1 - it isn't evil to make money and prevent others from copying your product. I suppose you think GM is also evil for having every GMPP tune tagged to a specific serial number and non-transferable? Or that the entire patent system is evil because everyone doesn't get to copy things for free? Besides, any Trifecta customer can have them fine tune the tune they sold them or they are free to cough up and start again with another vendor.
I'm not saying that anyone should be able to copy and distribute somebody else's work, and I certainly don't have an issue with profiting from one's labors. I don't think everything should "free." If I feel a product isn't worth the asking price, I simply won't buy it. I've never asked anyone to just give me a tune for free.
However: I shouldn't have to cough up more cash and start over with another vendor if Trifecta blows me off - a pattern that they've demonstrated multiple times as documented elsewhere. If *I* want to modify *my* tune that I paid for, on *my* car, I shouldn't need someone else's permission.
And, of course: because their tune is locked, you can't just overwrite it. We recently dealt with a friend's car that had a Trifecta tune and were unable to overwrite it. I'm not even talking about reading the thing - we couldn't *write* to the ECM. The friend in question took the ECM to GM, who attempted to reprogram it, and wound up with a basically useless device.
That is, in technical parlance, Not Cool.
We went back and forth with Trifecta over a couple of weeks - because they don't publish a freaking phone number and take their sweet time responding - and were basically told to eff off.
2 - of course they seek to prevent anyone else from using their intellectual property - what else would you expect. Companies that don't do this get the philanthropy medal - right before they go out of business because everyone is selling pirated copies of their product.
I work in software these days - if piracy were as rampant as everyone thinks that it is, I wouldn't have a job. That said, software patents are BS. The people that steal the tunes weren't going to pay for them anyway. Point of evidence: see all of the other tuners that do NOT lock their tunes and are (gasp!) still in business.
3 - I have it on good authority that one of the considerations was also to not enable 3rd parties to meddle with your tune and then when it all goes wrong the original tune creator gets the blame. I've seen that repeatedly when some idiot that thinks they know how to tune tweaks a tune, blows their engine and blames the original guy that created the tune instead of their own incompetence. Hang out on the Cobalt SS forums some time.
People also blame Starbucks for spilling coffee on themselves. People put blocks of dry ice on their engine to cool it off between drag runs. People chop off their hands with table saws. Ask Gilbert or Martin when the last time was that they got sued over a blown engine.
The idea that locking a tune reduces or eliminates liability is not supported by evidence.
But, hey - to each his/her own.