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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

How to get identity for free license?

I want to be able to offer free licenses of my apps to people from time to time, but the way the license is formatted, is that it's partly made up of their real name and real email address (both obtained from PayPal).  This discourages (I hope!) sharing the license publically because it both identifies them and exposes their email address to spammers.

So... if I offer a free license to someone, I don't get their real details from PayPal because they didn't pay.  What would you suggest?  I'm certainly not going to just ask and believe them.  Or get them to make a micro-payment with PayPal instead, like $1?

Thanks for any ideas.
PSB136 Send private email
Friday, May 08, 2015
I don't know how it works with PayPal.

But I give them 100% discount coupon (FastSpring). So they go through the whole ordering process without giving their credit card.
Gautam Jain Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Why don't you let them sign up with their name and email on your website and mail them the license key?
While you have no guarantee that the name is correct, the email has to be, otherwise they would not get their license key.
PhilS Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Because they'd be able to use any fake name and fake email address.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
What exactly is the business problem that you are trying to solve?
Dmitry Leskov @Home Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
To be able to give a complimentary free license to someone, without it being generic such that they share it on a forum somewhere.
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Anyone can purchase your product using fake CC and share it.
I think that this happens to most vendors - anyway, the way is sot give 100% coupon code  - check if you can do that with paypal.
mb12 Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
For a private beta when I wanted to give out free licenses to people after the beta was over, I had a html page where they could visit and fill in their name and email and click submit. This sent the name and email to a php script which emailed me a request for a free license. The email also contained a link back to the php script to accept the free license request. If I clicked the link a license for the users name/email was generated and then emailed to them. This way it didn't matter if the webpage was shared as I could control what free licenses were handed out but it was automated enough to be very easy to manage.
maxr Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
I would not concentrate that much on trying to make dishonest people honest. What if nobody ever shares a license? Those attempts to gather real identity would be a waste of time and effort. What if someone uses fake or stolen identity? What if a honest owner of a license, whether paid or free, has their computer or email account compromised and license stolen?

What I would do is add a mechanism for license revocation, so as to make people with an unlawfully shared license unable to use it for newer versions, and move on.
Dmitry Leskov @Home Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015
License revocation is certainly possible, but it sounds like a better idea to get a 100% coupon thing happening, either with PayPal or by switching to FastSpring.

Thanks for all replies.  :)
PSB136 Send private email
Saturday, May 09, 2015

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