New EULA on the next morning

To repeat the old news, here is an extract from the recent EULA leakage:

.. the use of data access technologies for client/server
connectivity will no longer be allowed in the Professional edition.
This includes both Embarcadero and 3rd party solutions. Professional
users may only, legally, access local databases with their applications.

Users who want to use client/server database access can purchase a
Client/Server Add-On Pack for their Professional edition or purchase
an Enterprise, Ultimate or Architect edition product.

This restriction if for new licenses only. Users upgrading to XE3
will be “grandfathered” in that they will be able to continue to use
3rd party data access technologies for client/server database access
in version XE3 ..

and also a clarification by DavidI from non-technical:

if you are a Delphi XE2 to Delphi 1 customer you are unaffected by this EULA update

that means only those who are about to extend their business and buy new licences are affected by this EULA change.

So for most people the problem is not money, the problem is Delphi reputation in Delphi ecosystem and among software developers in general. The new EULA actually prohibits to link dynamically some client dll’s, like ‘fbclient.dll’ in case of Firebird. That is ridiculous. Any decent software development tool can do it, and there is no way to cut off this function from the compiler. Dll linking is undoubtably a fair use of any compiler, including the one from Starter edition. Restrictions of this kind are simply unacceptable, and I guess they will be considered illegal in many countries.

It is not yet too late to stop this nonsense.

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7 thoughts on “New EULA on the next morning

  1. Strange, how “to link dynamically some client dll’s, like fbclient.dll in case of FireBird” is massaged into a statement that dynamic linking is completely forbidden.
    Although I did not have the time to completely read the changes to the EULA, it seems that it only affects the use of data access technologies for client/server access (dynamically linked in or not), not all linking. Embarcadero didn’t “cut off” this functionality from the compiler, it is not allowed for data access (in the Pro edition).
    And why would a change like this to the EULA (and its legal use of Delphi) would be considered “illegal in many countries”? It is up to the manufacturer of a product to determine (up to a point, and alas that point varies between countries) to dictate (and/or restrict) the use of its product(s). If you don’t like the limitations set forth in the EULA, you’re free to choose another product.

    For the record, I don’t think a change like this to the EULA is a smart move. In the best case scenario you’re scaring of potential new customers, which either have to purchase a much more expensive version of Delphi, or have to plonk down more money just to access a database across a network. In the worst case, existing users of Delphi – who are not affected by this EULA change for now – might think twice about their use of Delphi for future products (what other restrictions will future EULA’s hold?), and start looking around for less restrictive products, perhaps to vent their anger about this change to the EULA. The Delphi user base isn’t that large that Embarcadero could make these changes and be unaffected by scores of users leaving the camp.
    I for one hope this change doesn’t make it into the final version of the EULA.

    — Charles

    • Manufacturer is free to write anything in EULA, and the court is free to ignore EULA completely if it violates customer’s rights. Who is right is, manufacture or customer, is a question of legislation that is different in different countries.

      • It is incorrect that one section violating consumer rights voids the entire EULA. That is just not true.
        And ‘illegal’ means ‘in violation of the law’. I don’t think there is any law that makes it illegal to restrict use of a manufacturer’s product. Yes, a manufacturer can write anything they want in the EULA. That same EULA you, as a customer, agree with when you buy/use the product – less the parts that violate consumer rights.
        But I don’t think the proposed change to the EULA is illegal nor violating consumer rights. It may cost them business perhaps. But it is not illegal.

    • Serg didn’t say that dynamic linking is COMPLETELY forbidden. He merely stated the simple fact that a product that is capable of dynamic linking will now be forbidden from dynamic linking to SOME libraries, based on the intended use or capabilities of that library.

      As for legality of a license, I think every legal jurisdiction in the world has provision in law for setting aside clauses in a contract that are deemed unreasonable or in fact illegal. This is precisely why all contracts include a severability clause, stating that under such circumstances the offending clause may be set aside without invalidating the remaining clauses in that contract.

      In this case, where the intention is to limit the use of the product artificially in the contract in order to extract further payment from the customer for something which is not technically or physically required in order to use the product in a way that it is capable of being used as provided, could clearly be argued as “unfair”, and – in NZ at least – an unfair contract term can be challenged.

      The bigger problem of course is that it requires that you take the case to court in order to get a ruling.

      Who is going to bother when they can just buy choose a different development tool ?

      Would the last Delphi Developer to leave please turn out the lights … thanks.

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