(chuckling at the irony of some of these people who illegally download movies they didn't pay for, complaining that software they already own that isn't changing, but new purchases will incur potential recurring fees to support further development of the platform they love, use, and, again, already own and will continue to receive the benefits of using at no additional cost.)
Seriously folks, it's a standard, common sense practice for mature software to have recurring fees to sustain continued development. If it didn't, once you hit a market saturation point for your product, you essentially can only cover maintenance but no other development (or get in the business of harvesting your existing user base's personal information to sell to third parties.) Some of you complaining would be shocked to learn that there are many of us that pay hundreds every year for updates to other software companies we use and need. From audio and video editing, to network licensing. I do. I just did 2 weeks ago! But I evaluate if the new features in that next version are worth it, or skip a generation.
Now, with all that said, I will honestly admit that the little cheapskate in me doesn't like any increase on anything ever! Even if I can rationally justify it. And that's because nobody really wants to gleefully pay more for anything. I hear you. I feel you. I started out like some folks cobbling together hardware and sketchy drives to make my first server. Many of you are probably still in this stage. But 8 years later, and after numerous sever interactions, I run 4 licenses now on solid hardware with solid drives [knock on wood.] If their newly announced model was implemented when I first looked around 8 years ago, it would have given me the same pause to consider it versus alternatives. I would have still tried all the other free operating systems like I did. But I think in the end, I would have still picked Unraid for its ease of use, ability to run on a wide range of hardware, and community support.
I think that it's ridiculously generous that Unraid has stated that they will grandfather previously sold licenses to have continued updates. Some of my licenses are 7 or 8 years old, and I'm still getting new features, new patches, and more. There is no other software that I own that has done that beyond a few years. This is why I have recommended this os, and will continue to do so. I'll just tell people to suck it up and buy the lifetime upfront, as it'll pay for itself over time, and give the dev's the ability to do more sooner.
as a postscript, don't reply to me with nonsensical arguments or how it "costs a month's worth of food" replies. I'll just ignore them. This software is a luxury, not a necessity. If you are having to make the decision between eating versus storing more data than the average pc can do, then the solution is simple; go use a completely free os and stop making irrelevant arguments.