Oh, dear… do I have to?
Once upon a time, there was a guy who did CloneCD. CloneCD was released in November 1999.
He had a tiny little company in Germany which called itself “Elaborate Bytes, Oliver Kastl”.
CloneCD always had 1 year of free updates, but from Version 1 to version 2 the price dropped (69,- USD to 49,- USD, AFAIR).
Because he didn’t want, that all the customers who paid 69 bucks get really pissed, the guy said: Hey, you trusty fellows, you will get a lifetime of free updates! (Meaning from him, of course… he couldn’t predict the things, that happened…).
Then came Macrovision and started to tease this guy. They managed to shut down his ugly white & green Website (hosted in the U.S.A., stupid!) and wrote a lot of scary letters with scary threats.
Then came Sony and started to argue, that “CloneCD violates one of their patents”. The reason: If CloneCD is able to copy a patented Sony copy protection, it allows the CloneCD customer to break Sony’s patent.
Sounded ridiculous, but became pretty serious after a short while.
The guy managed to get away from Macrovision & Sony, but was really scared. And he forgot to charge for updates.
He was searching for someone to buy CloneCD. Ahead was interested, but the Macrovision & Sony struggle scared them away.
Then came a clever swiss guy and said: “I buy your stuff for a lot of money!
I am in Switzerland, and I don’t care about Sony or anybody.”
The guy liked this a lot - he was a little afraid of legal stuff, as he was personally liable, and he had responsibility for his family - and sold the stuff to the swissman, who founded the company “Elaborate Bytes AG” (Corporation) in Switzerland.
So CloneCD was sold the first time in the year 2002 to Elaborate Bytes AG, including all rights, trademarks, sheeps, etc.
CloneCD stayed with Elaborate Bytes AG until September 2003.
Still, nobody was ever charged for an update!
Compare this with other companies…
Imagine this - no update charge from PowerDVD 2 until 4! Or think about WinDVD, even worse… Or Windows 98, ME to XP! Nero?
I think this was a fair deal!
Due to the legal change in Europe, Elaborate Bytes AG considered to sell CloneCD. SlySoft bought CloneCD, and they accepted the obligation to honor the “1 year free updates” for elby customers, which they did.
Of course, SlySoft doesn’t care what the original guy promised in the year 2000 to his customers. But they offer a 15 USD discount for all previous CloneCD owners, which I find reasonable.
It was very stupid, that they didn’t offer it for elby customers with licenses older than one year directly after the takeover. It is bad marketing to p*ss off your potential customers!
I believe they realised their mistake, because they offer the discount for all of their products, in case some “die hard clonecd addict” has already renewed his license, he/she can now get a cheap AnyDVD/CloneDVD license. Not a bad deal, and not bad products either.
SlySoft offers “a lifetime” free updates. Okay, you people say “if they sell it back to elby, we’re screwed again…”
Sure. But why would they do this? I believe they are quite happy with their purchase. And what is a lifetime? If a manufacturer goes bankrupt - whoops! gone are your update rights. You can’t even get one, if you want to!
Latest example: 321 Studios. Whoops, gone forever.
If the product is no longer sold, the “life” of the product ends. No more updates.
IMHO a period of 3-4 years of constant free updates is pretty much a “lifetime” for a Software product. Hey, this is the sofwate industry, the majority of products is sold for 6-12 months, maximum!
Nobody can predict what will happen to BlindWrite, if the EUCD strikes in France. Maybe they want to sell it to SlySoft? (Does VSO give lifetime free updates? I dunno…)
And Jan-Willem (or anyone else), please don’t put this little fairy tale in your news section, or post it anywhere else. Thank you!
(I am writing this, because if I babble something remotely interesting, I find my babble in the news section… how embarrassing! )