License Stories October 19, 2015

AAPL: 111.73

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What OS X El Capitan’s license really says, according to a programmer/lawyer

We all know the features of OS X El Capitan pretty well by now: Split View multitasking, new San Francisco system font, overhauled Notes app, and smaller changes throughout. Before anyone upgrades to El Cap, however, we’re all faced with the usual scrolling wall of text that we’re asked to read and agree to before ever using OS X: the licensing agreement.

I’m guessing virtually no one reads beyond the first paragraph if even that, but Robb Schecter, a self-described programmer/lawyer, took for one the team this year and translated El Cap’s license into plain English. These 7 points tell me more than I admittedly knew before:

License Stories March 23, 2015

Pro Tools 12 now available with new subscription models

After first announcing and showing off new licensing plans with Pro Tools 12 in January, today the latest version of Pro Tools has arrived at last alongside the new subscription plans on Avid’s online store.

Highlights for Pro Tools 12 include a new “Avid Cloud Collaboration” feature that lets users collaborate in real-time from different locations using built-in chat and other collaboration features, and a new “Avid Marketplace” for finding talent and accessing apps, plug-ins and third-party content.

For the first time, Avid is making Pro Tools, with version 12, available through license subscriptions starting at $29.99/month. An annual update is available for $199 (the one-time price of Apple’s competitive Logic Pro X), while the annual subscription plan will go for $299. Lastly, Avid has perpetual licenses starting at $899.

(via The Loop)

License Stories February 10, 2015

Apple’s comms chip supplier Qualcomm fined almost $1B in Chinese anti-trust case

Qualcomm, which makes baseband communications chips for Apple and licenses 3G and 4G patents to other smartphone manufacturers, has been fined almost a billion dollars by the Chinese government in an anti-trust case. The company was found to have abused its dominant position in wireless chip technology by charging “unfairly high” licensing fees to manufacturers of smartphones and tablets.

The 6B Yuan ($960M) fine is the largest fine ever imposed on a foreign company, reports the GuardianChina’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that the fine was calculated as 8% of Qualcomm’s 2013 revenue in China. China is responsible for around half of Qualcomm’s total revenue.

Chinese regulators said that Qualcomm bundled together patent licenses, forcing Chinese companies to buy unwanted licenses in order to get the core 3G and 4G ones they needed. Qualcomm said that it was disappointed by the ruling, but has agreed to separate out its licenses to allow companies to purchase only the ones they need.

The ruling is unlikely to impact Apple this year, as the company orders its baseband chips from Qualcomm rather than licensing patents, but may have an impact next year. KGI predicted last month that Apple would be buying 30% of its baseband chips from Intel in 2016.

Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters

License Stories March 5, 2014

FOSS Patents discovered that while Apple was asking a court to sanction Samsung for using confidential information about a patent deal between the Cupertino company and Nokia, Apple inadvertently made the very same information public.

As part of a patent dispute between Apple and Samsung, Apple was required to share the terms of the patent licensing deal with Samsung’s lawyers, Quinn Emanuel. The agreement was that the documents – marked Highly Confidential – Attorneys’ Eyes Only – would only be viewed by the lawyers. Instead, Quinn Emanuel passed them onto Samsung execs, who allegedly used the information as ammunition in the company’s own patent negotiations with Apple …  expand full story

License Stories October 24, 2013

Apple publishes its improvements to the open-source components of Mavericks, as bound by the code licenses

Today, Apple has made available the open-source components of OS X Mavericks’ code to the public. Apple regularly does this for both iOS and OS X as prescribed by the license agreements of the open source code Apple uses.

License Stories February 18, 2013

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According to Computerworld, Microsoft raised its pricing on Office for Mac 2011 during its Office 365 event last month by as much as 17 percent and stopped selling multi-license packages of the application suite. The move is likely to drive customers to its Office 365 program for PC/Mac that is $99 a year for a family.

The move puts Office for Mac 2011 on the same pricing schedule as the new Office 2013 for Windows. The price increases and the disappearance of the multi-license bundles also makes Microsoft’s Office 365, a software-by-subscription deal the company has aggressively pushed, more competitive with traditional “perpetual” licenses.

It’s not clear when Microsoft raised prices. The oldest search engine cache Computerworld found with the new prices was Feb. 2, so the company boosted them before then, likely on Jan. 29, the day it launched Office 2013 and Office 365 Home Premium. Microsoft did not mention the changes to Office for Mac in its press releases that day, or otherwise publicize the move on its Mac-specific website.

Indeed, Apple now offers Office for Student/Professional for $140/230Amazon still says it is $119 but notes that Office 2011 is an older version and the newer version that includes a key card is $139 marked down to $131 with a new SKU. You can still buy the multi-user packs at significant discount, but those likely are only while supplies last. expand full story

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