Hello DONATION advisors. I recently got into a bit of a dispute with a user who had not chosen to pay the annual renewal fee, and needed to install the program on a new computer. He wanted me to make his prior version that he had paid for available for donwload, but I do not do that.
Rather, my policy has always been that the only way to install the program on a new computer is to download the current version of the program from the website, and since that is an upgrade, payment would be required in the case where a user had not paid in the last 12 months. This issue has come up in the past with other users, and they have seemed to understand (perhaps grudgingly) and have paid.
The user read the License Agreement (which you can see at http://www.software4nonprofits.com/license.htm) and felt that it granted him a permanent license for the program. I reviewed it, and I do not feel that it says that (the word “permanent” certainly never occurs). It does have a paragraph about updates, which says that ” Your eligibility to download and install Updates may be subject to an annual fee.”
However, I also see that the license agreement does not make clear that if you have not kept your payments up to date, and just want to re-install your current version, there will be no way to do that (unless you have chosen to keep a copy of the installation program from when you were licensed). So I can understand why the user was upset, and I did cut a deal with him about it.
So first of all, I’m wondering what your thoughts are about this policy overall.
Second, I’m thinking that I need to add some clarity about this to various places, including the License Agreement, some web pages, and the emails I send out inviting paid users to pay their Annual Renewal fees. As a start on that I have drafted the following paragraph to add into those annual renewal emails:
If you do not choose to renew, you can continue using the program, but you will not be eligible for support or upgrades. HOWEVER, if you ever need to re-install the program on your computer, or install it on a different computer, the only way that can usually be done is by downloading the currently available version from the program’s website. Since that would be an upgrade at that time, an appropriate payment would be required. If you wish to avoid that, your only option is to download a current copy of the installation program from the website now, and make sure you have a secure permanent copy of it. We do not retain older versions of the program, and they will never be made available for download.
Any thoughts or suggestions for improvement on that paragraph? Changes in other places would be based on similar language.
Thank you in advance for any contributions you have to these questions.