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.


I’m not sure Maya is for sale?

I can’t imagine that it would be. Given how much emphasis they’ve placed on it over 3dsmax in recent years, ADSK would be giving up a lot in doing so. Nah. I just don’t see that happening.

I’m struggling to imagine anyone other than Adobe having sufficient resources and motives to snap it up

I’m thinking of something else though. Over the past few years, Adobe has made its intentions clear when it comes to 3D. They want in on it… badly. They added some minor 3D functionality into PS. They partnered with MAXON in 2014 to give AE users a “lite” version of C4D. They’ve even recently acquired Allegorithmic and its Substance products.

Smart money is on Adobe making a play for Cinema4D full. Would MAXON be open to a deal? Hard to say. On the one hand, Adobe is worth about $150B and could certainly offer a sweetheart deal. On the other hand, however, MAXON typically doesn’t release sales statistics so it’s hard to say if they’re in a position where they’d want to sell. With a large enough user base, they could turn Adobe down at any price. That said, IF Adobe were to make a move on any 3D suite then it’d definitely be C4D, not Maya.

So…this is essentially a desperation move.

I don’t know. I like a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but I think that this is just more of a practical issue.

  1. As I said, keeping these older activation servers and services active costs money. Spending resources on a decade old product seems wasteful, especially given that there can’t be a huge number of clients still hanging onto these legacy products.
  2. Even if there are lots of users hanging onto 10 year old software, one has to wonder why that is. Do they not earn enough money to have upgraded since? Are they trapped by equally old plugins? Is their staff reluctant to move on, only trusting what they know? IF the user base for this decade old software is still large, I find it hard to believe that shutting down old servers will convince them to move to subscriptions. There are still people out there who have found “creative” ways of keeping legacy apps like Mirai alive. I doubt that hardcore legacy Maya users will be deterred by a server shutdown.
  3. Look at it another way. IF ADSK is keen on converting these legacy users into subscribers, you have to ask yourself how much money is actually in that move. Given the likelihood that such a user base is relatively small, compared to the whole, it’d be like robbing somebody of their change purse instead of their wallet. ADSK is chasing big money and these few remaining users likely just represent chump change.

Again, I’m all for conspiracy theories even when there’s no basis in reason. However, a move like this seems to be more about streamlining and less about capturing all of the pieces on the board.

Then again, maybe you’re right. Maybe ADSK is desperate and/or as greedy as you say. They’ve certainly shown the latter to be true in the past. The “desperate” part is what doesn’t ring true (enough) for me. They’re so deeply entrenched in a multitude of industries that they hardly seem cash strapped. Their current net worth is a good $38B+ and their evaluation has seen consistent growth over the past 4 or 5 years.


As I understand it, their evaluation is partly based on the promised success of subscription, though, and the NASDAQ has moved up in general. I’ve seen charts showing they are still in the red or barely out of it (can’t remember where, though, and I don’t know much about the topic) so this might be a decisive time.

"As I said, keeping these older activation servers and services active costs money. "
True, but very little, relatively speaking. It’s not like you need whole server farms or even an (outgoing) server at all. Manual activation with a bit of a wait time handled by certain support staff on the side (there hardly will be a flood of requests) would suffice and this system is already in place.

Even lack of support buy prior vendors could be worked around relatively easily in several ways and that excuse falls apart as soon as you realize they will be limiting the previous versions support to around 4 years in the near future (for now).

Obviously it would be more cost effective for them to support as few versions back as possible, so that might easily be the driving factor, it’s just that this doesn’t seem to gel well with their responsibilities and activation support is minimal support. Generally they aren’t asked for bug fixes for ten year old versions, most people would agree that’s not reasonable. Activation support is a reasonable demand that requires reasonable effort.

How many people/studios are still using ten year old versions I don’t know and they are probably not the kind of people who take part in polls, but I do know several studios that still use 3ds max 2011 in particular which will be cutoff shortly. I do appreciate the additions to 3ds max and wouldn’t want to miss them, but they’ve come slowly and at a steep price and for many there was/is simply not that much of a difference in regards to how they use the software.

I’d agree, though, that these are not necessarily the kind of people who will buy into subscription and maybe Autodesk figured they’d rather be rid of them altogether and have a small chance of converting some.

Another thing I read was that they’re forcing people on subscription (which probably would include people with previous version support rights beyond 3 versions back inherited from a maintenance transfer) off of relatively recent versions like 2016 for security reasons:

So it seems like there is some underlying decision to not find solutions to these kind of problems any longer (and perhaps even to go look for these kind of things that can be used as an excuse to get people on subscription).