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New Vulture capitalism at its best. If this sticks...
We've been using GiftWorks for ~ 4 years to keep track of donors to a scholarship fund. This is a local installation that makes no active use of any cloudy features the program may have, other than the auto update mechanism. It is licensed per seat with a permanent key giving access to the licensed features of the software. Upgrades to later versions require purchase of a new license with discounts based on the distance between versions.

Last August, the company behind the software was taken over by FrontStream, a payment processor of all things. The first thing they did was change pricing from fixed to perpetual subscription. In October, they issued a termination of support notice for all but the 2013 releases of GiftWorks. A bit quick, given that the prior release is only 2 years older, but so things go.

The nasty came in a little later when they apparently used the auto update to insert a time-bomb: the local installations will cease functioning on March 31. No recourse. AFAIK, this is a first. Even Adobe did not have the balls to turn off existing CS installations when they went to their current subscription only model.

And then they have the gall to put this on their website...
Likewise, as a responsible corporate citizen, FrontStream has a vested interest in the expansion of social good and we have significantly expanded our suite of charitable solutions through the FrontStream NonProfit Sector which consists of leading brands in the nonprofit space; the current family of brands includes FirstGivingTM, GiftWorks and Artez Interactive.

Here's hoping this wonderful example does not get any following :-(
New :-(
I suspect more vendors will do nasty tricks like that as time moves on.

Could the EFF or someone similar bring a little heat?

Good luck.

New If you need something that actually works...
I might be able to help in your dilemma.

E-mail me if you want, since Giftworks/Mission Research is a very wonky competitor.
"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." --Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
New Disgusting!
Not as egregious, but years ago Intuit pulled a similar stunt with Quick Books that I was using to keep my (one employee) company books. They had a subscription service for payroll that was supposed to keep track of tax rate changes. After a year of paying fees, I noted that neither US not NC rates were really changing and it was a simple calculation in any case. Anyway, once the subscription ran out, they refused to print the Federal quarterly report forms that accompany payment to IRS to cover the withheld income tax, Social Security, Medicare and company matches of the later two. So, I had to print those forms outside the software. Most inconvenient.

So, not only did I quit updating Quick Books, I quit using Turbo Tax as well.

Fuck 'em!

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

-- Isaac Asimov
     Vulture capitalism at its best. If this sticks... - (scoenye) - (3)
         :-( - (Another Scott)
         If you need something that actually works... - (folkert)
         Disgusting! - (a6l6e6x)

...and the President was unfortunately subjected to public opinion.
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