#1 2013-10-08 21:26

Nighted
Member
Registered: 2007-10-28
Posts: 19

Debate about licensing

Personally I disagree with the current licensing strategy. As it now stands, I can not purchase this software, even though I want to because instead of enhancing my workflow, I would have to PAY for a constant registration annoyance. ლ(ಠ益ಠ)ლ

Now that there is a trial limitation and the software must be unlocked to use as originally intended, users will become discouraged and turn to reverse engineering. While this is inevitable, you can still generate revenue by keeping the respect of loyal users through reasonable license implementation. Ask your customers what they think is reasonable. The customer is always right. Ignore this and you won't have too many.

I believe the way it is now, you are punishing those who are honest while those who just patch the software (already done) don't have the hassle of dealing with the constant activation/deactivation nonsense in a portable environment.

Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by Nighted (2013-10-08 21:27)

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#2 2013-10-09 10:06

den4b
Administrator
From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 3,022

Re: Debate about licensing

@Nighted

I appreciate your feedback and I am very sorry to hear about your frustration. Unfortunately licensing or registration procedures, by concept, are not very friendly with portability. I have researched on this subject and looked at how other software vendors do it, and it is more less the same across the board.

This was not intended to "punish" anyone, however, sacrifices had to be made. And believe me when I say it - it was a very difficult decision for me as I am very aware of the drawbacks and disadvantages associated with licensing. However, to keep the project and products alive I had no choice but to implement this. Please read How it all evolves into Lite vs Pro post for more details.

Nevertheless, if you do come across an interesting design concept for licensing which improves the process - please let me know as I would be very interested in getting to know about it.

P.S. For the reference, trial limitations are normally referred to time trials, e.g. expiry in 30 days, after 30 uses, etc. There are no such trial limitations in the products.

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#3 2013-10-11 08:52

Andrew
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 542

Re: Debate about licensing

Denis, have you considered separate executables for the Lite and Pro versions? You might say that registered users can then spread the Pro version around, but then again, they can do that with the licence/reg code as well which AFAIK is not validated against any licensing server when used. Pro users can enter their reg code online to be validated by the server for access to updated versions of the apps. It will require a bit more work on your part but I think it's quite doable and a valid solution for those of us who prefer portable apps. What do you think?

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#4 2013-10-17 10:17

den4b
Administrator
From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 3,022

Re: Debate about licensing

Andrew wrote:

Denis, have you considered separate executables for the Lite and Pro versions? You might say that registered users can then spread the Pro version around, but then again, they can do that with the licence/reg code as well which AFAIK is not validated against any licensing server when used. Pro users can enter their reg code online to be validated by the server for access to updated versions of the apps. It will require a bit more work on your part but I think it's quite doable and a valid solution for those of us who prefer portable apps. What do you think?

Distributing a Pro version which does not need any activation or registration code is not a good idea. Registration code personalizes the copy of the product for the licensee and displays license details in the About dialog. That's a "must-have" for commercial users. And right-now I can easily block certain registration codes if I see them spreading around, while with your approach distributed Pro versions will be untraceable.

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#5 2013-10-17 17:53

Andrew
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 542

Re: Debate about licensing

den4b wrote:

Distributing a Pro version which does not need any activation or registration code is not a good idea. Registration code personalizes the copy of the product for the licensee and displays license details in the About dialog. That's a "must-have" for commercial users.

I never said that reg codes wouldn't be required at all. What I said was that every registered user would need to enter their unique reg code on the download page, and once the server verifies that the code is correct, not expired etc. then the user would get a personalized Pro copy of the app with their license details displayed in the About dialog like it is now. Lots of advantages to this approach, including letting people with expired or about-to-expire licenses know about the advances of the latest version and offering perhaps a discounted rate to encourage license renewal. You can also keep accurate track of the number of reg codes actually in use, number of downloads per Pro user and other similar anonymized stats that might be useful.

den4b wrote:

And right-now I can easily block certain registration codes if I see them spreading around, while with your approach distributed Pro versions will be untraceable.

The apps do not "phone home" to validate the reg codes against any licensing server, right? So then obviously you can only add blacklists for any pirated codes to future executables. This will not prevent all older app versions from being registered using the pirated codes and used as Pro and be equally untraceable.

Now suppose a pre-registered Pro version leaks and you see it being spread around, then you can easily blacklist the reg code for it at your end. In this case only that particular leaked Pro version can be used (not even older ones), since the blacklisted reg code will prevent the download of any other Pro versions (older or newer) from the server. Advantage of this approach however is that since the blacklist exists on your server and not inside the program executable, it can't be easily patched and circumvented. So all in all I don't see how the current approach is better than the proposed one, unless perhaps I'm missing something obvious?

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#6 2013-10-20 11:36

den4b
Administrator
From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 3,022

Re: Debate about licensing

Sorry, I thought you meant distributing the same standard not customized Pro version to all users. However, having to create customized versions of apps for every user is cumbersome and there are few issues with this approach that I see at this moment.

1) There are many "unaware" users out there, who will simply copy their Pro version, share it with friends, put it on their website, etc. Simply because they can, as there is nothing stopping them. Registration process actually helps a lot in this case as copying the Pro version does not share the registration.

2) Creating custom compiled versions is a big overhead that requires significant amount of time for implementation and testing. This also isn't possible right now to do on the server due to various architectural differences.

Overall, the registration process forces both aware and unaware users to think about their actions when registering. And this is a very important aspect.

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#7 2013-10-20 16:16

Andrew
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-05-22
Posts: 542

Re: Debate about licensing

den4b wrote:

2) Creating custom compiled versions is a big overhead that requires significant amount of time for implementation and testing. This also isn't possible right now to do on the server due to various architectural differences.

Hmm, instead of "custom compiled versions" I was actually envisioning a system where the entire process was automated, with the server having the ability to somehow "stamp" each executable (binary modification?) with the requisite license details and push it out for download. It would certainly require quite a bit of work up-front in order to set up and test such a system, so it was just an idea I threw out for your consideration... (It's easy to toss out ideas after all, since I'm not the one who'll have to do all the work! wink big_smile)

den4b wrote:

1) There are many "unaware" users out there, who will simply copy their Pro version, share it with friends, put it on their website, etc. Simply because they can, as there is nothing stopping them. Registration process actually helps a lot in this case as copying the Pro version does not share the registration.

Yes, actually this does make sense. It is more likely that people will share a pre-registered version, rather than sharing the app as well as the reg code they received via email.

Oh well, perhaps there's a better solution because I still think that having the ability to access the Pro version portably would be a huge plus.

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#8 2013-11-21 05:39

Renegade1412
Member
Registered: 2013-11-21
Posts: 1

Re: Debate about licensing

I dunno if this is the right place to post this, but...

It is quite ironic that you can get the same feature set of a "PRO" version from an earlier version of the product which was available free. Now I am not against the practice of paying for advanced features, but these should be new features not available earlier and not features that are restricted just to make people pay. It just comes off as greedy.

I haven't used any products other than ReNamer (and Colors during my web development career) and I can see that I get the all the pro version features in 5.73 in 5.71 (except for the support and commercial license... but then again there was already a licencing system for that)

It is my humble request that you don't cut down on features that was available free but develop new ones and add it to the pro version. smile

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#9 2013-11-21 12:26

den4b
Administrator
From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 3,022

Re: Debate about licensing

Thank you for your feedback!

It may be ironic and perhaps a step backwards but unfortunately it was a necessary step. There is a post that tries to explain the reasons for this move: How it all evolves into Lite vs Pro. In short, this step was a necessity to keep the project alive.

Even though v5.71 and earlier versions offer functionality that is locked down in v5.73 Lite, those versions are at the end of the line. Going forward, support and all new features will hopefully compensate for this, so it can be viewed as a cost of continued development. The question is, would you rather keep v5.71 and halt all future development and support, shutdown the site and distribution? I'm hoping the answer is No wink

In regards to your humble request... The features that were locked down are set and will not expand any further, except maybe to some newly introduced features down the road.

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#10 2014-06-12 19:21

Nighted
Member
Registered: 2007-10-28
Posts: 19

Re: Debate about licensing

den4b wrote:

Distributing a Pro version which does not need any activation or registration code is not a good idea. Registration code personalizes the copy of the product for the licensee and displays license details in the About dialog. That's a "must-have" for commercial users. And right-now I can easily block certain registration codes if I see them spreading around, while with your approach distributed Pro versions will be untraceable.

What about users who use the portable version? Why even have a portable version anymore? It's misleading because without full functionality it's useless in a portable environment.

If one wants to get the full use of the application after paying for it and uses it in a portable environment, IT for example, one must risk forgetting to delete the key on another machine and having that key stolen.

I do hope you someday have a change of heart and make the key portable. I want to support this project.

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