Just thought I would throw my 2 cents in, even if it is pretty late.
I have been a software developer for almost 30 years, so I can
guarantee that the following advice is worth every penny!
The CAD software you are using is a vertical market product, which
means that everything about it is very expensive. It costs the same,
or often more, to develop vertical market software as mass market
software, but there are only a limited number of customers from whom
to realize a profit. If the company is actively developing new
features, then the costs to the vendor continue unabated, even though
most of the people who may buy their software have already done so.
Thus, maintenance fees to the rescue!
As a customer, you have bought a CAD program that works. It almost
certainly has a few bugs, but you are extremely unlikely to
encounter one, since you do not mention having a lot of trouble with
that sort of thing already. If you choose not to pay next year’s
maintenance fee, the program will continue working as it always has,
but you will simply not receive any more program updates. Unlike a
car that will stop running if you don’t change the oil once in a
while, the software will continue to operate indefinitely without any
maintenance at all.
To decide whether to pay the maintenance fee, you need to ask
yourself, “Am I happy with the program the way it is? Do I want new
features? Does the program already do everything I need? Have I
noticed buggy behavior from the program in the past?”
If the answers are “Yes, no, yes, and no,” in that order, you can
safely decline to pay the maintenance fee, and you can continue to
legally use the program as long as it serves your needs.