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Why I'll never buy Rosetta Stone language programs!


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#1 titianmom

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:48 PM

Hi all,

Found out something painful today. I bought Rosetta Stone long ago before they added the Grammar lessons needed to make it a real HS program.

Anyway, I decided to sell it on eBay, and the software police (i.e., Business Software Assoc who does Rosetta), had eBay take my listing off, saying that I was violating a licensing agreement.

Keep in mind that my stuff was about 9 years old and not web-based at all.

So apparently folks, if you pay a ba-zillion dollars for Rosetta Stone, it's yours for life. You can use it for coffee coasters or as reflectors for your garden, but don't try to re-sell it after you're done with it or they'll come after you.

Why in the world would anyone pay $$$$$$ for a language program that they can't resell? That they're basically renting and will always belong to Rosetta Stone?

That's just plain nuts if you ask me!

Okay, I feel better. Just wanted to let you folks know that if you're re-selling your Rosetta, don't let them know about it because it's illegal.

I'm going to pour me some java and set it on my CDs, now. If I plant my veggie garden I'll hang 'em out there in the sun to keep the birds away...

Take care,
Kim

#2 Susan C.

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:56 PM

Hi all,

Found out something painful today. I bought Rosetta Stone long ago before they added the Grammar lessons needed to make it a real HS program.

Anyway, I decided to sell it on eBay, and the software police (i.e., Business Software Assoc who does Rosetta), had eBay take my listing off, saying that I was violating a licensing agreement.

Keep in mind that my stuff was about 9 years old and not web-based at all.

So apparently folks, if you pay a ba-zillion dollars for Rosetta Stone, it's yours for life. You can use it for coffee coasters or as reflectors for your garden, but don't try to re-sell it after you're done with it or they'll come after you.

Why in the world would anyone pay $$$$$$ for a language program that they can't resell? That they're basically renting and will always belong to Rosetta Stone?

That's just plain nuts if you ask me!

Okay, I feel better. Just wanted to let you folks know that if you're re-selling your Rosetta, don't let them know about it because it's illegal.

I'm going to pour me some java and set it on my CDs, now. If I plant my veggie garden I'll hang 'em out there in the sun to keep the birds away...

Take care,
Kim


If you have a computer that will run it, I liked the old one....and add Breaking the Barrier for the grammar??? Our old computer is yuck, and I have to start over for child #2.... its on the foreign language thread #???. Rosetta Stone did offer credits last year for old programs, maybe ask them if they will do that for you??

Sorry :glare: about your experience.

#3 titianmom

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 07:51 PM

Just adding a grammar on the side.

But it annoys me to no end that they sold this to me as a Homeschool version back then but it's inadequate for what we really need for learning Spanish. All that money out the window, and I can't sell it.

??

I wrote Tell Me More to see if they're the same way. When I find out I'll post.

Kim

#4 transientChris

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:02 PM

WE just bought Rosetta Stone this last weekend, knowing full well that it doesn't have the best grammar and that we can't sell it. Why? Because it was less money for us than trying to get three or four of us to learn Spanish or to improve our Spanish. WE have lots of different kinds of learners here. I pick up languages quickly and although I do know some Spanish, I would like to improve fluency and proficiency. My dd 15 is highly auditory and thinks this is the best program for her and I think it will work much better for a highly auditory person. My youngest and my husband are not great language learners but not horrible either. It looks good enough for them to do. WE are getting five levels for five people for about the same as I would be paying the CC for one semester for one. Will it work- I hope so but at least if it doesn't it doesn't ruin her college record.

#5 titianmom

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:13 PM

And yes, you can sell theirs after you're done. Just as long as you clear it off your machine, they don't care what you do with it.

So that's fine that another poster bought Rosetta for 5 people, but you could have gotten TMM for less and could have sold it when you were done, and it's the same kind of program, basically.

It's Tell Me More for this house!

Kim

#6 titianmom

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:15 PM

There are 449 illegal activities going on in the 4-sale section of this forum. All reselling their Rosetta Stone.

Hmmm.....

Should I join in this illegal activity?

Actually, I thought since my software was so old I'd check out my license agreement on the SW to see if it actually says I can't sell it.

For all I know, it's so old they didn't have that policy back then. ??

FYI, my hubby and I prob won't sell it. Couldn't in good conscience. :)

Kim

#7 Mama Lynx

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:54 PM

There are 449 illegal activities going on in the 4-sale section of this forum. All reselling their Rosetta Stone.

Hmmm.....

Should I join in this illegal activity?

Actually, I thought since my software was so old I'd check out my license agreement on the SW to see if it actually says I can't sell it.

For all I know, it's so old they didn't have that policy back then. ??

FYI, my hubby and I prob won't sell it. Couldn't in good conscience. :)

Kim


In all honesty, there is no hard and fast law here. There have been court decisions on such licensing agreements in which the courts ruled that the software *could* be resold, despite the company claiming that it can't.

In other words, just because Rosetta Stone says so and sics the software police on you, does not mean it would stand up in court. Now, whether or not you want to be the test case is another story ;-)

#8 titianmom

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:20 PM

Ebay jerked my listing and refuses to put it back.

Obviously it's legal, what they're doing...

So 449 people on the 4-sale posts are violating the law, according to eBay and Rosetta Stone and Business Software Assocs.

??

I just think the entire thing is absurd and won't buy Rosetta. TMM is a good program so I'm going with it. I can sell it, use it for coasters, AND hang it in my garden! Once it's mine, it's mine! Which, IMHO, is the way it should be.

Kim

#9 titianmom

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:22 PM

I've written to Rosetta telling them politely what I thought of their wonderful policy. And I mentioned that other homeschooling families will probably be interested in their policy, as well (since they don't bother to tell you this up front, I figured I should help them out, you know?)

Kim

#10 Mama Lynx

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 10:47 PM

IME, Ebay always errs on the side of the most conservative interpretation of the law, or going beyond the law. Remember when they decided they would not sell teacher's manuals? Is that still true?

But "legal" is just not cut and dried in this case. Sure, it's "legal" for Rosetta's representatives to tell you to stop. And to avoid a hassle, it's "legal" for Ebay to side with them and tell you to stop. But none of that means that you would necessarily be found liable in a court of law.

Ebay jerked my listing and refuses to put it back.

Obviously it's legal, what they're doing...

So 449 people on the 4-sale posts are violating the law, according to eBay and Rosetta Stone and Business Software Assocs.

??

I just think the entire thing is absurd and won't buy Rosetta. TMM is a good program so I'm going with it. I can sell it, use it for coasters, AND hang it in my garden! Once it's mine, it's mine! Which, IMHO, is the way it should be.

Kim



#11 titianmom

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:53 PM

For grins I went out to eBay and did a search. There are dozens and dozens and dozens of illegal listings.

I think someone has it out for me or something. This is absurd. One package is exactly like mine that I was selling.

Go figure.

#12 creekland

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 06:02 AM

In all honesty, there is no hard and fast law here. There have been court decisions on such licensing agreements in which the courts ruled that the software *could* be resold, despite the company claiming that it can't.

In other words, just because Rosetta Stone says so and sics the software police on you, does not mean it would stand up in court. Now, whether or not you want to be the test case is another story ;-)


This is true here with many things too. It seems many people say you can't do this or that with whatever you've bought, but the court cases I recall seeing say otherwise... We won't be done with ours for years as I'm using it for all three of my boys, but when we are done with it, like everything else, it will go - just perhaps not via e-bay! I was neutral about the program for a while, but now that my boys are finished with their 2nd year and have been doing the grammar (I didn't realize there was a workbook the first year since I didn't unpack the material), I'm fairly pleased.

#13 Kathy in MD

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 06:11 AM

If your documentation doesn't rule out reselling, take the company to small claims court. It shouldn't cost much for you (you can represent yourself with no problems), but the company needs to hire an attorney.

If they don't show up you should win automatically. If they do, I would think you'd still win if you have your original documentation, and maybe even if you don't.

#14 K-FL

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:06 AM

Isn't there the same complaint w/SOS? Seems they don't "allow" you to re-sell their program either.

#15 danielle

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:53 AM

I like using Rosetta Stone for dialogue practice, but be forewarned that you better use it right when you buy it, as there will be no upgrades. I have a Level I and Level II set (ouch) that originally ran on Windows XP but will not run on Vista. I called about upgrades and the service rep all but laughted me off the phone. It's a lot of money not to be able to upgrade when you change a computer system, or plan to use it over time for multiple people.
Danielle

#16 LoriM

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 07:59 AM

Have you considered selling it locally at your hs group? We "trade" books and software locally all the time. Many of us aren't upgrading computers as frequently as companies wish we would (LOL), and so the older programs still work just fine.

Ebay has put itself in the position of judge/jury on the ethicity of sale of merchandise under copyright law. If you use their service, you have to deal with that monitoring of your rights as a seller. Just try another venue.

#17 Orthodox6

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 09:16 AM

Is Rosetta Stone software one of those which "works" on only one computer, and is unable to be installed on subsequent computers? We have bought software products over the years which are "triggered" somehow to work, following installation, only once or twice.

I don't use Rosetta Stone, with just one reason being its omission of grammar. (At that price, they should be ashamed of themselves for the weak product !)

#18 titianmom

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:36 PM

I don't agree with Rosetta's policy, but I'll abide by it because, legally, they can put any restrictions they want on their product(s).

I'm not trying to sound self-righteous, it's just that before God I can't become a law unto myself and do anything I want just because everyone else is doing it.

Ebay said that they do not screen everyone listing, and I was reported by someone outside of eBay to BSA, and UNDER LAW eBay is obligated to do what the vender has designated in their policy, which is to remove listings that violate their licensing, etc.

What I also disagree with as far as Rosetta goes is the rather underhanded way they handle policies. They don't tell you any of this when they sell their product...and frankly "sell" isn't the proper term IMO. If I don't really own it--meaning I can't do anything I want with it once I buy it--then they should be more up front with this and not bury it knee-deep in legaleese at the bottom of a long policy form on the website that they don't bother to point out.

OF course, if they did tell you this stuff you'd be hesitant to go and pay bookoo bucks for something you're stuck with, no? Thus the (what I feel is an) underhanded way to dealing with it.

I did what I felt was really my only recourse in this matter. To inform other homeschooling families that this is Rosetta's policy. What people choose to do with it is between them, Rosetta and whomever they believe is watching. :)

Take care all; I'm done and I'm ready to move on. Have a great homeschooling year!

Kim

Have you considered selling it locally at your hs group? We "trade" books and software locally all the time. Many of us aren't upgrading computers as frequently as companies wish we would (LOL), and so the older programs still work just fine.

Ebay has put itself in the position of judge/jury on the ethicity of sale of merchandise under copyright law. If you use their service, you have to deal with that monitoring of your rights as a seller. Just try another venue.



#19 titianmom

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 12:37 PM

It'll work on any computer. That's not the problem, here.

Kim

Is Rosetta Stone software one of those which "works" on only one computer, and is unable to be installed on subsequent computers? We have bought software products over the years which are "triggered" somehow to work, following installation, only once or twice.

I don't use Rosetta Stone, with just one reason being its omission of grammar. (At that price, they should be ashamed of themselves for the weak product !)



#20 Rhea

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 01:28 PM

What about Visual Link Spanish? (For those looking for something other than Rosetta Stone.)

http://www.learnspanishtoday.com

You can sample the program on their website. I'm not affiliated, just bought it recently (hasn't arrived yet) and have high hopes.

Rhea

#21 Storm Bay

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:23 PM

Honestly, it's illegal to resell many things that use software, although not all. You have to check the licence agreement. I knew about that policy when I bought Rosetta Stone. Did you ask them if you could resell it when you bought it?

fwiw, we're adding a different grammar to go with our Rosetta Stone, even though we do have a workbook.

#22 readwithem

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 04:27 PM

I have never based my homeschooling decisions on what I can turn around and re-sell. Trust me, what has worked at my house (Bob Jones math for instance) has such negligible resale value, it wouldn't be worth it to try to resell.:glare:

Having said that, we've been very pleased with Rosetta Stone with an additional grammar program. It's been a very good fit for my family.

#23 titianmom

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 10:55 AM

I think it's about 50/50, actually.
Rosetta didn't offer the info, and since I knew that people were reselling their stuff without any problems, I didn't ask.

Now I know to ask, since they won't volunteer the info. Lesson learned.

Their product is very expensive, and most families don't have the luxury of spending all that money on something that they can't get rid of in good conscience.

And since so many are reselling their language programs (I'd say most people do), then either they're doing it knowing full well that they aren't suppose to, or they simply don't know they can't resell.

That's why I posted this discussion.

It's up to the readers to decide what to do. There are a lot of homeschooling families that ignore copyright and licensing agreements, which doesn't bode well for the homeschooling community IMHO. BUt we're just a segment of the population that regularly ignores copyright and licensing agreements, so I guess it's to be expected.

Later,
Kim

PS: You'd think they'd print something in their manuals at least. I checked a box loading it (prob) but I can't find a copy of it in the system and it's been 8ish years. I scan some and others I don't scan thoroughly--they're pretty standard--as I load and I honestly can't remember what it said. Even Rosetta doesn't know what the agreements were back then, ha! I spoke to them myself.

They told me 2 falsehoods: 1--that used software won't run on other machines (not true as many homeschoolfamilies will attest to) 2--that all the other language programs out there also don't allow resale (not true as Tell Me More does, I called and spoke to their sales rep, not a newbie.)

At any rate, mine was the only listing taken off and there are about 50 of them out there as I type. And dozens and dozens more in completed items--all exactly like my listing; much the same wording, the same title and the same images. All moving along happily and unmolested by eBay, BSA or Rosetta. Go figure... I have a 100% rating, so it isn't like I'm a troublemaker or something. The eBay side of this is just incredibly bizarre IMO.


Honestly, it's illegal to resell many things that use software, although not all. You have to check the licence agreement. I knew about that policy when I bought Rosetta Stone. Did you ask them if you could resell it when you bought it?

fwiw, we're adding a different grammar to go with our Rosetta Stone, even though we do have a workbook.



#24 bclerkin

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:46 AM

I've used Rosetta Stone for years, love it. In fact my husband is using it now.

#25 titianmom

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 11:48 AM

Hi all,

Just thought I'd add this from a letter from Rosetta Stone. You can't even sell an unopened package. So you'd better make sure you like it within the 6 months return window. I didn't have that return guarantee 8 years ago.


“What if I have a new, unused, unopened copy of Rosetta Stone software? Can I sell it on eBay?”

This would be an unauthorized sale in violation of our copyright, unless you are an authorized seller. (Rosetta)

So you are paying $300+ - $600+ for a license, not a software package/language program.

Take care,
Kim

#26 Storm Bay

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 01:39 PM

I have to throw my 2 cents in here to save some of you from Rosetta Stone (hopefully). I've tried a bunch of different methods for learning Spanish and these expensive programs have never worked for me--I've always found that I end up learning some vocab but have no idea how to really speak the language. I used Breaking the Barrier for 3 years and LOVED it, it's really grammar-based and very clearly laid out. Great for anyone who needs organization and clarity to learn. Their site even has a section for homeschoolers ( http://www.tobreak.com/homeschoolers )



The problem for us is that it is only French & Spanish. We're combining a grammar progarm with Rosetta Stone. My eldest has an amazing ability with language, and forumulate her own written sentences, etc, in German on her own with what she's learned so far with just RS & the workbook.

Grammar is important! Too bad that doesn't exist in more than 2 languages. Ultimately, though, full immersion is the best, coupled with grammar lessons.

#27 2cents

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 03:56 PM

I bought the homeschool Latin many years ago. It technically didn't work that well and besides that, the kids hated the program. I paid a lot of money for that program and sold it on Ebay. I really didn't care at that point what the company policy was because I wasn't planning on using it nor had I benefitted from the program. Maybe if it has worked better and had been a program we had used then I might have kept it. I have no regrets for selling it.

#28 Corraleno

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 04:08 PM

I have to throw my 2 cents in here to save some of you from Rosetta Stone (hopefully). I've tried a bunch of different methods for learning Spanish and these expensive programs have never worked for me--I've always found that I end up learning some vocab but have no idea how to really speak the language. I used Breaking the Barrier for 3 years and LOVED it, it's really grammar-based and very clearly laid out. Great for anyone who needs organization and clarity to learn. Their site even has a section for homeschoolers ( http://www.tobreak.com/homeschoolers )


Wlsspanish, I noticed that every single one of your posts is promoting Breaking the Barrier and knocking all other language programs. If you are a vendor, you need to identify yourself as such, rather than masquerading as a fellow homeschooling parent.

Jackie

#29 Janet in WA

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 06:54 PM

Isn't there the same complaint w/SOS? Seems they don't "allow" you to re-sell their program either.

Yes, SOS forbids the resale of its software. You agree to abide by this restriction when you install the software on your computer. I suspect many people click "agree" without even realizing it, or remembering it later.

#30 Julie in MN

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:02 AM

If you have a computer that will run it, I liked the old one....and add Breaking the Barrier for the grammar???


I also can't solve your annoyance issue with the copyright but my dd used a simple, very inexpensive grammar book that went through about levels 1-3 of high school French (as evaluated by a French teacher), called "French the Easy Way." You might try that one.

Julie

#31 Susan C.

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 08:42 AM

I also can't solve your annoyance issue with the copyright but my dd used a simple, very inexpensive grammar book that went through about levels 1-3 of high school French (as evaluated by a French teacher), called "French the Easy Way." You might try that one.

Julie


It wasn't me that was upset about the copyright deal, I now have several things lined up thanks to this board! I have access to some programs online, an older Rosetta Stone (and newly resurrected older computer), and have ordered Madrigal, Practice Makes Perfect, and Easy Spanish Reader. Wish me luck, and I'll post how it goes.

Thank you everyone!

#32 Storm Bay

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:08 AM

Yes, SOS forbids the resale of its software. You agree to abide by this restriction when you install the software on your computer. I suspect many people click "agree" without even realizing it, or remembering it later.



fwiw, licence agreements are the norm with software: check your agreements for Windows (or Mac stuff), Microsoft Office, and many, many other software packages.

#33 Orthodox6

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:36 AM

So must Half-Price Books undergo corporate lynching ? ! :D

fwiw, licence agreements are the norm with software: check your agreements for Windows (or Mac stuff), Microsoft Office, and many, many other software packages.



#34 Storm Bay

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 11:43 AM

So must Half-Price Books undergo corporate lynching ? ! :D



:lol::lol::lol:

Actually, I get peeved every time I see someone give a pirate copy of a CD or tape away, because I know songwriters. They're usually struggling to get by and everytime someone does that it's like robbing them. That's why when dd gets her IPod I won't let her do any free European downloads unless the music is public domain--musicians don't get paid for every sale, just the composer/songwriter.

As I'm sure you know, my point was just that Rosetta Stone's licence policy is normal. That said, I think they're overpriced and wouldn't buy another one, even though we really, really like the RS 2 level homeschool set we bought when RS only had 2 levels in German.


What's with the ads?