2008 Software program isn't working


Hi Jim, I'm a retired Submariner and disabled Vet. Not sure where to turn or where to seek help. In 2008 I bought a full version of AutoCAD/Rivit, 5000.00. I need to work at home sometimes because my wife is also disabled. Well, all was good until about 6 yrs ago when I started to get messages that my License was in error. I would call AutoDesk, they would give me a new number and it would be good again for about 1 yr and then that message would pop up again. Well, they have switched to "Renting" the program and want me to give up my full version and start renting. I tell them I have the full version, and don't want any updates and don't want to rent. I bought and paid for it. They gave me a new number 2/17/2020 and the program worked fine until 4/4/2020 now the same problem, going to lose the use of my AutoCAD. They are being real ugly now and this is the only way I can work. Is there anything I can do legally? Thanks for your help.

Jim's Reply:

Software progresses at a phenomenal pace and requires constant updates to keep it working as it should. The software vendor doesn't want old programs floating around to possibly mar their reputation. You have a piece of software that's 12 years old, an antique in this world and I'm at a loss why you want to remain in 2008. I work with software programs on-line and the most up-to-date are all that I want to see.

I doubt there are any legal remedies that would be worth pursuing, you may want to read the fine print of your original purchase to learn that you don't really own that program. I'm aware that a number of similar businesses that once sold software programs on floppy disks, then DVDs, then as on-line downloads are now switching to rental models from the cloud. We've all switched from dial up modems to gigabyte speed cable too. The Adobe folks were among the first to change their model of software distribution and although it was painful, I made the switch and it's just simpler to keep up with.

To be honest, what's happening makes a lot of sense for the vendor and the consumer. You're using your software on-line and it's in constant communication with the vendor whether you're aware of it or not. Software updates are part of the DNA of the industry and for you to say you don't want them is a bit odd. If you were off line this wouldn't be happening but you'd be running an old program and it wouldn't function as it should.

This is a bit like you driving a 2008 automobile and refusing to accept notices of recalls, safety bulletins, recommended maintenance schedules, tire rotations and so on yet continuing to use the vehicle as you wish, against the manufacturers recommendations. 

If you wish no further interactions with the company you can install the original software on a computer that isn't connected to the Internet and they won't be able to contact you about it. Or you could just make the leap from 2008 to 2020 and be done with it.