Shareware (also known as user supported software and other names) is a
concept not understood by everyone. The authors of Shareware retain all
rights to the software under the copyright laws while still allowing
free distribution. This gives the user the chance to freely obtain and
try out software to see if it fits his needs. Shareware should not be
confused with Public Domain software even though they are often obtained
from the same sources.
If you continue to use Shareware after trying it out, you are expected
to register your use with the author and pay a registration fee. What
you get in return depends on the author, but may include a printed
manual, free updates, telephone support, etc. Only by paying for the
Shareware you use do you enable the Shareware author to continue to
support his software and create new programs. Considering that the
Shareware registration fees are almost always far less than the purchase
price of comparable commercial software it's obvious that Shareware is a
good deal for everyone.
There are real advantages to you in the Shareware system. You get to
try out software to make sure it is compatible with your hardware and
that it fits your needs before you "buy" it with your registration.
The author saves the expense of advertising, packaging and distribution
and passes the savings on to you. Plus, most Shareware authors are
much more accessible than commercial software sources so that your
questions and suggestions are much more likely to be responded to.
Thank you for your support.