PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Limited Edition for $25 on Amazon, but creates firestorm due to DRM!

Bill Loguidice's picture

While checking out one of Amazon's amazing deals, PaintShop Pro X3 Limited Edition for just $25, I couldn't help but be distracted by a firestorm of negative comments related to some rather harsh sounding Digital Rights Management (DRM). In fact, the comments have been so harsh and there have been so many one star "reviews" because of it, Corel themselves commented (an opportunity I've not seen Amazon provide before, but it appears to be an option now), which, by most accounts, appears to be little more than corporate doublespeak and certainly didn't calm the firestorm. Let's hear your thoughts! For your convenience, I've reproduced one of the user reviews and Corel's response below:

The user review:
Nice product, unacceptable terms., October 27, 2010
By
Orion (Las Vegas, NV USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)
This review is from: PaintShop Photo Pro X3 Limited Edition (DVD-ROM)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
I have used Paint Shop Pro for years and I love it, but it is getting kind of old. So when I saw this new version, I was delighted. I installed it and tried it out, and it worked great. It does all the things Paint Shop Pro does, and lots more besides. It is clean and intuitive, and I can see how I would use it to get a lot done. It works great for cleaning up digital photos, and I especially like the "thinify" tool, which makes me look more attractive than I actually am. So why am I giving it 1 star?

Unfortunately, I had to delete this fine software from my system. I simply can not agree to the license agreement. Here is the part I can't agree with:

1.19.3 You hereby acknowledge and consent to Corel: monitoring your Use of the Product, authenticating and periodically verifying your licensing rights in the Product, collecting, transmitting, using and sharing with Corel's third party marketing partners, data relating to you and your Use of the Product for advertising, marketing, operational and other purposes, accessing, utilizing and altering the existing functionality, including any default settings, of the computer system on which you Use the Product, and receiving in-Product messages from Corel and its third party marketing partners, all in accordance with Corel's Privacy Policy located at [...].

My privacy is important to me. This license agreement goes too far.

The official Corel response:
Corel says:
(MANUFACTURER)
Loading…
Thank you for voicing your concerns. We certainly appreciate hearing from the Corel Community and would like to comment on the issues raised:

Corel takes feedback from our end-users extremely seriously. The language in our End-User License Agreement (EULA) was designed to allow us to verify "use" and "authentication" to protect against misuse and piracy. It was also designed to allow us to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our customers by using collected information about our customer's "use" - not customer's personally identifiable information like names. Just to be clear, our privacy policy prohibits us from sharing your personal data with any third party; including our partners for marketing purposes. The comment fails to mention that the EULA sentence in question ends with the words "...subject to Corel's privacy policy".

Regardless, we hear you. We have taken action to update the wording. Until the new agreement is ready please understand that Corel takes the privacy of its customers very serious. At no circumstance will we share or sell the data from our registered users... you are 100% protected.

As I already mentioned, Corel strives to provide the best possible customer service including keeping customers up-to-date with the latest software updates and patches. Corel's privacy policy is built around our ability to notify our customers of new patches and updates. Should you want not to be notified you can turn this feature off during installation or later via the Corel Guide in the Help Menu.

John Agger, Sr. Product Marketing Manager - Photo Segment - Corel

Comments

Nathaniel Tolbert
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I love it.

I love how they doublespeak out of the corner of their mouth while the EULA says very specifically that agreeing to their EULA that you give them consent to do what they want to your computer, as pointed out by this part of the EULA - 'utilizing and altering the existing functionality, including any default settings, OF the computer system on which you Use the Product'.

This states in no uncertain terms by their EULA that they can change stuff on your computer, you installed the software, and agreed to the EULA, therefore they can do what they like with your computer. I also don't like the datamining that is built in with the giving your information to Third parties for advertising. I've never been a fan of Paint Shop Pro, but I'm certain the wording on Photoshop is just as bad. I am glad and sad at the same time that I no longer do artwork on the computer any more so that these horrible companies can't use doublespeak to steal something I created. I guess I should check out that Paint.NET, since is open source, right?

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Matt Barton
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EULAs are bullshit. I've

EULAs are bullshit. I've always hated them, and my loathing has only increased over time. Most of them argue that by installing a product, you waive all rights to sue them no matter what kind of damage their product does to your computer. Faulty installer wiped your hard drive? Not our problem; you clicked ACCEPT. It's just bullshit for a developer to waive all responsibility for what their product does to your machine.

Imagine a car manufacturer saying, "Before I sell you this car, you have to sign this paper that says even if the engine explodes when you drive it off the lot, it's all your fault. You CANNOT hold us responsible for anything, whether it's our fault or not."

That part always bothers me a lot more than the piracy issue. If they want to throw up a screen saying that you agree not to share the software with someone else, fine. Of course, as this situation shows, publishers seem to be extending them not only to waive responsibility, threaten pirates, and who knows what else, but now they want to invade your privacy. What next, full access to your webcam?

No thanks. F*** off Corel, not that I would ever use your shitty products anyway.

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Mark Vergeer
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EULAs should be ASAP

EULAs should either be as short or as simple as possible. Stuff like this has made me move over to open source on my PC systems for a while now.

The things stated in Corel's EULA are criminal. They have no business altering my default computer settings and transmitting data if I don't want to. The corporate world smells the power they can gain over people and only pure greed can motivate them to put things like that into a EULA. It has nothing to do with common sense and decency.

The sad part is that many many folk will just agree to it without really knowing what they agree to. EULAs can go pretty far crippling the end user.

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Mark Vergeer
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Sue

Of course the sue-culture also forces companies to dig in their heels and come up with elaborate phrasing in their EULAs.

Wow it's almost like a new cold-war corporations VS the people!

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Matt Barton
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This is from Wikipedia's

This is from Wikipedia's article on Software License Agreement:

The enforceability of an EULA depends on several factors, one of them being the court in which the case is heard. Some courts that have addressed the validity of the shrinkwrap license agreements have found some EULAs to be invalid, characterizing them as contracts of adhesion, unconscionable, and/or unacceptable pursuant to the U.C.C. —see, for instance, Step-Saver Data Systems, Inc. v. Wyse Technology,[2] Vault Corp. v. Quaid Software Ltd..[3] Other courts have determined that the shrinkwrap license agreement is valid and enforceable: see ProCD, Inc. v. Zeidenberg,[4] Microsoft v. Harmony Computers,[5] Novell v. Network Trade Center,[6] and Ariz. Cartridge Remanufacturers Ass'n v. Lexmark Int'l, Inc.[7] may have some bearing as well. No court has ruled on the validity of EULAs generally; decisions are limited to particular provisions and terms.

Shoot me now. So, this just means that it's who has the most funds to drag this shit to court, and guess who is the real loser? The tax payers. Oh, but I guess we need to make sure all those poor old lawyers get paid the big money to drag us through all this.

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clok1966
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Well Im going to be on the

Well Im going to be on the otherside of the fence on this one (sorta) then the rest of you. As a software dev (not anymore). I sat in legal meetings on EULA's and such. I am support now for said programs and we use web based stuff to "login" and remote to users. We where going to make it so we could just hit a button in the program for "help" and do all that behind the scenes, but with sue happy world we live in, was just not possible. Once again Im going to use an over the top comparasion... We want more security, Bombs on planes! how? yet a device that can scan for this and pat downs are "overboard/ Invasion of our privacy" HOW do they stop a bomb from getting on a plane? Guesswork? telepathy? With people having SHOE bombs.. Im sorry there is no way to have safety and no patdowns/scans.. its not possible... I can agree if you find it wrong (patdowns/scanners) thats fine, but dont cry when a bomb gets on a plane.. You just cant have it all ways.

Software is pirated left and right, especially expensive ones (phote shop, MS office, etc..). We wont get into the rights and wrongs of it. I make a product, I sell said product, my product can be reporduced simply, but I own the rights and LEGALLY nobody esle can do it. I live in a country where there is no enforcement of my copyright. What should I do? Quit making the product? Quit making my living? Decide pirates and copys are a way of life and not try to stop it? I have to do whatever I can to protect myslef, and still make money.

Also since I sell a product and I suport it. My product is on machines that NOBODY likes to send in, downtime is money. So while most problems could be fixed in minutes with the actual hardware/software in my hands, that is not a possability. So I have to support over the phone, I have to have a way to see if the end user is useing the required Spec machines.. We live in an age where the majority of users do not know the OS, do not know if drivers and OS are updated. they basicly know very little. How do i get this information without spending HOURS on the phone with a person who is going to hate me as I step him through the process of getting this info? You make ways to get that info in the program, and the ability if they are online to get it.

here is where the problems run, people are greedy (much like companies) and if they can find a way to sue.. they will, not all. but in a world where 100,000 people buy your product, the legel speak has to be the same even if just 2 of that 100,000 are going to sue. To do anything efficently and not have 100's of support people (and raise the price of said product so nobody will buy it) you have to find ways of doing stuff the "easy" way. And while you do that, you also have to think of every way somebody can sue you.

Do you know why they have "no sparks or fires" by gas pumps? Its not a saftey issue (well it is) Its beceuase some fool light a cigerette and either hurt himslef or others, or destoryed property and somebody sued somebody.
The old lady who got hot coffee from Mcdonalds and burned herself (im pretty sure coffee is in a cup, if you tip it on yourslef thats your fault) and sued and got money.. NOW mcdonalds has dicalimers about heat. For no otehr reason that for 20 years Mcdonalds made coffee and people KNEW it was hot.. nobody thouhgt to sue um for it.. now they have, they have the disclaimers.

Our software does nothing but chcek your machine state, no personal info whatsoever, but our legal document is much like the one above. Reason being: We cant know how other software will change anything we read, maybe some silly programmer thinks its neat to edit a OS NAME string to include a street address, or a phone number. We dont want that info, but if we get it, not by our own trying, but a virus, bug, other software, we dont want you suing us for taking "your stuff". Basicly we live in a time where you have to COVER every angle, real or imagined.

Now I will be the first to admit many companies have used this to their advantage (sony rootkit) and done it very sneaky and in "wrong" ways. There is a line, its just so blury (to me)..

You do have the choice, its clear as MUD in the EULA (heheh have to be a lawyer to read that stuff) to not use it.

HERE is one spot I maybe agree with all this. Onec Software is opened its considered non returnable for a refund.. this is bad.... I cant read the EULA untill I Open it. This is a very gray area to me. I cant know If i will agree untill I open it, yet I cant retrun it once opened. To be fair, most companies will (if you pay shipping) take a product back if its 100% complete and unused (no scratchs in DVD etcc).. its just no stores will. And the reason no store will take back a game? becuase people copied them and returned them.

The bad eggs screw us in walks of life, but you sure cant blame companies from trying to reduce that from happening to them. It gets back to the one very real argument about DRM.. it harms the people who are legit. I do agree with this.

Matt Barton
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Who it Harms
clok1966 wrote:

The bad eggs screw us in walks of life, but you sure cant blame companies from trying to reduce that from happening to them. It gets back to the one very real argument about DRM.. it harms the people who are legit. I do agree with this.

I don't really think we're on opposite sides of a fence here. I'm sure you don't want rootkits or anything like that either. As you said, it's the lawyers who have made this a big mess, and guess who benefits? The lawyers. They need to justify a paycheck.

Let's take piracy off the table here and focus on the other issue: the disclaimers. The McDonalds coffee cup is a great example. That woman should never have won a cent. I don't know the details of how it worked out in court, but it rankles me that some wily lawyer was able to wrangle so much money from McDonalds. Look at the behavior that action rewarded: do something stupid to hurt yourself (your own fault), sue an innocent party, and collect. Think about how many other people heard about this situation and thought, "Hmm...I wonder how I can hurt myself and sue an innocent party to make some easy cash?"

I had an acquaintance (won't call him a friend) in Natchitoches who came up with a plan: he would step in front of a UPS truck on purpose because he read that they had an automatic payout policy for accidents. He was already handicapped, he said, so it wouldn't make much difference. So he found a street where the trucks passed by, one that had a strict speed limit to minimize the injury. Then he just walked out in front. Minimal injury, but he collected $50,000. Of course he lied his ass off about it being an accident. He thought he was brilliant for executing this scheme.

That's just an example of how policies and precedents like the McDonalds cup *encourage* idiots, liars, and criminals to take advantage of the system.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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The McDonald's Lawsuit

Check this website out if you want to know what there is to know about the McDonald's Lawsuit - http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm . You may be surprised where what money went where and such. I agree that companies need to protect their product and as such they create EULA's for this specific purpose, but the wording needs to be more concise, because if someone had something happen to their computer after installing this software and they could trace ANY access back to Corel, then Corel is going to be in big big trouble. The part of the EULA that grants them access to change anything on your computer is a clear violation of privacy and I highly doubt that the law would look upon this favorably. Sadly the true winners when anything goes to court is of course, the lawyers.

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clok1966
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its such a hard area. I think

its such a hard area. I think the software companies are really taking the easy way out, most people will never look at a EULA, I never did untill I sat in a 4 day (yep almost 10 hours each day.. ) meeting on it. Our company isnt so worried about he end user, its more about any copy or screen shots of our product. But we did spend pretty much a full day anda half on the end user part. In our meetings the lawyers sadi basicly what Im saying (here/now) nobody reads um, so make them as comprehesive as possible. Its Lazy on the big software companies to do this. But again, they are just going to far one way to protect themsleves for any case.

I'm sure in the big picture, 100,000 copies, 50-100 people dont use it becuase of the EULA, not a big deal to them. Though in todays age, the internet, and people looking (rightfully or not) for scapgoats, you are treading some unsafe waters going overboard on your EULA. its very possible (as it seems in this case) it can blow up. Those 100,000 people who never looked at the EULA, are now, becuase of a news story. But they are kinda to late, by installing it and agreeing to it, you accepted it, much like driving a car off the lot... once its installed its "used" no reason fo rhtem to take it back. Not reading a EULA agreement , much like not knowing the law is no excuse in our system.

This is simply a case of large companies protecting themselves in an overboard way as its been considered accpetable for so long. It does need to change, and people not useing the software is the right step, but I'm willing to bet if this blows up even more, puts a littel bigger black eye on the company they will very publicly "make nice" with a few users and it will be forgotten in a few weeks and everything will go back to normal. the wording in the EULA will change, but be the same...

Look at Blizzard, they very publicly got outed on the ANTI CHEAT software for WoW.. it was never mentioned when it was installed, it sent info back, which was also never mentioned, it tells Blizzard what software is running on your machine anytime they want to know. Blizzard very publicly said "we are sorry for not mentioneing it" but thats it (Im sure many thouhgt with he appoligy they quit using it, they did not).. they still use it, its in the EULA (which you have to scroll through before you can check the "agree" button everytime there is an update). Here is a case where the clients hate the idea but cant give up the service. they know they are doing htis yet they keep useing it (WoW)

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