I had been using vBulletin for a little over a year when I started podPress and wanted a place for users to create a community and to provide support. The forums have been very successful and tend to have on the order of 20-30 postings a day, with many more viewers. Now vBulletin is commercial software, so I had to pay $85 to use it, and figured that donations would cover the costs and I mistakenly had thought the way the licensing worked is that after one year I could keep running the forums, but could no longer get updates which seemed fair enough to me.
Well, the license I did buy doesnt allow for that, and I had to find out the hard way. After my license had been expired a couple months I received an email saying I was in violation, which I ignored on the assumption that it was a mistake or SPAM. I mean, why would software I paid for become invalid to use? It does when you purchase leased software!
A few days ago I got an email by my hosting provider that said my server was going to be taken down due to software licensing violation, and listed vBulletin as the software I was pirating. I was livid, so I called vBulletin’s support number and was put on the phone with some guy who was quite smug in telling me that I must take down my forums or pay ANOTHER $85 for one more year. To hell with that! I have learned my lesson, and will NEVER AGAIN lease web software again. In fact this really just encourages me even further to avoid any commercial web app software ever again.
Now if only I could find a decently secure and stable open sourced forum solution…