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Software Licensing

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February 22, 2012 12:26:40 PM

Is it legal for a company to offer a free piece of software, which you have been using for some time, and then turn around and say that the version of software you have is now required to be licensed and paid for?

I'm not talking about shareware either or any type of "Free To Try" software. It was marketed as "FREE" without licensing limitations.

More about : software licensing

February 22, 2012 8:11:20 PM

mechaflash said:
Is it legal for a company to offer a free piece of software, which you have been using for some time, and then turn around and say that the version of software you have is now required to be licensed and paid for?

I'm not talking about shareware either or any type of "Free To Try" software. It was marketed as "FREE" without licensing limitations.

Specifics ? - I'll get corporate Legan right on it. :lol:  :lol: 
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February 22, 2012 8:22:21 PM

If the facts are as you state them then I would say the answer is no. But I'm guessing that you would need written proof that the software was offered free with no restrictions on its use.
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February 22, 2012 8:45:23 PM

http://allmypapers.com/downloads.html

All the way to the right - Free Software

OCR MICR Demo

Even in their licensing memo, it states that the demos are property of them, however there is no mention of licensing... and I even sent an email to their regional sales manager asking if there is a time limit on the use of the demo software and his answer was "no"
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February 23, 2012 5:15:36 AM

As the software is clearly labelled "Demo" I think the company would argue that there is a reasonable expectation that it would not be used, particularly in a commercial context, indefinitely without purchase. Whether that is an argument that would likely hold sway in a court of law is something that only a lawyer could tell you.
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February 23, 2012 6:41:29 PM

A "demo" is not free software. It's free to try, usually with limited functions. I see this all the time with "Free" downloads are are crippled or limited time use programs.

There is nothing that's stopping them from charging for the product anytime they want. You can stop using it if you don't want to pay for it though. If you read any license agreement, they always say "may be changed without notice at any time".

Here is another example, your favorite restaurant gave you free bread and water. Then they said "bread is 25 cents now". Is that illegal? Nope, but you are free not to go to that restaurant and find another one with free bread.
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March 1, 2012 12:30:12 PM

Best answer selected by mechaflash.
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March 4, 2012 11:19:03 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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