28 Dec 2009

Innovative licensing

What has software licensing got to do with the Environment ?

Puzzling - ain't it. However it seems that the theme of environment consciousness has found its way into software licensing as well. But before that I must admit that I paid a small price for not reading software license agreements in detail before installing them. An amusing experience it was today.

About a month back or so I'd installed the popular Spell-check and Thesaurus application WordWeb onto my laptop. Version 5.52 to be more precise. As much as possible I avoid trialware and shareware preferring portable and freeware applications. WordWeb seemed to be in the latter category.

Today when I booted up the laptop, prompt came a choice box from the WordWeb application. It specified that to continue using the freeware version I got to answer a choice question. Now - I didn't take a screenshot of that window but it went something like this

How many flight trips do you take in a year ?
A - None
B - One in a year
C - Two or more in a year

I was in a zingy morning mood with no intention to delve deeper into the puzzle - so I clicked on option C ( and indeed the answer was true - I have flown quite a sizeable number of times this year ).

However the next screen was what widened my eyes. The message was as below...

It also pointed me to the license agreement that I had accepted while installing the software. (As if we all read em ;-)). Anyway the point is that the buggers expired my free license for taking more than 2 flights a year !!.

Now I don't blame the company. They got a really good product and ideally speaking - people ought to pay to use such a good piece of software. But I found the whole idea of terminating your free access due to flying hours a bit too modern for my taste.

Or probably that's the way things gonna to be in the future. How good if the government similarly gave me a tax break because I don't own a vehicle thus contributing to a cleaner environment ;-).

1 comment :

  1. WOW ! But frankly speaking that's the best way to cut down global warming ...Copenhagen take a cue