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Borland: Open letter to the Borland developer community

Jan 16, 2002, 23:23 (8 Talkback[s])

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In response to freshmeat's 'An Open Letter to Borland/Inprise Concerning Licensing,' Borland's Dale Fuller responds that problematic language in Borland licenses weren't meant for home/personal users:

"Borland delivers products that are sold individually and in volume to major enterprise customers. The new end user license agreement mistakenly contains language that is specific to enterprise volume customers. This language is industry standard boilerplate for enterprise licenses, but it should not have been included in the individual product licenses. This was an error on our part and is in the process of being fixed."

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freshmeat's column on the matter:

"I had a very unpleasant surprise when I decided to test JBuilder 5 and Kylix 2 Open Edition. Both of these products were designed for the Linux operating system. After reading the license, I immediately aborted the install procedure. Both have license provisions which I feel are both invasive and ethically and morally reprehensible. To begin, I quote your own license:
12.  AUDIT.  During the term of this License and for one
(1) year thereafter, upon reasonable notice and during
normal business hours, Borland or its outside auditors will
have the right to enter your premises and access your
records and computer systems to verify that you have paid
to Borland the correct amounts owed under this License
and determine whether the Products are being used in
accordance with the terms of this License.  You will
provide reasonable assistance to Borland in connection
with this provision.  You agree to pay the cost of the audit
if any underpayments during the period covered by the
audit amount to more than five percent (5%) of the fees
actually owed for that period.

We are to grant you access to our work and materials for the purpose of verifying compliance with this license. In other words, we forfeit our right of privacy at our facilities or our homes -- a right which we are guaranteed under the Constitution -- simply to satisfy you that we are not cheating on a license. There will never be a circumstance under which I will allow Borland or any other greedy software company to invade my home without a warrant authorized by a court of law. In my opinion, you have no right to even ask for such a thing."

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