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Last post Author Topic: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust  (Read 49324 times)

zridling

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Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« on: December 12, 2008, 03:43:26 AM »
This one from Slysoft (annotations mine):

Quote
Dear valued customer,
     As of January 1st, 2009, Slysoft will change its update policy from free lifetime updates (I paid for it, how was it free?) to an annual subscription fee. All license purchases made before January 1st, 2009 will not be affected by this change; as promised, all licenses purchased before 2009 will still be honoured under Slysoft's free lifetime update policy.
     SlySoft announces this step in advance in order to provide its customers with the choice between the old and new licensing model. Buyers who act quickly can get an additional discount with the current ongoing special promotion. (This change is often made right before the company changes its name and cancels everyone's license!)
     Until Wednesday, December 31 2008 Slysoft offers a 20% discount on all software products -- except upgrades. If you are entertaining the thought of purchasing one of Slysoft's products, now is the right time to act!
     Happy Holidays!
     Gordon Reeves, Customer Care Center
________________________________________
There's still a few heroes left in the 'Lifetime' license club:
(01) XYplorer file manager
(02) xplorer² file manager
(03) Total Commander file manager
(04) UltraEdit
(05) WinRAR
(06) MediaMonkey Gold
(07) WinPatrol
(08) Where Is It? cataloging software

What others are there?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2008, 11:28:42 AM by zridling »

Josh

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2008, 04:07:29 AM »
And you know why this is right? People can't live off of lifetime licenses. As much as the free software fanatics would love to think so, people have to earn a living. Doing stuff for free or for a one time fee just doesn't pay the mortgage anymore. I fully support any company which switches from this licensing method. I do ask that they honor those who purchased under that licensing scheme however, which most companies will do (collectorz did, slysoft did/is, ad muncher is).

One thing I do hope people realize is that this is for UPDATES not UPGRADES also. Upgrades, such as the HD addon for AnyDVD, have always been at a charge but up until the HD genre, there was never a need to have an "upgrade".

Dormouse

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2008, 05:04:28 AM »
Lifetime licenses may provide more income than annual subscriptions. New users tend to need more support than old ones, so most cost is attached to new users. Old users are a good marketing tool and there are many people who will buy a lifetime license who would think twice or thrice about paying for upgrades let alone annual subscriptions. Lifetime licenses depend on a marketing model where there will always be a lot of new users buying the program; annual licenses rely on committed users who have decided they need that product and always up-to-date.

I have to say that there are very,very few programs (current number = nil) where I would consider paying an annual subscription.

Upgrades from time-to-time I will consider, but I don't expect the cycle to be more frequent than every 3 or 4 years and I do expect to see a clear benefit from the new version.

f0dder

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2008, 05:30:20 AM »
This is one of the times I agree with Josh.

As long as a license gives you a reasonable period of minor new-feature updates (and, preferably, that the company backports bugfixes for a while after update-period ends), I believe it's perfectly fair to charge for upgrades. I'm against software subscriptions though, and I believe charging for upgrades should be based on new major features, not an annual version-number bumping.
- carpe noctem

BCHOWDHURY

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2008, 05:31:51 AM »
There is SUPERAntiSpyware Lifetime Subscription. I've got a licensed copy. Check it. It can't detect any spyware, though nor can it prevent the system being infected. Thrown it out and installed Spyware Doctor. Peace, now.

TucknDar

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2008, 05:40:06 AM »
Total Commander still has a lifetime license, albeit with something along the lines of "in the future we might change this policy" in there. When asked about it (a year or two ago), mr. Ghisler (TC developer) said that there were no plans to change since they're already making enough money as it is.

I can understand changing the license for major upgrades, but it should honor every license holder up until the license policy changesl, and preferably announce it in advance like SlySoft apparently have.

edit: Added info about mr. Ghisler

CWuestefeld

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 07:17:43 AM »
I think Josh and Dormouse may both be right, depending on the specifics of each case. The thing is, it's up to the developer to decide his business plan.

However, SlySoft commits the logical fallacy of false choice. Their message (as quoted) only acknowledges two options: lifetime upgrades versus annual subscription. In fact, there's a third choice (and maybe more). Most software sells a given version and allows a customer to use that version in perpetuity.

IMHO, the choice that SlySoft is making is absolutely unacceptable for any program that acts as a repository for data (which isn't SlySoft, btw). Anything that's holding your data -- say, EverNote, Zoot, Outlook, even apps like Word or Excel, to the extent that you need them to gain access to your own data -- MUST allow a perpetual license for at least that version. An annual license scheme essentially holds your data hostage. Once the customer has allowed the app to encode his information, the developer can extort any amount of money up to the value of the user's data (or cost of re-entering) to allow the user access to his own stuff.

Josh

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2008, 07:28:32 AM »
What data does AnyDVD hold hostage? it works after your year support. You just dont receive updated versions. No data is held from you. Or am I missing something?

CWuestefeld

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2008, 07:36:54 AM »
What data does AnyDVD hold hostage?

None. Which is why I wrote (emphasis added)
the choice that SlySoft is making is absolutely unacceptable for any program that acts as a repository for data (which isn't SlySoft, btw)

it works after your year support. You just dont receive updated versions. No data is held from you. Or am I missing something?

Hmmm. So it's not really an annual subscription to the software license, just to obtain updates? What happens if I let my subscription lapse for six months because there aren't any updates happening, and then just at the next update I buy a year subscription? Depending on update cycles, I might be able to stretch it out so that I pay rather less than annually. I know that many major corporate licenses forbid this: you must pay up for any intervening lapse before going forward with the updates.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2008, 07:39:41 AM »
SlySoft also have a good marketting ploy here - tell all your friends, post around the web .... quick buy your stuff now with lifetime updates --- while you can!

Actually the one that pissed me off is FruityLoops. They SOLD lifetime updates and then changed the product name from FruityLoops to FruityLoops Professional and said it was anew product.

Very strange that when you installed it looked identical to the previous version.

Guess what --- they now SELL life time updates for that product too!

Josh

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 07:45:22 AM »
SlySoft also have a good marketting ploy here - tell all your friends, post around the web .... quick buy your stuff now with lifetime updates --- while you can!

Actually the one that pissed me off is FruityLoops. They SOLD lifetime updates and then changed the product name from FruityLoops to FruityLoops Professional and said it was anew product.

Very strange that when you installed it looked identical to the previous version.

Guess what --- they now SELL life time updates for that product too!

Someone get Carol some beer to calm down with. We don't want to see an explosion here. Between Microsoft, Linux, FruityLoops and gri, I don't think we have much longer before an explosion occur's with Carol.

Dormouse

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2008, 08:09:25 AM »
There is SUPERAntiSpyware Lifetime Subscription. I've got a licensed copy. Check it. It can't detect any spyware, though nor can it prevent the system being infected. Thrown it out and installed Spyware Doctor. Peace, now.
I use Kaspersky atm. 3 year license; cheap deal; very effective; uninstalled Spyware Doctor some time ago. I reconsider the prog I use everytime I get to the end of my license. There are some progs I have a lifetime license for that I don't currently use (so the lifetime sale was good marketing); others that produce regular upgrades where I also don't use - and don't buy upgrades.

What developers should be considering is what sort of product and market they have and what type of license is likely to be most effective for them.

In practice, I think many of them just think "I'm not getting as much money as I think I should be getting, so I'll change the license to bring more money in". This strategy is quite capable of reducing their income rather than increasing it.

We are now in a recession. Most developers will just have to accept that incomes are likely to reduce until things pick up again.

TreeDBnotes did a similar thing to FruityLoops.

Dormouse

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2008, 08:12:09 AM »
I agree completely with Carol that this announcement of an imminent loss of the lifetime license is an attempt at a good marketing ploy. Some realisation that the annual license may not be as remunerative as they would like, but they want to get as much cash now as they can without getting a reputation for sales and discounts.

tranglos

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2008, 08:49:39 AM »
Total Commander still has a lifetime license, albeit with something along the lines of "in the future we might change this policy" in there. When asked about it (a year or two ago), mr. Ghisler (TC developer) said that there were no plans to change since they're already making enough money as it is.

Not only that, but I recall someone on the TC forum who wanted to buy additional TC licenses for their other computers, and was told by Mr Ghisler to just use the licenses they already had, and donate to charity instead. (This should not be construed as official Total Commander license policy, I'm only reporting my memory of a post to that effect!) I hope Mr Ghisler is rolling in money as he totally deserves or has otherwise achieved lifetime nirvana. Not only a coding master, but a wonderful person, too.

Darwin

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2008, 08:59:41 AM »
I don't have a problem with this at all. As Josh notes, it makes sense from a business perspective. Slysoft seem to be doing the right thing as well - they've announced the change in policy well in advance, are giving cutomers the opportunity to buy lifetime licenses until a specified date, and have pledged to honour those and previously purchased lifetime licenses in the future. This stands in stark contrast to how Collectorz handled a similar decision recently...

Lifetime licenses that I own (I assume that they are still valid  :o):

WinRar
Your Uninstaller (special purchase)
XYplorer (lifetime license no longer available)
UEdit-32 (special purchase)
UltraCompare Pro (special purchase)
BOOK Collector (lifetime license no longer available)
mp3 Collector (lifetime license no longer available)
Music Collector (lifetime license no longer available)
Photo Collector (lifetime license no longer available)
exifPro
PhotoFiltre
MusicMatch Jukebox (dead)
DVDIdle Pro & DVDFab
AKVIS Filters
Sandboxie
GhostSecurity Suite
WinPatrol
Memokit
Outlook Shutdown Add-in
Check&Get
Ovis pdf-doc pro
Ovis Office
PUP for Excel
Donationcoder  :)
Acoustica Spin It Again
Acoustica MP3Converter
Acoustica Audio Converter
Active Excel Compare
Active File Compare
Total Commander
WinImage
Frigate File Manager
Iconico Screen Measurement Pack
FMView
FMLFNS
Textanz
FileQuestXP Gold (seems to have been abandoned  :()
Tera Copy
IndieVolume
BootLogXP
Text Workbench
BareGrep Pro
BareTail Pro
RQ Search and Replace
Liquid Story Binder XE
Direct Folders
xplorer2 (special purchase)
SearchGT
Archivarius
X1
Total Recorder
EDrawMax
StarDownloader Pro (seems to have been abandoned, though they did just renew their domain - it was dormant for a couple of weeks with one of those "this domain for sale" pages as a placeholder)
MagicISO
Koingo Utilities Suite
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Josh

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2008, 09:20:17 AM »
Donationcoder.com better be a lifetime license! I sold my soul to get it!

mouser

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2008, 11:24:20 AM »
Yeah but how many companies offer reincarnation and time traveler licenses?
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=1413.0

Josh

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2008, 12:22:19 PM »
How many companies offer many products with a PLUS SIGN or the word ROBOT in their title!

zridling

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2008, 01:54:38 PM »
Quote
[Carol]: Actually the one that pissed me off is FruityLoops. They SOLD lifetime updates and then changed the product name from FruityLoops to FruityLoops Professional and said it was anew product.

Josh is absolutely right: you gotta stay in business first in order to offer any license, whatever it is. But I would urge every developer and company not to offer any 'lifetime' option if you're not going to honor it. Remember, it was barely a year ago when Slysoft renamed AnyDVD as AnyDVD-HD, and then came back to us lifetime licensees to buy an entirely new "lifetime" license at full price, claiming that because AnyDVD-HD was an entirely different product with more features than AnyDVD, it required a new round of cash.

Also, plain old AnyDVD sells today for €49 with the 20% discount, no lifetime license option is offered during the purchase process. The final point I'd want to know is whether Slysoft will continue to support AnyDVD on future OSes, i.e., at what point does 'lifetime' end for them?

Profits bring more code. However, companies like Slysoft shoot themselves in the foot with these outlandish prices. The result is that, along with most other high-priced software, AnyDVD is one of the most pirated apps online (as is Photoshop, Apple's Final Draft, et al.).

Josh

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2008, 02:17:01 PM »
Zaine, AnyDVD and AnyDVD HD support two totally different technologies. Just because they both come on an optical disc does not mean they are the same. Slysoft promised free lifetime UPDATES, not UPGRADES. AnyDVD HD is an UPGRADE. Not everyone needs the HD option and are probably satisfied with DVD capabilities. I, for one, have a BRD player, two to be exact, and I do love the ability which slysoft provides me. If you are going to invest in a BRD player at 2-300 dollars, meaning you probably have a decent tv to take advantage of its offerings, then whats another 40 dollars?

This is yet again proof that the modern day person expects everything to be free on the net because it can be pirated for free. Lifetime updates means just that, lifetime updates. Slysoft did honor and continue to honor their lifetime license. I can almost guarantee that AnyDVD will be around for a while as the DVD market will not dry up for at least another 5-10 years (remember how long it took DVD to gain traction from VHS)? Slysoft provided an adequate time window to allow users to upgrade if they want to the HD option with lifetime updates (NOT UPGRADES). They also realize that not everyone needs HD. Yes, it would have been nice if they could have provided it for free, but as you said it is one of the most pirated apps on the market.

Let's look at this in perspective now. We are talking about an application which removes protections from discs, meaning people are either ripping a disc or downloading a pirated copy and ripping the VOB's/IFO's to whatever format they want. What makes you think that many people would pay for this anyways? The lack of people actually purchasing and choosing instead to pirate the product drives up prices. I really don't care what a product costs, if you pirate it you have no right to complain about it's price because you are the reason it is high. I bought AnyDVD when it was at a reasonable cost and I again paid for the HD option because I do in fact own a BRD Drive for my PC.

However, I will agree that AnyDVD is a highly pirated app, perhaps not in the realm of photoshop or final draft as you say, but it is highly pirated by the DVD Ripping community.

Hirudin

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2008, 02:41:12 PM »
I'm a big fan of AnyDVD, but I did not opt to upgrade to AnyDVD-HD. I still get all the updates I want*. I think SlySoft has really proven themselves capable of and willing to provide updates to old customers. The only gripe I have with them is I bought CloneCD back before it was sold to the current owners, I was forced to buy it again in order to get updates. Now, I don't use either of them as ImgBurn does everything I need.

Lets just be thankful that SlySoft hasn't adopted the Nero strategy: add a bunch of crap that hardly anybody wants, don't change the core program, and steadily increase your prices of every new "version".

The pre-change announcement shows a lot of integrity in my opinion. The stuff I'm hearing about Total Commander really makes me want to try their program, and maybe even buy it even though I already have "DOpus".

*I only actually download about 1 out of 5 of the updates that are available, they're so frequent I get tired of downloading them all the time.

CWuestefeld

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2008, 02:48:19 PM »
AnyDVD and AnyDVD HD support two totally different technologies. Just because they both come on an optical disc does not mean they are the same. Slysoft promised free lifetime UPDATES, not UPGRADES. AnyDVD HD is an UPGRADE.

Can you give us a rule to help determine what, in an arbitrary piece of software, constitutes an upgrade versus an update?

Is an update nothing more than a bug fix?

You say that DVD vs HD is a diffferent technology. What if the developer change back-end databases, or rewrites the code to move from C++ to .Net? Those are different technologies; is it an upgrade or an update?

What if the developer releases a translation in a new language?

What about adding new fields in a contact management app? Some people won't need the new fields, and don't want to pay for that new stuff, right? So that makes in an upGRADE?

What if the developer uses a new search algorithm, speeding up the app. A new algorithm is new technology, so it's an upGRADE?

I think you can see my point that the only reasonable way to draw this line is that anything that's more than a strict bug fix would, under your rules, require an upgrade charge.

Also, you haven't addressed my earlier concern about apps that store my data (and I granted that AnyDVD is not one of these, but I'm looking at the larger picture beyond this one company). Is it morally right for a developer to lure the user in, and later hit them with large price increases if they want to get back into their data? It seems to me rather like a drug dealer getting you hooked with some free hits first, then starting to charge you later.

Josh

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2008, 02:54:19 PM »
In my book, yes, updates are merely bug fixes and functionality fixes for existing features. In AnyDVD's case, the product was DESIGNED to handle DVD restrictions. BRD and HD-DVD are new technologies, not just to AnyDVD, but to the market as a whole. As such, the research behind cracking them (which slysoft was the first) is something I would think deems an UPGRADE as opposed to an update. Another example would be a board game catalogging software program expanding into video games. The originally program was designed to catalog board games, not video games. As such, an upgrade would be warranted since video games were not the original intended purpose of the application. AnyDVD decrypted and still does decrypt DVD's. AnyDVD HD is an UPGRADE as it now supports something more than the program itself was intended to support.

As for app's which store data, I rarely use ANY application which locks me in. The only exception to this is Roboform since it is unparalleled in what it does. People would say Microsoft locks you in with Office, however, I fail to see how they do as office can save to quite a few different formats. If the user chooses to use a closed source and locked format, that is their choice. Lack of education is not the fault of the author.

tranglos

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2008, 03:05:30 PM »
Can you give us a rule to help determine what, in an arbitrary piece of software, constitutes an upgrade versus an update?

Is an update nothing more than a bug fix?

The terms are fuzzy, but in general yes, an update is more or less a bugfix release, or a minor version change - from 1.1 to 1.2. Upgrade is a major version change - so from 1.1 to 2.0. A service pack for Windows is a free update, but Vista is a paid upgrade to XP. Apple uses the terms in the same way, but their explanation is a ittle more involved.

That said, it will often be an arbitrary decision what to call a release. If you've fixed 10 bugs and added one new feature, you can still call it an upgrade and charge for it, though it will make a lot of people unhappy - especially that some of them may have reported the bugs to you in the first place and have had to work around them for a year or more (CodeGear!). Or do what TuneUp Utilities do: never release free updates at all, put out one new version each year named after the year of publication plus one, change some UI colors and shapes of buttons and call it a major upgrade.

*That* said, I have no idea what technology change is involved in moving from DBD to HD DVD, so I have no opinion there at all :)

CWuestefeld

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Re: Another 'Lifetime' license bites the dust
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2008, 03:14:21 PM »
Then I'm confused about what you're paying extra for if you buy a "lifetime" license. To me, everyone should be entitled to bug fixes -- those are places where you're currently being denied the functionality that you thought were paying for in the beginning. That should be free, included in the base price.

Since these lifetime licenses cost more, you must be getting something beyond the basic "fix what I already paid for", don't you think?

I suppose at the bottom line, the developer can do as he sees fit. But they certainly ought to be explaining the terms clearly. If I'm only paying for bug fixes, that should be made crystal clear.