Guys, Blender might NOT be FREE forever


There are by the way even nowadays some commercial Blender versions out there already. So “won’t happen” is already disproved since many years. Unfortunately it’s just some well known scam versions, which are even listed at the Blender page. But it seems to pay enough to those folks to keep it going.

I also remember some ebay offers ^^


Because we are talking about the Blender Foundation and the Blneder Institute, and keeping Blender free for everyone is their main goal, no just a version of Blender by Blender.

Nvidia is a separate company, I can create a commercial version of Blender, there is already a commercial version of Blender being sold by an individual, that’s something the Blender Foundation and the Blender Institute won’t do.

Anyways any commercial version has to be sold under GPL so anyone could redistribute it, if it does not happen now with the actual commercial versions is solely because people don’t want to damage the actual dev working on that version and that dev said that his patches were going open source after a year since release, but at any moment anyone can ask for the code and anyone can redistribute the binary without limitations.


You can create a commercial version of Blender if you want, what won’t happen is the Blender Foundation and Blender Institute releasing any commercial version of Blender.


I think what all of you that think Blender may go commercial is to publicly ask the Blender Foundation and Ton Rosendaal and see hi answer or the official answer of the foundation.

Please go ahead and instead of be kept here thinking and inventing fears, go and ask the only ones that can really answer you, and don’t take the answer as a lie, because the Blender Foundation has always maintained it’s word unlike Autodesk and others, so don’t put them in the same bag because they are not.

If you want to ask them you have different routes:

Website contact:

Twitter of Ton Rosendaal:

Official public forum related to Blender and Blender development:

Most used Blender hashtag on twitter:


Please, go ahead, make them your inquiries and solve your doubts, at this point in the conversation I think any other thing would be to just don’t want to know what are the actual plans, ignore facts and making some chit chat for the shake of chit chatting without any reasoning, in the end, kind of trolling (but maybe even without realizing that that’s trolling).

And plwase make the answer public here, I’m sure they would agree with you to make the answer public without trouble.


Yes. But this doesn’t mean it is impossible. It’s not uncommon to ask for permission where possible, remove the commits in question where you don’t get the permission, and rewrite this parts to be able to relicense the whole software. And it happens regularly to even big open source projects.

This is what happened with Blender 2.80 by the way. So it is no theoretical discussion anymore. I think i have already pointed to that Blender 2.80 magically turned from GPLv2 or higher into GPLv3. I am pretty sure that not everybody involved was asked here. They did the same with the manual already, unasked. But no plaintiff, no judge. And i am the last to complain here. I’m actually happier with GPLv3 ^^


Regardless of anything discussed here is pointless to talk about the future.

A thread with a title “guys, Autodesk will keep 3ds max forever” carry the same weight as this one.

No one can foresee the future, why worry now with useless speculation?


Nope, not really.

Future developments only have to be distributed under the GPL for as long as the Blender Foundation finds that that license is useful. Once a major rewrite happens (probably in-process now) they can negotiate whatever kind of license they want for it. The way you want put it it’s as if the owners of all code released under the GPL permanently fork over the rights to their code to the FSF/GNU when the path doesn’t even lead in that direction. Code owners that release under the GPL always retain their rights to the code and their ability to distribute it how they see fit.


RTFL - someone can indeed try to sell you a version of Blender, but they have to actually add value for someone to be willing to pay for it. As per GPL : anyone can grab their source, build & redistribute cheaper (or free). CentOs does exactly that w/ RHEL (with some added trademark & branding avoidance thrown in)

Take the example of RedHat : the ‘free beer’ version is Fedora, the ‘free speech’ is RHEL (both GPL 2+). Where RedHat adds value is by giving you access to their devs to fix & solve your problems - which they sell as a subscription. And everyone buys this subscription because they want the best & fastest turn-around to keep their mission critical stuff going (and all the cheap week-end hobbyists like me install Fedora, and then waste their time on Google to get shit working).

they can negotiate whatever kind of license they want for it

Practically they can’t, because it is guaranteed that at least one of the copyright owners in that long list of contributors will object.

magically turned from GPLv2 or higher into GPLv3 … not everybody involved was asked here.

They may not need to, if a proxy has been nominated.


Nonsense…FAIR COMPENSATION is the one ring that controls them all.

None of the code owners is going to be the one that tells all the contributors that have not been compensated that they deserve to continue to go on contributing without pay or that they are too unimportant to the development of Blender, even as a potential industry standard, to warrant consideration of a commercial mechanism/classification of fair compensation for ALL of their contributions while the Blender Foundation continues to collect MILLIONS upon MILLIONS constantly moving closer and closer to commercial standards.


All of this is based on ideas of essentially shifting from one free license structure to another free license structure and it has absolutely nothing to do with ditching free licensing altogether, which makes more sense and it’s why so many coders/groups in the modern era have moved away from the free licensing altogether since it’s essentially less about actual licensing and more about being recognized as “Associated with Pseudo Altruism” in one form or another.


C’mon. Read the Blender source code of Blender 2.79:
"This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version." (emphasis mine)


Now this is just pure speculation pulled out of thin air.


It’s not this easy. GPL 2 or higher is still different from GPL3, it’s not equal. And as told, they did the unasked relicensing with the manual too. It was formerly under OCL license, and then put under CC0.

When the FOSS companies doesn’t care about their own licensing and are breaking their own rules, why should i care about those rules then? For me this is a problem. I have forked Blender, and i don’t want to break the FOSS licenses. But have to. One of the reasons why i rewrite our BFA manual at the moment, to remove all Blender content.

But then again, it is no accusation, it is an observation. And the proof that we don’t talk about theoretical stuff here. Relicensing happened to Blender just before a few weeks. Nearly unnoticed, and not the first time. I just wish they would have made a bigger jump here, away from GPL. There are better open source licenses out there nowadays. But yeah, then it would have been more obvious, and then they would have to deliver proof. While from GPL2 to GPL 3 nobody moans.


So GPL V3 dos not fall into the category of “higher” than GPL V2 according to you…

Why don’t you write Ton about it and see what he answers you and then publish the answer here?


Were you not paying attention to Ton at BCon when he said Blender had to grow up, engineering standards and such had to be established to make blender more conformant with the industry? Or maybe you just conveniently neglected to absorb that part? Regardless…that’s major changes to the code in the works.


I was at the conference, I spoke to Ton multiple times and to other developers too. “Engineering standards” refers to processes, not to rewriting every bit of code ( which would be throwing out the baby with the bath water).
I am one of those full time paid Blender developers. If there was a rewrite on the way, I would know about it.

You don’t have to take my word for it though. The mailing lists and source repositories are public. You can read the weekly reports from the developers the BF employs and you can read every code commit. Over the last years, they wrote a completely new viewport and redesigned the dependency graph and modifier stack - all under the GPL, not some hypothetical closed money making scheme.


Maybe there was a miscommunication with Ton’s talk then because I also took what he said to mean Blender as an organization is going to formalize into a non-profit business, scale up, and that the software may adopt some optional commercial service/feature aspects to fund this. I got the impression Ton was pursuing this in part because the opportunity has started happening and because he would like to further ensure Blender lives on long after he retires.

If all he was talking about was programming methods, then why did he spend so much time discussing all the business and staffing expansion stuff then? I interpreted all that to be Blender “growing up” as he put it.


So you asume that @stew that is one of the main Blender developers, full time developer focused into Blender, which has constant communication with the institute and other developers, has had some miscommunication speaking with Ton because you, on your side, without talking with anyone from the institute, or from the main dev team, unless I’m wrong and you wrote to Ton, because of you think that Ton meant a different thing that what he spoke with the attendants to the bcon2019, and to the developers.

Also you think that without investigating all the public information, (that BTW is EVERYTHING that is being done in Blender, finished and not finished) and decided to ignore that and continue thinking that Blender will cost money at some point.

No, it won’t.

The expansion is because handling a big project like Blender with a big team of 20 developers or more requires a much bigger organization, there are already business and services around, that’s what the Blender Cloud and the Blender Animation studio are, now the Blender Institute will grow and be bigger, hence it needs a better infrastructure.
Also they received a lot fo money to focus precisely in that, programming methods and organization, code cleaning and standarization, that’s what the money from Epic is going to be dedicated for.

Once again, no, Blender won’t go commercial, Blender won’t have a paid version done by the Blender Institute, the Blender Cloud or the Blender Animation Studio, Blender will always be free for everyone, both code and binaries.

ALL the work being done in the Blender Institute is public, all the developers write a weekly report, all the code being commited can be consulted on a per second basis, EVERYTHING is public.

Go here:

And consult as much as you want.

Go to the weekly dev meeting notes here:

And consult as much as you want.

And if you still have doubts, please, follow my advice, contact Ton directly, I gave here different places where you can contact the official channels, and ask your inquiries, as much as you want and when you receive an answer, please make it public here, if needed ask for permission of course, but they will give you permission.


None of this requires giving up the GPL or free software. For example, there are countless companies that make their money in the linux ecosystem, providing support services for free software.


I’m glad that seemed clear to someone other then me.

If it comes to pass that Blender does eventually go commercial I hope Stew isn’t one of those people throws his clenched fists in the air exclaiming “Blender Betrayed us!” to whoever will listen.