Question: Apricot com is a major software developer that licenses software to
Apricot.com is a major software developer that licenses software to be used over the Internet. One of its programs, called Match, is a search engine that searches personal ads on the Internet and provides a match for users for potential dates and possible marriage partners. Nolan Bates subscribes to the Match software program from Apricot.com. The license duration is five years, with a license fee of $ 200 per month. For each subscriber, Apricot.com produces a separate Web page that shows photos of the subscriber and personal data. Bates posted a photo of himself with his mother, with the caption, “Male, 30 years old, lives with mother, likes quiet nights at home.” Bates licenses the Apricot. com Match software and uses it 12 hours each day, searching for his Internet match. Bates does not pay Apricot.com the required monthly licensing fee for any of the three months he uses the software. After using the Match software but refusing to pay Apricot. com its licensing fee, Apricot. com activates the disabling bug in the software and disables the Match software on Bates’s computer. Apricot.com does this with no warning to Bates. It then sends a letter to Bates stating, “Loser, the license is canceled!” Bates sues Apricot.com for disabling the Match software program. Who wins? Did Bates act ethically? Did Apricot.com act ethically?
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