There are separate questions about design and business ethics. Is completely locking out users when there’s not a valid support key out of step with a community ethic, i.e. “The WordPress Way?” That’s a big and important topic, but there’s some low-hanging fruit in the far less contentious problems Rob helpfully focused on. Maybe there is a potential win-win solution. His ideas might satisfy the two most legitimately frustrated (but seemingly opposed) perspectives in this controversy:

  1. Plugin owners fighting subscriber churn so they can sustain their businesses.
  2. Their customers and colleagues in the WordPress ecosystem, especially WordPress agencies and freelancers. They’re also trying to run their businesses and don’t want the extra work and potential embarrassments license management can create.