Licenses are not tied to servers. During discussion with some early customers, it became apparent that the commonly used licensing methods were too restrictive to be comfortable for many users. So we’re trying to be more flexible, without being so relaxed that we can’t pay our bills.
The license server is configured to flag the following (plus a few other things that I won’t go into):
One license being used on more than two servers, or more than one server for more than 30 days, except as discussed in the next point. This provision allows for you to install the software on a machine for testing and preparation, and then backup and restore to the production machine.[/]
One license being used on more than one server, where both servers are not identical, where identical is defined as "has the same domains", for more than thirty days. This is an unusual, and I think particularly generous provision, in that it allows you to run a hot spare without purchasing a second license. It is treated by our terms as a "backup copy", which is explicitly permitted. Identical can also mean one server is empty–i.e. zero domains configured.[/]
A license being used beyond the end of the term of the license. This simply means you’ll get a note on your login screen reminding you that your license has expired, and that updates are no longer provided. It does not prevent your server from operating. Again, I believe this is an extremely customer-friendly provision (which when the big money people get involved there will be some arguments to retain!). We will also use the flag to send out a reminder email that your license has expired. Nothing too pushy, just trying to be helpful while allowing us to continue providing you with updates and new versions of the software.[/]
As long as you obey the spirit of the license, i.e. you pay us the amount we’re asking for our work, and don’t try too hard to pull a fast one on us, you should never even know the license manager exists. It is a multi-facted system, with a number of counters being kept for each license in the field, and flags for questionable usage in one or more of the components will not cause any immediate reaction at the customers location. A human will review the situation before shutting down a server for violations. At least that is the way we are currently operating. If we find a lot of users taking advantage of the situation (which so far, has not been a big problem), we will be forced to go more automated and be a bit stricter about licensing.
In other words, we’ve given customers everything they asked for, except “I’d like it for free, and I’d also like a pony”, including the freedom that you’re asking for.