Guys, Blender might NOT be FREE forever


Why do you keep insisting on this?

Blender won’t go commercial… providing a service is not the same as going commercial.

I can understand the mistake since companies like Autodesk keeps saying that they are providing a service to you when you rent their software, but no, Autodesk is not providing you any kind of service, you are renting their software, that’s it.

I’ll repeat again, Blender won’t go commercial.

Please, I insist, go contact the Institute and Ton to check what they have to say, don’t spread fears and miss information.

Of course, you can tell me that you want to spread fears and miss-information, and that would explain a lot in this conversation, but if it’s not the case, please contact them and publish the answer here.


How linux runs is exactly what I’m getting at.

Regardless how the money exchange is named (services) - Red Hat accepts money from customers who then receive something extra for that money rather than CentOS

I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for Blender to offer a “service” for paying customers, but be fine for Red Hat? Red Hat lost nothing from adopting a paid services business model. They exponentially grew and still release everything as open source code.

CereberusC, I understand your point. I wasn’t there. I don’t participate in the Blender community, so you’re obviously a far better expert at Blender than I. However, my point had to do with what Ton communicated to the world, not his inner circles. People seem to be misreading what he said - hence this thread existing. Clear communication is an issue, is it not?


Oh no, we only agree on the facts, but you are drawing completely different conclusions from it. You still seem to be convinced that there is some rewrite underway to move away from the GPL and that Blender, the product, would cease to be free. There is no indication whatsoever that this going to happen. Being Free software was the reason for Blender’s success so far and it will be key to its future. It would be foolish to try to move away from that.


I’m going to give you the same piece of advice that I was going to give CerberusC in my now withdrawn post. You’re wasting your breath. The more I read from imhotep397, the more I realize that he’s a bit of a contrarian and pretty darn cynical. It’s always a “yeah, but” thing with him. You can argue yourself blue and still end up not being heard. You’re just going to get drowned out by the conspiracy theories and wild assumptions.

Yeah. I would go over that BCon19 keynote again if I were him. Ton, in a rather nonchalant and matter of fact way,
says that Bllender has to grow up and mature while still being free. It’s right there early into his speech, but easy to miss.

That he later says that Blender Foundation has to become a “real business” only speaks to the fact that Blender is playing the game at a much higher level now. There are more eyes then ever on the project and more money on the table. That doesn’t mean that Blender has to go full on commercial. It just means that they have to be more professional in the way they grow the fund, how it’s allocated, and how they’re accountable. That suggests more structure that cannot work under the old way of doing things. Things, in that respect, have to change.

Blender’s not going to go the way of Maya. It’s silly to think that. Even if Ton were to die today, the system has become bigger than the man. Blender is as much a movement as it is a program and foundation. I think that they can continue to “stick it to the man” while, on a structural level, operating just like him.


A bit more respect for the other opinions would be great. There is no need to convince the other with fire and sword. Sometimes there is no conclusion.

That we just discuss the points where we disagree is the way it is. You rarely need to discuss the points where you agree. But those points are as important as the points where you disagree. We would not discuss here when we would not have a strong relation to Blender in the one or another way. Maybe something to keep in mind.

Exactly! They would be crazy to skip their currently very well working business model. I think i mentioned this very early in this thread already.

But wasn’t it planned to rewrite Blender 3.0 with C++? That’s the only big planned rewrite that i know of. But it is planned since decades, and it’s still not clear if this will happen. And licensing was never covered.


If that happens, and it’s total speculation, that would be a rewrite of what is needed, jus the parts that are in C an not in C++, not a TOTAL rewrite, that would be a waste of resources, since part of the code remain untouched, everything would still be GPL


And a total rewrite would run the risk of suffering the same fate as LightWave CORE - incomplete, buggy and late.


Exactly, it’s a non-sense.


On my part? Oh, how I’ve tried. I’m typically quite respectful, if long winded. However, you of all people know what it’s like to be talked down to. If you haven’t had him baby talk you yet, just wait. I’m not trying to convince you or anybody of anything other than the futility of trying to debate with somebody who only feigns attentive interaction and makes spurious claims. I’m sure that you’ve been with him in other threads before. This rather seems to be his modus operandi. Debate works when both parties listen. The adversarial system works when evidence is brought forth from both sides. imhotep397 consistently brings conspiracy theories to the table. Maybe no conclusion will be reached. You’re 100% correct. At least let’s reach that impasse with facts in hand, not wild and unfounded speculation. Again, you may think me irrational and rude, but be mindful of his other threads. Seriously. He has a pattern. Were his level of engagement not so involved, I’d classify it almost as troll-like based on the spirit. It’s almost to the point of being deliberately obtuse. Don’t believe me? Think me the rude, obnoxious ass. Eh. I’ve been called worse. Enjoy “debating” with yourself.

Yeah and, based on how that played out with LightWave, that would potentially derail Blender almost entirely and for the long haul. You’re right.


Yes i know exactly what you mean. I meant of course both directions, but consider you to be clever enough to understand what i mean. Don’t play his game, you can’t win it. When you can’t convince him, leave him alone in his world. That’s what i did here in this thread as you may have noticed. The more you try to convince him, the more things gets worse. Don’t give him even a platform and play his crash test dummy. You even name it, the breath is wasted. Respect his opinion, and that you can’t convince him.


This hippie notion that FOSS is ‘sitcking it to the man’ is completely counterproductive ; the sooner you can let go of this, the better.

Beating the same dead horse: for Blender to progress, it needs a lot more than what a few week-end code warriors can provide. Full-time 3D devs need to be paid, and they need to be integrated in a managed structure. There are ways to make this work within the GPL framework (cf. RedHat), and this is clearly the direction Ton is finally heading into. I sincerely hope that he is successful in this venture and that Blender becomes a viable alternative to existing apps. But you will also have to understand that you can’t expect to keep getting ‘free work’ forever, and that at some point, access to some features & services will be locked behind a pay-wall. The alternative is another decade or two of snail-paced progress until everyone decides to throw in the proverbial towel.

What will never happen though, is the Blender that you have currently being taken away from you, because that is not how the license works (and the 3.0 upgrade doesn’t change that either). So please: let go of the conspiracy theories.


LOL :smiley: It was just a turn of phrase. I’m not that naive. I was simply talking about them being able to have their cake & eat it too. Success doesn’t automatically mean having to sell out. Especially with a non-profit, there’s a bit of wiggle room available that allows them to serve two masters, so to speak.

I’m not convinced. As I said, I think that they can grow the foundation and the source of revenue without having to turn Blender into a paid app. Non-profit programs do this sort of thing all of the time. They have teams of people dedicated to finding grants or running events to bring in money. They themselves don’t turn a profit, only taking money to cover overhead. The bulk of the money is closely monitored and strictly allocated toward the programs that are provided to these communities at no cost. This is what non-profits do. Blender would hardly be the first such organization. The “something for nothing” is an illusion since the funding comes from somewhere. That somewhere just isn’t the person or group benefiting from the service.


We are long past that point. The BF employs several full-time developers and the Blender Cloud service is a paid subscription service that helps paying the bills. This is not new, it has been like that for many years.


OK, this thread is TLDR;
You’re trying to be constructive, and I appreciate that, but just to say - the Linux .isos themselves that you freely download from your favourite distro’s site have ZERO features and services locked behind a paywall. Just pointing out the obvious :slight_smile:


most of us are in violent agreement here…


It’s kind of bizarre to me that out of everything/anything I posted anyone could come away with the notion that I implied or outright posted a potential future commercial Blender corporation was going to digitally crawl into our computers and steal our copies of Blender 2.8x. I don’t think I implied that.

I do still question the long term legal sure footing of being able to redistribute free software after the group that the original license agreement was issued to leaves the licensing agreement and the free software sector altogether. It could be an issue where there’s just not a legal precedent for something like that. A “license” by it’s very nature is a temporary legal structure and not a permanent transfer of ownership.

There’s an old and wise saying in the US, “POSESSION is 9/10 of the law”, so if the Blender Foundation could prove that they “possess” the code/application, maybe not that hard even with all the free help over the years, there could be a problem with the permanent GPL redistribution status in general IF Blender ever went that way.

It’s also possible that since most if not all abandoned software eventually dies and either companies or individuals move on to work on proprietary software maybe none have pursued any legal action to challenge the legality of re-distribution to save costs.

The other thing is that I don’t know that the Redhat business model would work for any 3D DCC application long term. Only large studios really need that kind of A+ support where a company like Blender/AutoDesk might code custom solutions that eventually might filter down into the next formal release of the software for the general content creator. Even then it’s just as likely studios would develop solutions internally. Content creators, software, companies and most importantly workflows have matured to the point where a lot of the kind of customization of an application as support that was critical like 10-12 years ago isn’t really needed as much anymore.

Most people/companies wouldn’t attempt to justify the cost of support if the service associated with it wasn’t being used much. If the experienced user and available software wasn’t that mature for several years already I don’t think Blender could even be at a point today that it’s an option as a tool for some professionals. That’s been the main problem with Autodesk, their apps and their balance sheet…too many content creators dead ended their cash going to AutoDesk after a couple of versions.

Rather then making the application cheaper and/or adopting a “Substance Live” like monthly payment scheme that lead to tool ownership (recently deprecated in favor of permanent “Rental Only” subscriptions by Adobe) AutoDesk went the “Rental Only” route.

Lowering the price to $600-$900 and having a “Payment to Own” option with payments on a sliding scale as low as $10 per month up to full price, with no interest, on a locked price for individual licenses would net triple or quadruple the number of customers they currently have making up for the reduction in price. AutoDesk could then “reset” with the next gen license starting over with the same plan every three years or so. I would recommend this for any company making DCC apps because most end users don’t expect free or even cheap software, but they do expect fairness from companies that choose to partner with them in the process of advancing the development and application of computer generated imagery.

At this point the relatively few contributors compared to the size of the userbase that are paying for Blender to continue to move forward is a problem that’s going to be a roadblock to Blender at some point because most likely more then few of them have conflicting interests which will put blender in the crosshairs of the companies at some point even if only temporarily which has happened with all the other companies that operate into this space at one point or another. The commercial companies have always had their paying customers to fall back on to remain autonamous. With Blender the loss of any significant number of major contributors that is a minuscule would likely cripple Blender or slow it’s development to an unbearable crawl.

I would love to have a conversation with Ton. There’s understandably a lot of infrastructure that will delay that from happening so it’s probably going to take a while.


Hey, I just read this, thought I’d post it here :slight_smile: :


Yeah it kind of sucks the Microsoft owns GitHub now and is likely using it as a smorgasbord upon which to Frankenstein their next set of software tools for sale if/when their services significantly slow or stop making money for them…or much much sooner.


And would you say that LINUX development over the last THREE decades or so has been “snail-paced”? :slight_smile:

If “no”, then it’s obvious that there’s nothing wrong with the model - “weekend warriors” CAN accomplish a lot :slight_smile: If Blender is messing up somewhere, why then, they just need to do what the Linux people are doing (or DID). The precedent is already there for them! :slight_smile:


This is a foible of a lot of overzealous blender users and ultimately the example is just a false equivalent comparison trotted out that makes no sense.

An operating system with thousands of applications and millions of users plus millions of coders with a vested interest in not only getting whatever apps they need specifically running properly and maintaining a level of sync in interoperability between some applications, but also maintaining network preparedness in a dynamic industry of constantly shifting hardware and software requirements is so far away from a single application project that can run on that OS and other OS’ with an infinitesimally smaller community then an OS it’s pretty absurd to even make the comparison.