This was, of course, an April fools joke. The open-source status of OpenSesame is protected by the GNU General Public License. And there are certainly no back doors to remotely disable the software!
Earlier today it was announced that OpenSesame has been bought by Psychology Software Tools Inc. (PST). OpenSesame is a popular package for the development of psychological and neuroscientific experiments, and is currently available under an open-source license. Avril Lessots, spokesperson for PST, confirmed that usage of their own experiment-building package, E-Prime, has seen a steady decline, and described the take-over of OpenSesame as “part of our strategy to stay relevant in the shifting scientific landscape.”
As of May 1st 2014, OpenSesame will be available in two formats. OpenSesame Professional will be priced at $995 / €725 / ￡600 for a single license. OpenSesame Free will be available at no cost, but requires that participants watch a five-second video commercial after every ten minutes of experiment. According to Lessots, video commercials are unlikely to interfere with experiments: “People are so used to commercial breaks that it is almost unnatural not to present commercials during an experiment. Participants might wonder whether the lack of commercials is a hidden manipulation.”
Currently active copies of OpenSesame will be remotely disabled after a grace period of one month, on June 1st 2014.