Ethics question: Sharing a family license with relatives

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PaulinMaryland, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. PaulinMaryland macrumors regular

    PaulinMaryland

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #1
    My daughter owns a MacBook; my sister's kids own two MacBooks. Would it be ethical to buy the family version of iLife 08 or iWork 08 and split it across our two households?
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Depends on your ethical compass? The agreement text at the bottom of the store page itself specifically states...

    So if you actually wish to comply with the terms, I think the answer is "no."
     
  3. nimbuscloud macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2007
    #3
    It says "family version"...so, share it with your family! :D

    :apple:
     
  4. PaulinMaryland thread starter macrumors regular

    PaulinMaryland

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    May 17, 2006
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    Maryland, USA
    #4
    OK, that settles it. I didn't know where to find the actual wording.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
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    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    It's one of those things where you could almost certainly get away with it, and people do much worse, but I guess you just have to decide for yourself, huh? :( I wouldn't personally consider you a bad guy if you did it, but you know? :eek:
     
  6. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #6
    The way I saw it, is that you're buying 5 seperate licenses for cheap and you are keeping it in the family. I didn't even realize Apple included that language in the terms and conditions. Kind puts a damper on me and my Dad buying the family license to save $30 each (we live in different states). Oh well, I guess I'll pony up the extra cash and get over it.
     
  7. Tumeg101 macrumors 6502a

    Tumeg101

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, California
    #7

    That's exactly what I thought....

    I would just do it,
     
  8. odinsride macrumors 65816

    odinsride

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #8
    If you buy a family pack do you get a CD set for each license? Or would you have to share the CDs amongst the 5 licenses?
     
  9. mr_matalino macrumors 6502a

    mr_matalino

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    Oct 14, 2005
    #9
    No, you get 1 CD for 5 licenses. You'd have to burn a copy of the CD or give them your original.
     
  10. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    #10
    I think Apple is pretty clear about the license terms.

    You can't share the software with family members not living in your home, unless they are a student of the same household living in a dorm.
     
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #11
    You'll have to adopt your sister's kids first :D

    It's not legal, and you won't get caught. But that wasn't the question; the question was whether it is ethical, and that is much more difficult to answer. And from Apple's point of view, neither of these is important, what is important to them how much cash you give to Apple.

    It is not clear whether you have a Mac yourself. If for example you had to decide whether you buy a single version for your daughter only, or one family version and share it, then Apple makes more money from one family version.
     
  12. PaulinMaryland thread starter macrumors regular

    PaulinMaryland

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    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #12
    I don't; we're a one-Mac family.

    I ran into a similar snag in the family pack of MS Office for Windows. We have three PCs, so I thought, "What a deal!" Only after buying it did I discover that the license forbids me to use it for paid work I do at home.
     
  13. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    The Bamboo Forest
    #13
    As has been stated above, the family pack is solely for Macs in your household. People can chime in with "you won't get caught so just go for it". I think the issue is with the question. Ethics tend to be a matter of opinion. The license agreement states that the computers need to primarily reside in your house (for instance a home laptop you bring to the library would be okay but not one you send off with somebody for college even if they live at your house during the summer).

    Is it against the agreement? Yes. Is it ethical? Only you can decide that. My personal opinion would be to follow the agreement.
     
  14. PaulinMaryland thread starter macrumors regular

    PaulinMaryland

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    #14
    I disagree. To me, the license is clearly referring to a kid you've shipped off to college who comes back to the nest each summer:

    but shall also extend to student members who are primary residents of that household but residing at a separate on-campus location.
     
  15. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #15
    Oh yeah you're right. I read that really really wrong. Reading comprehension fails me. :(
     
  16. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #16
    So, when your kid graduates, he/she has to erase the software from his/her Mac? Is this really what Apple had in mind, or seriously expects?

    Frankly, the entire "family pack" concept is fairly bizarre. It's a site license that really isn't a site license, by any normally accepted definition of the term. Personally, when a software license gets as weird and and confusing as this one, I wouldn't get myself too wound up into ethical pretzels over whether you're complying with the absolute letter of the terms or not.
     
  17. BanjoBanker macrumors 6502

    BanjoBanker

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    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Mt Brook, AL
    #17
    Same house is the key

    The way i see it, if you were to load iLife to your niece's MacBooks, you would be violating the license. I had a similar situation when one of my youngest daughter's friend bought a MacBook. My daughter told her I would load MS Office on her machine so she could have at school this fall. I explained to my daughter this was in effect, stealing, and I would not do it. I also explained this to her friend who understood completely and bought a copy for me to install. Several posters have referenced ethics as being personal, but I disagree totally. What is wrong is always wrong, regardless of opinions. In my case, I wanted my daughter to understand why it was wrong and I would not do it. To me, it was a good object lesson in honesty and integrity.
     
  18. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000

    Littleodie914

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    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    #18
    I'm not saying I disagree with your actions, but isn't the definition of "wrong" an opinionated idea anway? ;)
     
  19. Royale w/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #19
    This was one thing I had always thought about. I have three houses. Each with Mac in them, two with more than one. They are all my houses, but they are in two different states. I was thinking about a family pack for when leopard comes out, would this be a violation of the license to buy a family pack and load it on them? Each property is in my name, and all but one mac is registered to me, only because I sent home a brand new mac mini while I was out of town and my girlfriend registered it under her name, but my address as she lives with me. Thoughts?
     
  20. wongulous macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    #20
    If you buy 5 licenses, put it on 5 computers. Don't stress the minutiae about location. That's stupid. There are also provisions in some EULAs about how that if the software explicitly causes your computer to blow up, that they release all liability and that you won't sue until after arbitration and similar ridiculous things. Just ignore it and use your basic moral compass to realize that you are paying more for 5 times as many licenses, and you're not using it for commercial gain so you're not eschewing a commercial site license. I'm sure they're just thankful you're not buying the single-user and giving it out to 50 people, or just downloading it off of the internet and not paying a dime.

    Remember, Apple's profits are in the hardware, and the software is priced merely to avoid devaluation. Family pack being used by two families = two families using Apple hardware and more likely to buy Apple again in the future. Especially if it's iLife we're talking about that comes free with new Mac purchases--Apple won't sweat it, really. If you think you sort of owe Apple in a grey area for stretching the family license by a hair, then buy the kids iPods for your winter holiday of choice and a big fat iTunes card.

    I had a friend who took the legalities of things and transferred them directly to ethics and did not question them. He would not tear tags from mattresses, he would alert our waitress if she gave us a large nacho plate instead of the half-plate (in order to be charged the extra few dollars), and he would claim his $500/year in eBay sales on his income taxes. But he also didn't claim his costs because he felt that would be murky ethics because he doesn't solely use his computer for eBay sales. He also ended up always owing taxes, and now he's in debt and still the peon at the base of his company and doesn't have much fun. In fact, he isn't stupid (brilliant otherwise, in fact), but he is the most dull and annoying and depressing person to be around. I think he's the extreme of these types of arguments, but he really illustrates some of the ridiculousness in taking these things to the letter when it doesn't really matter that much... he wouldn't buy my copy of Panther because I wouldn't prove to him that it wasn't installed on all of my old Macs unplugged in the closet and he felt that would violate the EULA of Panther. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Winterfell macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    #21
    I suppose my "ethical boundaries" are perhaps larger than other people's, but nevertheless. I have several buddies at work, and when new software is released that we all want, we go in together on a family pack. While not following the terms explicitly, we're not getting the software free either.

    So it's up to you how you feel doing it. I, however, would share it, as to me, family is family, regardless of whether or not we physically live together.
     

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