Share Ware

A method of software distribution where you let people copy your program, and trust them enough to say "if you like it, register your copy by sending me x amount of money." Pioneered by Jim Knopf (a.k.a Jim Button) with PC-File in 1981. It has the distinct advantage of near-zero distribution cost, but generally doesn't pay out quite like requiring people to pay up front for permission to even possess a copy of your software.

Modern ShareWare generally doesn't trust its users to pay up, so it resorts to disabling itself or nagging the user after a set period of time. This tends to frustrate the user, but apparently it works, much like dongle-based license managers frustrate the user yet apparently work. ("Works" is defined as making the user pay up.)

The Association of Shareware Professionals is alive and well at

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