[See update: The lack of notification was a screw-up.]
Carbon Copy Cloner, one of my best loved apps, is no longer donationware. It is now a commercial product with a 30 day trial period.
That's great -- except the contract transition occurred during what seemed like a routine (albeit big) upgrade. I didn't see any warning that this was an unusual upgrade; but I've been a CCC user (I donated before there were post-donation registration codes) for a long time. Maybe there was a warning, but it was way too subtle for me. I don't see any notice on the front page of CCC's web site.
This is what I wrote Mike Bombich, the author of CCC.
I absolutely don't mind paying for CCC; in fact I'm glad to have that opportunity. I donated to CCC before, but that was before you tracked donations. Time for me to pay up again. That's not my problem.
I'm shocked, however, by a CCC update that made a contract switch without warning.
What you should have done was to do an update first that warned users that CCC was going to end-of-life on the donation model. Then the infrastructure would be in place to notify users that the next update would cost.
I used to use SuperDuper. I didn't mind paying for it, I used CCC because it was better. Now I have to decide whether to continue with CCC, or go through the pain of transitioning back to an inferior product because of how you handled this.
An apology to your customers would help a lot.
Again, I fully support your transitioning to a commercial model. I'm glad you did that. I'd have happily paid if you'd only warned me prior to the update. Of course I would have updated.
But you didn't warn.
I'll see how he responds before I switch back to SuperDuper.
Update: Mike Bombich responded with a sincere apology. He's amended the splash screen and release note with this warning. This was one of those bad-day mistakes; something that was missed in beta testing. He has a record of prior donations; he'll grant a license even if a donation was made prior to the 'registration' feature. In my case I'm happy to pay, I got my $10 worth a long time ago.