Once every year or two something happens to make me get a bug up my shorts about piracy. Generally I don’t care much about it… most piracy is done by college students, software ‘collectors’ (people that just download it to have it but don’t use it), and other people that wouldn’t buy the software anyways.
We recently had the technical guy at a photography studio give us a call. Their primary business is doing greenscreen photography for clients and they use Primatte for it. He called to complain that they had recently upgraded to Primatte 5.0 and that he gets an error message when he tries to run it on all his machines.
All of Digital Anarchy’s software looks for other instances of the plugin running on a network and shuts down if it sees a copy with the same serial number. This studio, which makes their living doing greenscreen, had one serial number. In his words “We have Primatte 3 installed on all our machines and never had a problem, but now it looks like we’ll have to buy more licenses. Why?”.
Well, because we’re nice people and you want to make sure we can eat. And if that doesn’t move you, then consider that we need to answer phone calls from people like you that make their living using our software. If we can’t eat, we can’t answer support calls/emails. This would be unfortunate all the way around.
We get emails and phone calls all the time from customers dealing with one emergency or another. They’ve got an event on a Saturday night, just bought a new machine, and email us ON Saturday in a panic because they can’t find their serial number. Or they run into some problem on a deadline and need an answer yesterday. Such is life around here.
But we need our customers to support us if they expect to be supported. That means actually buying the correct number of licenses to run on the number of machines you’re using. We try to be flexible. We offer hefty discounts on multi-seat licenses. We understand that many people have a work machine and home machine (or a laptop). You can use the software just fine in such a case. But for studios with multiple machines, please support the people that support you making your living. It helps ensure bug fixes are done promptly, that we answer phone calls (on Saturday), and otherwise support the products… which you rely on.
All this is just to point out that there are real folks behind the software. Most plugin companies are pretty small affairs, Digital Anarchy is just four people (plus two cats and an alien), so we’re similar in size to most of the studios we sell to. We do our best to support our customers and hope that they do likewise.