Monday, February 12, 2007

Solving the Software License Issue: Multiple Computers

I am posting this topic up for discussion since I think it will gather a huge range of answers. This discussion recently surfaced on the LivePA forums and I also posed the question on the forums to get people's reactions. Here is our hypothetical....

You just went out and purchased one box (copy/license) for Abelton Live. You own two computers at home, a desktop and a laptop for music production. It is perfectly legitimate for one to think that you might want to work on your music in both a studio and perhaps a live setup.

What do you think should be the restrictions regarding how you can install the software on your computers? Ableton Live comes with Windows and Mac installations. Does your opinion on installing change at all if lets say your desktop is a PC and your laptop is a Mac?

Here are some responses from people online.

xe-cute says:

Hypothetically my view is that you should be able to install it on any computer you use for your own use. Obviously this can not be easily enforced in reality hence the limitation to an install on one computer. It would be good if they could distinguish such a thing by either fixed I.P. address or Post/zip code. But then that rules out laptops and such things that travel. Personally if I bought anything I would expect to be able to use it where and when and upon whatever I wanted, whenever.

Faolon says:
I know what the "technical" answer is...but like you already said, as for a personal 'view' on all stems down to how you define personal use. Technically...1 purchase gets you unlimited (unless OEM) on 1 machine, but personally...I think this is a fine line. If I was to buy Ableton to use for DJ'ing rather than production say...then chances are..the main machine I'm going to want it on is my I can play out live, but I'm also going to want it on my thats where I download all my mp3's too from I-tunes/Napster or whatever. Question is....SHOULD I have to buy another copy for my PC? My personal point of view on this situation is..simply no. I would be using the application the same amount as I would if it were just installed on my laptop, but for my personal ease (lets say so that downloads cant corrupt my laptop) it's installed on both.... Now, my feeling is...if my laptop was at home, but my pc was in a seperate studio (ie. different mailing adress) then I would need to buy copies of the software for both machines.

Dave Webster
I guess in an ideal world purchasing a licence for it should be more like a membership card and you could use anyones copy of the program so long as you own a licence to the program. You would then be free to install it on whatever computers or laptops you own.

So do any readers out there have an opinion? I think I know where most answers will go, but lets hear 'em.

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