[olug] Barracuda violating GPL & Doctrine of First Sale?

Sam Tetherow tetherow at shwisp.net
Sun Jun 8 02:27:58 UTC 2008

Not sure how their refusal to sell support to someone unless they buy 
direct from them is a violation of the GPL.  The updates are effectively 
support not goods.  You can resell a Barracuda and there is nothing they 
can do about it.  But they can refuse to sell you a support contract. 

Now is this good business practice, I sure don't think so, If they need 
to sell you the overpriced hardware to make up for the annual support 
they really need to re-evaluate their pricing.    I was looking at 
getting a Barracuda at one point, but this is one of the reasons I ended 
up going with Postini instead. 

They are basically telling their customers that we want to lock you in 
to our service with no economical way to get out.  While from a 
financial standpoint this may seem to make sense, when it comes to 
dealing with people you want to give them a low-cost exit strategy and 
decent customer support.  People will try a service if they feel it 
isn't going to be too painful to back out if it doesn't work.  If you 
don't suck, a good percentage will stick with you because you are in 
place and working.  On the flip side I am much less likely to give you a 
try if I have some large non-refundable up front expense.  This is the 
other reason I went with Postini, my reseller offered me the first month 
free to test it out all I had to do was pay a $50 setup fee.

	Sam Tetherow
	Sandhills Wireless

OBrien, Timothy wrote:
> Barracuda Sneakwrap has a Nasty Bite
> http://www.gripe2ed.com/scoop/story/2008/6/3/0529/41400
> Interesting read on a product that is built on GPL software - according to
> Barracuda's ToS, you will not get support for second hand purchased
> equipment. From the article & threads, it is noted that this is possibly a
> violation of the GPL & Doctrine of First Sale?
> Thoughts?
> (also note the flame war in the threads aimed towards "all you
> liberals"... cue the ROFLcopter!)

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