Autodesk Educational and Not For Resale software

I’ve seen many posts on discussion forums where users ask about a ‘virus’ making a plotstamp saying that it was produced by autodesk educational software, and wondering where it came from, and how it got there.

The answer to that is that this works exactly as it is supposed to. If someone uses a student software package to draw with, then opens that file in a full version, or copies/pastes blocks or other entities into another file, that plotstamp will come with it. This is to prevent the commerical usage of software that someone hasn’t paid full price for.

You can’t fix this yourself, you need to contact your local reseller who will be able to help you ‘clean’ the ‘infected’ files… and obviously, you’ll want to try to determine how those got into your company’s files to begin with so it doesn’t happen again. (newer versions of autocad will have a warning dialog pop up opon open to let you know that it was created with an educational version)

From the Autodesk website:
The Autodesk Student Version software is available to degree-seeking student, faculty, and staff members of qualified institutions. A degree-seeking student is defined as a registered student who is currently enrolled at a secondary institution or can prove current enrollment of three credit hours in a degree-granting educational program or a nine-month certificate-granting educational program.
You can purchase Autodesk Student Version software at your local campus bookstore or an Autodesk education reseller. Find an Autodesk education reseller using our
locator page.
The Autodesk Student Version is an educational version of the software. It incorporates all the functionality of our professional licenses and includes education-specific features, such as a print banner— making the software inappropriate for professional, commercial, or for-profit purposes. Autodesk Student Version software may not be used in the classroom or lab for instructional purposes.
Annual licenses of Autodesk student software are not eligible for product upgrade or transfer to a commercial license. Please contact your Autodesk education reseller to verify eligibility for product upgrades and education to commercial transfers.

And for some reason, during a lot of edu version conversations, someone will bring up NFR (Not For Resale) software, so I’ll go ahead and talk about those too.
These packages are typically given away by Autodesk; like door prizes at AU, or via AUGI and your Local Users Group. While the Autodesk website doesn’t have much to say on them (as far as I’ve been able to find), I do know that NFR packages are fully functioning versions of the software, they don’t have any sort of plotstamp, and they can be used for as long as the EULA for that release allows, but, they cannot be sold, upgraded or put on subscription (in other words, don't buy one off eBay).

A couple of links about NFR’s:
Note: Not all Autodesk software products are available on subscription. Technical support is not available for Autodesk® 3ds Max® software, Education customers, or NFR (not for resale) products.

Autodesk User Group International and NFR Software By Elise Moss


Spiffy3 said...

Thanks Melanie. Now I know what I can do with my NFR software from Autodesk.

Great Blog BTW.

Anonymous said...

Although I agree completly with Autodesk's policy regarding EDU software, it's no secret that the plot stamp can (or at least could at one time) be fairly easily removed without using the "reseller supplied tool".

I'll leave it at that.

Mistress of the Dorkness said...

Thank you, anonymous, for leaving it at that. I don't have a lot of respect for those who go around flaunting how to get around legal security features (I've seen a couple of people try that on some public discussion groups), since this can be fixed through acceptable channels.

Spiffy... thanks! :) I thought this could be a useful topic, and I'm glad you appreciated it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's an issue of "flaunting how to get around legal security features".

Almost any security measure can be circumvented. If someone want's in bad enough, they will find a way.

What really makes you wonder is why don't these bogus "EDU users" just acquire a warez copy of full-blown AutoCAD? Why would they fool around with the EDU version anyway? Are they just "sort of" honest?

thanks for the soapbox

Mistress of the Dorkness said...

hey, a soapbox is why this is here...
you're right... this is the question... WHY would someone use an EDU version for commercial work?
The popular speculation is that it's because they want to charge the same hourly rate that you, the honest/legal contractor are charging, without having the big expenditure of the legal commerical software purchase... or undercutting on price for the same reason. ~shrug~
point being, educational software is just that... a good-faith effort by autodesk to provide access to their high-end software so that people can learn it, become comfortable with it and make themselves more marketable.

Anonymous said...

NFR copies cannot be used for commercial purposes. It is spelled out in the EULA and I have spoken directly with Autodesk's legal department. Even though the NFR are given away and don't have "the stamp" they are not for commercial use. They should only be used for one month for evaluation purposes but the lawyer said they kind of look the other way when it is a copy given by Autodesk as a door prize, etc.

Mistress of the Dorkness said...

anon, I'm not sure I understand. you say that NFR's are only meant to be used for 30 days, but yet they don't expire like a typical demo version? Also, what do they define as 'commercial purposes'? If you'd be so kind as to email me the name of the person that you spoke with at autodesk who can clarify things for me, I'd be happy to post that for posterity.
thank you
Thanks for posting! :)

Anonymous said...

I sent you the information. I think it is obvious what "commercial purposes" means. You can't make money with it, you can't compete with someone that has had to pay $$$ for their license. Let us know if you find out something different. Thanks for being such a dork.

InHisName said...

For anyone reading this old post... I used to be a reseller and NFR copies are software that Autodesk reluctantly gives an end user when there is some kind of problem they can't fix otherwise... or as a door prize as was suggested above.
It does not expire in 30 days and can be registered, etc... and (could) be used for commercial purposes if suggested as such by the Autodesk rep that got the exception to give it out.
They are not traditionally legal copies of software to use for commercial purposes, but there is a lot of gray area there.
Sometimes they will give them out to laptop users if a server license does not do what it is supposed to do in order to deploy a license, or other areas of concern... adn then those are legal to use. But a freebie at a user conference is not something that can ever be upgraded, so it is kind of useless... but if it is used commercially for the year it is activated... you won't have a plot stamp.

The freebies are like educational copies so you can test the software and see if you like it enough to buy it.

That may be another reason that autodesk has them to give out... to grant a longer-than 30 day license to someone that has to do a major implementation, and a 30-day trial would only get them started.

So, in summary, if Autodesk gives you a NFR because of a problem with their software, you can use it commercially. Any other circumstance it is not recommended to make money with it.

Mistress of the Dorkness said...

Thanks for the additional input.

Yeah, it's an older post, but, it still gets a lot of traffic.