The topic of software license...

Dart Communications5 star
The topic of software license policies is heating up these days. In direct proportion it appears, to the industry’s seemingly sudden attempt to enforce these policies. Microsoft has been accused of cracking down due to flat earnings, and this may be true, however, is it possible that abuses are up for the same reason? Is it possible that both manufacturer and user are looking for ways to protect costs and revenues? Whatever the cause, all of us in the software development industry struggle with the objective of a fair policy and the correct balance between fairness, its enforcement, and the right to earn revenues from intellectual property developed for that purpose. The component industry is not exempt from these issues, and as manufacturers of a product, we believe that we have the right to realize profits from our labor. Unlike “widget” manufacturers however, we struggle with the knowledge that the product can be reused an infinite number of times; resulting in vast loses of revenue if the product is traded freely to others. For Dart Communications, and most other component builders, this revenue may make the difference in funds available for staff. Development staff that targets bug corrections, research and development, and customer support. It may mean there are no funds available for marketing, for employee retention, for training, and finally, for profits. Profits give a company reason to stay in business year after year, providing continuity to its employees, its customers, and the support and development of its product line. We don’t pretend to have the answer. We’ve tried different licensing policies at Dart over the last seven years, and we expect to implement new ones in the years to come. We’ve also tried various means of enforcement. Our current license requires one copy per machine, with intended use for one developer. Having listened to the comments and viewpoints of our customers and partners, we are now making an effort yet again to change with the times. Therefore, Dart Communications has officially changed its software licensing intent. Our license will now allow for a single product to be installed on up to two machines, per developer. Our desire is to allow a more convenient use of our tool in what is now a common use of product – development on both a PC and a portable laptop. Our hope is that this consideration will encourage communication of true use on the part of the user. We would love to hear your comments and thoughts in order to make our product better and meet your needs.