writes "We've come to rely on a piece of specialty software that costs $7000 per license, with a 10-year expiration on each license. The software checks licensing at startup against an online activation server, and each copy has a $750 annual maintenance agreement to cover updates and support. With support generally unable to solve issues and no product updates in ages, we chose to let the maintenance agreement lapse. A couple of months later, one copy of the software displayed a licensing conflict at startup. The software vendor refused to correct the issue, which was on their end with the licensing server, until we agreed to pay out the annual maintenance fee — despite the fact that we are only one year into the 10-year license window. Are their actions legal, and is there any recourse in situations where software vendors hold licenses hostage in this manner?"