinely care about their job. The companies mantra has always been to put the customer first. No pushy sales people, just intelligent people you can have a conversation with and will take the time to understand what you are trying to achieve.

They don'ts it around and think how they can get an extra penny here or there. They sit around and think about what tools customers want.

How many other companies can you name that do this?

2. Reflector was never open source. Please stop saying it was.

3. Taking away anything that was once free and asking people to pay for it isn't, as we say in Britain, "cricket". However, no-one is FORCING anyone to pay it. By saying this, you make it sound that the tool is fundamental to your day to day work. In which case, if it's that importnat, surely $35 is a no brainer.

4. BUT....$35 is still money!

Yes - and it remains to be seen if Red Gate will, as they imply, use this revenue to invest in the tool. If they don't and instead just maintain it for new VS versions, etc., then fair enough...

5. Let's look at SQL Prompt
Back when it was free (pre-Red Gate) everyone said it was fine at what it did. They said this because it was free. Then Red Gate started charging for it...and look at the tool today! If this is what Reflector becomes then I can only see good things.

So - in conclusion. Yes, you can be angry at Red Gate. But first give them a chance. No-one can deny that they offer market leading tools for SQL and .NET alike so time will tell what happens next.

P.S. I've seen a few posts about executives wearing ties...they dont exist!
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Re: My View

Postby AvonWyss » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:22 am

londoner_86 wrote:However, no-one is FORCING anyone to pay it.

By timebombing V6 they do, in fact, take away already granted licenses for the use of V6. That is the thing that is being critisized most and called "evil", not that they want to be a profitable company. But you seem to overlook this in all your praise for RedGate.
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Re: My View

Postby mb » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:35 am

AvonWyss wrote:
londoner_86 wrote:However, no-one is FORCING anyone to pay it.

By timebombing V6 they do, in fact, take away already granted licenses for the use of V6. That is the thing that is being critisized most and called "evil"...


Note that the 'granted' license doesn't provide you with much of anything - in fact it has the standard disclaimer that Red Gate don't promise the software will do anything. Apparently, they're actively following through on that.

So I believe there's at least no legal liability on Red Gate's part. And even if there were some liability applicable - a license might not legally be able to remove a 'fit-for-purpose' expectation, for example - the best that anyone can generally hope for is to get back whatever consideration was given in exchange for the license. That's lawyer talk (even though I'm not a lawyer) for, "at best, you might get your money back".

That said, I agree that timebombing the last free release isn't something I think Red Gate should do - aside from just being a bit mean, it's clearly an epic PR debacle.
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Re: My View

Postby AvonWyss » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:55 am

mb wrote:Note that the 'granted' license doesn't provide you with much of anything - in fact it has the standard disclaimer that Red Gate don't promise the software will do anything. Apparently, they're actively following through on that.

There is a difference between excluding warranties and willful sabotage of the software to render it useless (the expiration date 30 Mai has no technical reason and was willfully set, as you can read yourself in the texts provided by RedGate). §10 does not specify a termination of the right to use the software if the license is not breached or uninstalled by the licensee, therefore if they take away the possibility to use the software they are likely violating §4.1 (a):
Reflector License wrote:4.1 In consideration of the mutual rights and obligations under this License, and subject to the provisions of this clause 4, the Licensor grants to the Licensee for the term of this License a limited, personal, non-exclusive, non-sub-licensable and non-transferable License:

(a) to use and copy the Software for the Licensee's own personal or internal business purposes on any computer owned, leased and/or controlled by the Licensee or its employer or organisation for whom the Licensee has installed the Software
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Re: My View

Postby mb » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:04 am

AvonWyss wrote:There is a difference between excluding warranties and willful sabotage of the software to render it useless


I'm not sure "willful sabotage" applies here since the timebomb is a part of the original download and it just makes their software stop functioning - no data is lost. Maybe there could be some liability if the timebomb isn't properly disclosed up front - I dunno, but I could maybe see that. However, I think this is pretty unlikely since all that happens to the damaged party is that they're left in the same situation as if they had never downloaded the software to begin with.

Again - I'm not saying that what Red Gate has announced is all fine and good. But saying that they've breached anything more than customer confidence or goodwill is probably overstating things.

Anyway, since I think I'm really getting into legal details that I really know nothing about, I'll stop speculating.
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Missing the Point

Postby sosiosh » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:36 am

The point is not the cost of the software or whether or not Red Gate would be losing money by continuing to support and enhance it without charging for it.

Developing software without charging for it is (at the most simplistic level) going to lose you money. Of course. Duh. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out, and I have the utmost faith that when Red Gate acquired the software and said they'd keep it free, they had at least the limited intellectual capacity to figure this out and then some. They make good software, so I assume they are a clever bunch.

Yes, getting money for software means that you can pay for things like keeping it up-to-date, bug free, useful, etc. Again, you'd have to be a nincompoop to not realize this simple fact. We need to stop arguing points from a foundation of ignorance. All this is obvious. Stop repeating these arguments and think that you are saying something valuable. You aren't.

However, it is intellectually dishonest to equate the purpose and effect of the timebomb within the context of the original software, and the purpose and effect of the timebomb in the context of version 7.

The purpose of the original timebomb was to make sure that everyone had the best software, and that they didn't suffer the impact of bugs that were subsequently fixed. It was there to help people.

The impact of the same timebomb in the current context is to make the software useless, unless you pay. This is extortion.

Finally, the real issue is one of integrity. Red Gate is/was dishonest and are acting/acted in bad faith. Don't play childish word games: it was plain that they said they would continue to offer the software or a version of it for free. They knew full well when they acquired the software that they would not make money off directly off of it if they didn't charge, and they went ahead anyway AND made assurances to the developer community that this was the case. Either they were lying then, or they went back on their word now. Either way, it means they are untrustworthy, and THAT is the real issue.
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