60-Seconds #331 : Somebody asks when should software be a subscription service?

by Fred Showker

Fred Showker's 60-Second Window Apple reached into my iPhone and removed software. I did not realize this had happened until I wanted to stream my favorite channel. I was a little more than upset because I had come to really like Apple Radio and had two dozen great radio stations. But I really have no room to complaint, I didn't pay for the service or the app. However, I wonder what they would say if I reached into their computer system and removed software they had come to depend on?

Kirk McElhearn writes :

Quoting  begins The excellent Mac utility app TextExpander is moving to a subscription pricing model, and this is creating a dialogue about the justification for such a model. From a one-off purchase of $35 – plus upgrades every couple of years, usually at about half that price – Smile Software has moved to a monthly subscription service that would cost $47.52 per year. Quoting  ends

What's your opinion of this? My advice is to keep the last non-subscription version.

Somewhere, hidden deep in software policy documents there's probably a line that says you agree to what ever they want you to agree to, just by virtue of buying the software. But coming back a year later, and reaching into your computer and breaking the software you paid for seems a little questionable. If you went into your kid's school computer system and deleted files, there would be a major uproar. You could be prosecuted -- in fact it's a felony. If you'll read the U.S. Federal Code, Title 18, you'll learn that computer tresspass is a fairly serious offense. But you agreed to let them, right? No?

I've often wondered about rights of remission. In the state of Virginia, no contract is legal unless signed by both parties. Most require a witness. The softwre company would be hard pressed to produce your signed, dated, agreement giving them permission come into my computer or iPhone to remove software. Are you really legally bound by virtue of purchasing the product? Has it ever been tested in high court? If so, you could be legally bound to all sorts of evils by purchsing anything -- a cup of Starbucks coffee or a carwash. If you could be legally bound by virture of an act it would make HIPAA a completely unnecessary law. Somebody said "NO, they can't do what they want without your written permission!"

More importantly, in a world deluged with evil cybercriminals, and how they easily hack into the biggest companies, are you really sure you want someone to have easy access into your digital devices back doors? Do'ya feel lucky?

I'm not a lawyer, but I have read most of the Federal Code relating to computers and electronic data because of my spam fighting activities so I'm leaving software rentals alone. I'm still using Adobe CS6. When it stops working, I'll remove it. Just keep the last version you paid for, as long as it works, and you'll be okay.

GO Read Kirk McElhearn's whole article "When Should Software Be a Subscription Service?"

Thanks for reading

Fred Showker

      Editor/Publisher : DTG Magazine
      +FredShowker on Google+ or most social medias @Showker
      Published online since 1988

Follow the leads . . .

GO Adobe’s Software Subscription Model Means You Can’t Own Your Software
GO Microsoft Chimes In on Software Subscriptions
GO Software subscriptions: #progressive or #premature?
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