At least two programs, (The Unarchiver and Critical Updates) on my MacBook Pro, macOS 10.12.6 (Sierra) show me this when I use the "check for updates" under the application menu:
[Program] can’t be updated when it’s running from a read-only volume like a disk image or an optical drive. Move The [Program] to your Applications folder, relaunch it from there, and try again.
Thing is, I am launching from the Applications folder on the startup drive, not from a "read-only" volume. What's up with that?
Workaround was to re-download and re-install the programs (the versions I wanted the installed ones to update to). The "check for Updates" returns normal dialog.