Steven Wolkoff, Product Manager for Flash Media Server at Macromeida, has just announced the following licensing changes for Flash Media Server 2 on the flashcomm list.

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All - Later today, there will be an update to the Flash Media Server 2 "Pricing and Editions" page (http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashmediaserver/productinfo/pricing /) on the Macromedia.com website, announcing some of the steps being taken to address the issues with FMS 2 licensing. Here is a summary of the main points.

1) A 90-day Interim License is being provided. This license allows for: 2500 Concurrent Connections / 25 Mbps / 3 Vhosts. This license will be downloadable from the page linked above.

2) This Interim License is NOT stackable. If you have more than one (1) FMS 2 Professional Edition license, there is a special license file available for download that will let you use the full capacity of your stacked Editions. There is no validation or application process for this license - it is a "take what you need" honor system. This special license will also expire after 90 days.

3) Before the end of that 90 day period, Macromedia will release an update to the Flash Media Server 2 Professional Edition. This release will include a more flexible licensing mechanism, based on the feedback from the developer community. In addition, this release will likely include bug fixes.

4) Macromedia is forming a Customer Advisory Board to help guide our development of this new licensing mechanism, as well as future produce development. I will be contacting people off-list in the next few days to get this going.

5) This CAB will consist of 10-15 developers working with Macromedia under NDA to allow frank and open discussion of FMS pricing, licensing, feature development, product strategy, and marketing.

6)I know you all want specifics on the new licensing scheme. The first task of the CAB will be to validate the new licensing parameters and release them to the community. This will happen ASAP. Macromedia has a proposal ready to validate with the CAB. I'm sorry that I can't give more specifics - we don't want to repeat any mistakes. I'm confident that the new licensing scheme will more suited to the needs of the community.

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Obviously this is good news for the vast majority of business models based around FCS/FMS2 and most license holders. there is still a concern that the vhost limit of the interim license is too restrictive - and I persoanlly would like to see this limit dropped. Why - if I want to upgrade from FCS 1.5 to FMS2 - should I suddenly be faced with this restriction? What options does a business which has used vhosts as a method of organising users and account on FCS 1.5 have now? This could be a real headache for a certain group of license holders. Maybe this has to do with the move towards the discouragement of using FMS2 Pro in a hosting environment.

If your business model remains to be affected by this new and amended licensing plan then please do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

It should be noted that this is *not* a final licensing accouncement. Things are still fairly uncertain - however 'a more flexible licensing mechanism' sounds promising. Let's wait and see what the specifics are.

Hopefully they'll let me in on this Customer Advisory Panel...