Rethinking the value of Logos and electronic resoruces

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178294z | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Oct 31 2014 1:50 PM

I recently bought a CD based Libronix resource from a party online. The product had been opened/used, but contained all original packaging (case/cds/papers/etc) and the original serial number and activation code. After attempting to activate it with customer service over the phone I was told the product could not be activated without a letter from the original party that purchased the software X many years ago. This has stirred some thoughts.

For a long time I’ve had a reluctance to go “fully into” Logos, Accordance, or whatever Bible study software. My reluctance has stemmed from the reality that unlike real books you can hold, lend to a friend, sale to a stranger, and store in an attic and take down 2 decades later—software (and the companies that sell them) have a shelf life. Software is only as good as the company that sells it. Hopefully, 30-40 years from now my kids will inherit my library of physical books. They can divide them up however they so wish. Some will want my collection of the classics while others may argue over my collection of early church resources. Maybe they’ll sell some of them to a stranger in order to pay for their latest trip to Mars. I’m hoping they’ll give some away to friends here and there too. I’ll probably be dead and gone—so I’m not going to worry about my codex books. My Logos books are a whole other story though.

What will my children do with the thousands of dollars worth of “e-resources” I’ve paid for and “collected?” Will Logos be around in 5, 10, 20, 40, 60 years? My experience w/ customer service today has made it clear they will have hurdles in sharing my digital library among themselves. Perhaps Sally will want resource X and Susie resource Y, but they can’t break up what was originally sold as a bundle. Or maybe the resources weren’t purchased as a bundle but the Logos of 40 years from now has recorded, wrongly, that the resources were purchased as a bundle. I keep copious records, but I’ll be dead and gone and unable to prove from that X and Y were NOT originally part of a bundle. Sorry Susie, Sally is my executor—no ebooks for you. Or what if Logos has a sizable data crash—a catastrophe where the backup’s backup is also fried and records are lost… Susie and Sally have just lost their inheritance unless they can somehow find dad’s archived email correspondence from 35 years earlier saved in 74 Outlook .pst files. Even then I can see them looking at each other and saying, “What’s Outlook?” Perhaps, Susie and Sally will face the unfortunate reality that they can’t pay the new transfer fee of $400 Logos has in the year 2060 (inflation you know). Or worst case, the economy continues to sour and Logos folds and all of our cloud based products simply disappear overnight.  Don’t say it couldn’t happen. If it did—how much would you lose? Some of us would cry over resources that rival impressive libraries, but I would cry over the loss of thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of electronic resources. Resources that I don’t have on my physical book shelf. What if the power goes out for 2 weeks—how will your sermon prep go? Thankfully I have many physical books, but I have friends who would be up a creek for sermon prep or even reading!

Now if my house burns down tonight—I have insurance. All of my codex books are cataloged. Parts of my library is old and irreplaceable, but I still have insurance to recoup a good deal of my sizable investment. Thankfully with Logos, if my house burns tonight I simply need to download my products (or the products I have a license to since I don’t technically own anything) again on the new computer my insurance provides. However, lets fast forward. In 2060, providing Ebola or X Y Z doesn’t wipe us all out, my kids will still be able to open up a codex and read it. The codex is theirs. They own it. They won’t need an activation code to use it. They won’t legally hold a product (like I did today) in their hands and be unable to utilize it. I have no such confidence with Logos. Even if Logos is still around in 2060 (which I hope they are) and we are on Logos version 42 I will have had to buy countless new computers to run the updates to the programs. Hopefully indexing then doesn’t take as ghastly long as it does now.

I say all of this, only partially to express my frustration that with Logos I cannot utilize a product that I legally bought, can show a bill of sale for, hold in my hand, have activation codes and serial numbers for. Beyond this, my experience today has stirred some deeper thoughts on e-resources. I think many people are short sighted as they go gung-ho into the Logos ecosystem. Don’t get me wrong—I like if not love my Logos system. My dad’s used Logos since it’s very beginning in the 1990s. Other preachers use to mock him for it! Logos has been a great time-saver and tremendous resource. But as I plan on how I will spend several thousand dollars worth of “book money” next year I’m leaning more toward getting… actual books. I want books I know my kids can use 40 years from now. I demand books they won’t have to pay a transfer fee to utilize. I want books that I can give away and some poor soul won’t have to have a letter from me to utilize… especially since I’ll probably be dead.

Maybe you’re a new user or, like me, you’ve spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to build a decent sized e-library. Good for you—enjoy Logos! BUT I caution you to think realistically about the “value” of Logos and how long you and future generations will really be able to utilize the licenses (not books) you’ve bought.

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Mark Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 1:57 PM

178294z:
After attempting to activate it with customer service over the phone I was told the product could not be activated without a letter from the original party that purchased the software X many years ago.

You have really explained everything. You bought a used copy. Some one else activated it. They own the license, not you. Logos will transfer that license if contacted by the original owner. What is wrong with that?

Perhaps you should ask the person you bought the CD from to give your your money back. If he/she won't, then take your frustration out on him or accept the fact that you made a poor purchase and move on.

I fail to see why Logos is supposed to make up for a sale they had no part in and certainly made no guarantees about.

As to the rest of your comments and concerns they have been addressed here no end. Logos will transfer your licenses to your children when you ask them to with the stipulations you already know about. It's a different world. Print analogies don't apply. Logos is trying to be fair. Try to work things out with Sally and Susie ahead of time.

Pastor, North Park Baptist Church

Bridgeport, CT USA

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:01 PM

178294z:
I say all of this, only partially to express my frustration that with Logos I cannot utilize a product that I legally bought, can show a bill of sale for, hold in my hand, have activation codes and serial numbers for.

But you didn't. The owner didn't have the right to transfer ownership of the licenses without first relinquishing the licenses. Otherwise, what is to stop me from purchasing a base package for $1000 and selling it to all the freshmen students down the hill for $100 a piece? (Now that I think about it, I am a little strapped for cash. Diapers aren't cheap). 

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:03 PM

I have been building a "death packet" that contains many such items as receipts and record print outs for just such an occurrence.  In the event of my demise my family will know that I kept such a folder in my file cabinet, appropriately labeled of course. 

It is not finished yet (and will never be truly finished while I breathe) but once it is, I'll announce its location - since it will also contain my will.  

Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

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Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

Posts 525
Kent | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:05 PM

Your right. Give up and don't buy anything that doesn't have an eternal value.

Posts 2829
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:12 PM

Wow. As others have said, you didn't legally buy this software.

I dare say an electronic library with a software company behind it has a much better chance of surviving 50 years from now than any paper library does. It's why first edition books from 50 years ago now command a fortune to purchase - because very few of them survived. 

Those books are an asset to us, but are an asset to Logos/Faithlife as well - it keeps us in their community. If any company eventually replaced Logos, they probably figured out how to legally convert their resources to support new software, making it easy for customers to migrate. These resources are a valuable asset to everyone.

Why do people freak about spending several thousand dollars on Bible software, yet spend much more, maybe an order of magnitude more, on a car that won't last anywhere near 15 years? Why do we do the same with furniture, sporting goods, and other disposable income - driven purchases?

Maybe the answer is don't buy software that only justifies the purchase if the next 4 generations can use it for free. If there's no value to you, don't buy it. You are ok with the car expiring at end of life given what you pay for it, consider Bible software the same way. If you are lucky enough that it survives you, that's a bonus.

Posts 30
178294z | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:19 PM

alabama24:
But you didn't. The owner didn't have the right to transfer ownership of the licenses without first relinquishing the licenses. Otherwise, what is to stop me from purchasing a base package for $1000 and selling it to all the freshmen students down the hill for $100 a piece?

The analogy breaks down here: Selling someone the original physical product (CDs/case/activation codes/serial numbers) is different than seeking to defraud a software company and other individuals by selling 10 people the same activation code. It seems reasonable, to me at least, that ownership should follow the possession of physical property. I understand Logos ties a product's license to the original purchaser, but the issue I have is the physical software's packaging does not specify this. I am a reasonable person - I would have no issue if the packaging stated this, but it doesn't.

Posts 30
178294z | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:22 PM

TCBlack:

I have been building a "death packet" that contains many such items as receipts and record print outs for just such an occurrence.  In the event of my demise my family will know that I kept such a folder in my file cabinet, appropriately labeled of course. 

It is not finished yet (and will never be truly finished while I breathe) but once it is, I'll announce its location - since it will also contain my wil

There is a lot of wisdom to this. In our digital world I think many of us fail to think through the transfer of digital rights.

Posts 30
178294z | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:26 PM

Kent:
Your right. Give up and don't buy anything that doesn't have an eternal value.

Very spiritual answer Smile

The point is not to put Logos down, but to raise the question of the true "value" of digital resources. There is a great deal of debate over the future of digital media and people's "investments" in proprietary platforms like the Kindle, iTunes, the Nook, etc.

Posts 30
178294z | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:33 PM

Don Awalt:
As others have said, you didn't legally buy this software.

I understand what you're really saying and Logos' position, but my answer is... I did buy the software. I certainly didn't steal it or hold a gun up to someone to buy "Bible Study" software. I legally exchanged currency for a physical product in its original packaging with an activation code. Yet, as you have pointed out, in the paradox of our digital world I don't "own" anything even though someone has transfered physical, tangible product to my possession.

Of course Logos has tremendous value (I think we all could go on for pages), but I think the nature of digital media is something many of us take for granted.

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JT (alabama24) | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:36 PM

178294z:
It seems reasonable, to me at least, that ownership should follow the possession of physical property.

The problem is, however, that you aren't interested in the "physical property." You are interested in an electric resource, which is bound by licensing agreements. 

178294z:
I would have no issue if the packaging stated this

I have no idea what the original packaging states... but I doubt you really want to install the original software. 

You should contact the seller and ask for assistance. Your beef should be with them.

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Posts 30
178294z | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:41 PM

Mark Smith:
It's a different world. Print analogies don't apply.

I agree that digital media has crafted a different world. I disagree that print analogies don't apply however. Does Logos still compares the cost of base packages to the cost of print material? As the title of my original post stated, I'm rethinking the ultimate, long-term "value" of electronic resources and the "ownership" of them.

Posts 406
Paul C | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:41 PM

But .....But ..... But ... But, But ... But, But, But.

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:42 PM

178294z:
I understand what you're really saying and Logos' position, but my answer is... I did buy the software. I certainly didn't steal it or hold a gun up to someone to buy "Bible Study" software. I legally exchanged currency for a physical product in its original packaging with an activation code.

It is frustrating I know.  But since the software is bound by licensing, it is the license that determines whether you accidentally (and with full honest integrity) bought stolen merchandise. It is the seller who knows that answer.

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Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

Posts 30
178294z | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:49 PM

alabama24:
The problem is, however, that you aren't interested in the "physical property." You are interested in an electric resource, which is bound by licensing agreements. 

The electronic resource was packaged on a "physical" CD. No licensing agreements on transferability are noted on the physical resource. 

alabama24:
I have no idea what the original packaging states... but I doubt you really want to install the original software. 

The original packaging sold a resource not "software."

alabama24:
You should contact the seller and ask for assistance. Your beef should be with them.

I don't really have a beef; I'm certain I get my money back, but that wasn't the point of my post Smile

Again, I simply think it is important for the consumer to think through or consider the differences between tangible, physical, study resources we buy and the nature of license agreements we agree to (or don't know we agree to when we buy software).

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:53 PM

178294z:
The electronic resource was packaged on a "physical" CD. No licensing agreements on transferability are noted on the physical resource. 
And the EULA which is on the disk contains all of this.

BUT THAT IS NOT YOUR POINT!  (Sorry to shout, I'm trying to switch back to your main topic... Try to pretend I did that while smiling - 'cuz I did.)

Smile <- See!?

178294z:
Again, I simply think it is important for the consumer to think through
You are 100% correct.  That got lost in the discussion.  We absolutely must weigh the value we get -vs- the money we pay and the expectations and stated or unstated "things" that go along with it.

That's why my logos license is going to my son, as recorded in my death packet.

Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

Check the Wiki

Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

Posts 30
178294z | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 2:56 PM

Paul C:
But .....But ..... But ... But, But ... But, But, But.

Not as spiritual a response as Kent's: "Your right. Give up and don't buy anything that doesn't have an eternal value." Smile

Posts 1602
Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 3:11 PM

178294z:

alabama24:
But you didn't. The owner didn't have the right to transfer ownership of the licenses without first relinquishing the licenses. Otherwise, what is to stop me from purchasing a base package for $1000 and selling it to all the freshmen students down the hill for $100 a piece?

The analogy breaks down here: Selling someone the original physical product (CDs/case/activation codes/serial numbers) is different than seeking to defraud a software company and other individuals by selling 10 people the same activation code. It seems reasonable, to me at least, that ownership should follow the possession of physical property. I understand Logos ties a product's license to the original purchaser, but the issue I have is the physical software's packaging does not specify this. I am a reasonable person - I would have no issue if the packaging stated this, but it doesn't.

You make a very good point and something that needs further discussion and clarification.  As an additional example, I can assure those interested that when I choose to give a paper copy of a book to someone, or when I die and my paper library is given to another, or if I sell those books in a legal transaction, in fact, the recipients of the books will be the owners of those books.  I won't need any permission from anyone to make that so.  The recipient will not need permission of anyone other than myself and the fact of the legal transaction to assume ownership.  All this regardless of how many illegal copies of pages I made in the past.

This wades off into the legalities of digital rights and something for the attorneys of the publishers and consumers to work out, but I believe a legal transaction with receipt of dollars exchanged (goods and services) is a legal and binding contract.  Exchange and possession of the materials associated with that legal transaction do constitute ownership.  It is, in fact, the test of ownership.  If I cannot transfer something I own to someone else (for whatever compensation or exchange is agreed upon), then I truly do not own it.

All that to make a point that digital rights contracts, because of the complexities involved, are not so simple and have favored protection of the publishers rights.  You only have to look at the abuses of pirating music in recent years to understand why.

I think in this case, you have a legitimate reason for asking for a transfer.  Whether the physical packaging states those terms would seem not relevant.  Perhaps you could obtain some sort of transfer note from the seller stating that they have transferred the product to you.  If not, maybe you could get a refund from them.

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Deacon Steve | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 3:20 PM

Don Awalt:

Wow. As others have said, you didn't legally buy this software.

How so?

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TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Oct 31 2014 3:25 PM

Steve:

Don Awalt:

Wow. As others have said, you didn't legally buy this software.

How so?

It is the assumed implication of the software being unwrapped, etc.  And then the Logos software couldn't activate it (because it has already been activated presumably.)  Even though the software was bought legally, until the seller relinquishes his/her license (in writing I guess) there is no way to transfer ownership - thus it is an illegal transfer.

Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

Check the Wiki

Warning: Sarcasm is my love language. I may inadvertently express my love to you.

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