Solution to GM Tech II and updates $$$$$?

I own an inexpensive Actron code reader but I know a Tech II with CANdi is really necessary to perform the interactive tests necessary to efficiently diagnose troubles in OBD-II systems.
Trouble is the price of equipment and updates. Like over $4000 for a (factory authorized?) Tech II/CANdi and $500 for the periodically released update package: http://www.ntxtools.com/network-tool-warehouse/OTC-3625-14.html
It's no wonder the GM dealer has to justifiably charge $69/hr. But seriously, should this equipment, probably made overseas, cost so much? A case could be made that the software, in particular, should be open-source or sold at nominal cost to customers and the trade. If only GM would not seemingly gouge would-be buyers of their stuff.
That said, it is totally out of reach for me, and I presume 99% of you too. So, for the 99%, I ask,
1. What about the $1000 units on eBay? They're obviously replicas made in China. I've heard sometimes replicas of brand- name products are produced in the very same factories, after hours. Might there be unforeseen consequences associated with this kind of transaction? 2. Has anyone seen the software published on any warez binary group or Torrent?
I hope this newgroup finds this post useful and merits a response.
S.M.
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The keywords are "intellectual property". The instrument itself could probably be duplicated for a fraction of the cost you are asked to pay. But the technology that goes into making such an instrument and supplying the software is out of reach for most of us. And that is why they can charge, and get, such high prices.
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On 12/23/2011 4:07 PM, hls wrote:

Intellectual property has been taking a beating lately. between apple trying to sue the world to stop android phones, to people circumventing the DMCA to jail brake your cell or apple products.
it does not take brain surgery to make the scan tools. If the manufacturer provided there protocols, it would be easy to clone them. Now, they have to be reverse engineered. You should not have to have 10K tool to reset the PATS or VIN on a Ford vehicle. Or read BCM's and such. Used to be anti-locks were off limits too. That seems to be gradually changing.
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