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Author Topic: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now  (Read 78233 times)

feppe

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #80 on: April 09, 2011, 10:16:06 am »

On 20 Dec 2010, at 19:49, Bob Binder @ X-Rite wrote:

> We received the following message from you.
 
> I am sure that our intention is not to create any havoc for our customers. Can you provide me the details of your situation so that I can have it addressed. i.e. what was the bundle that you purchased,
> and any other pertinent details affecting the situation that you are in. If there is something that we have overlooked, we need to address it.
 
> Thank you,
> Bob Binder (Worldwide Support Program Manager, X-Rite)

Told you so.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #81 on: April 09, 2011, 11:30:35 am »

... As it stands, you've released a product with such officious restrictions that it's nonviable to purchase, I implore you (X-Rite) to come to your senses and sort out this mess, I would like to purchase and use this software but cannot under these circumstances, I am not alone. I would imagine there's a not unreasonable chance such an oppressive EULA would get thrown out of court anyway, this needs fixing. When you alienate your customers in this way they look for alternatives, and whilst you may currently enjoy a monopoly, a market consisting of unhappy customers is a ripe opportunity to others.

Hi Darren,

Fully agree.

Cheers,
Bart
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digitaldog

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #82 on: April 09, 2011, 12:42:41 pm »

I had to re-run the installer to find the license text. I also had to re-run the PM5 installer to find its EULA - where there are some restrictions, but not at the level that comes with i1 Profiler (particularly the 50 profile limit)

Gang, one of the reasons when you are presented an EULA with the little Save option (at least on the Mac) is to archive this with the application and read it. I always do this (hence when I got the GM version of i1P, I was able, along with Chris Murphy, to read and talk about these new restrictions). X-Rite is aware of our concerns. What they will do is unknown. But we all have to take some responsibility for reading these agreements before we click OK. Especially in a product like this which has traditionally supplied some restrictions on the usage of profiles. The older EULA were acceptable to the color community by and large (years ago, there was some major discussions on the ColorSync list about this). Should this EULA be re-written or revert to the older EULA? Absolutely! But unless WE take the time to read them and make our concerns made, we can’t put all the blame on X-Rite (OK, how about 90%?).
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feppe

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #83 on: April 09, 2011, 01:04:04 pm »

Gang, one of the reasons when you are presented an EULA with the little Save option (at least on the Mac) is to archive this with the application and read it. I always do this (hence when I got the GM version of i1P, I was able, along with Chris Murphy, to read and talk about these new restrictions). X-Rite is aware of our concerns. What they will do is unknown. But we all have to take some responsibility for reading these agreements before we click OK. Especially in a product like this which has traditionally supplied some restrictions on the usage of profiles. The older EULA were acceptable to the color community by and large (years ago, there was some major discussions on the ColorSync list about this). Should this EULA be re-written or revert to the older EULA? Absolutely! But unless WE take the time to read them and make our concerns made, we can’t put all the blame on X-Rite (OK, how about 90%?).

While that is prudent advice on surface, EULAs are often complicated legal documents with obscure phrasing, purposefully wide-reaching catch-all clauses, and are unnecessarily long. As has been shown here and in numerous other cases companies don't often understand or even read their own EULAs.

If I read every EULA to every software and website I sign up for to actually understand them, I would have to probably spend a full working day each month to do that. For a business reading an EULA is even more important, and is best left to a lawyer due to the onerous restrictions some software packages impose, as has been shown in this thread.

Finally, enforceability of EULAs is questionable in many jurisdictions because they don't fulfill some of the basic tenets of contract law.

Ethan_Hansen

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #84 on: April 09, 2011, 03:00:59 pm »

Gang, one of the reasons when you are presented an EULA with the little Save option (at least on the Mac) is to archive this with the application and read it.

There is no "Save" option in the Windows installer. Sensible, as Windows has only a 90% share of the operating system market vs. 5% for Macs. If you do not manually select the EULA text and save it out in another application, the only way to later see the license is to reinstall i1Profiler.

I see some of X-Rite's logic in the profile creation and usage limitations. The price for the full, non-upgrade version of i1Profiler is $1000. I suspect that I am not the only one on this forum who recalls paying twice that amount for the standard ProfileMaker and Profiler versions (or something over $3K for the ProfileMaker Publish software). The feature set of i1Profiler reflects the price drop. No real profile editor, data manipulation, averaging, and analysis functions that are extremely limited in comparison to MeasureTool, no corrolary to ColorPicker, etc. i1Profiler does make good profiles except - and this is critical - in the case where you need a customized black generation curve. That feature went missing as well.

The EULA allows a color consultant to make on-site profiles. As Darren and I pointed out above, strict interpretation of the subsection c.ii requirements likely means that i1Profiler will need to be installed and run from the client's own computers. Not exactly practical. The 50 profile per year limit is problematic in the real-world. Unless your clients pay exceptionally well, it will be hard to make a living, particularly since a typical press requires a handful of profiles with varying K-Gen curves and GCR/UCR strategies for each paper. I do not know what X-Rite's licensing rates for making more than 50 profiles per year is. Obviously this will be a key factor for in a color consultant's decision of whether to use i1Profiler or not.

The market that X-Rite is killing off is for remote profiling services. I presume that at the $1000 price point, they feel that they stand to lose too many potential customers by adhering to the legacy ProfileMaker licensing scheme. Again, I assume that X-Rite has licensing options for remote profiling services, but I have no insight as to what those might be.

From our company's perspective, the licensing restriction are largely irrelevant. We use our own software for making RGB profiles, and the only press profiles we create are for printers we run jobs at. It was worth the $500 upgrade fee to see where X-Rite was at. Even with the improvements in RGB profiles, our home-grown software more than holds it own. If we use i1Profiler for press profiles, it appears we won't be able to provide the print shop with the profiles after the fact. (Side note: It is trivial to extract an embedded profile from an image. I'll leave the obvious conclusion about whether a print shop can save the profile up to you.) Other profiling service providers will indeed need to be careful about the ramifications of even installing i1Profiler. I have no pretensions of being a lawyer; it will require a good one to determine if the i1Profiler EULA's revocation of previous X-Rite licenses (a) is even contractually valid, (b) applies to ProfileMaker or i1 software versions purchased prior to the X-Rite/GretagMacBeth merger, and (c) only applies to the computer i1Profiler is installed on or to all computers you or your company own.

My primary complaints about i1Profiler, therefore, relate to the missing features and poor workflow. The product simply does not allow for efficiently creating a significant number of profiles, nor does the design consider that profiles may not be used on the computer where they are created. This is fine if X-Rite's target market are hobbyist consumers wanting a more powerful profiling tool than ColorMunki. For commercial work, however, the modest improvement in profile quality (again except for many presses where control over K-gen curves is essential) needs to be weighted against the drawbacks presented by the new, fancy, and woefully inefficient user interface and workflow.

Rhossydd

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #85 on: April 11, 2011, 06:05:30 am »

EULA

Following this discussion I've just been on the phone to the person in X-Rite responsible in the UK for Profiler;

He didn't think the EULA is any different to any other X-Rite profiling package. Oh dear, this doesn't bode well.

I've just sent him an email with the EULA, plus comparisons to previous X-Rite/GMB EULAs that do allow remote profiling.

There are several points to come from this.

1. Is the EULA a legally binding agreement ?
In it’s current form, almost certainly not in the UK.

2. Have X-Rite built a deactivation routine into the software to prevent use they think contravenes their EULA ?
It would seem to be easily by passed by running on a machine unconnected to the internet, but the clause allowing X-Rite to visit the licensed premises to check for contraventions to the EULA is pretty draconian, and again of dubious legality in the UK.

3. What will X-Rite do about the companies already offering a profiling service with i1Profiler ? possibly in contravention of the EULA.

4. Is this a serious attempt by X-Rite to profit from, or destroy, the remote profiling services ?
At the price points some companies are operating at there’s obviously little room for X-Rite to take a worthwhile cut.
Do they think that eliminating remote services will increase sales of X-Rite’s profiling products ? Possibly, but I'm not convinced the market works that way and possibly the reverse. Once people have used custom profiles they're more likely to fully engage with colour management solutions and in the long term are likely to buy X-Rite's products overall.

I guess a key question will be how much will they charge to licence the software for a remote profiling service.
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Rhossydd

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #86 on: April 11, 2011, 07:52:13 am »

The initial reply is that they are working on a version of the licence for "consultants" to address these issues and will get back to me.

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feppe

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #87 on: April 11, 2011, 12:17:32 pm »

The initial reply is that they are working on a version of the licence for "consultants" to address these issues and will get back to me.

IANAL, but I don't see how they could legally restrict the number of profiles produced by it, or where they are produced in, or who they are distributed to.

What they are selling is a tool, a software, but a tool nonetheless. A screwdriver manufacturer can't limit the number of screws tightened with their tools, and certainly can't limit their usage to the premises of the owner or who's screws they tighten. The absurdity of the concept is immediately obvious to anyone reading the previous sentence, yet there are "ho-hums" and "oh well"s every time this happens with software. Just because software enables publishers to restrict usage doesn't mean it must be done, or tolerated.

Rhossydd

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #88 on: April 11, 2011, 12:32:43 pm »

What they are selling is a tool, a software, but a tool nonetheless.
That's a rather too simplistic view I'm afraid.
We're buying a licence to use some intellectual property, and the right's owners choose what rights they licence to us.

In the same way most photographers don't sell their image's copyright, they licence it's usage and the amount they charge is often linked to the photo's final usage.
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feppe

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #89 on: April 11, 2011, 12:57:26 pm »

That's a rather too simplistic view I'm afraid.
We're buying a licence to use some intellectual property, and the right's owners choose what rights they licence to us.

With that attitude you have no one but yourself to blame for the onerous restrictions.

Ethan_Hansen

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #90 on: April 11, 2011, 01:11:15 pm »

That's a rather too simplistic view I'm afraid.
We're buying a licence to use some intellectual property, and the right's owners choose what rights they licence to us.

In the same way most photographers don't sell their image's copyright, they licence it's usage and the amount they charge is often linked to the photo's final usage.

Exactly!

What you get with your purchase of i1Profiler, or most other software packages, is not outright ownership of the software but a license to use it. This is standard practice, and is legally accepted internationally. Following Rhossydd's example, how much we charge a major apparel and sporting goods manufacturer for a single print of one image as artwork on corporate walls or a tradeshow backdrop is a small fraction of what an unlimited-usage license runs for a national or international marketing campaign. Our fee for the latter usage is well north of 100x what a one-off image runs.

In the early 2000's, we asked GretagMacbeth (prior to the buyout by X-Rite) what the charge would be for a license to make generic profiles for media and printer manufacturers. It was high. $20K per year per manufacturer, with payment required for a minimum of three years or the rights to the profiles would revert to GMB. This was one impetus for developing our own profiling codebase.

Obviously, the exposure for making generic profiles is high - far more than making a profile for a specific printer/ink/paper combination. If X-Rite creates a "consultants" license for individual printer profiling that omits some of the sillier restrictions such as requiring the profiles be created on-site, disallowing any electronic communications or delivery, and increasing the number of profiles per year, that would be fine. A price point in the $10-20K per license would not be out of line for this usage.

Rhossydd

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #91 on: April 11, 2011, 01:14:23 pm »

With that attitude you have no one but yourself to blame for the onerous restrictions.
No, I'm just looking at it from a right's holders perspective.
Photographers jealously try to hold onto their IP rights to earn a living, there's no reason why software authors shouldn't get a degree of respect for their rights too.

I'll accept reasonable restrictions in licensing conditions, but  In this case I believe they're exerting their rights rather too vigorously. Especially so since they appear to have made significant detrimental changes to their past licences terms. There are unacceptable restrictions of dubious legality and clauses that may be impossible to enforce.


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Rhossydd

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #92 on: April 11, 2011, 01:27:26 pm »

A price point in the $10-20K per license would not be out of line for this usage.
Really ?
In the UK the market isn't exactly huge and prices stay pretty competitive, putting a £10k licence in place will put custom profiles built with i1 Profiler out of the budget for the majority of photographers.

The smaller, cheaper companies will stick with PMP5 or i1 Match if they want to keep offering a cheap legal service. Frankly the difference in profile performance isn't so great you'd want to pay hugely more for it.

Are X-Rite actually going to police a restriction like this ? That might be a lot of costly work, not to mention poor publicity, with no significant profit to be gained from it.

A smarter move would be to offer accreditation status for people wanting to offer a retail service with their products. That way they'd also keep control over quality and service which would bolster the industry as a whole.
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David Saffir

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #93 on: April 11, 2011, 02:03:43 pm »

I'd really like to know the answer to that.

I feel it will have the opposite effect - those providing profiling services might choose
NOT to upgrade and continue offering services using their current technology.

David
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JeffKohn

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #94 on: April 11, 2011, 03:35:11 pm »

While it's true that software is licensed and not owned, that doesn't make this restriction any less ridiculous. Imagine if Microsoft Office came with a license that said writers could only sell 50 articles/documents a year, or if Adobe said you need a special (more expensive) license if you wanted to do freelance post-processing for paying clients.

Unfortunately this is the kind of stuff that happens when one company owns a market segment and there's no competition. For years, GMB and X-Rite sold their klunky, buggy applications for thousands of dollars because there was no real alternative and the price wasn't too much of a concern for their typical customers (publishing houses, etc). Now with just X-Rite it's only getting worse.  Hopefully a new player will come along at some point and blow X-Rite out of the water.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #95 on: April 11, 2011, 03:40:53 pm »

While it's true that software is licensed and not owned, that doesn't make this restriction any less ridiculous. Imagine if Microsoft Office came with a license that said writers could only sell 50 articles/documents a year, or if Adobe said you need a special (more expensive) license if you wanted to do freelance post-processing for paying clients.

Unfortunately this is the kind of stuff that happens when one company owns a market segment and there's no competition. For years, GMB and X-Rite sold their klunky, buggy applications for thousands of dollars because there was no real alternative and the price wasn't too much of a concern for their typical customers (publishing houses, etc). Now with just X-Rite it's only getting worse.  Hopefully a new player will come along at some point and blow X-Rite out of the water.

Right on the money Jeff. And it's getting ripe when you see that both technically and managerially they are sitting ducks. It just isn't good enough to have a decent profiling engine and hope that it will carry all else. I think the problem though is that barriers to entry are substantial and the size of the market my not be so obviously large enough to entice challengers. I'm waiting to see whether some entrepreneurial and engineering talent in India or China would emerge to shake it all up. It's just bound to happen one day.
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #96 on: April 11, 2011, 04:04:52 pm »

Right on the money Jeff. And it's getting ripe when you see that both technically and managerially they are sitting ducks. It just isn't good enough to have a decent profiling engine and hope that it will carry all else. I think the problem though is that barriers to entry are substantial and the size of the market my not be so obviously large enough to entice challengers. I'm waiting to see whether some entrepreneurial and engineering talent in India or China would emerge to shake it all up. It's just bound to happen one day.
Only if the market size justifies the investment.  I'm not justifying X-Rite's licensing policy other than to say it is intellectual property and they have the right to impose whatever terms they want.  Now of course there is a trade off between price and marketability.  The problem here is what Mark identifies.  Most amateur photographers are content with company generated profiles (and truth be told most Epson profiles are pretty darn good) and likely not to purchase profiles from someone who is doing this as a business.  Higher end amateurs may be content with the ColorMunki solution which is a good cost effective approach to improving color quality.

I don't know what the active number of LuLa posters is these days, probably a small subset of those registered.  These are the folks who are at the higher end and potential customers of the new software or a profile prepared from it.  Pretty small market if you consider the reality of it all
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Mark D Segal

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #97 on: April 11, 2011, 04:10:39 pm »

Alan, you are forgetting the whole professional photography market and all the pre-press which need colour management solutions. It's not THAT small a market, especially when you cast your net world-wide. How big I don't know, and how big it needs to be to entice challengers facing high entry costs, I don't know either.
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atlproimaging

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #98 on: April 11, 2011, 04:23:49 pm »

Not from India yet, but one company is in Hong kong.
www.qualux.com
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eronald

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Re: New X-Rite i1Profiler software available now
« Reply #99 on: April 11, 2011, 04:57:54 pm »

There's Argyll too - open source and very good in RGB mode if you have a scanning spectro - which consultants usually own.

Edmund
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