Say you have a shareware product.
Product X with version number Y.
In the legal aspects of the product (the end user license agreement or whatever) there’s a nice line that you can use this program for 30 days to try it. (This could be seen as a license for 30 days)
After those 30 days you decide if you like it and thus buy it… Or perform an uninstall on your computer and stop using it.
Now here comes the “tricky” thing.
Product X comes out with version number Z.
Again in the (not changed) legal aspects of the program it says you can try it for 30 days. You decide to download this program and try it for 30 days as well.
After those 30 days you uninstall it and stop using it.
and so on and so on , till the license agreement changes.
So far everything is legal , because you follow the license agreement to the letter.
Now of course i know that the intention of shareware is not that you can keep getting new versions and keep trying them for 30 days. But it is still LEGAL. (So please no crap about that shareware is not intended to be used in this way.)
Now in the version issues programmers have some utilities and tricks built in to check if you already had a shareware product. But since it’s my pc and have a legitemate license to the operating system i can do the hell whatever i want with it.
I can set fire to my system and i can legally modify all data on the system if i don’t touch any legal issues or copyright infringment.
Because i allowed the program to be installed on my system and i ask it to be removed. I can also (try to) modify the registry or delete any damn trace the program has made on my system (As long as i uphold my license agreement with MickeySoft). It’s my registry and my files.
(Would be cool : "You are not allowed to delete this file on your own system , part of the end of user license agreement on which you are still bound even if you uninstalled and cease to use the program)
For instance , AdAware removes some traces that some P2P programs make in your system.
Say for instance this comes to a conflict with the programmer/software house and we all go to court.
I could convince the court that i am still doing legal business. Upheld my end of the user license agreement and i cannot help it that the programmer is stupid enough to update his version every 2 weeks and stil have a 30 day license on each product.
Hence the roadmap title ; if the programmer decided to bring an update every two months i could do this : month 1: use software , motnh 2 : no software on my system ; month 3: use new version , and so on.
Now … in this particular matter and end of user license agreements that do not speak of “if you used previous versions before you are not allowed to run the shareware period over and over again” , am i untouchable ? Did i find a weird legal loophole in never buying shareware software at all ? Or did i forget something ?
I know most shareware today is “crippleware”. They leave important functionality out or have limits on its use , but in this example i am speaking of fully working shareware of course.