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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
Someone purchased one of my products and asked about using it on a second machine. My EULA states the license is for one user to install on one machine. There is a small discount for licenses 2-5. I have asked for him to explain the scenario under which the second license will be used. If it is just for his own use, which I suspect, then I am tempted to either give him a second license or a deep discount. I dont want to play nice with a new customer in a foreign country.
How have you handled this situation?
There are lots of licenses that say something like One user, multiple computers or one computer multiple users. This seems reasonable. It's multiple computers, multiple users, one license that is the scenario that's trouble.
Another approach that Apple uses across the iOS system is to allow installation on up to 5 devices with the same AppleID, and multiple users multiple devices is allowed, but presumably they are from the same household.
As a purchaser, when I find software prohibits me from installing on my desktop and laptop for my individual personal use without having to pay double, I am aggravated and either don't purchase, or if I purchased without realizing this, I write the whole thing off as scam and have nothing furthermore to do with the company except explain to others how unreasonable they are.
"My EULA states the license is for one user to install on one machine. There is a small discount for licenses 2-5. I have asked for him to explain the scenario"
Hang on... if there's a discount for license 2, then why aren't you just letting him pay for one at the discounted rate? Why does he have to explain anything to you?
Bill says the customer asked about using it on a second machine. Probably his laptop. This is a common scenario, and believe me, customers do not appreciate it if you make them buy two copies to run on laptop and desktop both for a single user. Of course the typical shortsighted company don't care bout that none, it's about salivating at the prospect of big bucks through nickel and diming the customers until they leave in disgust. If you can get away with that more power to you. I propose that other models are more successful when looking at the long term.
Here's a case study. A few months ago I noticed a customer purchase a second copy. I emailed him and asked what was up since he was eligible for upgrade pricing which is a lot less. He said the second copy was for himself, and he just wanted to buy it a second time to show support for the product. I told him that was nice, but I'd refund his money down to a simple upgrade. He said no. Then he went and wrote a blog post saying what a great company we are. So we got paid twice, and free publicity.
I. Really. Can. Not. Emphasize. Enough. How. Important. Word. Of. Mouth. Is.
Spent $100,000 on a full page ad in the New York Times.
Won't be 1/100 as good as a prominent and respected blogger spontaneously telling a personal story about how you went above and beyond, and what a great product you have.
I'm with scott.
before buying my video editing suite I asked the company about licensing policy, since I have 3 pc/notebook but the user of the program is me.
before buying plugins from 3rd parts developers I always ask if their license matches the one of the main program. Once I was replied that they allowed only one install. I let them know and in the end they changed their license (and I took the plugin)
Similar to Scott's story: I own a product that has free updates for life. However, because the author is friendly, talks to his buyers, and has a great support forum, most of us regularly buy a new license with each major upgrade even though we don't have to, just to thank him. He appreciates it and we appreciate his work and attitude towards us.
For advertising technology oriented products including software, a NYT full page add in the main body paper is 126 column inches, and rates are $1331/column inch for weekdays, $1495 for Sunday.
In the smaller magazine insert it's $107,075 per color page or $73,420 per black and white page.
So $100,000 really is the rate. I didn't give it to multiple levels of precision because there is a range depending on how many pages, what day, and if running for more than one time, but $100,000 is the rough range.
100-500 times that and you are now in Superbowl Ad territory. We know what the pay off is for Superbowl Ads - many tech start up companies have gone under after buying one of these ads.
TV and print targeting the general public are good approaches for selling cola and cars that everybody buys. They are a bad idea for advertising specialist software.
People buy software based on personal recommendations, and by doing google searches and looking at what comes up. Independent unsolicited reviews by notable bloggers with good google ranking who rave about your product are worth much more than buying a $50 million superbowl ad.
Yet clueless startup owners will blow $50 million on that ad, and then shit all over some customer who would have written that independent unsolicited review because you were fair and reasonable in your dealings with them and delivered a good product that helped them solve their problem.
Why is this? Because blowing $50 million on that superbowl ad, or $100,000 on that NYT ad, is easier than the hard work of producing good products and being attentive to customers.
"I own a product that has free updates for life. However, because the author is friendly, talks to his buyers, and has a great support forum, most of us regularly buy a new license with each major upgrade even though we don't have to, just to thank him. He appreciates it and we appreciate his work and attitude towards us. "
What software is that?
As it's common to have more than one machine per user we allow our licenses to get installed on up to 2 different machines as long as they are not used concurrent.
I got only positive feedback about this so far...
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
I tend to agree with a license for two computers for the same user. Many of us have a desktop and laptop.
That being said, just because I have two computers, doesn't mean they should both get the software. I still have to pay for two computers. I have to pay for two mice. If I want two copies of a book I have to pay for it twice.
So I would say it's entirely up to you. Some companies allow it some don't.
Also you could just not say anything specifically and not really enforce it if they use it on another computer. In other words you don't allow it, but if they use it on two computers you do nothing about it either. It's only when it's used on 3 or more computers that you become active.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Just because they aren't physical doesn't mean you shouldn't pay twice. When you buy a computer with Windows or the Mac OS, you still have to pay for each license of Windows and the Mac OS.
To me just because it isn't tangible doesn't mean you should or should not have to pay twice. It's not a reason for or against in my opinion, it's just a statement.
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Actually, software from the App Store, including OS X, comes with a license for use on up to 5 computers.
"If you've purchased OS X Lion or Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store, you're allowed to install it on all of your personal authorized Macs."
So it's not true that you have to buy it separately for each computer you own.
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