Waves cops a lot of criticism, and I was one of the chorus playing nightly shows at MOTUNation for many years. I swore I'd never be sucked into patronising the company.
Here's the thing 'though:
1) There stuff just works. Any DAW, any platform. Guaranteed.
2) The above achievement is due to the WUP philosophy - guaranteed universal support for all plugins, regardless of age, funded via WUP when all other companies I can think of eventually drop support for plugins as popularity wanes and they figure it's not worth the development upkeep.
3) Whilst the vast majority of their earlier plugins could legitimately be described as run-of-the-mill (at least they all worked and were stable 'though), as you might've noticed in recent years, ever more excellent emulations and even instruments have begun to emerge from the company. Examples might be Scheps Omni Channel and the awesome TG Mastering Channel, both of which I'd consider no-brainers at their current price points and utility.
The trick I "preach" about WUP, and this maximises coverage time and minimises upgrade complications such as the ones Michael's wary of, is to:
1) Renew coverage for all plugins at once, choosing the "on one machine" option, which caps the fee at $225 (I think - something like that anyway).
2) Do this immediately after you've bought a plugin that you feel will be the last you'll be adding for a while. If not, wait 'til you've had your fill and then do this, but be sure to renew immediately-following the purchase. This way, all your plugins' coverage will extend to the same date as the freshly-purchased one, which is obviously the maximum-possible time from the date you buy it.
3) Do all this only after Waves moves to a newer integer software version, such as from V9 to V10. You'll lose free 'phone-support coverage after a year, but all your plugins will still work flawlessly 'til the next integer update, the gap between which is usually many years.
This Monkey Method™ ensures maximum coverage, minimal cost and avoids side-by-side complications such as the V9-next-to-V10 ones many have experienced. IOW, as of now, you'd be moving everything to V10 in one hit. No muss, no fuss, as they say in the classics.
Lot of good tips there.
While I don't like hassles any more than the next guy, I pay the bills writing software, fortunately for a corporation that pays me a salary rather than trying to sell it on the street. Not only do people steal software, these days there's this almost holy feeling of entitlement that people shouldn't have to pay for intellectual property at all. I write music. I write software. I write books. I make videos. But all of that should be free for the taking, because "Information wants to be free!" At least that's what people tell themselves to justify the equivalent of walking into a store, grabbing something off the shelf, and just walking out. Apparently it's not stealing if it's IP.
My little tirade speaks to the point of software copy protection schemes. We all hate them, even me. But I also hate working for free, which is what these guys would be doing if they didn't protect themselves. I've had a couple of hassles with Waves stuff over the years, as with most other such companies. For what it's worth, in the U.S. at least, their phone support is outstanding. I also once had a drive fry with my authorizations on the local machine, i.e. moved from the cloud. The rep advised me that once a year at most was the limit, but he turned them all back on and was a good guy about it.
People steal your music all the time, and there's really nothing you can do about it. The software business found ways to protect their livelihood, and I have no philosophical objection to that at all. While I don't like the fact that it's often the good guys who actually pay for stuff who have to deal with the hassles, it's in imperfect world and no one has come up with another model that makes sure people get paid for their work.