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Enabling a resell of a license for Liquid Notes requires a different licensing model

Only a handful of people have asked in the past if reselling of a license they obtained for Liquid Notes is permitted. While some developers allow for such a practice, we have made a conscious decision many years ago not to support this for multiple reasons.

Herein we explain the details of our thought process, and why a resell requires a different licensing model. Such a model is emerging on the scene now, so we also take a look at it.

Software development cost, continuous support and other cost items

When creating a new piece of software a developer has to make a decision on how he wants to run his business. Some opt for open source with little to no customer support, others go the extra mile to serve you with a full-fledged operation. This is what in professional language is called the "business model", which defines how you deliver a product, to whom, etc. In other words, it is a reflection of the cost you incur from running this operation.

We have taken the decision many years ago when developing Liquid Notes that our company, Re-Compose, is run is a full service organization: it creates software, continuously invests in product improvements, delivers outstanding customer support and builds great relationships with suppliers, to name a few. That is, we didn't want to run the company as a "hobby" - rather, we decided to run it in a professional manner.

Taking such a decision comes at a cost. For example, when we had to find a solution for licensing management on the desktop we looked for companies providing a first class service rather than developing something quickly ourselves. It's not that we couldn't do it, rather it is about us providing a mediocre product that creates a negative experience on the overall product.

Make a long story short, there are plenty of such items as part of the software of Liquid Notes and the multiple systems being used by us on a daily basis to support distributors, resellers and customers. Sum all of these up and you'll end up with the cost to run the business, not including the development costs of the software.

Licensing models and reselling of licenses

Today, the licensing models in use by the majority of developers is around a single user license sale. When the customer makes a purchase not only does he contribute to the total of above cost, but also have we calculated before at what price we have to sell the software to eventually reach break/even and be able to provide above service levels. This is of importance as nowadays it has become common practice to provide minor updates for free.

Hence, the price of the software reflects all this and makes sure the company is sustainable. This is the reason why under such a licensing model no resale of a license is allowed. It would undermine the sustainability of the company when now having to manage a new customer without him/her making any contribution to the cost incurred by the developer - and, that includes past cost as well as new cost as customer support requests cost money, too.

A different way of solving this dilemma is a lease-based licensing model. That is, instead of buying a license you lease the software for a certain time - a day, a month or a year, for example. It is similar to you using a cloud storage service, with all advantages and disadvantages of this model.

Such "plugin rental stores" have emerged in 2015 and we'll keep on monitoring their progress periodically. And, we'll inform you when the time is right to discuss this option with you before taking any steps to change our licensing model.

For the time being, a resell of a license for Liquid Notes is not permitted. This is governed by the End User License Agreement, which you can find on our Help page.

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