Sales Policies, Licenses, Info, Etc.

Welcome to the unconventional 3D Menagerie policies page.  I have a few ethical issues with the way business things are normally done, so I try to follow my code of ideals.   Privacy info can be found below.

No BS Sales Policy:

     I do not support the idea that advertising should exhalt and exaggerate every single good thing about a product while ignoring or hiding flaws.  Instead, I believe the consumer should have all the facts about a product and make an informed decision.  If you find it disconcerting that a software vendor would ever actually admit to flaws and bugs in their perfect products...!  Well, then don't visit the "No BS" information page for each product.
     What does "BS" mean?  "Business Sense!"  Because if I had any, I'd advertise like everybody else, wouldn't I?

No BS Licensing/Usage Agreements:

     I've been reading too much for my own good, and I am convinced that typical software "End User License Agreements," are shafting the software consumers.

     First of all,  these 'agreements' are actually contracts.  Furthermore, they are what are known as "contracts of adhesion."  That means you cannot negotiate the terms, only take them or leave them.  Usually, contracts of this type are unlawful.
     Although I can see the reason behind using these types of contracts.  If software companies had to negotiate new contracts for each potential new customer, it would be a nightmare.  Terms would have to be bantered back and forth, concessions made or clauses enforced... we'd probably have to 'do lunch,' too!  And after all that, the customer might decide they don't want to enter into the contract after all.  Even if they did, it would still be a nightmare, because now you have to keep track of every variation in every contract you made to every user.  Even MicroSoft isn't big enough to do that!  ("Hey, this dude in Tacoma made two backup copies of Office 97 instead of one!"  "That's okay, he negotiated that in his contract."  "I thought that was in his contract for Office 95, but we changed it for Office 97."  "No, that was the guy in Spokane.")  (Side note: If you upgraded from Office 95 to Office 97, you have to buy half again as many copies of it as you had before.  Why?  95 allows each user to have 3 copies, one each on their work, home, and laptop computer.  97's new EULA states they may have 2 copies: one on the work computer and one on the home OR laptop computer.  If you still have one copy on each machine, you could be busted.)

   Secondly, we can accept the fact that we can't negotiate software contracts... but how about when you can't even READ the contract you are accepting, until after you purchase the product and open the box?  Then you read it and find out that opening the box constitutes your acceptance of the agreement!  Or, even better... the license is a file that the installation program shows you, so you can't read (let alone accept or reject) the contract until after you install the program.  And, of course, installing the program constitutes accepting the agreement.
     Well, you're supposed to uninstall the program and take it back for a refund, if you don't accept the license.  Uh, yeah, like how many stores allow you to return opened software?  (This is also unlawful, by the way.  You have the right to reasonably inspect any item you buy.  If you can't inspect it at the store, you can open it at home, try it out, and return it within a reasonable amount of time.  Yes, it's possible unscrupulous people would copy the sucker and then return it for a refund without deleting it, but that doesn't affect the Consumer Law.)

     Thirdly, there is the part where you only license  the software, you don't really buy it.  Basically, you are renting it!  You had better check the EULA for the "Term," or length of time the license covers.  It's conceivable that if you want to continue using it after a year or two, you have to pay more money.  (This hasn't happened yet, to my knowledge.)

     Lastly, does anybody really read these things?  Ask your lawyer; even they don't read software licenses, most of the time.

     All right, so I'm stirring up a lot of trouble here, but what does this mean in terms of how 3D Menagerie operates?

     First, do I allow contract negotiations?  No, for the difficulties cited above.

     Second, are the licenses and agreements and contracts posted for all to see prior to purchase?  Yes.  They are available in standard and annotated forms.  The return policy is hypocritical, however; I do not allow returns and refunds for models.  Basically, what are you returning?  I am distributing copies of a master file, there is nothing to return!  So how do I know I should give a refund?  It just isn't feasible.  Every effort is made to give you full and detailed descriptions and images of the products, so you know what you are getting before you buy it.  I hope this will allow you to buy with confidence about the models' integrity.

     Third, I don't hold with this licensing/renting policy.  You buy it, you own it.  However, that does not mean you can do whatever you want with it.  Like any artistic or written work, it is copyrighted.  This is not a foreign concept, just think of a book.  You buy a book, you own it.  You can lend it out, you can give it away, you can sell it, you can burn it.  But you can't copy all the pages and make new books to sell from it.
     Lastly, as I said, the contracts are annotated for your convenience.  I am not a lawyer, and these annotations are not to be construed as legal advice, and all that other stuff.  They are, to the best of my knowledge, correct interpretations of the terms they define.

For further information, I recommend these books:

The Software Conspiracy: Why Software Companies Put Out Faulty Products, How They Can Hurt You, and What You Can Do    by  Mark Minasi
     More about the software contracts and questionable practices; also a bit about consumer rights in the USA and some laws that threaten them; software 'bugs,' and complacency towards them.

Bad Software : What to Do When Software Fails   by  Cem Kaner, David L. Pels
     More about returning bad software; this includes concrete steps to take.

Interpreting and Negotiating Licensing Agreements; A Guidebook for the Library, Research, and Teaching Professionals   by  Arlene Bielefield and Lawrence Cheeseman
     Not as exciting or controversial as the others, this is a straightforward, section-by-section definition of what clauses you might find in a typical EULA.  It stresses cautions and notes particularly applicable to libraries, but is relevant to every user.

Privacy Policy:   

     If you order an item here at 3D Menagerie, your name, email, and address are recorded with your order and sent to me.  (Your credit card info is not; Kagi's payment processing handles all that.)  These three items are stored in a local database with your order info.  It is not stored on a network or the internet.  Basically, as you place your order, you become a "registered" user.
     This database is used as a record of sales, and registered users.  It is not used as a mailing list either by 3D Menagerie, no sold as a mailing list (or anything else for that matter) to anybody.  Basically, it sits there, and nobody looks at it, unless I need to check up on who owns what.

     If you transfer your ownership, I ask for a notice giving the info of  the current owner (your name/email) and the info of the new owner (name/email/address), so one can be removed from the database, and the new one put in.

     If you purchase brokered items from DAZ:   DAZ 3D handles the purchasing information and informs me of a sale.  They do not send me any names/emails/addresses (and especially not payment/card information).  As for what DAZ does with your info, you can ask at their site.  

Contents ©2000-2002 B L Render and 3D Menagerie.  All rights reserved.  
No images may be downloaded from this site, unless otherwise specified.  Thank you.

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