CyberLink PowerDirector: new updates only for subscribers
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Quote: “50% of their users have moved over the subscription version.”

That’s marketing speak. In reality customers absolutely hate the 365 products. People aren’t “moving” anywhere–the numbers are probably coming from ‘shareware’ distributions that come bundled with other products, or tricking their customers through their update notifications.

Cyberlink has been strong-arming their customers for the past couple years to move to 365 subscriptions. They hide all the perpetual licenses on their website, and play games with the updates to force you to move to the 365. Most people aren’t savvy enough to know how to deal with it. Now they are stripping features from the perpetual-licensed version of the software. If the subscription version is so great, then why are they trying to punish their perpetual-licensed customers? Oh, that’s right. Because people aren’t buying Cyberlink 365 products, that’s why.

People HATE subscription licenses in general. Any company that goes to the “subscription” model will be eventually be in financial hot water. Why? Because when employees get money for nothing, they stop trying. It’s human nature. Maintenance licenses are bad for the investors, bad for the company and especially bad for customers.

In reality “subscriptions” are nothing but maintenance licenses from the corporate world. Enterprises have been saddled with this rubbish since the late 80s, and they hate it. No sane private individual wants to have their computer software turned off at random, go through software audits or license shakedowns, or need a lawyer to authorize software installs like companies have to do.

I’m going to warn you about something, and it applies to all “digital downloads” of products. The basic business model for modern digital distribution is based on encryption–since the late 90s anyway. Technically just about every “digital download” you “own” is just a rental. Every time you use the product, it makes sure its encrypted license matches one on a remote “license” server. I want you to consider these situations:

  • What happens when the software can’t reach the Internet to verify licenses?
  • What happens when the remote license server is down?
  • What happens when the remote license servers are owned by a third-part company that went out of business?
  • What happens if the license holder changes its name company to avoid legal consequences?
  • What if encryption technology changes and the license can not longer be validated?
  • What if the company is bought by another company, and they dump the licenses databases?
  • The seller decided to dump old licenses without warning or recourse?
  • You cancel your membership with the seller? (Wait, I thought I “owned” something?)

Any “digital” product that you bought that relies on encryption and licensure is just vapor. You just bought vapor. And not the kind you can inhale, either. I’ve been doing digital downloads for two decades, and I’ve “lost” ALL my digital content based on the situations listed above.

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