Em’s licenses are currently perpetual for a given major version of the “motherships” InDesign and QuarkXPress; if you were to stick with one version, you’d never need to upgrade. (All minor version releases of the motherships are free, as are all our minor bug fix/feature releases.)

Once you’ve bought a license originally, we do charge an upgrade fee to keep up with major InDesign or QuarkXPress upgrades, which are now pretty much annual and regular (QuarkXPress in May-ish, InDesign in October-ish). However, we also have a 6-month upgrade grace period such that your upgrade is free if you’ve bought any license (new or upgrade) in the previous 6 months. (We believe this is the most generous grace period in the business–most are 30 or 60 days.)

Our licenses aren’t time-based, but are clearly time-related, as major “mothership” upgrades are released regularly. Many of our customers don’t upgrade immediately at each major mothership release, but do it on their own time when it’s convenient and safe, given production schedules, so many of them receive free upgrades every other year.

Thus, our licenses are effectively subscription-based, if you plan to keep up with the “mothership” releases. But the upside with our perpetual license is that you can take your time to upgrade the mothership at your convenience; we never force it.

(In the future, we may well move to a official time-based subscriptions.)

Single-use license policy

A license (also called a serial number) for one of our products (whether a single copy or part of an “n-pack”) can be used for one InDesign user only, and can be installed on two alternately-used machines by a given user (for example, a desktop and a laptop) as long as both copies will never be used simultaneously. (This is the same as Adobe’s multiple-installation policy.)

This does mean that multiple InDesign users sharing a single machine will each need his own license, and can’t share a single license among them.

Product satisfaction guarantee

Em’s products carry a 100% iron-clad absolutely-no-questions-asked 30-day money-back satisfaction guarantee (though see caveat below). If you’re not happy with the product during the first 30 days, use the Deactivate License button in the product’s About… dialog (if present), uninstall the software, destroy all copies (including back-ups), and send us an email stating the reason for returning the software, that you have deactivated and deleted all copies of the products from your systems, and that you will no longer use it.

Note that we can’t offer this same guarantee through our resellers, and it applies to 1-pack (single user) licenses only. For larger n-pack (multiple-user) licenses, we’re happy to issue a fully-working but time-limited evaluation license to make sure the product is going to work, before you purchase.


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