The deal finalized 8 months ago in September, 2011, but it appears Ham Radio Deluxe was sold by Simon Brown (HB9DRV) to a group led by Mike Carper (WA9PIE), Randy Gawtry (K0CBH) and Rick Ruhl (W4PC). Read the full story here on the ARRL Website.
This is the way it's supposed to work. You dedicate your time building an awesome product - then sell it and cash out! Hopefully Simon did well.
From everything I've been able to find out, it appears that all previous versions to 5.21 will always be free. And me likes FREE! Even though I was a steady Paypal donator to Simon previous to the sale, I think I'll wait a bit before I pull the trigger on my credit card and pay $60 for their newest version. I want to make sure they have the bugs worked out first.
While the new owners are working out their bugs, it dawned on me that I'd better find and grab the latest Logbook Country and Unique Database files before they disappear altogether. For years K7PT did a fabulous job updating these files and making them available for all (and free) on his K7PT Website, but it seems he's not doing that anymore with the ownership change. So with K7PT not updating and with the Ham Radio Deluxe ownership change, I saved what I could find to MY server. Surely in the coming months/years this program, Websites and files will disappear from the Internet but now I know where to look for them. Anyway, here's a few links to those latest files and the last, latest FREE version of Ham Radio Deluxe from Simon (right click link and "save as" to your computer):
LogbookCountryDataEx.xml (Updated April 1st, 2012)
UniqueCallSignDatabase.xml (updated April 10th, 2012)
And here's a link to the latest FREE version of Ham Radio Deluxe (v5.0 Build 2893) built by Simon HB9DRV.
Although there is another newer, FREE version from the new ownership group (v5.11a), Simon's version (5.0, Build 2893) had worked perfect for me for the last year so I decided to stick with it and just update the LogbookCountryDataEX and UniqueCallSignDatabase .xml files for now. When I booted v5.11a up, it scared me with a cheezy new ownership logo (with bubbles?) on it. And with me not trusting the new ownership versions yet, I reloaded the last known free version from Simon (V5.0, Build 2893).
Perfect (for now), enjoy!