Software licensing practices must change to accommodate economic and technology trends, officials stressed at the recent SoftSummit conference in San Jose.

Officials from Macromedia Inc., which is using an electronic licensing-based format for some of its applications, stressed the need for evolving software licensing schemes.

“Pricing and licensing is not as sexy as [technology], but you know it’s a pretty hot topic,” said Tom Hale, senior vice-president of business strategy at Macromedia. “Our customers are more and more diverse. It’s a very big challenge for us to have to deal with this.”

One-size-fits-all solutions are no longer the rule, Hale said. “It’s very rare that you see off-the-shelf deals anymore. Everything’s customized.”

Customers pick and choose what features they want to use and licensing must accommodate that, according to Hale. Vendors, meanwhile, are trying to create ongoing, predictable revenue streams and battle issues such as software piracy, he noted.

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