Digital Morality & the Family Pack

Discussion in 'macOS' started by BWhaler, Mar 1, 2005.

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  1. BWhaler macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    I am not proud to admit this, especially since I love Apple so much, but I never buy the family pack for Apple products despite installing them on multiple machines I own. In fact, when one of my friends bought a family pack for Panther, I thought to myself, "why would he waste money like that?"

    It's funny to think about, the new morals of the digital age. I am not a poor college student, and I have the money. I never give Apple software to other people since I want Apple to see the revenue. If asked for Apple software from a buddy, I lecture them and tell them to buy it themselves.

    (And with that said, I have no problem giving someone a copy of Office since I hate that company so much and find them grossly unethical and deserving of the type of ethics they exhibit in the marketplace.)

    But I know it is wrong, and I know it is illegal. Yet, I just feel that buying one copy is support enough despite the license agreement, and despite how much I enjoy supporting Apple. Hell, to make it worse, I am a shareholder.

    So what gives? It's not about the money. iLife family pack is 20 bucks more. Tiger's family pack is $70 more. Not going to break the bank.

    And it's not that I download Apple software off of P2P networks. I would never do that. That I consider stealing.

    But I have no problem buying Tiger or iLife and installing it on four Macs. And I know I should not. I know this too is stealing.

    Finally, to make matters worse, one of the things I love about the Mac is there is no OS or software authentication which is tied to the hardware. As a consumer, I should be rewarding the behavior I value. I should be voting with my wallet.

    Anyone else out there behave the same way? And, before anyone replies with a lecture, understand I know it is wrong and illegal, and always pay for the primary copy. Always. It's just that I treat all software as if it is a family pack, despite the license agreement.

    Am I alone in this Modern Morality? Am I over-thinking this, or is it time to grow up and act like a responsible Apple supporter and shareholder?
  2. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....Yes....oh yeah!
  3. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    You can justify it to yourself all you want, but as long as you know it's still wrong and still stealing...

    That said, I'm temporarily running a pirated iLife installation, as I've sold my iLife '04 package but not yet ordered iLife '05... and I *am* a starving university (grad) student.

    It's freakin' $20. You can't buy a good dinner for that nowadays. Four Macs, that makes it an extra $5 each. I see in your sig you run a pretty nice top-end dual G5 setup with a 23" LCD. If you can afford all those Macs, how can you NOT justify an extra $5?

    I could see your argument if we were talking about Office and you didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars per seat. But $5? C'mon.
  4. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    Playing devil's advocate are you advocating another wrong to make a right? I think Wal-Mart is an extremely unethical company with way too much money, but I don't shoplift from them.

    Who is to say Microsoft is so unethical anyways? (Again, playing devil's don't flame). They are a business in a capitalist society...and the goal is to make as much money as possible.

    Apple is the same way...out to make as much money as possible. Who has to say that Apple didn't take the GUI from Xerox or didn't take Dashboard from Konfabulator? Is that not unethical....or is it the same thing MS has always done?
  5. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    I don't think it matters whether or not you like a company or not, it's still wrong. I mean just because Microsoft isn't my favoritest (yes I know thats not a word) company, doesn't mean I can pirate Office. The law doesn't say 'You can pirate as long as you don't like the company'. If that were true, everyone would say they hated all software companies.

    And even if a company were "unethical", that still does not excuse it IMO. Ethnical or not, the product cost money to buy, there's not legal way around that. It's a similar thing with music piracy, some people say the record companies rip us off, etc, etc. Ripping us off or not, the product still cost money and is not free.

    I'm not JUST saying this to you here. This is just my opinion in general.
  6. BWhaler thread starter macrumors 68030


    Jan 8, 2003
    Interesting replies...thanks for your thoughts.

    One thing I forgot to mention was I never really thought about my behavior until I read a thread earlier mentioning the Tiger family pack. The mention of it made me wonder why I never buy the family packs.

    That's why I wondered if it was some type of odd digital morality--or lack thereof--since:

    1. I never consciously made a decision to behave this way. It's just what I do.

    2. I never did, nor am now, trying to rationalize or justify my behavior in any shape or form. My comments were more my exploring the drivers of my behavior and why I behave in inconsistent ways.

    3. As I said, I certainly can afford it. I don't use p2p for music or for software or for movies; I pay for them. It's just that before tonight, it never popped in my head to buy the family packs. And frankly, I suspect most people are that way. Do most folks buy 2 copies of iLife or the family pack for home? Probably not.

    Finally, I hope folks here understand the spirit of this thread. I am not some kid rationalizing why it is OK to steal music or software. I know it is wrong. Even doing it to Microsoft.

    Rather, I am simply exploring my value system on digital morals--including some of the oddities & inconsistencies--and learning how others feel about license agreements and IP in the digital world.

  7. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I know what you mean and I think it's a very prevalent feeling in the world. I also think there's a 'holier-than-thou' aspect to those of us here who are throwing our hands up in horror.

    I know many people who wouldn't dream of going onto a P2P server to get apps or buying dodgy copies of a CD/DVD in the street, but see no problem at all in getting a copy of something from a friend (be that a CD, an application, a game).

    The 'Family Pack' morality doesn't affect me at the moment. I only have one Mac. I guess the question comes where you have 2 Macs (desktop and laptop) and there's only you using them. If you don't use them simultaneously, then I suspect there are many people who would just buy 1 version and put in on both. If you have a 'family of 3 or 4 Macs' where multiple people are using them at the same time, any justification for not getting the family pack seems weaker.

    Question - I assume the family pack still just comes with one DVD install disc? My mother/sister have Macs but absolutely no understanding of software or OSes. They both live several hundred miles away - I'm assuming I'm going to have to get them their own copies of Tiger when it comes out rather than get a family pack and install it for them?
  8. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I'm in an interesting situation when it comes to the family pack. There are only 2 Macs that I know will be capable of running Tiger (or any version of Mac OS X for that matter) in my household. One of the Macs belongs to me. The other one, however, belongs to a family member who travels and has a PowerBook. The $64,000 question is this: Does it make sense to buy the family pack or not? I have been known to reinstall Mac OS X just because I feel like it, but the PowerBook user has never reinstalled Mac OS X. I'm leaning towards buying the family pack, but I'd like some advice.
  9. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Actually, I buy the family packs.

    It should be noted that buying the family pack costs less than 2 individual packs. This is currently true for both iLife and OS X.

    I can't see not buying the family pack and supporting Apples licensing scheme and price points.

    As for other companies software, well everything I have is legal/shareware tha I keep using payed for.

    Just remember some software from some companies have different licenses. There is the desktop/laptop license as long as both as used by primarily the same person. Microsoft and Adobe has this for some products.

    Some sotware is licensed for any machine used by primarily the same person. Some software enforce being used only on one machine at a time no matter the license. And some leabe it up to the end user to follow the license.

    I guess in summary, anyone who has both a desktop and a laptop should probably be getting family licenses of iLife and Mac OS X. (Presuming they install the iLife apps on both machines of course.)
  10. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    What about buying the family pack for a small network install in a business environment? Isn't it licensed for home/private use only?

    I will add that we did buy individual Panther OSs for the Macs that needed them but only because we're FAST-certified.

    However, I'm sure that when the time comes to do a Tiger install at work somebody is going to say 'What about the family pack'?

    I mean, I love my colleagues but you could never describe us as a family. :)
  11. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    The family pack is not for business use as you have surmised, it is only for use at home. So you're stuck with buying individual copies. Of course companies that large enough can get multiple license discounts on various software or site licenses (depends on the software). I'd hate to be a company that was caught violating a license.
  12. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    It's one of those irritating situations. About 100 employees, MS site-licensing for 100+ PCs and then there's us: the design team with our 6 Mac network.

    4 workstations & 2 servers (1 for print) so we don't even qualify for a Quark site license (min. 5). The Adobe & MS apps are heavily discounted 'cos we're a registered charity... pity that Apple won't do the same.
  13. timdeleware macrumors newbie

    Jul 13, 2004
    Detroit, MI
    i'd like to point out that the goal in the capitalist system is to make money, not necessarily as much as possible.

    i'd also like to point out that apple knows that people break the rules, and that they could limit it, and they choose not to; they feel that either, they're not loosing enough money to bother everyone with keys and that sort of business, or that they don't mind when this guy installs a this stuff on a couple of his personal macs. even the name of the product suggests its for people who want to share with their wife or children, (or husband; sorry to assume.)

    often, its not the law that is important but how it is enforced,(not that i agree with this kind of behavior, it's just how our legal system works) just because thats what the terms of ownership dictate, doesn't mean any one that matters cares, it just means some one wanted to create a legal prop so that they COULD take action.

    apple clearly isn't worried about it like microsoft is. they don't have holograms on their disks and they don't use keys-except on their expensive software...-;my guess is that they absolutly do not care if you install an os upgrade on two computers, right next to each other, that only you use; and to prove it they offer a family edition so that you can feel better about it, and to preserve the integrety of their license.
    just a thought
  14. andrewfee macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2004
    In the past, when I was using Windows machines, I have pirated, and I'm not proud of it. This was mostly when I was back in highschool, and couldn't afford to buy software / games. I would justify it to myself by saying that there was no way I would have purchased it if I had the money, so if they wouldn't see my money either way, then I may as well just use it.

    I then "cleaned up" a bit, and was only downloading software if they didn't offer a demo/trial version, and used that to try it before I bought it. While I thought this was better than I was doing, I often ended up either not paying for the software anyway - my reasoning at the time was "why pay for something I already have?" and with games, I would often finish them before I could get out to the shops to buy them even if I did plan to.

    I did try to "go clean" again, but was never successful, as I didn't have much money coming in, and what I did have was mostly getting spent on hardware.

    Then I got a Mac.

    This is what changed me; with my Mac I was determined to be as legal as possible.
    Seeing as none of my previous software would work on it, that helped a lot, as I wasn't tempted to just install something off a disc I had.

    Rather than saying I couldn't afford the software and downloading it (photoshop/ dreamweaver/office for example) I would look for alternatives.

    There are a lot of good freeware/shareware/lower cost alternatives for most of the software I had been using. Sure, none of them are quite as good, but I would rather compromise than steal. Instead of Photoshop, I bought Photoshop Elements 3.0, which surprised me at how feature-rich it was for the price. (probably about 90% of the features for 10% of the price)

    Instead of Dreamweaver, I looked into other editors, and bought HyperEdit, which is only $20. The same applies to all the other software that I use.

    If there isn't a demo available, I'll try and do as much research as I can before I buy it, or look into an alternative that does offer a trial version.

    I can gladly say that there hasn't been a single piece of pirated software on my Mac since day one. I have had friends offer to loan me a disc when I've not had the cash for something (I've been offered iLife '05, and when I was going to buy Photoshop Elements 3.0, someone offered to give me a copy of the Adobe Creative Suite) but have declined every time, and it's a great feeling.

    Apple have excellent value for money with their licensing. It costs less to add another four systems than it does to buy two copies, which is great value for money - Microsoft and other developers should take note.

    No matter how you justify it, if you don't think it's worth paying that much "just for a cd/dvd" or whether you don't think it'll make a difference to big companies like Microsoft / Apple, it's still stealing.

    I have fought long and hard with my sister about music piracy. She has her own PC in her room that I administrate, but she was always installing Kazaa etc on it, and downloading music. Now that she has got a job, she has no excuse not to buy music, and I've finally got her to buy tracks from either iTunes, or to go out and buy the CD.

    She still gets the occassional track sent from a friend if it's not on iTunes, as she doesn't consider it stealing: "I'm not downloading it, I'm just 'borrowing' it" etc, but I've kept that to a minimum. (5/10 songs at most)

    I'm still trying to convince her not to do it, but haven't been able to. I think that now, if I were to delete those tracks, she would buy the CD or see if iTunes has them, so I might just do that.

    I don't know if it comes on one disc or not (I would also assume that it's one disc) but it's not strictly a "family" license. It's up to five Macs in the same household, so that would break the license agreement.
  15. CubaTBird macrumors 68020

    Apr 18, 2004
  16. iindigo macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Personally, I don't buy the family packs, mainly since I hate the way commercial licensing is set up these days... What ever happened to the idea that when you paid money for something, you owned it?

    I love Apple and I love computers... but the one thing that I do hate is software licensing (unless it's GPL or similar... that's always cool). I know very well it's illegal to install my single copy on multiple computers, but I'm going to keep doing it anyway. I have better things to spend that extra $20 on.

    The whole licensing thing is a pain in the butt when you're fixing someone's comp, and need to erase and reinstall - just think: you diagnose the problem, go through the pain of backing everything up, and maybe even erase their HD, and then discover you've out of licenses. "Oh, sorry mam, I can't fix you're computer without buying the OS again" :rolleyes:
  17. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Apple's family pack licenses are a good thing. Maybe other companies will follow when they realize they can make a few more dollars from a home user.

    You're complaing about non-Apple software. I don't know of any software by Apple that enforces installation counts although some do have license keys.

    Adobe Photoshop on Windows enforces installation limits (1 desktop + 1 laptop for the same user) and so does Windows XP.
  18. jim. macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2004
    C-ville, VA
    Actually your sister is right. This is called fair use. Loaning music, or other copyrighted works, (or giving copies) to single entities is covered (You think mix tapes you make for someone are illegal too? Or how about when your teacher copied sections of short stories for class discussion?). Fair use doesn't allow for mass distributing, which I believe is what puts P2P on shaky ground.

    Don't willingly trample your, or more importantly our, consumer rights over some over-honesty kick. That said, I don't think that fair use covers software (though some interpretations say it does somehow), so you are definitely correct in your other statements.

    Edit: Oops, you're from the UK. Fair use may be different that imaginary American andrewfee! I'm so unworldly isn't even funny.

  19. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004

    Apple makes most their profits off of hardware. Their software is a reason to buy their hardware, bc you can't use it on anything else. Their hardware is usless without their software.

    I think that Apple realizes how much registration technology would interfere with their "Ease of Use" of the basic OS, That is why they do not use it. Apple's other software is not as intrusive as many other companies that include spyware-type (phone-home) technology.

    Apple figures that you paid for the hardware once, if you pirate the newer OS, well who cares. Why????

    If you like the new OS, eventually you are going to buy new Apple hardware anyways, bc you like Macs, which will include the new OS for free. If you pirate an Apple OS, it is like a preview for how good things will be if you buy a new Mac.

    I am not justifying piracy.
    But put 10.3 on an old Mac, and you'll want to buy a new Mac, bc your work effeciency wil be increased.

    my 2 cents
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Oh hell here we go with fair use again. The Fair Use provision that applies to the teacher making use of copyright materials in a teaching environment has nothing whatsoever to do with person A making a *copy* of some material and giving it to person B.

    A loan or gift of the *original* material (book, CD, whatever) is not copying.

    Mix tapes are copying however, P2P is copying, burned CDs are copying, taking the original CD and installing it on more then the number of computers pemitted by the license is copying. Borrowing a library book is not copying. A photocopier in a library is copying -- but the library pays a royalty fee on the copies made to cover that.

    Fair Use does not hinge on mass vs. small scale use; rather it is a subjective measure based on a combination of: The purpose and character of the use (criticism, comment, news reporting, or teaching), the amount of material used (a small portion vs. the whole work), the non-commerciality of the use, and the potential impact on the copyright holder's property.

    Here is the chapter and verse

    Fair Use is a specific legal term and it does not mean "It's fair to copy on a small scale" or "It's fair if it is for personal use". Making a backup of computer software media strictly as a personal backup is covered under another section, not Fair Use.

    "Under certain conditions as provided by section 117 of the Copyright Act. [you may make an] "archival" copy [of software you have purchased]... This privilege extends only to computer programs and not to other types of works.

    You are not permitted under section 117 to make a backup copy of other material on a computer's hard drive, such as other copyrighted works that have been downloaded (e.g., music, films)."
  21. jim. macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2004
    C-ville, VA
    Yes you quote section 107 very well. You are right, too, in the narrow sense of of 107's definition of fair use. Now here is where it gets hazy...

    Going down to 109 and reading about the limitations imposed over commercial advantage and copyright. THIS is what applies in small vs. large scale use.

    I made a mistake in using "Fair Use" as an argument. That is the wrong term (thus completely negating my argument; I'm glad following law is just a hobby). I don't know what the term is. Where it gets hazy is the fact that there is no precedent set over whether or not giving a friend a single copy of a copyrighted file constitutes a commercial advantage between these two entities over the holder of the copyright. There have been fascinating discussions over this at findlaw for several years now. Unfortunately we are no closer to getting precedent because the victims in question tried to go after the method instead of the infringers (there is precedent under Fair Use in this case, this is where I got mixed up), and now content themselves to pursue the infringers in civil court under arguements that could give us copyright precedence and end this back and forth on the subject at hand.

    Just to argue that sharing music with friends is shaky legal ground for all parties involved: Why don't the companies go after them under copyright law? It's been there for years, and is pretty well tested in tangible cases. No company does this. Instead they now encrypt copyrighted works and go under the DMCA (a whole new set of arguments that do apply to "fair use"). From what I have been reading many people think it is the commercial advantage clause. I think it is because DMCA tramples fair use and companies can go after the suppliers of the means thus saving time, but I guess actual lawyers don't think so.

    So in short, yes you are right. I made a faulty argument. Yet my point has not been proven wrong under 109 (yet).


    Oh yeah, question:
    So Apple encourages us to break copyright with our purchased music?
  22. 603 macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2004
    free software

    ten years from now, most software will be free or so inexpensive that you'll be glad to pay for it. don't sweat it. install a firewall and get some work done.
  23. djturner macrumors newbie

    Mar 3, 2003
    I think the original poster brings up an interesting question of morality. We all have or views on the law and are experiences with software. But what about the question of how easy it is to steal in this digital world. Most people would never go into a store and steal physical items, yet many people have no problem stealing digital versions or copyrighted works. I think this is really interesting. I know so many teenagers that have hard drives filed with stolen music and if you were to sneak into there room and steal their computer they would be screaming about how they were riped off with no sense of the hypocracy. People seem to place a higher value on physical items over intellectual property. Maybe it's a question of getting caught. Maybe the the only thing that keeps most people from stealing is the fear of being caught. People feel they would be caught stealing from a store but never in the digital realm.
  24. Balin64 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    In a Mauve Dream

    Why is it that at least once a month there is a similar thread to this one? "Should I steal this?" "Is this Legal?"

    Pardon me, but who the hell cares? If you install software on your Mac you do not own, keep it to yourself. If you have opinions about people that install software they do not own keep it to yourself!

    If you are a regular forum contributor, you know what the answer is going to be here: I've said it before and I will say it again: many MacRumors members are younger, inexperienced and generally unaware hyper-boy scouts. What is surprising is that at their age you think they would encourage "anti-establishment" practices such as sharing software: but they don't. I believe it may be caused by the fact many of them have never gotten laid or have no life outside their high school computer labs and their home Mac set-ups. Or the fact that Mummy and Daddy but their damn gear and software. Wait a few years you young dorks. When you have to decide between paying the electric bill or buying iLife, then you will understand. They are the most annoying, preachy, bitchy goody-goods I've ever read posts from. And during the summer, when they're out of school–forget it, their post counts sky-rocket. I joined MacRumors and read often-but I must say that I do not participate as much as I would like because of the teenage sietz-im-liebe around here at times.

    Do I "steal" software? None of your damn business. Do you? I don't give a damn.

    I love Apple's products and I will keep purchasing them as long as they are the best value for the money. I think we all do a good job of this: last time I checked Steve and the shareholders are doing just fine.
  25. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Ahh, the Don't ask, don't tell policy.
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