Survey on plugin / software licensing solutions

Hi all

I’m conducting a short survey of plugin and audio software devs about licensing solutions. I’d be very grateful if you can spend a few mins to answer some questions. Thank you!


Thanks for responses so far! Bumping for the weekend :slight_smile:

Btw, as a consumer, I will never accept any kind of DRM, what I purchase should be mine. As a developer, I will never impose any kind of DRM, my paying users deserves love, not fear and chains.


As a developer, I don’t know if I want you as a consumer.

But seriously, if all users were honest and not forgetful when it comes to paying, I would love not to use DRM.


Commercial paid for software doesn’t work like that. You own a license to use the software, not the software itself. You have no claim to ownership of the binary.

Whilst bad DRM can be a PITA, so can losing thousands due to reckless piracy. Having said that, almost everything with DRM gets cracked anyway but then it means people are going out of their way to look for torrents etc. And then there’s the notion that if people are resorting to using cracked versions then they probably wouldn’t be paying anyway (i.e. they’re broke).

And it gets cracked fast. With a simple google search you can find any well-know software. I don’t know if they work, but they seem.

When I was a child and I barely could purchase a sausage sandwich, the question I had in my mind was “Do the people really pay for this?”. If it wasn’t avaliable, it wasn’t. I never had any doubt about the “morality” of my acts, for me, in that moment, it was a good thing. I just wait until it’s avaliable. Purchasing something was out of question.

Once I get old and I started to make money, I started to pay for everything I use. Because I want, I feel good and I want the developer continue its work. Unfortunately, most of my acquaintances have still the mindset of “why pay for it when it’s avaliable for free?” and the “moral superiority” grin.

If someone wants to pay he will, if someone doesn’t want, he won’t do it. And both of them will think they did the correct thing. But if you punish to the paying customer… he won’t crack, he will search for another alternative in a saturated marketplace. That’s why I love plugins like the ones from Tone2 or Spire. That’s why I think the money losses are minimal, they may even be worse with an intrusive copy protection.

I would love that a perfect copy protection would exist, which doesn’t rely on staying online, or giving your hardware details, or phoning to someone, or dongles. I think everyday about it for my products, which only have a single offline serial.

So would a single transparent call home when installing (online activation) satisfy your demand?
The hardware ID is only used to generate a unique license, it doesn’t even need to be stored.

If so, we are in agreement.


  • If there would be an alternative which doesn’t rely on online activation, I would get the alternative.
  • If the online activation only offers you a “limited number of installations”, then it’s sure I wouldn’t never purchase it, unless I need that for my daily work or similar, or there isn’t alternative. I hate the idea of asking for permission and waiting for a reply each time I swap my SSD or any critical component (once each year). It becomes worse if I forgot to “deactivate” the installation for any of the several softwares I own. None of these are the navel of the earth.

If I moved from being a child to a paying customer is mainly for the security and comfort. Anything that denies any of these, denies my money. A software may be very important for the developer. Nora was the center of my life during years. It was my child. But, as I said before, it’s not the navel of the earth.

Of course, I’m just a small fraction of the population. The most of the paying people don’t care, until they have the problems. But if the perfect non-intrusive and impossible-to-crack copy protection would exist it wouldn’t give you more sales, instead, less people would use your software.

I know it’s a dilemma. I’ve thinking into mixed copy-protections. I’ve been thinking into watermarking each executable file with users (not hardware) details. Or using C/R only one month after each major release, then switching to simple serial which doesn’t rely on hardware. Nothing is perfect -.-