Guys, Blender might NOT be FREE forever


Already posted this but:

~$800 - Individual perpetual license
Optional Payment plan $10+ per month path to tool ownership

“New generation” $800 software every 3 to 5 years - same payment terms.

Site licenses would probably make the most sense to be on subscription/maintanence with perpetual license keys for every 3-5 years.


$800 : ‘a number I am pulling out of my nethers because reasons…’

This is not how this works.


Not at all, this is a realistic price based seeing unrealistically priced software, dealing with the pain of paying and seeing colleagues struggle to pay for unrealistically priced software for individual artists, small and medium sized studios for 10+ years.


Has anyone speculated that Autodesk only bought XSI as they saw that as the program people would most likely go to when they switched over to a licensing model?


This conversation makes no sense anymore, but I’ll keep answering with this so anyone that enters is not drowned into all these speculations.

.Blender is FREE and WILL BE FREE… before You see Blender with some cost To use/access it you will see Autodesk software free



Unfortunately, AutoDesk acquired Softimage purely for ICE, because they didn’t have anything or the foundation of anything similar that more favorably competed with some of the advantages of Houdini’s procedurally connected but highly focused UX and features, particularly for particles and dynamics.

AutoDesk later acquired Naiad to build out from ICE as a lot of the code/features of ICE connected to other components that were integrated into XSI, but licensed from other companies and the ongoing costs to maintain those licenses was prohibitive. I suspect if AutoDesk could have acquired SideFX instead they would have. Since the SideFX CEO wrote an open letter claiming the Houdini would always remain independent I can surmise that an acquisition bid was made and rejected.

So no, XSI wasn’t acquired as an interface/application they could “fast track” to “Rental Only” first if that’s what you mean AFIK. How do you think that ties into Blender?


No it, wasn’t. I didn’t understand that it was known that AD acquired XSI primarily for ICE. It looked to me like buying out a competitor. I wondered if it could have had anything to do with AD anticipating a backlash against the rental model, as that is what many attribute recent corporate interest in blender to.


Unless you have some inside knowledge thats pure speculation. They didnt want anyone else to buy XSI, they even asked on the softimage mailing list how do we used ICE and what was the most common nodes used because they want to do some presets.


AutoDesk acquired Softimage in 2008, back then they were only thinking about consolidating the userbase when Mark Petit was running the division. Petit was a completely different kind of tyrant, but a tyrant nonetheless.

Autodesk shifted their licensing from perpetual to subscription at the end of 2017 if I recall. In 2008 there was no “Subscription” service business model anywhere outside of cable television, phone service etc. and there certainly wasn’t a “tool subscription” service for AutoDesk to model it’s own “Rental Only” model after like 9 years later, rented tools wasn’t a thing that was even thought of back then.


The very presence of these render engines in blender would be the biggest contribution blender could receive. Its like watching a starving person turning away food because the person that made it is impure.


Listen, you can call it whatever you want but when company undercover endorses, or atleast doesn’t discourage the development of convoluted method after convoluted method of introducing software that violates the spirit of the license that it operates under (arnold, renderman, etc. -> blender) if it would be simpler and easier to change the licensing it operates under in order to easily interoperate with other partners it’s absurd to just ignore doing that.



Who is “undercovering”?

Who is introducing “software that violates the spirit of the license”?


The idea of open source fundamentally is that everything that touches any piece of open source software is also open source. Renderman for blender, arnold for blender, Vray for blender, octane for blender, GoZ to Blender, 3DCoat Applink etc. are all closed source renderers and other software that have these convoluted backdoor export solutions to send unfinished blender scene files to the closed source software using what can only be considered incomplete or degenerate paths because they can’t plug directly into blender with creating licensing problems. There are major problems with maintaining these plug-ins between all commercial software over time with feature updates/substantial application rewrites etc. it’s worse for blender in most cases because of the additional layer of free license challenges that forbid any kind of deep level, complete integration between commercial and non-commercial software without the commercial code being open sourced. Blender should just be a fair priced piece of commercial software that could have fully up to date well integrated versions of all of these companion commercial software components into blender in a better way version after version of updates.


This is not true. The parts of the Blender source code that were earlier licensed under “GPLv2 or later” still have the very same license.

There are some parts of Blender that are only compatible with the GPLv3, not GPLv2, most importantly Cycles (Apache 2 license). Thus, the Blender Foundation distributes the binaries on blender .org under the GPLv3 since these parts where added. Totally in agreement with the terms every contributor agreed to (GPLv2 or later).
So you have to distinguish between the GPL version Blender builds distributed in from the versions contributions are made available, which must not be changed unless copyright holders agreed to.
BTW, this also works the other way around for Cycles: When distributed together with Blender (linked), it is actually distributed under the GPLv3 terms. Only on its own, it’s the Apache 2.

Everybody is free to create a Blender build without Cycles and other v2 incompatible parts, and distribute it under the GPLv2 again.

Unfortunately you can’t rely on the copyright notices from the Windows explorer here. I’m not even sure if these are actually set on the Blender site. It should have been switched to v3 when Cycles was added, not just for 2.80.

This is correct. Due to a communication/management error, the Blender manual was initially set up with the wrong license. It was mistakenly released under CC0, rather than CC-BY(-SA).
And yes, to my knowledge all contributors should have been asked to agree to this correction. I’m personally not too happy about how this was ignored without any statement. However I find it highly unlikely that any of the contributors would have objected, it would just have been a big effort to contact everyone. The top contributors who wrote most content all gave their green light, so in worst case, minor-ish parts would have had to be removed/rewritten.


Not happy to continue this part of the discussion. But i guess i have to.

Unfortunately you can’t rely on the copyright notices from the Windows explorer here. I’m not even sure if these are actually set on the Blender site. It should have been switched to v3 when Cycles was added, not just for 2.80.

I am pretty sure you can. And yes, this is set by Blender. This value is to find in line 55 in release\windows\icons\winblender.rc . And this was actively changed from GPLV2 to GPLV3 for Blender 2.80 by somebody in your team.

VALUE “LegalCopyright”, “GPLv3 (Blender Foundation)”

Yes, true, the single code parts still all contains the gpl 2 or higher header text. But the information in the exe does tell us that it’s GPL 3 now. That’s contradicting licensing information. And as a user i don’t see the code headers.

But okay, let’s say everything is fine with GPL for now, and the change just a typo without bigger relevance. In this case you could simply revert it, now that you know where, right :wink:

But then there is still the manual. And this case is clear.

I don’t share your point of view here. There is no when it’s too much effort then you don’t need to contact everybody clause in the license terms. It’s the exact opposite. When you can’t contact and convince all of the involved people, then you are not allowed to change the OCL or GPL licensing. And this includes also and especially the smallest contributors. Since they are the guarantee to keep a project open sourced.

The license breach for the manual already happened by changing the OCL license to CC0 without permission from everybody involved. That this was accidentally the wrong license is just the icing then. And don’t tell me that Blender staff did not know it. I have moaned about it in a mailing list. Since now i had to state this breach at the Bforartists page so that at least I can be at the legal side. And got ignored.

Rewriting the parts in question would have been the legal way. When it’s really this few then it should have not been a big effort. The current manual has changed a lot, but does still contain parts of Blender 2.5x. And this manual was under OCL and then under CC0 for a while.

Copyleft licenses like GPL or OCL are not meant that you just cherry pick the parts that you like. When you choose this license types then you have to follow its rules. Also and especially the parts that you dislike. That’s unfortunately the way it is. I am not even unhappy with CC-BY sa for the manual. But it made me legal trouble with my fork. So i rewrite our manual from scratch at the moment to make sure not to be part of this. And the way how it gots introduced breaks trust into open source development and open source licensing. When the open source enthusiasts starts to break their own rules …


I hate to reopen this can of worms, but it seemed better than starting a new thread…

I saw a really nice plug-in for blender on blendernation. It is listed as being GPL which, according to what has been said here, it would have to properly be. But at the bottom of the description is this caution:
“In order to fight against illegal copies, all users will first have to identify themselves by sending me a message on the “Blender Market”. No assistance will be provided to users who have not legally purchased my products on the Blender Market.”
What would constitute an illegal copy of a plug-in which was released under GPL? And would the author’s implication that only copies purchased through Blender Market are legal itself be a misrepresentation of the GPL license terms?
(Ironically, I’d always thought selling support was how open source projects were actually expected to generate revenue.)


Imho a new thread would have been better. But yes, it fits.

Support is definitely not part of the GPL. So this case looks legal and valid. He just wants to give support to its paying customers. Which is his good right.

The part with the illegal copies is of course a bit misleading. You cannot illegally copy GPL code. But documentation and assets you can.