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Academic Licensing


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#1 ZBethel   Members   -  Reputation: 605

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 05:12 PM

So as an undergraduate student, I thought of an interesting legal issue. Most of the software that I currently use for development is academically licensed. I have an MSDN academic version of Windows and Visual C++. I've been messing around with the academic version of Maya, etc.

I'm currently working on a game that is just a personal hobby project, nothing for profit. Just today I was reading through some of the licensing info for Maya, and it sounds like anything you've ever made with their education software is ineligible to sell. As a hobbyist developer, I have aspirations to make stuff that's good enough to sell, but it sounds like I have to invest in commercial versions of stuff BEFORE I even start working on a project in order for me to be able to eventually sell it.

Moving over to the for-profit domain is scary...

Edited by ZBethel, 13 August 2012 - 05:36 PM.


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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10160

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 06:07 PM

Moving over to the for-profit domain is scary...


Yes, leaving school and entering the real world is scary. Did you have a question, or are you just chatting about your academic discount ending?
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 ZBethel   Members   -  Reputation: 605

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 06:32 PM

Sorry about that. I didn't form my original topic very well before submitting and I was hoping I could just delete it, but alas. I have questions, but I think I'm best off just contacting the respective companies about their academic licensing policies instead of trying to get help here. Mainly, I'm concerned that the fact that I've used academic software up to this point is invalidating any work that I've done to ever be used for commercial purposes.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10160

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 07:56 PM

I'm concerned that the fact that I've used academic software up to this point is invalidating any work that I've done to ever be used for commercial purposes.


I don't think that's a "fact" so much as it is a "fear." I'm fairly certain that if you get the fully-licensed version of the software, it will still be able to open and work with all projects you created with the academic version.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22736

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 09:38 PM

You own your own content. You don't lose ownership because it is an academic version.

Once you leave school you will need the regular version of the tools. If you sell it while you are still in college you should also get the regular paid version of the tools.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#6 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 19380

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 12:02 AM

Your fear that your work might not be eligible for sale is probably a technically correct interpretation of the licencing terms... but in practice if you do the right thing and purchase and appropriate non-academic licence at the appropriate time (that is, when you are no longer an eligible student OR when/if you decide to sell your work whilst you are still a student) you aren't going to have any legal problems. The companies in question want to protect their legal rights, but there is no benefit to them in persecuting someone who has tried to do the right thing and licensed the software.

You certainly can't really go wrong by asking the companies in question about any points that are unclear however, and taking the cautious approach with legal issues will probably serve you well once you do want to sell anything. Posted Image

#7 ZBethel   Members   -  Reputation: 605

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 11:08 AM

Thanks guys!




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