First, a disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, and I will not pretend to be one, so please consult one to verify my opinion. I’m merely voicing a legal opinion based on my understanding of law.
Second, I’m tired of reading on vBulletin.com from Team Members and Internet Brands that they have not violated the license agreement. They are correct that they have not violated the licensing agreement. However, our vBulletin license is governed not simply by a license agreement; it is also governed by contract law. We as license holders entered into a contract agreement with Jelsoft (now Internet Brands) when we purchased a vBulletin License and that contract is still very much enforceable.
Let me explain further:
West’s Business Law Tenth Edition defines a contract as ” ‘a promise or a set of promises for the breach of which the law gives a remedy, or the performance of which the law in some way recognizes as duty.’ Put simply, a contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties who agree to perform or to refrain from performing some act now or in the future.”
Jelsoft promised to sell us a license for vBulletin. Jelsoft ALSO promised a set price for renewal of vBulletin. The promise at the purchase of my license was $30.00, however I also agreed to a price increase of $40.00 before sixty days or $60.00 after sixty days on April 29, 2008. This in essence is part of an ACTIVE contractual agreement. The contractual agreement (implied and expressed during the pre-sales process) states that after one year, we are entitles to another year of downloads should we pay a certain said rate, thus the price being forty United States Dollars ($40.00) before sixty (60) days or sixty United States Dollars ($60.00) after sixty (60) days.
With the acquistion of Jelsoft, Internet Brands assumes fidicuary responsibility and therefore our contract agreement is with them. However, with the introduction of vBulletin 4, they’re trying to force us to buy a new license and into a new contract. Here’s the problem: They’re breaking our original contract (promise) to allow us to renew at the 40.00/60.00 rate. They’re forcing us to accept a new contract and new license agreement. The problem is they can’t make us. They can’t force us into a new contract. As of right now, they’re in breach of a contract by not allowing us to renew at our previous promised rate. We have to enter into a new contract at our choosing.
I think it’s time we take a hard look at what Internet Brands is saying. True they have not violated the license agreement, but that’s only partially the truth. We still have an ACTIVE contract with them. Until we accept the terms of a new contract, we’re still bound by the old contract, just as Internet Brands is bound by the old contract.
Where’s the proof? See http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/showthread.php?t=268714. It’s written out. It’s expressed. It’s considered part of a contract. I encourage everyone to print out a copy before that thread mysteriously “disappears”.
Don’t let Internet Brands confuse you. Don’t let Internet Brands change the terms of YOUR contract. We as license holders still contractually bound and it’s time we remind them to uphold their end of the contract.