My plugins for Adobe Lightroom are “donationware”. I develop, release, and maintain them for free, and you can use them for free forever, but I hope you find them worthy of a gift of thanks or encouragement. They are fully functional for a long initial trial period, after which functionality is reduced until they are registered. You don't need to register, but if you want to, it generally costs one cent (a PayPal fee).
If you'd care to read about why I have chosen this path, see my blog posts “My Long Path To Lightroom Plugin Development”, “What To Do When a Hobby Becomes Work?” and “Lightroom Plugin Development: Now With Added Encouragement”.
After the initial trial period ends, I don't want to shut them down completely and leave someone in the lurch, but I do want to encourage registration (and potential gifts), so they become somewhat restricted until registered, usually to processing no more than 10 images at a time.
If you don't mind the restriction, there's no need to register.
How it Works
In short: make a payment of any amount to me via PayPal, and the resulting PayPal transaction ID is your plugin registration code, good until your Lightroom serial number changes.
If you choose to make a payment of $0.01 (or whatever minimum PayPal allows for your currency), PayPal takes that as a fee and I receive nothing, and that's perfectly fine. If you choose to make a larger payment, anything left after PayPal takes its fees remains as a gift to me for which I (and more importantly, my wife) am most appreciative.
You do not need a PayPal account: if you don't have one, you can pay through PayPal using a credit card.
To generate a registration code, follow the button below to make a payment through PayPal.
Worldwide except Japan:
The only requirement to register is the minimum PayPal fee, which I do not receive. Whether to include any gift for me is completely optional and up to you.
You can use the button to the left, or manually generate a transaction with the recipient set to “email@example.com”. (This manual method must be used if PayPal in your country does not allow the sending of gifts.)
How To Use Your Registration Code
After you generate a transaction at PayPal, you can find the “Unique Transaction ID” (or, for some users, the “Receipt Number”) immediately on the confirmation page, the confirmation email, or your PayPal history screen...
Visit the plugin in Lightroom's Plugin Manager, and in the upper-right section you should find a “Register Here” button, as illustrated here:
That'll bring up a dialog in which you can paste your registration code. (It is case sensitive, so it's best to copy-and-paste so that there are no typos.)
The Fine Print
I'm trying to be really laid back and reasonable... no one wants to give a gift to a jerk... but I've got to set some limits, so here they are...
I've developed plugins for years (here's why), pushing out thousands of updates, and it is my intention to continue to push out new features and bug fixes from time to time. But I must be clear that while it's my intention, it is not a guarantee. I am not a business and I don't want to be a business — this is just a hobby, after all — and you are not purchasing anything when you register the plugin. Officially, there are no guarantees other than the registration code will work to remove the trial-period-ended limitation of the copy of the plugin you have, for the version of Lightroom you have.
Your registration ties one plugin to one Lightroom serial number, and you can use the same registration code (PayPal transaction ID) to register that plugin with that same Lightroom serial number on multiple machines, such as if you use Lightroom on the two machines Adobe's license allows, or you later have to do a full system reinstall.
If you don't have a PayPal account and don't have a credit card, you won't be able to register plugins in the normal way. Send me a note and I'll take care of you. I will request (but not require) that you send me some good karma by doing something nice for someone locally.
Similarly, if you administer Lightroom on a bunch of computers (e.g. at a school or large business) and you don't have a single bulk-install serial number from Adobe, send me a note and I'll get you a less restricted registration code so that you don't have to hassle with PayPal a zillion times.
Due to the nature of the system I've built, you cannot register a plugin during Lightroom's “free trial” phase, because it doesn't yet have a serial number. Also, I do not permit the use of my plugins on pirated copies of Lightroom.
Major Lightroom Upgrades, or Moving to the Creative Cloud
Registrations are tied to the Lightroom serial number. Because the Lightroom serial number changes at a major upgrade (e.g. Lr5.x to Lr6.x), or if you move from standalone Lightroom to the Creative-Cloud Lightroom or back, plugins become deregistered.
As always, you can generate a new registration code (for one cent — 1/100th of a dollar — if you wish). Sorry for the hassles.
Dot releases (e.g. Lr6.0 → Lr6.1) do not affect registrations.
If You Need to Re-Register but Have Forgotten Your Registration Code, or It Doesn't Seem To Work...
If you need to reregister and have forgotten your code, it might be easiest/fastest just to create a new code with a 1-cent transaction.
On non-CC versions of Lightroom, the plugin includes a “Forgot Your Code?” button on the plugin-registration dialog, which can retrieve the your code if you had previously entered it for that plugin on that install of Lightroom.
You can also always check your PayPal history screen.
If a registration code is rejected as “used on another install”, it's because your Lightroom serial number has changed (because, for example, you performed a major upgrade, such as from Lr5 to Lr6, or you switch to or from the Creative Cloud). Sorry for the hassles, but please just generate a new code (with a $0.01 amount if you like).
Sharing with the ExifTool Author
*Officially, all my hobby stuff (publishing, photography, and software) are conducted through my company, DialRight Software Inc.