Join Date: Aug 2010
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I have become an avid diesel "junkie" and am looking into buying a tuner for my 2010 F250. Spartan seems to be the best "tunes" available. Don't mind paying full price for their product but refuse to pay extortion fees every time I trade vehicles (every 2 years or so). I see postings regarding "tunes" being VIN locked to a particular vehicle but if you buy a vehicle with a tuner, you have to pay the $325. If you trade vehicles and take the tuner off and install it on your new truck, you have to pay $325. Spartan is talking out both sides of their mouth (plus other orifices).
So, given the fact that Drew Technologies utilizes GNU public licensing for their software products and are required by law to provide source code to the general public and I am a software engineer with access to virtually every decompiler, decryption and software development tool in existence, you do the math... I have looked through the source code, not every 40k files, but it is pretty straight forward. Might even be willing to investing some time into the "lie-o-meter" grip if I go with the Spartan and provide it back to DT, FREE OF CHARGE!
Don't get me wrong, I am a staunch advocate of software licensing and adhering to such. I even develop and license software tools for a wireless internet service I own and operate in my spare time but once someone purchases a license they get software updates for free. My licensing is tied to the purchasers SSN and can be transferred free for up to 3 times. This is extremely similar to Microsoft licensing structure (Microsoft uses algorithms which create a "key" based upon various computer components serial numbers). Spartan can come up with a better mechanism to ensure their products are not "pirated". Let's say, a person could provide the evidence the original truck was put back to stock and a CarFax was provided proving the vehicle was sold to another party. Sounds common sense to me. Spartan will change their policies, it is just a matter of how much of the market share they loose before doing so.
Also, don't anyone give me the crap about the legality associated with such. The supreme court has determined that even with digital multimedia (and that industry has DEEP pockets), a person is legally allowed to create one backup copy of any media if they have lawfully purchased the product. Now if I were to start "cracking" tuners for people, that is another matter. I WOULD NEVER DO SUCH! My brother is a lawyer in Dallas and I have it right from the horses mouth (or a$$ since he is one). One may even argue that since Spartan tunes are built on top of the GNU infrastructure, THEIR source code may be subject to the same GNU licensing. This is a "grey" area. However, Spartan would not last long if required to do such. All it would take is one jerk to post an unlocked image on the web and anyone with a Drew Tech interface product could "hook folks up". Don't believe in such. I am even willing to sacrifice my vehicle warranty and not expect Ford to pay if something goes wrong afterward.
So, to sum it up, I am simply looking to do some research before laying down a couple of thousand dollars for vehicle mods. Nothing more...