If shareware can be used indefinitely in the year 2000?
The WDR-Computerclub has uncovered that current shareware in the year 2000 shows almost unlimited test periods. Caused by a defective Y2K programming, which allows a usage period of 100.
Not without a sly laugh Wolfgang Back from the WDR-Computerclub presented a new Y2K bug in the last show. After installing the shareware program "Homesite" a period of use of 30 days was agreed with the current date. After that the tester is obliged to either delete the program or to purchase the usage rights against payment of the registration fee. An experimental change of the date to a day in the year 2000 resulted in the surprising information for the test person that the program was still running for 36 days.500 days of testing. The computer magazine has not tested other programs, but suspects this bug in other shareware versions.
Legal consequences of the Homesite Y2K bug?
Wolfgang Back presented a so far unknown Y2K programming error with unforeseeable consequences. Just as smilingly he interpreted the legal consequences of the associated problem: Is it now legal to continue using such a shareware program or is it still not allowed to test such an – even if faulty – product after the 30 days have expired?? Which statement of a program component may be trusted, the respective one? "Agreement" or the "Intro screen" of a program? This is clearly stated in the Software License Agreement: "If you have acquired an evaluation version, the license granted herein shall automatically terminate thirty (30) days after you first install such version."
This serious decision will probably have to be made by a court, although the intention of software developer "Allaire" is unmistakable. More than 30 days are just not in it.