Glype Web Proxy Script Licensing is BRUTAL

Old 3 Comments on Glype Web Proxy Script Licensing is BRUTAL 611

I was planning to create a class today about the Glype Web Proxy script.  This is an easy to install script that allows you to bypass web filters through a web page Proxy.  It works decently, and is free for personal use so I figured it would be a good product to demonstrate.  I had even been on the fence about buying a commercial license of it so that I could provide Proxy service for my followers.

With that in mind I started researching Glype and downloaded it to start to test with.

The first thing I noticed that seemed odd with Glype Licensing is that they have a very unusual way of determining how much a license costs.  Not only do they ask how many servers it will be on, but also how many monthly users, AND… this is the really odd one… if your company makes over $100K per year.  I’m all for paying my fair share, but frankly being asked to pay based on how much my company earns is a bit unsettling.

I then was going through the process of setting up the test site and was confronted with another extremely odd message. On the admin screen there was a message that said per license requirements I needed to create a ZIP file of the entire site and send it to them as part of the Grant Back clause. I scratched my head at this and then realized I needed to actually read the entire license because something is very odd here.

Reading the license showed that ANY improvements I made to the software would be owned outright by them, and I would only receive a license to my own work.  Bugger that..

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Then after seeing this concerning provision I read through the rest of the license and ended up at Section 21.  This is where they explain that ANY violation of Sections 3-7 will “unconditionally” require a $100K payment per breach.

 

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At this point I realized someone over at Glype is off their darned rocker and deleted everything.  Literally these licensing provisions are so draconian I can not be confident that by simply creating a video tutorial about their product it will not incur a lawsuit.

I know many folks reading this will laugh and say that I’m being paranoid, but the reality is that we live in scary times when it comes to Intellectual Property Law.  Companies are making millions of dollars simply by suing people for amounts that are too small to be worth defending against.  It is so easy to go out and download these “free” products that many folks simply don’t even bother to look at the license.  They assume that they don’t have to care.

I would urge you all to read your licenses before agreeing to them.  Not only are they a potential legal minefield, but you must also ask yourself if you want to promote and support these companies.

Author

Eli Etherton

I am Eli "the Computer Guy" and have been in the tech industry for approx. 20 years doing all kinds of odd projects. I started as an electronics tech in the US Army, worked in corporate IT during the IT Boom, was an individual consultant and grew my tech shop to have numerous full time employees and supported small business clients with computer repair/ server maintenance/ web development/ surveillance systems/ telephone systems until the great recession. After that I started creating video training on all the topics I know and now have a YouTube Channel with over 500K subscribers. I am the founder of GeekBrainDump.com and my plan is to create a tech "news" site that I would actually find useful if I was still in the server room.

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3 Comments

  1. Katy Pillman August 21, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for the post. It is very interesting!
    I always would love to read the license, but sometimes there is usually not enough time to read it thoroughly. At least you didn’t make the mistake and get a heavy lawsuit.

  2. Jeff Newman August 22, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Eli:

    The Glype folks were contacted to ask for clarification on the points you raised. Here’s their response. Make if it what you will.

    1. We price Commercial Use licenses on a sliding scale depending on the responses provided to 5 questions. We do not ask for specific financial information. We do, however, ask whether the annual
    gross revenues of your organization for the prior fiscal year exceed $100,000. This allows us to provide discounted pricing to small businesses and startups.

    2. The purpose of the “Grant Back” section of the Glype Software License Agreement (SLA) is to permit users of the Glype software to modify the software while simultaneously protecting UpsideOut from
    being locked out of potential avenues of expansion. This goal is accomplished by transferring all rights to modifications of the software to UpsideOut, thereby preventing such modifications from being
    patented or otherwise encumbered by third parties. Note that the Grant Back section provides that the authors of modifications to the software are subsequently granted a “non-exclusive, royalty-free
    and perpetual license” to use their modifications.

    3. The “Liquidated Damages” section of the SLA does not serve as a punishment or as a deterrent against the breach of the SLA. The purpose of the “Liquidated Damages” section of the SLA is to enable a
    court to award a reasonable amount of compensation when a breach of the SLA leads to actual or anticipated damage to UpsideOut where such damages are uncertain or difficult to quantify.

    4. The SLA has a “Dispute Resolution” section which provides for binding arbitration in New York City.

    Justin Schlecter, President
    UpsideOut, Inc.
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/justinschlecter

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