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Perpetual licenses being done away with.

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Rather disturbing post made on TAZ today:- https://theadminzone.com/threads/invision-power-is-killing-all-perpetual-licenses.116067/

06 June 2014

We take pride in the fact that we've honored our commitment to legacy license holders/supporters for a decade now -- something that is relatively unheard of. With that said, our direction with v4 of the software suite is changing and "IPB" as you purchased will not exist in the capacity in which you originally purchased it. Naturally, we recognize and appreciate your past business and are committed to doing the right thing. Rather than sunset the license entirely, we are offering a conversion to the new structure with a free renewal. Legacy licenses will, at some point in the near future, be discontinued however. We can complete that change for you now, or you are certainly free until the change is formalized and officially announced.
Thank you for your understanding and please let us know if you have any further questions.

Regards,

Lindy Throgmartin
Management Team
Invision Power Services, Inc.

Which is rather at odds to the statement Lindy made in January 2013, here - >

We honor and will continue to honor the terms of your license purchase.

and:

We do and will continue to offer an upgrade to the current license structure free of charge. Additionally, converted perpetual licenses receive six months of free renewals. Lifetime license holders receive one year. This is not forced or required - it is merely an offer.

So what happened about the honouring people's license agreement?

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Allow me to clarify.

Legacy licenses were introduced a decade ago and were only offered for a short time to early adopters. Depending on the license type, this allowed perpetual or lifetime use and upgrades to IP.Board. Over the years, accommodating legacy licenses has become challenging due to our ever-evolving product and service offerings but we've of course done so because of our appreciation of those early customers.

With IPS4, we've changed directions somewhat in that IP.Board as we all know it will become a forums app within the suite. Members, profiles, search engine, ad management, spam mitigation and other key items are now part of the suite core. This allows for cleaner, more streamlined integration across the whole suite with the forums app no longer carrying the weight of the load which led to clunkier integration in the 3.x line.

Legacy licenses were actually one of our first considerations. I think it's reasonable to think in today's age that many companies would simply say "you've had a good run" and leave you out to dry -- I've definitely been on the receiving end of those types of "perpetual license" deals with companies. We recognize the support of our early adopters, so we naturally wanted to be as accommodating as possible. One option would have been to give legacy licenses access to the new suite, including core and then tie off hosted services and features again such as the spam mitigation (items that were never part of IP.Board at time of purchase.) We make such provisions on the back-end now and I can assure you, it gets messy and has, over time, introduced a plethora of "if this, then that" type bugs in the various systems (licensing, spam, chat and billing) that have become a significant point of impact to current (non-legacy) clients.

After careful consideration, we determined the most appropriate thing to do is offer the ability for legacy customers to switch to the newest structure, free of charge -- this would allow them access to anything current customers have access to. Legacy customers would receive six months free renewals, so there are no out of pocket expenses. After that period, renewals would then be $25 every six months, which would include all of the latest services such as chat and spam mitigation.

I would like to stress that these legacy licenses were only offered for 2 years - there really aren't that many of them and even less exist today as most have converted to the new structure over the years to leverage hosted services such as spam mitigation. All told, these changes will only have a net impact on less than 4% of our license holders - of those 4% we're not sure how many still even use their license. From IPS' perspective, it makes sense to clean up our backend systems and rid them of 10-12yrs of accumulated coding provisions to handle different license types under different scenarios. Further, it allows us to more cleanly reintroduce our software as a true suite of community applications with seamless integration across the offerings.

As always, we're here to answer any questions or concerns. Thank you for your support and understanding.

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Keep in mind anyone who has had a perpetual license is still free to continue using their currently active IP.Board installs for as long as they wish after their converted license expires.

Similar to if your license expired normally under today's terms, I assume it's no different. Perpetual license holders if they choose not to continue paying for renewal will not ever have to forfeit their license entirely or discontinue use of IP.Board, renewal is just for continued access to upgrades and support. Nothing more.

Also, $25 every 6 months? Does that mean legacy license holders are still getting a greatly discounted renewal price, or will they still have to pay renewal on the IP.Board applications they use?

Furthermore, if you're getting a free 6 month "renewal" after converting over, that means you really should still have access to IPB 4.0 when it's released. I doubt it's going to take over 6 months for a release now, but I'm obviously not a staff member, so you can't quote me on that.

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Just because these folks are only 4% of your customer base is not a good reason to leave them out. In fact, that's even more reason for you to support them. If you sold people a "perpetual" license, you should support them for as long as you are in business.

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Just because these folks are only 4% of your customer base is not a good reason to leave them out. In fact, that's even more reason for you to support them. If you sold people a "perpetual" license, you should support them for as long as you are in business.

IPS are hardly leaving them out. :thumbsup:

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Lindy, you keep mentioning "Legacy" licenses rather than just perpetual ones. Does this mean that the IPS Community Suite a.k.a. "Legacy Bundle" is also going to be done away with? Because personally, I'd like to keep the two licenses that I have that allow me to renew IP.Board, IP.Gallery and IP.Blog for just the price of renewing IP.Board.

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Just because these folks are only 4% of your customer base is not a good reason to leave them out. In fact, that's even more reason for you to support them. If you sold people a "perpetual" license, you should support them for as long as you are in business.

As one of these 'folks', I had previously converted one license to a 'standard license' and kept the other with support active (to support IPS, I hardly need customer support).

I don't object to the change, it has been a fantastic deal over the years, but I would also rather support IPS and make sure they keep working hard.

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Just because these folks are only 4% of your customer base is not a good reason to leave them out. In fact, that's even more reason for you to support them. If you sold people a "perpetual" license, you should support them for as long as you are in business.

As Lindy said they are not leaving them out at all!

Typically companies would have you pay for a whole new license after changes like these have happened, but instead they are giving the new license to them for free, which I think is a fair deal.

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I remember the perpetual/lifetime licenses. I seem to recall that IPS announced when they did away with them that those who opted to keep their pepetual licenses would still be honored but that the perpetual/lifetime licenses would no longer be offered to new customers who wanted them. They only stopped offering new perpetual licenses to new purchases. And why is everyone panicking over what TAZ has posted? Only refer to what IPS actually says on it, but secondhand news.

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I'm confused. Can someone summarise in 1-2 sentences what is happening to these licenses?

Prepetual licenses are being phased out to simplify their billing processes & because the IPS Suite is receiving a major re-work so it no longer - in theory - is the same product that perpetual licenses holders purchased. The Suite is no longer primarily a forum, that's becoming a standalone optional APP in 4.0.

They are allowing a free upgrade to Perpetual License holders so they get access to 4.0 as a method not to stone-wall the early-day customers as they slowly begin to phase out the license type completely.

Edited by Murilirum

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Just because these folks are only 4% of your customer base is not a good reason to leave them out. In fact, that's even more reason for you to support them. If you sold people a "perpetual" license, you should support them for as long as you are in business.

The license was for IP.Board, not IP.Core + IP.Board. If IPS wanted to, they could call the forums "IP.Forums" or "IP.Discussions" starting with v4 and legacy license holders wouldn't have any claim to it at all. Might be off of IP.Board, but since it's a rewrite of the code and such, it could be given a different name and would be perfectly legit. Don't get me wrong, I can see where legacy license holders can argue that they should still continue to get IP.Board for free (with free support for Lifetime license holders). However, IPS is a company that needs money to remain in business. Take your pick - structure changes and so the license isn't supported anymore and you have to pay (renewal costs, not a full new purchase) OR company has to close its doors because it can't afford to continue going. Either way, the license (as it is) is no longer good.


I have a Lifetime license that I don't use anymore. I don't plan to change it or anything, as I keep it as it is as a keepsake, to remember the times of the past and as a reminder of how far the company has progressed since those days. In fact, in the CA, I've affectionately named it "My Precious." :D I still remember getting it and I've gotten more than my fair share of use from it.

If you don't want to lose an existing legacy license, then purchase a new license and retire the legacy one.

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Prepetual licenses are being phased out to simplify their billing processes & because the IPS Suite is receiving a major re-work so it no longer - in theory - is the same product that perpetual licenses holders purchased.

Lifetime licenses too. :smile:

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Lindy, you keep mentioning "Legacy" licenses rather than just perpetual ones. Does this mean that the IPS Community Suite a.k.a. "Legacy Bundle" is also going to be done away with? Because personally, I'd like to keep the two licenses that I have that allow me to renew IP.Board, IP.Gallery and IP.Blog for just the price of renewing IP.Board.

Trixie - to be honest, the bundle hasn't even been considered yet as part of our final plans. That was a promotion that only a few ended up opting for. I'll make sure you're taken care of though. Lifetime and perpetual licenses are primarily what we're referring to.

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per·pet·u·al [per-pech-oo-uhthinsp.pngthinsp.pngl]
adjective
1.
continuing or enduring forever; everlasting.
2.
lasting an indefinitely long time: perpetual snow.
3.
continuing or continued without intermission or interruption; ceaseless: a perpetual stream of visitorsall day.
4.
blooming almost continuously throughout the season or the year.

Source: dictionary.com

So basically this decision means the perpetual licences will be ceased.

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I posted this on TAZ:

The only issue I see here is the fact the license at the time were free lifetime license and so the outrage comes from that.
Except I look at it differently.

The Perpetual License you brought were for the IP board structure as we know it now.

Things evolve and change. You have a lifetime with the licensing structure as it is now.

IPB 4.0 is a new Structure and essentially a new product. They are not entitled to honor that.
When the licenses first were available for sell, you were buying the product as it was then and the future versions within that structure. It is different if they were in fact going to essentially continue the same structure with the 3.X line and removing the licenses.

Furthermore, it's much like Unlimited bandwidth people who whine because the host suspended them for using too much, anyone who truly believes that you would literally have access to IPB forever and forever till the day you die is either missing a few brain cells, SMoking something, or Horribly naïve.

Now watch what happens...IPS will either have to endure a bunch of whining and bad press thus affecting IPB4 OR they'll cave in to appease the 4% who apparently look at this as an attack against those customers and them being Greedy.lmao

I am capable of looking at it from your point of view...I understand cause of concern. But at the same time, I am also capable of looking at it from the Business side.

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Disclaimer: when i bought my board it had an IPB perpetual license. I decided to buy myself a new license for me, so i am not defending my own cause here.

Every management decision has consequences, some good, some bad. This is clearly a management decision.

The 4% percent probably were some of the folks who have got onboard on an unpredictable trip, preferring IPB instead of other boards, without knowing if IPB would be successful or not. Those 4% helped the company from the begining, taking the risk. Today, they are 4%, but at that time, after the offer finished, what was their IPB market share?

I am with IPB about one year ago, but i have seen that some serious management decisions were being took, in order to improve revenue, (i.e. money flow). IPB management is squeezing every bit of revenue they can (which is normal) either by increasing 80% the copyright removal fee, increasing the renewal prices, terminating perpetual licenses, etc.

In my point of view, if one thing is perpetual, it means forever while the company is active. Converting it into a "non perpetual" license is putting 4% of the customers to face the decision to pay, even if they took the risk and put their money on the table from the very begining, even if they have a free renewal offer. And this is the fact.

The product is not the same, i agree. But putting a "perpetual" label on a package and then after some years rebadging it to "not so perpetual" does not seem fine for me. It is an unilateral change of terms agreed on a "perpetual" base.

I refuse to call those licenses as "legacy", i think it is a misleading term, because they are perpetual.

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As one of these 'folks', I had previously converted one license to a 'standard license' and kept the other with support active (to support IPS, I hardly need customer support).

I don't object to the change, it has been a fantastic deal over the years, but I would also rather support IPS and make sure they keep working hard.

Ditto. I converted my site from a Perpetual to standard one some years ago to take advantage of the Spam Monitoring service and chat. I'm fine with what they are doing. If you don't agree with it then stay on 3.4.6.

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One important thing i like to state as a normal license owner , i prefer simplicity on every thing. Removing perpetual licenses will allow simplicity to license system and will allow development team to focus on actual development instead of making strange if combinations to license system. So this decision is also for the benefit of the majority of license owners.

So i salute and support this decision.

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I have no memory of what the perpetual or lifetime licenses cost, but I do remember thinking about whether I should buy one for my own private use. So I'm fairly sure it would've been within a price range of 200-300 US dollars. Not a lot of money when what you got was a decade of support and updates to the software. I even think I was among some people that thought IPS were "greedy" when they decided to remove their lifetime license option for new customers (I don't think the same today, as I'll elaborate on).

While I do agree to some level with the opinion that perpetual or lifetime license should be honored as, well... perpetual and lifetime. I fail to see that this particular change will "stir" up many people among the 4%. Invision Power Services have kept their end of the deal going for over a decade, and there was no guarantee along the way that they would even be in business for this long. What would you have done then, if IPS had been shut down due to a lack of income? You couldn't have sent personal emails to Matt for support and expect him to honor the deal. Or that any new board software companies started by former IPS employees would be required to do the same thing just because they had a close connection with the previous product.

Over the years and maybe even especially for the last two years in a new job I've started to realize that most people need money to get by and that companies consist of people like you and me. Of course, I knew this was the case before as well, but it feels as if I've come to a greater understanding of it today compared to just two years ago. What I mean is that before when companies raised costs of a product or limited the benefits of their products in some way, then I would very often think that the change was "outrageous" or "unfair". Facing the same changes today I would in most cases think it was fair thing of them to do, and I understand better the reasons of why they have to do it.

That doesn't mean I support every price change, feel every product is worth the cost it has or think that no company is greedy anymore, but the amount of changes and prices I accept as reasonable have greatly increased. For instance I don't quite understand how people complain about small price changes being made to food and bus tickets anymore. Most people expect their salaries to be raised every year and since your milk and bus companies also have to raise the salary for their employees, then of course they need to raise their prices. And then there is also the case when for instance airline companies feel that they can't keep up with the demands from their employees any more and employees go on a strike. The public gets engaged and also starts to complain and then the company may finally give in. The next month "the same public" may go into "uproar mode" about airline tickets being increased, not thinking that it may come as a result of more benefits and salary to their employees.

As usual I digress... Bottom line is that personally I don't consider IPS to have any moral or legal obligation to still honor the deal when their new "Suite approach" really comes into play with IPS 4. Also think about how they have probably lost way more money on ensuring that lifetime license owners still could have the pleasure of enjoying their benefits than what they've gotten from all of them combined. Essentially making other customers or maybe employees pay for the continued benefits of lifetime and perpetual licenses.

I think it is a perfectly fair change and they are even giving you a free upgrade path to the board app on IPS 4 (including support related to the upgrade). (Okay, they don't really say you'll get IPS 4 for free, but I expect it to be out within a year, so they could basically be saying that)

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The thing I have found by reading this topic, is that some quite clearly don't respect peoples views.

I am pleased to see nothing offensive but those like me, who own a perpetual license have every right to express our thoughts. I am extremely disappointed, I can understand the view point and it's nice that they are offering to have the license converted and supported for 6 months for free of charge. However, this seems another promise which is going to be broken ultimately.

Those arguments that we've had a 'good run' and recieved more than it's worth, don't really come into it for me.

We decided to opt for the perpetual license for a reason. This reason is now expiring, against the promises made by the company in the first place. Basically I find it a little sad, as I feel it's very misleading.

I am not going to explain why I feel it's misleading, It's the way I feel and nobody can argue that.

4% seems very harmless, I own multiple licenses but only one is perpetual. So I have given custom (good amount) to the company and I do feel that lifetime licenses should be honoured regardless (yet this will not happen because we as customers will have to accept or move on, companies sadly care less and less about the people who keep them in their jobs).

What's stopping licenses to be the next trick?

I don't mean for this to come across as hostile, I am simply sharing my (which will be disregarded anyway) views. Don't you think it would have been better to discuss these decisions with the people affected, part of the reason I am annoyed and saddened is the fact the news is broken a way from your customers (on TAZ - Where people affected my never actual know of these changes until it's too late).

Why should I remain a loyal customer when you as a company keep moving the goal posts? which can greatly affect your customers, whether you agree or not.

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Its about principal.

Honouring the 4% who helped sow the IPS seed won't break the bank.

Sadly, it seems unlikely that profits won't be squeezed elsewhere after the dust as settled with this.

Reputation is everything for a company, as it is for anything. Repeatedly doing things, exactly like this will only shun people a way from a company and product in which they have actively supported.

The 4% are easy pickings, does IPS actually think about all of their customers?

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