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When and why to purchase licensed software before marketing.

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We have stumbled on our first problem as a team. Everything has gone smoothly with conceptualizing, programming and illustrating. But a topic we stumbled on when we were to discuss the modeling softwares we immediately realized; is autodesk maya licence 6000 bucks? And is it necessary to have licensed maya when marketing a game done with it? Do you know anything regarding this topic? Would appreciate the info so we know what problems we might stumble on in the future. 

 

We're using Unity to power our game.

Maya to model and animate.

 

Best,

Fred

 

"He is working since ages with 3d software from autodesk. also with teams they also had no licence keys. and he never had that autodesk or someone else asked what software they used or if there is a licence key. autodesk is not really interested in this. but if you want to feel better, its possible to get cheaper version as a student or you make a deal with autodesk. then the prices is 100+$ per licence"

 

- Someone in the business.

Edited by Aeranima

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You are legally required to buy a license BEFORE you start working.

You are not allowed to use the cheaper/free educational licenses commercially.

 

If you are using pirated software you could get sued (or thrown in jail in some countries), if you use pirated software in private you might avoid detection, if you do it without actually making money the copyrightholder might ignore you (since the cost of dragging you to court would be higher than what you could pay them.)

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Makes sense. Well we'll use blender from now on. It's the meta-software for starters. And if you're Swedish Simon then tack. 

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In theory you would have to buy maya (the full version) anyway if you have already used it. And even then you would be in a legal gray zone.

 

How could you be in the software/games business and not know it would be illegal to use unlicensed or wrongly licensed software? Did you really not know or are you just looking for someone that give you another justification to use unlicensed software?

 

Even if nobody is asking you for it if you are a business you should always pay the (non-free) software you are using. Why should anybody be more willing to pay for your software than you are willing to pay for other products?

 

If you still decide to use unlicensed software in your company, remember it just needs one angry employee to vent his anger and you might face a lawsuit.

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This  kind of stuff definitely can come back to bite you.

Several years ago, it turned out that some of the sound effects  in Windows were possibly created by a cracked version of SoundForge, based on  looking at some of the metadata in the wave file.

 

At GDC 2 years ago an audio director at a major publisher lamented that they had just settled a lawsuit brought by the makers of an audio development product (instrument sample libraries), that an independent composer the company had hired was using the software without a license.  The audio company recognized the musical sounds in the game's music, looked up the composer, and discovered he didn't have a license with them.  So they sued the game publisher!

 

So it's definitely best to get all your ducks in a row, from a software licensing perspective.

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When and why to purchase licensed software before marketing.

 

To sum it up:

 

When to purchase licensed software: at project beginning (not at project middle, and not at project end).

Why purchase licensed software: because if the software owner finds you used their software without a license, they can sue you or at least demand payment.

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Would you like your players (customers) to pay for your game before playing it, after they've finished it for the first time, or only if you catch them out and make them pay?

It always confuses me that this is even a question for people planning to sell their own software; if you want to use commercial software you pay for it!

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This particular issue would probably make a good article since it does arise quite often in one form or another.

Edited by Stormynature

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