CADDManager on December 29th, 2007

Way back when… Microstation started letting people legally take home a copy of Microstation so that folks could learn the tool. Autodesk responded in kind and allowed users to have a copy at work and one at home. I am talking about legal copies (not the software that you got from your brother in law that you installed for “just fooling around”).

Well times have changed a little over the years. One change is that AutoCAD installs require “Verification” and “Registration and Activation”. This means that the installation process first Verifies your serial number and then Registers it to the machine it is installed on and Activates the software. If you have installed the product, you know the drill.

By doing this Autodesk has reduced pirated software and sold more legal copies. Something I applaud – I don’t like folks using illegal software to make money.

Here is the wording of the software license agreement related to multiple installs… (you agreed to this when you installed the software)

3.1.2 Additional Installation. Except with regard to Educational Institutional, Student and Evaluation Versions only, You may Install and Access a second copy of the Software on the hard disk of a second Computer owned by You or under Your control provided that:
(i) the original and second copies are used only by the same person;
(ii) the second copy is Installed and Accessed only on either (a) with respect to Network Versions, a redundant server that makes the Software available for use only when Your primary server on which the active Software copy is Installed becomes inoperable, or (b) a notebook computer or other non-server computer away from Your usual work location for the purpose of enabling You to perform work while away from Your usual work location;
(iii) only one of the Software copies is Accessed at any one time; and
(iv) both copies of the Software are Installed and Accessed exclusively with the copy protection device (if any) supplied with the Software.

This all sounds good – except… “second Computer owned by You or under Your control.” So if your company owns the software and the first computer – but your User owns their home computer (the second computer) – that would violate the letter of the license. Technically both machines must be owned by the same entity. Hmmm…

I am sure that Autodesk will not hunt you down (unless someone starts making loads of cash from their home based business with your company assets)

The above relates to standalone versions. What about Network copies?

The concept is that you should not allow more installs of home use than the total number of legal seats you own. So let say you have 25 licenses being managed by FlexLM on your LAN or WAN. You have it installed on 35 local machines in the office and it is limited to running 25 at any one time. You can only have 25 home use licenses – not 35.

Let’s think about what this means. Do the right thing. Are you legit? Are you striving to control the software assets that your firm owns? Don’t let home use get out of hand at your company.

6 Responses to “AutoCAD Home Use Licensing”

  1. Does anyone have a formal policy written for home use licensing? I’d prefer to avoid it all together and tell users to download a 30 day trial.

  2. Hi, they sent to me a background done in a educational version and I cant get the watermark and some notice to go away. i was wondering if someone here know how to delete this watermark?

  3. The Educational watermark cannot be removed. If your dealing with a firm that is providing these backgrounds, then they may be using educational software for commercial use.

  4. I ran into the problem where i was real busy but did not have CAD at home. I called AutoDesk and i applied for a Home use license. They gave my an activation code for that. The home license is only for 1 year.

  5. Dewey,

    Is this home license expensive? how you get the software?

  6. The lastest agreement does not require that the computer be owned by the company. Users may use their personal computer for a Home Use license under the ‘Ancillary Service Description for Home Use of Autodesk Software.’ Autodesk only requires that it not be at your place of work, which would effectively double up your number of licenses. I checked this with our reseller and our legal department.

    To answer your question FMR. Home use is available for subscription customers for free. To get a license, talk to whoever is the administrator of your CAD licenses or whoever talks to your Autodesk reseller.

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