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Perkin-Warbeck

Did Malwarebytes change my license terms?

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I bought a "Pro" license in 2013.  Since then, I have had up to three machines protected using the same license key.  Machines came and went, but I was always able to activate my license on a new machine as long as I did not exceed 3.  I could do despite the fact that, on my account page,  "Managed Devices"  showed "0 of 1" available devices.

I recently upgraded a Windows 7 PC to Windows 10.  Foolishly, I failed to uninstall  Malwarebytes prior to the upgrade.  After the upgrade, I went to my account page and"deactivated all" in order to make a fresh start.  However after doing so, I unable to register more than a single device!

I contacted Malwarebytes support.  They gave me the following explanation:

"Lifetime keys have a Grace Seats Allowed option for up to 3 activations under the condition that customer did not deactivate license key prior to activating again, lost license key due to system crash, etc.  However, lifetime keys are good for only one PC after license key reset. You can view the invoice to confirm that the license key is for one device."

I don't have the original EULA, but this explanation is flatly contradicted by my experience.  Over the years I have deactivated and reactivated Malwarebytes many times on four or five different machines using the same id and license key (but never more than three at a time) and never had a problem until now. 

The terms of the Pro license were guaranteed never to change, but this policy on "grace seats" strikes me as a recent change that was slipped in to trap unwary users.

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Hi.
The "pro license"  ( a.k.a. Lifetime perpetual license) was always ... always ...   for just one Windows machine.
You  have the right to activate the Premium (pro/lifetime) protection on just one Windows machine.
That you will always have.
You simply never had the right to more than one activation.   Despite your past experience.

If you move to new hardware, you simply deactivate the license first on the old hardware; prior to installing and activating on the new hardware.

There is no change to "terms" of the original purchase.

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I may never have had the "right," yet I was allowed to do it by the "grace" of Malwarebytes.  Now they're saying "Sorry, no more grace."  That's a change, isn't it?

 

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The fact that in the past you had had more than one activation  ( at the same time) of the same License  was a flaw.

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11 minutes ago, Maurice Naggar said:

The fact that in the past you had had more than one activation  ( at the same time) of the same License  was a flaw.

According to support, it was part of the agreement (see the quote in the OP).   Even if it were a flaw, it would be bad business to fix it at the customer's expense.  

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23 minutes ago, Perkin-Warbeck said:

I may never have had the "right," yet I was allowed to do it by the "grace" of Malwarebytes.  Now they're saying "Sorry, no more grace."  That's a change, isn't it?

It's not a change in the terms because no 'grace' or additional installs were ever referenced, mentioned or even hinted at in the EULA/terms of use for the software throughout the entire life of the product/history of lifetime licenses.  They may have not had as strict enforcement, but nowhere in any of the agreements, terms of use or product documentation was it ever stated that the user would be allowed to use the software on more than a single device/installation at a time.  If they changed something on the backend that was never public (and I'm not sure whether that is what happened or if they simply turned on enforcement at all for the first time for those licenses; I honestly don't have that info so I don't know) then it still doesn't qualify as a change to the agreement because it was never stated by Malwarebytes officially anywhere that I'm aware of that such a provision was applied to lifetime licenses.

If anyone does need help with their licenses due to this or any other issues then you may contact Malwarebytes Support directly via the form on the bottom of this page.

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1 hour ago, exile360 said:

It's not a change in the terms because no 'grace' or additional installs were ever referenced, mentioned or even hinted at in the EULA/terms of use for the software throughout the entire life of the product/history of lifetime licenses. 

I won't fight it.  They win.

I want to hang on to my lifetime license, so I guess the only way to protect three machines is to buy a two-seat license for $50/year.  Then I'll be juggling two licenses, a recipe for disaster.  But if this is the only way, I'll do it.

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Yes, unfortunately that is the case unless you have 3 lifetime licenses, but on the plus side you can now manage all of your licenses in one place using My.Malwarebytes.com so managing devices and licenses is a lot easier as is looking up license info.

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30 minutes ago, exile360 said:

Yes, unfortunately that is the case unless you have 3 lifetime licenses, but on the plus side you can now manage all of your licenses in one place using My.Malwarebytes.com so managing devices and licenses is a lot easier as is looking up license info.

I wish I could turn back the clock. I would have bought a second lifetime license without hesitation.

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I can say from past experience that Malwarebytes only allowed one lifetime license per pc.  They never meant that you could use a single lifetime license on more than one pc at a   time.  It's why I bought 2.  We have always had 2 computers.

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9 minutes ago, ffwfire said:

I can say from past experience that Malwarebytes only allowed one lifetime license per pc.  They never meant that you could use a single lifetime license on more than one pc at a   time.  It's why I bought 2.  We have always had 2 computers.

Exactly, and that's not to say I don't feel for those being impacted by this stricter license/installation enforcement because I do.  I understand why they are frustrated with this situation, however I will say that I truly believe we would be hard pressed to find any modern software vendor willing to even honor any of their past lifetime licenses as I've seen time and time again, as such vendors grew and eventually migrated to yearly subscriptions, how most of them would give such customers a 1 year subscription in exchange for their lifetime license after which point they'd have to pay the yearly fee like everyone else from that point forward.  Malwarebytes never did that and I'm glad that they chose to do things that way, fully supporting and grandfathering in all of their lifetime users even as these changes were made so that these users still get to take advantage of all of the paid/Premium features, including all new program versions/upgrades without having to worry about paying a yearly fee.  That's a big deal, especially considering all of the new features that have been added over the years, including the integration of what were at one time separate subscriptions/products for both Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware, not to mention other features and additions like the new completely rewritten engine, Anti-Rootkit and the more recent anomalous detection engine which integrates the latest generation AI/Machine Learning and cloud technologies to even better detect new/unknown threats.  Most vendors probably would have just said that the original product has been discontinued and given them a 1 year license or a meager discount for a 1 year license to their 'new' product that has replaced it, and with all the major components that have been added in recent years Malwarebytes certainly could claim that it is a different product (back when lifetime licenses were still a thing, it only had Malware Protection and the recently added Web Protection components; Anti-Rootkit didn't exist yet, and neither did the other 3 modules I mentioned, 2 of which had their own licenses/subscriptions before being integrated).

Again, I do understand why these users are upset, but I still believe that even with just 1 device/installation, it really is a great value.  Malwarebytes is not the same product it was back when lifetime licenses were still available and technically speaking, given all those changes/additions, the completely new UI and even the new product name they would have every right to claim that it was a different product and that the old product that the lifetime licenses applied to had been discontinued (and that's what most companies would have done; again I've seen it countless times with other vendors) and they would be well within their rights but that's not the kind of people they are.  They promised lifetime updates and upgrades and to this day this is what they have continued to deliver.  I do feel bad for the inconvenience these users are going through, but I personally never would have relied on the apparent lenience/flexibility in what they were told from the start was a single device/installation license to persist forever, especially once the product went through so many changes and migrated to a subscription based licensing model (meaning things like license/subscription enforcement become much more important, especially since they now actually sell multi-seat/multi-device licenses that use the same key, meaning it wouldn't make sense to allow for 3 installs per key when they actually sell single device subscriptions as well as offer bundle pricing for 3 devices).

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Yes, Malwarebytes have been honourable in the way they've treated holders of Lifetime Licences and I thank them for it - I also wish that I'd bought a couple more when I had the chance. The only other vendor I can think of who has been equally honourable is d7xTech.com (formerly Foolish IT) with their CryptoPrevent, although there are several others who use the one-off purchase model rather than operating the subscription model and have pretty painless upgrade terms for existing customers when major software versions are released. 

 

 

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On 4/30/2019 at 10:24 AM, exile360 said:

It's not a change in the terms because no 'grace' or additional installs were ever referenced, mentioned or even hinted at in the EULA/terms of use for the software throughout the entire life of the product/history of lifetime licenses. 

I won't fight it.  They win.

I want to hang on to my lifetime license, so I guess the only way to protect three machines is to buy a two-seat license for $50/year.  Then I'll be juggling two licenses, a recipe for disaster.  But if this is the only way, I'll do it.

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Malwarebytes support originally told me that it was by "grace" ("Lifetime keys have a Grace Seats Allowed option for up to 3 activations").   Maurice Naggar had a more reasonable explanation: It was a flaw.  In my ongoing discussion with support, the latest reply from support calls it "abuse."   I better stop nagging them about this before they have me arrested!

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Perkin-Warbeck said:

Malwarebytes support originally told me that it was by "grace" ("Lifetime keys have a Grace Seats Allowed option for up to 3 activations").   Maurice Naggar had a more reasonable explanation: It was a flaw.  In my ongoing discussion with support, the latest reply from support calls it "abuse."   I better stop nagging them about this before they have me arrested!

What it was is that you could install it on one machine but with the "grace" when you had to uninstall and reinstall(sometimes needed) it on the same machine OR move it to a new computer (bought new one to REPLACE the old), you could do it up to 3 times without the assistance of support or using the My Malwarebytes account (it did not exist back when lifetime ones were sold)

The new activation system just ENFORCES the original license terms. Single computer use.

Edited by Porthos

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1 minute ago, Porthos said:

What it was is that you could install it on one machine but with the "grace" when you had to uninstall and reinstall it on the same machine OR move it to a new computer, you could do it up to 3 times without the assistance of support or using the My Malwarebytes account (it did not exist back when lifetime ones were sold)

Bingo, that's exactly what it was for.  Basically back then they didn't want to inconvenience users too much when they only method they had of enforcing licenses was to prevent them from activating too many times (they didn't have any of the more detailed licensing backend that they developed once they went to subscriptions for licenses so they couldn't do things like determine if it had been activated 2 times on the same machine (like after reinstalling Windows) so they instead built in some flexibility to keep users from having to deal with their keys being blacklisted or blocked all the time.  Now that they have a more modern implementation for tracking licenses, devices and activations this 'grace' is no longer necessary, and to accurately track between single device/single seat subscription licenses and multi-device licenses/subscriptions they must track it and enforce it accurately; at least I assume this is why (otherwise that same 'grace' would also apply to single device yearly subscription users even when they haven't purchased a 3 device license/subscription).

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On 4/30/2019 at 7:04 PM, exile360 said:

But on the plus side you can now manage all of your licenses in one place using My.Malwarebytes.com so managing devices and licenses is a lot easier as is looking up license info.

This is super duper!!!!!!!! :D

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