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Rentware was a term coined in the days following the release of Spore, a critically acclaimed A title that shipped with SecuROM, a copyright protection program that limits what you can do with a game you purchase and may potentially harm your computer.

The term rentware describes the new direction the PC market has been going in, where buying a game does not mean you are actually purchasing a video game anymore, but more so the rights to play the game--as long as you are allowed to. For instance, if you do not get online every ten days for the game Spore, the game will then lock itself out and you will be prevented from playing it until reactivated, thus leaving you with a $50 coaster.
Dude 1: Hey man I just bought BioShock but I've used up my three activations and now I can't play the game anymore.

Dude 2: What did you expect from rentware? At least you now have a coaster.
by Agamemnon582bc September 14, 2008
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