Lots of chatter on the lists today in response to the announcement that Contribute 2 has a product activation feature designed to curb the use of unlicensed software. While I am not a big fan of activation schemes in any form, the fact of the matter is that casual piracy is a big problem (decreased revenue translates into less money to build the products we want, simple as that). Details about the product activation process are posted at http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/faq/.
But what about ColdFusion? For starters, for now this only applies to Contribute. In some ways this is a bit of an experiment, and the powers that be will be watching this one closely before using similar processes in any other products.
“Red Sky” (the ColdFusion MX maintenance release due out this summer) does not employ activation technology of any kind (just the same serial number requirements that have always been there). As for future ColdFusion versions, there are no definite plans one way or the other at this time – there is definitely an ongoing discussion about casual piracy (which has a significant impact on ColdFusion numbers), but there is also a realization that server products are different and necessarily require a different set of rules.
Bottom line? Don’t panic. If (or when) this becomes a relevant discussion we’ll be sure to gather all input and concerns, and we’ll then have the appropriate discussions.