Autodesk Perpetual LIcenses suddenly not perpetual anymore


After 31 Auguts 2019, Autodesk 2010 versions will not be activated anymore, the same will happen to 2016 versions during the year 2021

Autodesk forum link here:

Official Autodesk link with information here:


I figured they would find a way to get rid of perpetual licenses, glad I moved to Modo.


yep, we moved everything to Blender around three years ago :slight_smile:


So the 3000$ perpetual license I purchased 4 years ago will be worthless in a bit over a year in case my motherboard or cpu dies. How is this even legal?


I am altering the deal. .pray I dont alter it any further!!!



This seems illegal
Doesn’t impact floating licenses running license servers though at least

probably best to set up a virtual machine, get your license activated on it then backup the virtual machine


oh… this also affects floating licenses:

If my current network licensing file includes products which are v2010 or earlier, will I be able to get an activation code?
No. Product version is validated during the activation process. Versions 2010 or earlier cannot be activated.


Next comes Adobe…


Adobe already took this step-


AFAIK in that case was just related to Cloud Suscribers, but they did nothing to old CS customers who bought the licenses (perpetual licenses)


For Node-locked licenses, you should keep a copy of your activation code for future migration - because it probably is possible to reuse it on identical hostname and MAC address systems (like a virtual machine).

For floating licenses , this only impacts migrations if you needed to generate a new license file. It’s not like your software will stop working after Aug 31. Your perpetual network floating license file has no expiration date

Floating licenses will be fine as long as you don’t migrate to a new network card or change the computer name. Just transfer your network card and keep using the same hostname - or (better IMO), use/migrate to a virtual machine with an identical MAC address and hostname that you can then run on any hardware you like and backup as a file.

Your license file already has the machine name and MAC address locked into it and AD can’t do anything about it. If you do it right, you only ever need one activation for your network license file.

And besides, come on guys - what part of Autodesk saying “We will stop offering perpetual licenses” for the last several years made you think they’d continue to offer activation codes for perpetual licenses forever into the future? I’m not saying it’s right. I think it’s wrong for the date to come on so quick, but this was still not shocking news in the slightest.

Just start making plans to migrate your current setup to a new one. If your license is running on a system with an onboard ethernet, consider getting a cheap pci-e card, deactivate maya, reactivate it with the new card - keeping the activation code on record for the future. Then when you migrate, to a new machine, move your pci-e ethernet card with you and reuse the same computer name. The problem with this is 5 years from now you might not want to be still using 1-gigabit ethernet. Either do that or just setup a virtual machine. There’s no absolute guarantee old versions of maya will work on Windows 11 or 12 anyway, so virtual machines are probably the best way to time-capsule your setup.

Is it possible to request an activation code and save it for future use?
It is possible, but only within strictly controlled parameters where the configuration does not change from the time the code is generated. We cannot guarantee that previously-generated codes will work as intended. We won’t offer product activation or installation support for products that are not on the eligible previous version list for subscriptions and maintenance plans.

They indirectly are telling us in their answer that what I mentioned would work as long as your network MAC ID and hostname stay identical


That is quite different. In the past Adobe licensed 3rd party technology for a limited time. Those licenses are running out. That does not change the functionality of the old software, but it makes it’s use legaly problematic. However the user initially paid, knowingly or unknowingly, only for what Adobe offered in the deal and Adobe did not retract any of that.


Well the “perpetual” in “perpetual license” .

At least for the forseeable future, and after that provide some alternative means in time to NOT lock me out of my Software in case of a system upgrade or hardware failure.

That would be customer-friendly. Maybe I’m naive.


Part of me wants to say that this just makes a stronger case for end users to move to open source apps. However, truth be told, this issue is one that only applies to individuals. Studios are going to keep paying regardless of what these companies do. The money they earn more than justifies the hassle. As we all know, companies like ADSK make a good show of pretending to care about the lone wolf user or freelancers, but they’re much more focused on that corporate dough.

Going forward, I can only offer one piece of advice. ADSK has changed the rules before. They will change them again. If, out of necessity, you can live with this then fine. If, however, an uncertain future bothers you, consider the alternatives. There are a handful of well engineered apps that can serve as legitimate alternatives to whatever ADSK has to offer. You have time to explore your options now. Don’t wait until your back is to the wall and you have to decide between software and food.

Prediction. 10 years from now, we’ll look at this situation and refer to it as the “good old days.”

It’s only a matter of time before tech aligns and we’re just streaming our apps instead of hosting them locally. Makes sense. They took away our boxed copies. They forced activation on us. They took away perpetual licenses as an option. They forced subscriptions on us. Now, they’re putting pre-existing perpetual license out to pasture. Sure. It’s only a matter of time before our PCs become little more than dumb terminals designed only to connect to the software. Web-based at its worst. That’s the future. Streaming. (We can already see talk of this happening with gaming.)

FWIW, I get why they’d stop supporting these servers after a while. It becomes prohibitively expensive. Not enough active users to justify the extra effort. Adobe the same thing. If you remember, they discontinued the CS2 servers and attempted to give licensed users DRM free versions. Unfortunately, the d/l page wasn’t behind a wall or anything and they got leaked. I think that ADSK remembers that Adobe fiasco and isn’t even willing to come up with a solution of their own for fear that it too will backfire.

TBH, I wonder how many of you are still using 10 year old versions anyway. Personally, I held onto my much beloved Cinema4D R11 Studio from 2008 for longer than I probably should have. However, beyond one or two models for print, I don’t think that I used it past 2016. I moved on. Why not? The old app may still work and be reliable, but it’s no longer all that competitive or as robust.

So, yeah. Like I said, explore your options while you’re not yet being rushed to do so.


Many studios are changing, the change is harder as your studio is bigger, but many studios are looking for changes, and M&E cannot live from 3 or 4 super big studios, the majority of clients are small and medium studios, and those are the ones changing their pipelines.

Regarding the use of an old app, for example to convert files from old projects without trouble, and many other situations, 2016 versions are not going to be able to activate in March 2021 it seems, so not that old versions.

I even have an old 2012 versions that is a personal license and I want to be able to activate and use it for whatever is the reason, no one has to judge others if they want to work with old software legally acquired, it’s a matter of personal choice.

In regards of options, for the EU citizens, check this thread:


So…this is essentially a desperation move.

M&E apparently doesn’t make ADSK much money. My suspicion is that the leaders at M&E told the higher ups that there are scores more potential users for subscriptions if they can just force them off their “old” perpetual licenses. It’s not going to work, too many people have moved away from their products either partially or completely and will continue to do so.

The only thing I can say is to prepare for the seismic shift of ADSK breaking the the whole M&E division up and selling it off piece by piece in the next couple of years or selling it together. I just honestly hope it isn’t bought by a Chinese company…the Chinese government is far too involved with their all their country’s companies internal business to want them to potentially extend spying to all the industries CG tools touch.


I don’t think Autodesk would have brought Arnold for 3dsMax alone, but as a semi-serious question as to who would possibly be interested in purchasing Maya outright for a reasonable price, maybe:

Adobe ?- obvious
Foundry? - they’d probably love hold two industry standard software
Microsoft? - integrate with cloud services, Arnold rendering, bundle parts of it into minecraft tools somehow
Unity or Epic?

someone else?


I’m not sure Maya is for sale? I’m guessing the benefits of keeping it under the wings of their empire are still outweighing the costs - If Maya were on the market though, I’m struggling to imagine anyone other than Adobe having sufficient resources and motives to snap it up… but who knows.

Back to the perpetual license issue though, I wonder if the push from Chaos Group over recent years into supporting a wider range of apps (Vray for C4D etc) was partly down to the switch to sas. Either way, unless a solution is proposed (and it won’t be by Autodesk) this latest move to effectively close down perpetuals has answered my questions on whether to continue investing in plugins for Max or leap over to Blender/Houdini.