Well GeneWarner, while I am in 100% total agreement with your post about piracy, I'm just gonna break it out, this is a special case. Here's the scoop with Nuance, the history of synths it acquired, and nvda and eloquence. This also goes out to everyone here, because it's important to know the gist, what's legal and not about using eloquence in nvda for free. I can see some of you are picking sides while some are may be confused, don't blame you. This is still a contravercial issue with a lot of unstraightened out and confusing bits and pieces so I'll explain as best I can, based on what I know and what has been said. With so much "Eloquence for Nvda is illegal, period," and, "Oh, eloquence is not really illegal, but," floating around, I feel it's important to set the record straight here. Well, two sides to this coin. On the legal side, you may wonder. What goes into the prices of our screen readers? The reason you are able to use eloquence in, say, jaws, Window Eyes, System Access, openbook etc is because the copyright and license notice is in the license agreement for those respective products, such as "This product uses the eti eloquence tts system that contains...bla bla bla" you get the idea. By agreeing to the license you are basically accepting the agreement to that product and all of it's components, including but not limited to the product's own trademarks as well as third-party trademarks mentioned herein. Part of the (ridiculously high) price for jaws goes to Nuance, let's say about $90-to-$200 goes to nuance, for both eloquence and vocalizer. That, is why the synth (s) is bundled with various expensive applications, in deed for those who may remember the primary reason Robert Betz's gamesfortheblind.com games were $20 is because they were bundled with the eloquence speech synthesizer, if it wasn't for that they'd probably be either dirt cheep or completely free as he would've loved them to be. Lots and lots of royalties go to Nuance. Nvda, on the other hand, is a free product. While by using eloquence you are technically not bound to an agreement, remember that the eloquence synthesizer data for the driver was stripped out of a copy of jaws, which in turn was covered by a license agreement. So the user who stripped eloquence out of jaws is, (by some loose legal definition) in violation of the license agreement, and any users who are using eloquence, well they are and they're not violating anything. On one hand, Nuance does not allow eloquence to be used in a nonauthorized means, on the other hand nvda users that just use eloquence never actually signed into any agreement whatsoever, especially future generations of screen reader users who may only know of the existance of nvda. It's just yet another case of Nuance being a money-hogging, competition-devouring, organization-acquiring fatcat. Ok, so here's the deal with Eloquence. Eti eloquence was originally owned and maintained by Eloquent Technologies, incorperated, with IBM licensed to base their Viavoice and viavoice outloud (fs) sapi4 speech synths off of eloquence in their ibm voavoice, with the last company to sell that being Wizard Software. Then Eloquent Technologies were bought out by Nuance. Vocalizer, formerly realspeak, is! made by Nuance, but the original voices were property of Scansoft before Nuance squelched Scansoft. Learnout and Houspy, who as you may know made the truevoice synthesizer as well as the Michael and Michelle voices that shipped with Microsoft Office2003 and Microsoft Reader, were later devoured by Nuance and their former speech recognition technology is now a property of Nuance, although Nuance used nothing from the text to speech side. Loquendo, who made the first voices that could actually cry and laugh and do all kinds of things via a special program but had lots of expression in their sapi varients, lived on strong for 13 years before, guess what? Ding ding ding, that's right, Nuance busted their chops! Long story short, for those of y'all who know your American history, easily compare Nuance as the "Standard Oil Trust" of modern time. I'd hate to see the day, but I can sense it coming, a day when Nuance makes a monopoly outa the entire text to speech industry. Here's another point. As the blog post said, Nv access tried to negotiate a price for nvda users to buy eloquence, but the prices Nuance was offering were inconvenient at best, both for the users and the nvda developers. In addition, Nuance's information to the devs was rather short, ending on no replies from Nuance. Nevertheless, it was easy for them to conclude that they may sell licenses for eloquence on the condition there is strong and sufficient drm copy protection for licensing. First of all, if copy protection were to be implemented, even with the help of commercial drm systems, you know better than probably Nuance themselves that the kind of drm they want would have a limited license use maybe 3 computers, and the eloquence for nvda license data would be stored in the registry. That would mean portable versions of nvda absolutely can't utalize the license, and common sense tells us Nuance would not want the license able to be embedded in portable copies of nvda. Sure, they could encript the license, think of the ilock usb licenses for those familiar with Protools. But all a person would have to do to pass it on is for that person to give their portable copy to someone else. So Nuance would basically be screwing over portable users of nvda. Can't rule out the people who are using portable copies of nvda. Second, how they could expect a group of open-source programmers to program a drm protection system that is up to par with something like Starforce Proactive, Themida, you name it is completely beyond me. Even if they used one of those leading commercial drm systems like Starforce Proactive, or Themita, or whatever system out there, that's quite an investment. Sure, it may be easy to use, but there are expensive strings attached. Let's take Starforce for an example. The low-cost version of the drm system supports only one method, "buy only" license. What about the people who wanna try Eloquence out before buying? The Starforce Proactive Advanced version basically the pro version, in addition to the buy only method, supports 3 other methods. Demo: restricts certain functionality of the program that can only be accessed if a registration key is obtained via purchasing a license, but the program itself doesn't expire.
Trial: Allows the software to be tried on a companies own terms. When the trial expires, obviously, a license must be purchased.
Try and Die: Allows the software in it's entirety to be tried without paying for a license. After the end of that period of trying the software, the program will no longer run. Sounds ok, but wait, you haven't heard the good part! Running the license server? Costs money. Paying for the service? Again, an investment. And sense these devs obviously wanna keep Nvda free, if they went off donations they wouldn't be able to keep a system like that running, much less program their own. Opensource implies no drm, the files can be freely modified don't Nuance get it? And that, is why Nuance were initially reluctant to work with Tiflotechnia, the devs of Vocalizer for nvda, for this very reason. I'm not gonna encourage this, or make a specific guide on how to do this, but the Vocalizer for nvda addon seems tough to crack on the outside with the strong license check, but it's so damn easy to strip out the registration! Look at the addon, there's the full readable sourcecode inside of it doesn't Nuance get it? Tiflotechnia is probably aware of this and were probably warned intensely that there'd be a multitude of cracks handed out, and that there was. Nuance, however, doesn't give a crap and makes them charge anyway, dispite the fact that the program can be so easily dooped. I'm sure Tiflotechnia are, while certainly not approving, a bit more tolerable to the cracks than Nuance is. In fact Nuance probably doesn't even care. All they care about is that Tiflotechnia is paying for licenses regularly. So, it's a lot of ignurance on Nuance's end, remember. Blind confidence, is what they have. Disappointing. Back to Eloquence, the closest thing to a reasonable and successful eloquence addon sold by nv access, would've been a version of ibm viavoice that Nv Access would use, having later figured out a workaround to using the registry so that the license may run on portable versions. However, after contacting Wizard Software to arrange a pricing model, Wizard Software told them the product was to be discontinued and there was then no way to obtain it. So there you go, I hope that straightens it out a bit. I know Nuance would hate me for this, but oh well I don't care what they'd think.
I'm the only adventure at c: master hahahaha I have unlocked just about everything!