First – I am definitely not trying to pass the buck here. This decision rests purely with us, and I want to make it clear as to why.
If you are unknown to the problem, AE CS 5.5 introduced the requirement for adding your serial number if you wish to use the AE render engine that is included with every install of After Effects. With previous versions, you could install that render engine on as many workstations as you wish, just as long as you had purchased 1 copy of the full version of AE.
Here’s the rub. As of CS 5.5, we are now required to pay a royalty on every install of After Effects – ANY version (that is not a trial) that can render out any of these licensed formats. Now you can see the dilemma.
As an aside – this is why most other tools must charge for their accompanying render engine.
Therefore, a legal obligation is just that – an obligation. To correct this, we must restrict the render engine to the license agreement of full AE. This means you can install a single license on 2 workstations – render engine OR full. I know this is not necessarily what you want to hear, yet we will commit to investigating alternative solutions for a future release.
[ Update: Instead of responding to all your comments individually – please check out part 2 of this blog post. -S ]