Is this software site legit?
July 21, 2005 7:29 AM   Subscribe

I was searching for student pricing for software and I came up with a site offering radical discounts on something I'm interested in. Is it too good to be true?

Has anyone had experience with the site http://www.softjack.com/? the prices seem a little on the low end (typed in the most understated way ever).

Should I try it with the "buyer beware" glasses on? If I purchase it, am I doing anything illegal?
posted by jmevius to Computers & Internet (17 answers total)
 
Hm - interesting! Not too sure what's going on there, but they've got a Longhorn preview available to buy! Weird!
posted by Chunder at 7:36 AM on July 21, 2005


Hm - interesting! Not too sure what's going on there, but they've got a Longhorn preview available to buy! Weird!

Uh actually, are they offering *downloads*? If you look in the games section, it lists the size - which would only be of relevance if you're going to d/l the software...
posted by Chunder at 7:38 AM on July 21, 2005


I don't know about them either, but their About page does say that it's all downloaded software. Iiiinteresting...

And whoa! Where'd that live preview thing come from? Cool!
posted by Moondoggie at 7:43 AM on July 21, 2005


Definitely download only, as seen in their FAQ. I'd say it is at best illegal, and at worst they'll steal your credit card number.
posted by smackfu at 7:43 AM on July 21, 2005


Doh - not sure what happened there, sorry...

Something else to note - look in the T&Cs... there's an interesting snippet as follows:
"2.3. You cannot register the software with the manufacturer and updates are available not for all the products;
2.4. You do not receive printed license documentation;
2.5. You do not receive a copy of the software on a disk."

I don't know for certain, but I'd be willing to bet that all of these are cracked versions - virtually all of the stuff on there that I'm familiar with requires serial numbers/passcodes, etc. which obviously aren't available if you don't have all the original packaging.

Ethics and morals aside, I'd be extremely tempted to try and get this - a saving of 6900USD is pretty tempting! :-)
posted by Chunder at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2005


This is totally illegal. Do you think they'd sell Maya 6.0 for $100? Just because you don't receive the CD?

We offer the software for downloading only, it means that you do not receive a fancy package, a printed manual and license that actually aggregate the largest part of the retail price. In this situation we are restricted in selling the products for private purposes only! You will not be able to get a technical support and different rebates from the manufacturer.

Right. Save your money and download a torrent if you're going to go this route.
posted by geoff. at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2005


Yeah they only offer downloads, which is one reason I think this software is not legitimate. Microsoft, for instance, likes to distribute retail versions of Windows on holographic CDs and long product keys, a practice which would be pointless if they also allowed downloads. And yes, the prices are too good to be true. You might receive the software, it might work, but I doubt it's legal, and the authors of the software probably won't see a cent from your purchase.
posted by blue mustard at 7:44 AM on July 21, 2005


Excerpts from their "terms and conditions" page:

2.3. You cannot register the software with the manufacturer and updates are available not for all the products;
2.4. You do not receive printed license documentation;
2.5. You do not receive a copy of the software on a disk.
2.6. The Store will assist the Customer with downloading and installation issues. We will not provide technical support after the software product is downloaded and installed; neither will it be available from the manufacturer of the software product.


Translation: You are downloading illegal, unlicensed and unregistered software.
posted by Lokheed at 7:46 AM on July 21, 2005


Further, they can't seem to sort out their own mysterious "transaction fee," claiming in their T&C that it's $3.95, and in the FAQ that it's $7.95.

Hate your boss? Have him buy software here, and then call these guys.
posted by piro at 7:48 AM on July 21, 2005


I love the way that they've put a copyright notice at the bottom of their page, when all they're doing is blatantly breaking the copyright of others...
posted by Chunder at 7:51 AM on July 21, 2005


And when they get busted, your IP address will be in their download logs. Adobe and MS and the guys take this shit *seriously,* and you are asking for trouble.

Education discount prices for most major software packages are set by the manufacturers, if they exist at all. You can obtain the legal education price (which is a full license, with all support, media, etc.) from nearly any major vendor IF you are authorized to buy the education version. The education price should be uniform across legit vendors within a very few dollars. Sometimes you have to call and ask, and typically you'll have to fax them your ID. Also, if you are in fact affiliated with an educational institution, there's a good chance your school owns site licenses for major software packages and all you have to pay for is the media. Talk to your school's IT people.

Personally, I think downloading cracked software from anywhere is not only illegal, but stupid, not only because of the risk of getting caught (and owing HUGE fines, like thousands of dollars per application) but because you are taking the word of established criminals when you do it that the software is not hacked to exploit your system, after you have thoughtfully provided admin level access to your system while installing it. If you can't afford something, chances are great that there will be free and shareware options that can do the same thing. If you need enterprise-class and business-standard software, you need to pay the man to play.

The education deals are an awesome benefit for expensive software packages like Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Final Cut, Macromedia Studio, etc. It adds extra annoyance that the thieves are using this angle, and may screw up a great deal for those of us who legitimately use these apps in educational settings.
posted by realcountrymusic at 8:11 AM on July 21, 2005


... it means that you do not receive ... a license ...

That seems to be a pretty clear indication that it's not legal. You need a license to use most software legally.
posted by odinsdream at 8:16 AM on July 21, 2005


Yes, it would be stupid to buy software from this company - why would you pay someone $100 for something you can get for free (cracked versions of software, I mean)...
posted by muddgirl at 8:23 AM on July 21, 2005


Journey Education is who I use for education software. The softjack price for Acrobat Pro 7 is $69 and the Journey Ed price is $129. Retail from Amazon is $387. Still big time savings.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 9:15 AM on July 21, 2005


Send an e-mail to piracy@adobe.com, piracy@microsoft.com, etc., and see what they have to say about it. (Adobe and Macromedia are especially good about replying quickly to the piracy@ address)
posted by winston at 9:16 AM on July 21, 2005


I was convinced this was a Russian / Romanian scam site, but a WHOIS reveals it's registered to a guy in Denver. Still obviously illegal though.
posted by coach_mcguirk at 10:35 AM on July 21, 2005


Just find the stuff you're looking for via P2P for free. these guys are just douchebags.
posted by blasdelf at 7:00 PM on July 21, 2005


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