At 02:53 AM 11/19/2002, JaMi Smith wrote:
The following post is the second of two that I am reposting to the PEDA
Forum because I believe that it contains very important information which I
believe is important to notify all Protel 99 and DXP customers and users of,
since it may personally financially affect many of those customers and
While I appreciate Mr. Smith's concern, I think it is unlikely to have such an effect, except that a public perception of Altium disapproval of resales might conceivably affect resale pricing, though I think it would not actually have much of an effect unless Altium arbitrarily denies license transfer.

The original post was made in the Protel-Users-Resale Forum on Yahoo!
Groups, which has only 46 members, yet it provoked this official response
from Altium that affects the entire Protel User Community as a whole, and I
therefore believe it is necessary to repost here in the PEDA Forum.
The mailing list only has a few members, it has many more readers. Unlike most of the protel-user lists on yahoogroups, that one is directly web-readable without being a subscriber.

I have responded to Mr. Loughhead's post on [EMAIL PROTECTED] However, for the information of this community, I'll summarize: there is little cause for concern.

Protel at some point inserted increasingly restrictive language into the user agreement, and -- with DXP? -- explicitly required Altium approval of license transfers. However, there is no indication that Altium intends to deny license transfers, provided that the seller is the legitimate owner of a transferable license. Some licenses are not transferable except under certain conditions. For example, Protel gave some employees licenses without charge and when some of these employees sold these licenses, they asserted their right to deny the transfers. Other licenses may have been obtained with a substantial discount and the understanding that they would not be sold unless the underlying business was sold. The most common non-transferable license would be a license which has been used for upgrade. The prior user agreement was not explicit on this, I think it has been revised; in any case, a user who has upgraded a license should not expect to be able to sell the older license independently, Altium will consider that it travels with the newer license.

Unless Altium makes an explicit announcement that it will deny ordinary license transfers, I would consider Altium obligated to recognise them provided that Altium's legitimate concerns are met, as explicitly stated in the user agreement. Essentially these boil down to ensuring that the seller is confirming that he or she is not keeping illegitimate copies, and that the seller is the legitimate owner of the license and has the right to sell.

It is beyond me why Altium would want to discourage license transfers except through a very short-sighted opinion that they are losing money when a buyer buys from a former user instead of directly from Altium. It is difficult to be completely sure without careful study, but my opinion is that Altium revenue ultimately increases when a license lying fallow is converted into one which is being actively used; the new user becomes a steady market for upgrades, and communicates interest to other users. Users typically evangelize the programs that they use -- asssuming they are happy with them! The more users you have, the more users you get, assuming the product is well-designed. That's where Altium's efforts should continue to go!

I know of at least one case where, because a buyer was getting a substantial discount, they bought two licenses instead of one. Even in the short run, Altium did not lose any sales on this one -- these licenses were bought under a discount program specifically to be sold (this was before Protel decided to make these licenses not resellable). A company that starts using one license may grow, and then they need a second. It is not easy to find resale licenses, so where do they go? They go to Altium, which at this point is ahead of the game, with multiplied rewards down the line.

Resold licenses will always be few and far between, unless the Protel product goes completely down the tubes and no one wants to keep their license. I certainly hope that Altium is not preparing for this contingency!

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