The $9,500 DVD



  • I work with software development and QA testing on my employer's software products, as well as acting as general consultant on tech product development.  I get no say in pricing or marketing, however.

    Some months after finishing a large software project, several dozen discreet software pieces all part of a series, I was browsing the company website on a lark - just to see how marketing was pitching the product I'd helped develop.

    I saw that they were selling a single DVD, site-license, version for about $10,000 - that's around $200 per discreet software piece.

    Just below that I saw they were selling each piece individually - at $12 each.

    With no stated licensing terms.

    If you wanted to, you could just add all the pieces to your cart and buy them for $500, rather than pay $10,000 for the exact same files on DVD.  And you could distribute them to all your computers without fear of legal reprisal because there were no licensing terms to be seen anywhere.

    So that physical DVD would effectively cost customers $9,500 (plus shipping) on top of the $500 for the software itself.

    I pointed out this little pricing flaw to my superiors.  After a couple months, they're still thinking about it.

    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version. It seems that I'm the only person who has been able to figure out that $500 < $10,000.



  • @KrakenLover said:

    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version. It seems that I'm the only person who has been able to figure out that $500 < $10,000.

    Math isn't easy.



  • @KrakenLover said:

    So that physical DVD would effectively cost customers $9,500 (plus shipping) on top of the $500 for the software itself.

    @KrakenLover said:

    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version.

    So, that's how the corporate world works?

    Please excuse me a moment while I make gazillions of money.

     



  • Did you mean DISCRETE, or is your software sent out in a plain brown wrapper?



  • @Cad Delworth said:

    Did you mean DISCRETE, or is your software sent out in a plain brown wrapper?
     

    Well, he was very careful to not mention what the "product" was...



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @Cad Delworth said:

    Did you mean DISCRETE, or is your software sent out in a plain brown wrapper?
     

    Well, he was very careful to not mention what the "product" was...

    If he's sending it out in a brown bag, it's probably NSFW, so I appreciate it.


  •  @Lorne Kates said:

    @Cad Delworth said:

    Did you mean DISCRETE, or is your software sent out in a plain brown wrapper?
     

    Well, he was very careful to not mention what the "product" was...

    I would go into more detail, but I'd rather not reveal quite that much information.

    Suffice to say,  it's a specific type of software that has an industry standard name which our marketing department decided to come up with a "creative" name for and trademarked (complete with cuteseypoo misspelling and an unnecessary hyphen - which makes it harder to find when searching, and causes everyone not in the know to spell it incorrectly).

    Also - homophones suck, so give me a break.  :P

     



  • I'm just glad this wasn't another Amazon price Error'd "WTF."

    @KrakenLover said:

    And you could distribute them to all your computers without fear of legal reprisal because there were no licensing terms to be seen anywhere.

    The pricing is definitely a WTF. However, I'm not so sure that the lack of licensing language here means all that much. I suppose that it varies by country, and I don't know where you live, but generally, if you don't have a license, then you're not legally allowed to copy / use it. Obviously, the purchase would imply some sort of license to use it, but not necessarily for unlimited users. Assuming they download it or whatever, are you certain that there's no license file or EULA that comes with each piece?



  • @boomzilla said:

    I'm just glad this wasn't another Amazon price Error'd "WTF."

    @KrakenLover said:

    And you could distribute them to all your computers without fear of legal reprisal because there were no licensing terms to be seen anywhere.

    The pricing is definitely a WTF. However, I'm not so sure that the lack of licensing language here means all that much. I suppose that it varies by country, and I don't know where you live, but generally, if you don't have a license, then you're not legally allowed to copy / use it. Obviously, the purchase would imply some sort of license to use it, but not necessarily for unlimited users. Assuming they download it or whatever, are you certain that there's no license file or EULA that comes with each piece?

    I'm not a legal expert by any means, so my comment about the legal issue should be taken with a grain of salt.

    But I am the person who mastered the DVD which was sent to the replication house, and I created the compressed archive files that users download from the web store, so I can be certain that nowhere in the web-store files is there a EULA or any kind of license (not even a "please don't copy this software" statement).

    Further, we offer both site licenses and single-computer licenses which are also available in DVD format.  But these purely digitally distributed versions don't have any language stating their intended use.

    Not being a lawyer, I can only wonder what would happen if my company wanted to sue someone for taking advantage of this.  They are all the same files.  Only differing licenses and price-points.  But one of the versions has no license info.  Is the purchaser obligated to confirm the licensing terms with the seller before use?  Or is it a case of "the seller should have paid more attention to its licensing; if they cared so much, then they should have actually included terms along with the purchase".  I really don't know what would happen.

    Regardless, no customers seemed to have realized yet that they can save a lot of money this way.  And I'm starting to think that they never will.  So it may be a moot point.



  • @derula said:

    @KrakenLover said:
    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version. It seems that I'm the only person who has been able to figure out that $500 < $10,000.

    Math isn't easy.

    "Math class is hard!" -- Barbie



  • @KrakenLover said:

    I'm not a legal expert by any means, so my comment about the legal issue should be taken with a grain of salt.

    But I am the person who mastered the DVD which was sent to the replication house, and I created the compressed archive files that users download from the web store, so I can be certain that nowhere in the web-store files is there a EULA or any kind of license (not even a "please don't copy this software" statement).

    Further, we offer both site licenses and single-computer licenses which are also available in DVD format.  But these purely digitally distributed versions don't have any language stating their intended use.

    Not being a lawyer, I can only wonder what would happen if my company wanted to sue someone for taking advantage of this.  They are all the same files.  Only differing licenses and price-points.  But one of the versions has no license info.

    No license = license to do nothing, not license to do anything.  IOW, the people who are buying your DVD aren't even entitled to run the software on it (strictly speaking, though a court would probably find that there was an implied license to do so); they are just buying a nice shiny object to admire.




  • @derula said:

    @KrakenLover said:
    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version. It seems that I'm the only person who has been able to figure out that $500 < $10,000.

    [b]Math is hard. Let's go shopping![/b]

    FTFY



  • @DaveK said:

    @KrakenLover said:

    I'm not a legal expert by any means, so my comment about the legal issue should be taken with a grain of salt.

    But I am the person who mastered the DVD which was sent to the replication house, and I created the compressed archive files that users download from the web store, so I can be certain that nowhere in the web-store files is there a EULA or any kind of license (not even a "please don't copy this software" statement).

    Further, we offer both site licenses and single-computer licenses which are also available in DVD format.  But these purely digitally distributed versions don't have any language stating their intended use.

    Not being a lawyer, I can only wonder what would happen if my company wanted to sue someone for taking advantage of this.  They are all the same files.  Only differing licenses and price-points.  But one of the versions has no license info.

    No license = license to do nothing, not license to do anything.  IOW, the people who are buying your DVD aren't even entitled to run the software on it (strictly speaking, though a court would probably find that there was an implied license to do so); they are just buying a nice shiny object to admire.


    If the terminology used for the online-only / downloadable software is "purchase" or "buy", then the seller is transferring ownership rather than license.  And ownership means the owner can do with the product what they please.  Can the OP provide information on the exact terminology used?



  • @Medezark said:

    If the terminology used for the online-only / downloadable software is "purchase" or "buy", then the seller is transferring ownership rather than license.  And ownership means the owner can do with the product what they please.  Can the OP provide information on the exact terminology used?

    Are you certain about this? I'd guess this would be jurisdiction dependent, if anything. And if other parts of the site talked about licensing, the legalities would more likely assume some sort of licensing that would need to be specified. After all, you purchase or buy a license.



  • @Medezark said:

    If the terminology used for the online-only / downloadable software is "purchase" or "buy", then the seller is transferring ownership rather than license. And ownership means the owner can do with the product what they please. Can the OP provide information on the exact terminology used?

    Not true in the US.



  • TRWTF is that you're not taking all the freely distributable pieces and selling your own DVD version on the side for $5,000.



  • @nonpartisan said:

    @derula said:
    @KrakenLover said:
    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version. It seems that I'm the only person who has been able to figure out that $500 < $10,000.
    Math isn't easy.
    "Math class is hard!" -- Barbie
    Come on Barbie, lets go party.



  • @C-Octothorpe said:

    @nonpartisan said:

    @derula said:
    @KrakenLover said:
    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version. It seems that I'm the only person who has been able to figure out that $500 < $10,000.
    Math isn't easy.
    "Math class is hard!" -- Barbie
    Come on Barbie, lets go party.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    The pain, the memories, the lyrics...... the bald dude

    You sir are true evil

     



  • @serguey123 said:

    @C-Octothorpe said:

    @nonpartisan said:

    @derula said:
    @KrakenLover said:
    TRWTF, however, is that all of our customers so far have only purchased the DVD version. It seems that I'm the only person who has been able to figure out that $500 < $10,000.
    Math isn't easy.
    "Math class is hard!" -- Barbie
    Come on Barbie, lets go party.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    The pain, the memories, the lyrics...... the bald dude

    You sir are true evil

     

    I'm a blond, single girl in a fantasy world...


  •  That was such a fun song.



  • @Sutherlands said:

    I'm a blond, single girl in a fantasy world...

    As long as you are happy with it I don't see a problem.



  • @dhromed said:

    That was such a fun song.

    Pandora seems to think I want to listen to it 47 times a day.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @dhromed said:

    That was such a fun song.

    Pandora seems to think I want to listen to it 47 times a day.

    It's great to hear a story about the success of predictive algorithms.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Medezark said:
    If the terminology used for the online-only / downloadable software is "purchase" or "buy", then the seller is transferring ownership rather than license. And ownership means the owner can do with the product what they please. Can the OP provide information on the exact terminology used?
    Not true in the US.

     

    And of course blakeyrat has to be correct.


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