Moral dilemma


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I have a bit of a moral dilemna. When is it OK to hack activation?

    Here is the situation. I have a client who purchased and started using software over about 15 years ago. In 2010, they told them that they would no longer update the software, they were going to discontinue it. Now, my client has outgrown their software user licenses, due to landing a big contract and having to hire more people. This part was unanticipated. Now, should they have started looking elsewhere in 2010? Absolutely. But now here we are, and they do not have enough user licenses to get their work done.

    We contacted the company, who is still in business but no longer supports this software. We only wanted them to upgrade the user license count. They told us that they still have what they need to do so, but will not because they do not support that software anymore. We offered them many multiples of what the user licenses had previously cost. No dice. Finally, I offered them $50K for 20 additional user licenses. They refused it. "Sorry, we do not support that software anymore under any circumstances."

    So the client asked me if there is anything that can be done. I told him to let me think about it. This is a shitty PowerBuilder program. The software itself is horrible. Absolutely horrible. They used databases in the same fashion that someone sane might use tables. Seriously, there is a shitload of them. SQL files out in the open and full of N+1 SELECT statements. The entire software is a clusterfuck. Right down to the UI.

    PowerBuilder programs are very easy to decompile, and I may not even have to. I would be willing to wager that there is probably a config file somewhere with a number in it or something very trivial. I highly doubt that the monkeys banging on a keyboard who wrote this sack of monkey shit have put in place any sort of advanced software protections. I am even more inclined to think so since when they upgraded user licenses in the past, it always required remotely accessing the server. But should I do so? On the one hand, I say no simply because it feels wrong and is in the gray side of legality. A very dark gray. On the other hand, we offered them a shitload of money to do it and they refused, so I would be inclined to just go ahead and do it.

    Full disclosure: We are going to build the replacement for this program. We are just working out the details. It is also an agreement where I will retain the rights to the source code and the marketing rights to the software if I should decide to sell it to businesses. In exchange for that, they would receive royalties, but not to exceed the original development costs plus a small annual interest accrual. So, potentially I could end up being a...competitor? But not really, because they left this market completely and refuse to get back in to it, or so it appears. There is literally nothing worth stealing though. Seriously, the software is a total mess. Which I imagine is why they left. It had to be unmaintainable.

    So what say you? Would it be immoral to bump up the user license count as a stop gap measure? They refuse to do it, for apparently any price. If they were out of business, I would not even think about it, I would just dig around and do it. But the laws on reverse engineering have traditionally been interpreted to allow this. I do not know of any cases where the original company has been contacted, but refused to touch it.

    All comments welcome, even if they are @blakeyrat calling me a dumbass for even asking.



  • @Intercourse said:

    Finally, I offered them $50K for 20 additional user licenses

    Fuck man! Let's build this shit by ourselves and retire to the Caribbean.

    Oh, you're already doing that.

    I wouldn't bump the counter. Not because it's immoral or illegal, but because if you do it, then your current employer wouldn't be pressed into building the replacement.



  • @Intercourse said:

    But should I do so?

    IANAL but I'd say legally no. You run the risk of the vendor finding out and coming after you and/or the client, especially as they're most likely only really saying no because they think it'll force your client to eventually buy whatever the current version is. And if they do, despite trying, you're not exactly on the right side of the law IMO.



  • @Intercourse said:

    On the one hand, I say no simply because it feels wrong and is in the gray side of legality. A very dark gray.

    It sounds flat out illegal (violation of the licensing and even if the creators refuse to do anything with it they still own the software).

    @Intercourse said:

    Would it be immoral to bump up the user license count as a stop gap measure?

    Yes.



  • If I did it, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

    The real question is whether you'll have legal problems over this.



  • As shitty as the vendor's behavior is, you are still an IT professional. Don't do it.



  • @Intercourse said:

    I have a bit of a moral dilemna. When is it OK to hack activation?

    Never.

    Ok, if the software's been gone 200 years and you run a museum, and everybody from the original company is long-dead. MAYBE.

    But practically-speaking, never.

    @Intercourse said:

    In 2010, they told them that they would no longer update the software, they were going to discontinue it.

    Ok...

    @Intercourse said:

    Now, my client has outgrown their software user licenses, due to landing a big contract and having to hire more people. This part was unanticipated.

    You work for a client who didn't anticipate being successful? Seriously?

    Usually business-people are utterly convinced their business is going to blow up any instant now.

    @Intercourse said:

    Now, should they have started looking elsewhere in 2010? Absolutely. But now here we are, and they do not have enough user licenses to get their work done.

    Tough shit.

    @Intercourse said:

    We contacted the company, who is still in business but no longer supports this software. We only wanted them to upgrade the user license count. They told us that they still have what they need to do so, but will not because they do not support that software anymore. We offered them many multiples of what the user licenses had previously cost. No dice. Finally, I offered them $50K for 20 additional user licenses. They refused it. "Sorry, we do not support that software anymore under any circumstances."

    Good for them. There's at least one party here who isn't a WTF.

    @Intercourse said:

    PowerBuilder programs are very easy to decompile, and I may not even have to. I would be willing to wager that there is probably a config file somewhere with a number in it or something very trivial.

    The ease of hacking the software is completely irrelevant. It doesn't change the fact that it's both illegal and immoral.

    @Intercourse said:

    On the other hand, we offered them a shitload of money to do it and they refused, so I would be inclined to just go ahead and do it.

    The important thing here isn't that you offered them a lot of money, but that they said "no". "No." Get it? That's all that matters.

    @Intercourse said:

    Full disclosure: We are going to build the replacement for this program.

    Well then I guess hurry the fuck up.

    @Intercourse said:

    So what say you? Would it be immoral to bump up the user license count as a stop gap measure?

    How is this even a question? Of course it is.

    @Intercourse said:

    If they were out of business, I would not even think about it, I would just dig around and do it.

    Their being in or out of business also is irrelevant to the mortality of it. You keep bringing up all these irrelevant details.

    "Is it ok to steal a car?"
    "No."
    "What if I offered him a lot of money for it before I stole it?"
    "Still no."
    "What if it's an AMC and they're out of business?"
    "Still fucking no."
    "What if the car's original owner is dead?"
    "None of these details matter. Stealing a car is always fucking illegal and it's always fucking wrong, ok?"

    @Intercourse said:

    But the laws on reverse engineering have traditionally been interpreted to allow this.

    Bullshit.

    @Intercourse said:

    All comments welcome, even if they are @blakeyrat calling me a dumbass for even asking.

    You're not a dumbass for asking. But you're making the situation way more complicated than it has to be, for some reason, by just shoveling-in all these irrelevant details.


  • mod

    @Intercourse said:

    I have a bit of a moral dilemma. When is it OK to hack activation?

    FTFY Don't believe me? Check a dictionary.



  • @Intercourse said:

    Would it be immoral to bump up the user license count as a stop gap measure?

    Stop gap measures rarely remain stop gap measures.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Well then I guess hurry the fuck up.

    I think this just about sums up my opinion on the matter. Because:

    @jaming said:

    Stop gap measures rarely remain stop gap measures.



  • I guess your management's gonna have to book less business for the next year or so, and it's nobody's fault but their own. They made a fucking stupid decision back in 2010 and now it's biting them in the ass.

    It happens, tough shit.

    (Imagine all those companies that backed Itanium, or all the money Apple shoveled into OpenDocument-- heck they got off easy in comparison. Making bad decisions is hardly unique to your company.)

    But again, irrelevant to the question. What's really galling is that you're sitting here asking, "is it ok to steal this program?" then about 3/4ths of the way down, going, "oh BTW I'm going to start selling my own." How do you feel about people stealing that product from you? Are you ok with it?

    EDIT didn't mean for that to be a reply to PJH, don't know how to fix it, fuck Discourse



  • @Intercourse said:

    I have a bit of a moral dilemna. When is it OK to hack activation?

    Whenever you need to.

    Sounds like you need to.

    Next question.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    "Is it ok to steal a car?"

    Yes.

    But that doesn't at all compare to hacking software activation.


  • mod

    @blakeyrat said:

    You work for a client who didn't anticipate being successful? Seriously?

    Usually business-people are utterly convinced their business is going to blow up any instant now.

    True, but even then they are usually unwilling to spend money unnecessarily.



  • On one hand, the behavior of the makers of the [s]program in question[/s]sack of unspeakable horrors are being stupid and wrong in a sense here by refusing to back their customer in a time of need. On the other hand, screwing with activation at all is a giant tub of very murky water -- isn't the DMCA fantastic? </sarcasm>

    So:
    @Intercourse: I presume you have asked the vendor if they produce a replacement for said sack of unspeakable horrors? This might be a golden opportunity to migrate the customer over to something supported...

    @blakeyrat: The car analogy isn't quite right. The customer has a car, but the manufacturer will not cut them another ignition key even though they've added another driver to the family, and the ignition is somehow designed so that only OEM Authentic Ignition Keys™ can be used in said car, so you can't (legally) take it down to a locksmith to have more keys cut. So, you either step into the murky tub by reverse engineering the design of the ignition, or find the family another car they can use.

    Also, your analogy breaks down at a more fundamental level, because theft requires intent to deprive the original owner of something of their ability to use it, and that does not happen in the digital domain. Physical objects have move semantics, while data has value (copy) semantics, and that is something that your liking of digital crackery (copyright/... violation) to theft conveniently ignores. The legal concept of conversion is closer to what you are aiming at, even.



  • The car analogy here is more like stealing the car from Ford because they've decided to stop selling the Fusion Hybrid despite still being able to manufacture them, and maybe even having some sat around in a dock somewhere.
    Either way, @blakeyrat's point still stands - it's wrong, don't do it.



  • @tarunik said:

    The car analogy isn't quite right. The customer has a car, but the manufacturer will not cut them another ignition key even though they've added another driver to the family, and the ignition is somehow designed so that only OEM Authentic Ignition Keys™ can be used in said car, so you can't (legally) take it down to a locksmith to have more keys cut. So, you either step into the murky tub by reverse engineering the design of the ignition, or find the family another car they can use.

    Yeah but that's still a "tough shit! I guess you shouldn't have bought that car, idiot."

    Look, when you make a bad mistake, the classy and dignified thing to do is to accept it and cope with the results. Maybe learn a lesson for next time. You know, like a grown-up might do. The wrong this to do is to start crying your eyes out like an infant and try to weasel-out of everything.

    @tarunik said:

    Also, your analogy breaks down at a more fundamental level, because theft requires intent to deprive the original owner of something of their ability to use it, and that does not happen in the digital domain.

    That doesn't matter.

    Again, this is a super-simple question, and bringing-up all these irrelevant details just clouds the issue.

    @tarunik said:

    Physical objects have move semantics, while data has value (copy) semantics, and that is something that your liking of digital crackery (copyright/... violation) to theft conveniently ignores.

    Fuck me, Slashdot's leaking again.

    @tarunik said:

    The legal concept of conversion is closer to what you are aiming at, even.

    Whatever. The point is, it's morally-wrong. Even in the case where it may be legally-correct due to a technicality. So arguing the legality of it is not, broken record mode, relevant to the problem. Law does not define morality, and morality generally has only coincidental intersection with law.



  • As others have already pointed out, no. Regardless of what the creators have said, or what you've offered them, it's definitely illegal.



  • @Intercourse said:

    I have a bit of a moral dilemna. When is it OK to hack activation?

    Never in business. Ever for any reason. Not one.

    Do not do it. Find an alternative that gets around the issue (a la, dedicate one license to an export/import process so that only one license is used unless it is explicitly forbidden)



  • Now, if you want to talk about user requirements, I can build something useful and you can pay me a lot of money.



  • Have you asked the original guys if you could hack their licensing since they aren't supporting it any more?



  • @boomzilla said:

    Have you asked the original guys if you could hack their licensing since they aren't supporting it any more?

    Actually, it's stupid, but you bring up a good point. They're going to say no, but them saying no doesn't make it worse for you guys and, who knows, maybe they've left that industry entirely and they'd be like, "meh. Just don't tell anybody you're doing it."

    Just make sure you get it in writing.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    So arguing the legality of it is not, broken record mode, relevant to the problem. Law does not define morality, and morality generally has only coincidental intersection with law.

    You're completely missing my argument. I'm telling you that you are on the right side of the fence, but you are trying to say so in a way that'd get you laughed out of court for standing against well-established Supreme Court precedent.

    Moral of my story: do your homework instead of using false analogies to make your point. You're undermining your position here, and this is from the viewpoint of someone who'd much rather just buy another car, to keep the analogy going.

    Or to TL;DR: you are applying the wrong kind of wrong.



  • @tarunik said:

    You're completely missing my argument.

    Yeah, well, it got too fucking Slashdot-y for me.

    @tarunik said:

    I'm telling you that you are on the right side of the fence, but you are trying to say so in a way that'd get you laughed out of court for standing against well-established Supreme Court precedent.

    The question is whether it's right or wrong, MORALLY. The court system is, broken record, broken record, broken record, completely irrelevant.



  • Solution to the problem: stop arguing from a false premise (namely, that unauthorized use of digital data deprives the original user of their ability to use it), then. The legal concept of conversion much more neatly describes the moral wrong you are trying to capture with your analogy, so simply use the right word for the job at hand.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and a lightning bug" -- Mark Twain (approximately)


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @loopback0 said:

    hey're most likely only really saying no because they think it'll force your client to eventually buy whatever the current version is

    There is no current version. If there were, there would be no dilemna.

    @locallunatic said:

    It sounds flat out illegal (violation of the licensing and even if the creators refuse to do anything with it they still own the software).

    It is not as black and white as you think it is. It is actually pretty gray.

    @blakeyrat said:

    But practically-speaking, never.

    No, you are 100% wrong on that. The law has been interpreted time and again to say that if the vendor can no longer be contacted for support, you are free to reverse engineer.

    @blakeyrat said:

    You work for a client who didn't anticipate being successful? Seriously?

    Usually business-people are utterly convinced their business is going to blow up any instant now.

    Yeah, but they are also usually so frugal that they only buy what they anticipate to need now...

    @blakeyrat said:

    Good for them. There's at least one party here who isn't a WTF.

    Offer them many times over what the user licenses are worth, they refuse to do so, and they are not a WTF? That would have been the easiest $50K they ever made.

    @blakeyrat said:

    The important thing here isn't that you offered them a lot of money, but that they said "no". "No." Get it? That's all that matters.

    In more ways than one, because I already consulted my lawyer about it and his advice was that yes it would open up liability but that I likely incur more liability by driving downtown. In all likelihood, he said that if we were sued the court would side with us. If not, the highest liability would be treble damages. Which is still less than $50K. ;)

    @blakeyrat said:

    "What if the car's original owner is dead?""None of these details matter. Stealing a car is always fucking illegal and it's always fucking wrong, ok?"

    You pick really poor metaphors. If the car is abandoned for a long period of time, you can take possession of it.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Bullshit.

    Really? There is precedent that says that decompilation for the purposes of: education, support when the original author can no longer be contacted for support and a few other reasons is entirely legitimate. My lawyer believes that "refusing to support" would also be covered under this as they have no newer version and no upgrade path, etc. They are refusing to support.

    @abarker said:

    Don't believe me? Check a dictionary.

    I did, and you sir are correct and have taught me a new word. Thank you. :smile:

    @jaming said:

    Stop gap measures rarely remain stop gap measures.

    In this case it will. There is functionality that they are missing and no off-the-shelf alternatives in this market. People in the same LOB in other areas have rolled their own to accomodate.

    @blakeyrat said:

    I guess your management's gonna have to book less business for the next year or so, and it's nobody's fault but their own.

    Not my management...

    @blakeyrat said:

    Making bad decisions is hardly unique to your company.

    Not my company.

    @blakeyrat said:

    How do you feel about people stealing that product from you? Are you ok with it?

    You might want to re-read the OP. There is nothing here worth stealing. Not one single LOC will be making it in to what we will be developing. There is also no need to...

    @abarker said:

    True, but even then they are usually unwilling to spend money unnecessarily.

    There ya go. There is someone without rose-colored glasses and a black and white view.

    @tarunik said:

    @Intercourse: I presume you have asked the vendor if they produce a replacement for said sack of unspeakable horrors? This might be a golden opportunity to migrate the customer over to something supported...

    Yes we did. I may not have stated that well in the OP. They have abandoned this entire software line. I would imagine it has something to do with the unspeakably horrible code under the hood and how pissed customers would be if there were no way to upgrade and keep their data. There are many individual databases in the software. Not sure how many, but it is comfortably into the double digits. It is a sack of shit. I think they cut their losses.

    @tarunik said:

    @blakeyrat: The car analogy isn't quite right. The customer has a car, but the manufacturer will not cut them another ignition key even though they've added another driver to the family, and the ignition is somehow designed so that only OEM Authentic Ignition Keys™ can be used in said car, so you can't (legally) take it down to a locksmith to have more keys cut. So, you either step into the murky tub by reverse engineering the design of the ignition, or find the family another car they can use.

    Sounds about right to me.

    @blakeyrat said:

    So arguing the legality of it is not, broken record mode, relevant to the problem. Law does not define morality, and morality generally has only coincidental intersection with law.

    I would actually tend to agree with that. I am just not a cock about it.

    @Sutherlands said:

    it's definitely illegal.

    Not according to my lawyer, who specifically works in the licensing realm.

    @boomzilla said:

    Have you asked the original guys if you could hack their licensing since they aren't supporting it any more?

    Well, that would be a bit like asking, "If you wanted to sue someone, can I give you evidence against me?" So no. That would not be a road I would want to go down...



  • @Intercourse said:

    No, you are 100% wrong on that. The law has been interpreted time and again to say that if the vendor can no longer be contacted for support, you are free to reverse engineer.

    You asked if it's moral, you didn't ask what the law was. Do you not understand that those are two different things?

    @Intercourse said:

    In more ways than one, because I already consulted my lawyer about it and his advice was that yes it would open up liability but that I likely incur more liability by driving downtown. In all likelihood, he said that if we were sued the court would side with us. If not, the highest liability would be treble damages. Which is still less than $50K.

    What are you even asking here.

    Is it moral? No.

    Is it legal? I dunno; I thought no, but some posts here have maybe convinced me it's more like "maybe".

    If it isn't legal, is the likely penalty less than the amount you offered the company? Apparently.

    You figure out what question you're asking, then come back, ok?

    @Intercourse said:

    Not my company.

    Whatever. I'm not a fan of pedantic dickweedery.

    @Intercourse said:

    You might want to re-read the OP. There is nothing here worth stealing. Not one single LOC will be making it in to what we will be developing. There is also no need to...

    I was asking a "how would you feel if the situation were reversed"-type question. I'm not sure what you're getting at here.

    @Intercourse said:

    Well, that would be a bit like asking, "If you wanted to sue someone, can I give you evidence against me?" So no. That would not be a road I would want to go down...

    It sounds like you already made-up your mind, so why the hell are you asking us? I don't get the sense that anything anybody in this thread has said has sunk-in.



  • @Intercourse said:

    @locallunatic said:
    It sounds flat out illegal (violation of the licensing and even if the creators refuse to do anything with it they still own the software).

    It is not as black and white as you think it is. It is actually pretty gray.

    Alright, if your lawyer says that it is probably legally OK they certainly know more than I do. Personally I still wouldn't do it for the ethical reasons, but at least your customer understands that if they pay you to do this you are going to charge them an arm and a leg due to risk (legal and other business risks cause ify at best ethically).


  • mod

    @Intercourse said:

    I did, and you sir are correct and have taught me a new word. Thank you.

    You're welcome.

    Maybe I should start wearing my new grammarling badge I got this morning ...


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @blakeyrat said:

    Whatever. I'm not a fan of pedantic dickweedery.

    It is not pedantic dickweedery. I am not am employee of theirs. I own a company that provides IT support to SMBs. They do not manage me, they just decide whether they wish to continue using my company's services.

    @blakeyrat said:

    I was asking a "how would you feel if the situation were reversed"-type question. I'm not sure what you're getting at here.

    In that case, if I abandoned a software and then I had someone come calling and they offered me an easy $50K to have a lackey license their software for more users, I would fucking go for it. If I decided that was too much trouble, I would probably provide the key generator on our website and tell people to go nuts.

    @blakeyrat said:

    It sounds like you already made-up your mind, so why the hell are you asking us? I don't get the sense that anything anybody in this thread has said has sunk-in.

    Not entirely, but I am inclined to do it. If I decompiled it, changed names to protect the innocent (guilty) and then sold it again, I would find that morally wrong. But I guess if I did so, I would not? Regardless, this is an edge case. I wanted to hear opinions. Even though you are a fucking asshole, and tend to be really fucking hard to like, I really am considering your argument. I give you a raft-load of shit, but only because I like you. :smile:


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @abarker said:

    Maybe I should start wearing my new grammarling badge I got this morning ...

    Please.

    Seriously though, that was a perfect application of obscure knowledge. BTW, did you change my title, or did I fat finger it on this new keyboard you recommended to me? :smile:



  • What's really disturbing me the most in this thread is people who are conflating "what is legal" with "what is moral", because that's how you get Hitler.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    And there we go, Godwin's law.



  • @Intercourse said:

    did you change my title

    I corrected it


  • mod

    @Intercourse said:

    Please.

    Seriously though, that was a perfect application of obscure knowledge. BTW, did you change my title, or did I fat finger it on this new keyboard you recommended to me? :smile:

    I did not change it. You can check the edit history on the OP to see who did.

    Edit: Or see where @locallunatic Hanzoed me.



  • @abarker said:

    You can check the edit history on the OP to see who did.

    I don't think changes to title get put in the same spot as the OP (they are different pencil icons) but they might be.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Intercourse said:

    If I decided that was too much trouble, I would probably provide the key generator on our website and tell people to go nuts.

    Which has--sort of--happened. Adobe gave away, last year (?), old versions of Photoshop.

    Origin gave away Ultima IV, etc.


  • mod

    @locallunatic said:

    I don't think changes to title get put in the same spot as the OP (they are different pencil icons) but they might be.

    For edit history, they do.



  • @FrostCat said:

    Which has--sort of--happened. Adobe gave away, last year (?), old versions of Photoshop.

    Not really.

    People with that version had a legit gripe (something about the activation server not working correctly with it? I can't remember), and as a result, Adobe said, "hey if you own it, you can use this unlock tool." But they didn't put any kind of login or proof-of-purchase gate on the support article.

    They never "gave away" any old version of Photoshop. Sure a lot of people took that as an excuse to go "cha-ching" and download it, but Adobe never gave it away.



  • Not exactly, those keys are literally only for people who already own the product because they took the activation servers down.

    Yes, it works for everybody.

    No, it's not free.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Matches said:

    Not exactly, those keys are literally only for people who already own the product because they took the activation servers down.

    Interesting.

    The Ultima IV thing did happen, though.



  • Origin gave away a copy of dragon age too.

    Origin owns the rights to those games, and often does things like that to raise hype for new products it's trying to sell.



  • @Intercourse said:

    Yes we did. I may not have stated that well in the OP. They have abandoned this entire software line. I would imagine it has something to do with the unspeakably horrible code under the hood and how pissed customers would be if there were no way to upgrade and keep their data. There are many individual databases in the software. Not sure how many, but it is comfortably into the double digits. It is a sack of shit. I think they cut their losses.

    Zoinks! Sounds like you have a good business opportunity on your hands though :grinning: Time to get to work on the new version ASAP, and then have some sort of 'shared license pool' stopgap if that's possible (it'd get around the issue of more bodies than license seats, for the time being).

    @Intercourse said:

    In that case, if I abandoned a software and then I had someone come calling and they offered me an easy $50K to have a lackey license their software for more users, I would fucking go for it. If I decided that was too much trouble, I would probably provide the key generator on our website and tell people to go nuts.

    Now that's a businessman speaking! Advice to others: take care of your customers, and they'll take care of you in return.

    @blakeyrat said:

    What's really disturbing me the most in this thread is people who are conflating "what is legal" with "what is moral", because that's how you get Hitler.

    Sometimes, trying to argue from morality alone simply misses all the points, because most people's moral frameworks alone don't handle the nuances of, say, the OP's case all that well.


  • area_deu

    @Intercourse said:

    obscure knowledge

    WHOA WHAT.
    Dilemma is an obscure word?!


  • SockDev

    @aliceif said:

    WHOA WHAT.
    Dilemma is an obscure word?!

    So is antidisestablishmentarianism. Or pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Honestly, on the conference call I threw out the $50K figure to make it less of a moral quandary for me. If they had said they would do it for that figure, I would not think about bypassing the license. If you take it to the extreme and they still say no, then it becomes a moral issue.

    I am inclined to just do it.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    I went back over the post, I was rushed. I always spelled it "dilemna" and have been wrong. I am also picky about spelling, so how the hell that escaped me for 35+ years is beyond me.


  • SockDev

    Is it wrong that the very first thing that comes to mind on hearing this topic is:

    I don't give a tuppenny fuck about your moral conundrum – 00:05
    — Daniel Toye

    That said... whatever it is legally (questionable but I think you're probably closer to OK than not OK in this case)... is actually not the question at hand. Morally, it's wrong because the morally correct course of action is to suck it up and deal with it with a fresh build.

    However I do understand the position you're in and I don't personally find it too heartwrenching to consider being borderline unethical - it's not that you didn't try to make a reasonable attempt to do it properly.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Intercourse said:

    I always spelled it "dilemna" and have been wrong. I am also picky about spelling, so how the hell that escaped me for 35+ years is beyond me.

    Because you probably never had to say it out loud and/or nobody ever corrected you. I had a coworker at one job who used to like to go to the Mexican fast food chain "Chipolte". Eventually I had to correct him. He was about 45.


  • SockDev

    Can <> Should

    I would say don't do it.

    too much potential legal issues.


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