Page 1 of 1

Who did I just purchase support from?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:06 am
by sdemaree
I just purchased support from http://openoffice.org-suite.com/index.asp - is this a scam? I thought it was this OpenOffice.org. If anyone can reassure me, it would be appreciated. They are also offering adware and online tv software. I'm usually more careful than this, but really thought I was on the open source site.

Thank you, Susanne

Re: Who did I just purchase support from?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:48 am
by acknak
It's not a scam, it's just not a very good deal: they're selling you stuff that you can legally get for free.

I believe they do have a "money-back" guarantee, you could always ask.

The only solution is: "buyer, beware".

Re: Who did I just purchase support from?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:43 am
by sdemaree
Thank you, I saw $17/year and thought I was giving money to OpenOffice.org . . .

I don't see a phone # nor the guarantee that you saw. Can you send a link? Thank you . .

Re: Who did I just purchase support from?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:01 pm
by Dave
sdemaree wrote:Thank you, I saw $17/year and thought I was giving money to OpenOffice.org . . .

I don't see a phone # nor the guarantee that you saw. Can you send a link? Thank you . .


I have to disagree with acknack on this one. If something is free, and then people either directly or indirectly misinform the innocent and take their hard-earned money for nothing, it's a scam. You won't hear me curse too often, but scammers get me a bit bent out of shape. I don't care if it's a dollar a year. I'd tell them to piss up a rope.

David.

Re: Who did I just purchase support from?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 2:36 pm
by TerryE
The material which makes up the OOo application suite is released under LGPL 2.1 and as such any use of should fully attribute the source contributors.

The OO-S site is out and out plagiarism of OpenOffice.org material from the OOo site, which is covered by the same Policies and Terms of Use as this forum: that is anyone is free to use the material , and reading the PaToU, there doesn't seem to be a blanket copyleft attribution requirement, so I don't think that OO-S are acting illegally in doing this rip-off, though I suspect that most would find it immoral.

Going through the OO-S site I couldn't find a single URL to openly acknowledge OpenOffice.org, though they do state that the Software is under LGPL. If you read their "More Info" page (sorry but I refuse to include URLs which might increase their search rankings), they state that:

    OpenOffice is based on StarOffice, an office suite developed by StarDivision acquired by Sun Microsystems in August 1999. The source code of the suite was released in July 2000 with the aim of reducing the dominant market share of Microsoft Office by providing a free, open and high-quality alternative to users. OpenOffice is a free software, available under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

    The project and software are informally referred to as OpenOffice, but this term is a trademark held by another party requiring the project to adopt OpenOffice [sic] as its formal name.
This seems to be a précis of the Wiki entry, with the interesting change they are so keen to avoid using OpenOffice.org that they have removed the .org from the text, I agree that this is out and out rip-off. They might say that it is LGPL, but you are suckered into signing up to a valueless support agreement for $17 p.a.

My last thought is to wonder why Google allows itself to be complacent here, and why Sun / OOo have not taken this up with Google.

Re: Who did I just purchase support from?

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 10:47 pm
by acknak
Well, by "not a scam", I was thinking "not illegal", or not fraud in the legal sense.

Yes, it's sleazy. Yes, they're taking advantage of people who don't know better. However, there is nothing to prevent it except a certain level of self-interest on the part of the customer. It's been that way since the first business and customer, and it always will be.

I don't see a phone # nor the guarantee that you saw.

I didn't see that; I only thought I had heard it. Sorry.

I may have heard it from someone who wrote to complain and they made the offer; or I may be completely mistaken. Given the kind of business they've set up, I wouldn't expect them to promote a "money-back" policy. OTOH, you certainly won't get it if you don't ask.

My last thought is to wonder why Google allows itself to be complacent here, and why Sun / OOo have not taken this up with Google.

Eh? Google is complacent because OOo-suite is a paying customer (the top Google spot must cost them a pretty penny) and Google is never going to start arbitrating between an advertiser and their customer. I suppose if there were enough complaints, Google might do something, but if there were that much awareness, the OOo-suite weasels would probably be out of business anyway.

On what legal grounds would Sun complain? Beyond that, what would be their motivation? I don't think they're worried about losing sales of OO.org.

It seems to me that when you use a product that costs nothing: you aren't a customer in the usual sense. The distributor of software that has zero cost also has zero commitment toward the interests of users of that software. Sun has some commitment to the people who pay for Star Office. If the OOo-suite people were trying to skim off Star Office customers, I expect Sun would be interested enough to set the lawyers loose. What commitment should they have to people who download OOo and use it for free?