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On the definition of "Commercial Use"

luke_washburn229luke_washburn229 Member Posts: 2
Hello, 

I am a new user of OnShape (started about a week ago) and have been loving it. Making very quick progress as my first genuine attempt to learn CAD as a hobbyist. 

I found out about OnShape from the youtuber Teaching Tech. 

Today I found a video by Thomas Sanladerer from 2018 saying that the EULA for OnShape prevents *any* commercial use when using the free version of makers. This is very concerning to me. I am sure that I am not the first, not will I be the last, to ask about this topic. I have already sent a message to OnShape asking for clarification and read the current EULA but even then I am not certain. 

I *really* like onshape. Its easy to use, i love it being browser based. Its great. But the fact is, having an unqualified refusal to allow any kind of commercial use, even for very small end users (which I am), is overbearingly prohibitive. Why not do what Fusion 360, or Unreal Engine do which allow free use under a certain revenue level? 

And Its not that I wouldnt be willing to pay, either. I would, but 1500 is simply too expensive for a hobbyist. Its over triple the cost Fusion charges, which is about 1500 for 3 years license. 

So I really want clarification, ideally from someone at OnShape that Thomas' video is correct, I cannot profit from *anything* I make with this tool, even if I would never even comne close to being able to afford the licence. If so, unfortunately I guess Ill have to look elsewhere for a CAD solution which genuinely makes me sad as I love this tool so far. 

Thanks

Comments

  • dirk_van_der_vaartdirk_van_der_vaart Member Posts: 353 ✭✭✭
    Are you paying your bill's with the money you make or do you have another job?
  • fnxffnxf Member, User Group Leader Posts: 107 PRO
    You mean this part?
    Free versions of the Service are intended to support (a) creating and editing intellectual property for non-commercial purposes, and (b) viewing, commenting and import/export for commercial or non-commercial purposes (to the extent the plan offers those features). If you intend to use the Service outside a trial context to create and/or edit intellectual property for commercial purposes (including but not limited to developing designs that are intended to be commercialized and/or used in support of a commercial business), then you agree to upgrade to a paid subscription to the Service. Trial and free versions of the Service are otherwise subject to the terms of this Agreement.
    from https://www.onshape.com/en/legal/terms-of-use. I agree, if you’re on the free plan and create stuff that can later be sold, then in theory you agree to upgrade. 

    The question to Onshape (no capital S) then is: is it enforced?
  • SethFSethF Member Posts: 115 PRO
    Even if Onshape doesn't enforce it, it's generally a bad idea to try to design any intellectual property on a free license. The free license is great for learning CAD, but beyond that.. Whatever you design is by default in a public document. You don't own any rights to that document, or the design contained there-in. And anyone with a paid license can take your design and use it for commercial use, even though you legally can't. Which could theoretically put you in the uncomfortable position of having another company take legal action against you for using your own design that they legally appropriated from you.
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 1,615 PRO
    I believe Thomas is correct in his interpretation, which is a bummer for people in that awkward middle. Before they changed it, the rule used to be that you could get up to 10 (or something) private documents on the free account, which I liked a lot more. It still prevents people from doing much practical professional work, but affords a little bit of wiggle room for people like you. It also means that the actual public document space isn't absolutely awash in abandoned documents and little experiments. It's really hard to dig through it for any gold. Maybe this thread can prompt them to introduce a super low cost tier that allows even just one document for cases like this.

    Onshape, if you're reading this, you might benefit from a less blunt spear tip than $1500/yr entry. People like @luke_washburn229 or Thomas Sanladerer may very well graduate to a full seat, or move to a company and set the entire team up with Onshape, or produce tons of free content pushing people to the platform, but only if there's room for them now. Otherwise they're going to end up doing all of that for Fusion instead. My 2¢ anyway.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 225 PRO
    That guy is drama queen imo. I watched a couple of his videos a few years ago and turned him off after that. I think he’s a fusion shill or something like that. 

    Btw, you are not supposed to use the hobby version of fusion for commercial use either. They all have the same legal type disclaimer. 
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 632 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2022
     Maybe this thread can prompt them to introduce a super low cost tier that allows even just one document for cases like this.


    A few of us hobby users have requested a middle Onshape tier in the past foe casual users that sometimes do modest "commercial" work and it seems like Onshape was pretty clear that they had no interest in that sort of thing.  As a result, I keep paying maintenance on Alibe Expert for the intermittent commercial work that I do.  I'd be more than happy to that $450 per year toward an Onshap middle tier license.

  • SethFSethF Member Posts: 115 PRO
    @nick_papageorge073 You can get a free 1 year license for fusion (that you can renew each year) as long as you're not making over $100,000 from the business. Most hobbyists running an Etsy page aren't making more than $100,000 from it.
  • bryan_lagrangebryan_lagrange Member, User Group Leader Posts: 612 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I believe you can only generate less than a $1000 for Fusion Personal and it is limited to the full version. 
    Bryan Lagrange
    Twitter: @BryanLAGdesign

  • SethFSethF Member Posts: 115 PRO
    You do have to apply for the "Startup License" to get the $100,000 limit.
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 1,615 PRO
    That guy is drama queen imo. I watched a couple of his videos a few years ago and turned him off after that. I think he’s a fusion shill or something like that. 

    Btw, you are not supposed to use the hobby version of fusion for commercial use either. They all have the same legal type disclaimer. 
    I definitely took some issue with his dramatization of the whole thing, but I also didn't feel he was exactly wrong either. I also kinda gave up watching for similar vibes reasons.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
  • nick_papageorge073nick_papageorge073 Member Posts: 225 PRO
    SethF said:
    @nick_papageorge073 You can get a free 1 year license for fusion (that you can renew each year) as long as you're not making over $100,000 from the business. Most hobbyists running an Etsy page aren't making more than $100,000 from it.
    I think that was true when this YouTube video was made. But since then, autodesk changed the amount to 1,000 USD or close to that. Maybe even less. The whole fusion free plan community went nuts. It was about 1-2 years ago. That’s why now, there is practically zero difference between fusion and Onshape if you are going by the legal clauses verbatim. 

    Ps, I’d pay 1500 per year for os rather than use fusion for free. That was the absolute worst design software I’ve ever used for designing anything more than a couple simple parts. As soon as you get to assembly level, it’s pull your hair out time. 
  • SethFSethF Member Posts: 115 PRO
    Not sure Onshape will like this link, haha, but I'm just using it as a reference: https://www.autodesk.com/products/fusion-360/startups

    It's still there. Maybe they don't give it to everyone like they used to, but you can still apply for it. They did add a new caveat: Your company cannot be over 3 years old.. Which is definitely a bummer, and I'm guessing what the community went nuts over. But I still think there's a big difference between 0 and 3 years. There's even a difference between $0 and $1,000 for someone who's trying to drum up side work but hasn't gotten any traction yet - I taught for 4 years in Thailand and was trying to subsidize my income with work on the side. If it had been limited to $1,000 dollars, it wouldn't have gotten very far, but a lot further than $0, and I certainly couldn't spend 1/8th of my yearly income on a $1,500 Onshape license before I had proven to myself that I could get work. It is VERY different from a lot of other CAD software, and there are a lot of things I don't like nearly so much about it; but when you have nothing to spend, it's that or FreeCAD.

    I'm not meaning to say I think it's a simple problem to solve. There are definitely huge pros and cons at play. Offering these free or lower cost options would bring in a lot of people who could learn the software as they built their business, a lot of whom would then want to stick with the software even once they have to pay for it. On the other hand, it opens up a lot of potential for misusing those licenses and getting away with not paying for it when they really should be.

  • SethFSethF Member Posts: 115 PRO
    But I also agree he's a drama queen  😂

    nick_papageorge073 said:
    That guy is drama queen imo.
  • Toshimichi_OdaToshimichi_Oda OS Professional Posts: 50 PRO

    SethF said:
    > Which could theoretically put you in the uncomfortable position of having another company take legal action against you for using your own design that they legally appropriated from you.

    I think nobody can get exclusive rights to the document in the public domain.

    https://www.onshape.com/en/legal/terms-of-use

    For any Public Document owned by a Free Plan User created on or after August 7, 2018, or any Public Document created prior to that date without a LICENSE tab, Customer grants a worldwide, royaltyfree and non-exclusive license to any End User or third party accessing the Public Document to use the intellectual property contained in Customer’s Public Document without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Document, and to permit persons to whom the Document is made available to do the same.


  • SethFSethF Member Posts: 115 PRO
    @Toshimichi_Oda You are right that they would not have exclusive rights, but I'm pretty sure they wouldn't need them. The free user who created the document explicitly can't use it for commercial use. All paid users have non-exclusive rights to public documents, and all free users explicitly can't use Onshape for commercial use. So any paid user would have the legal upper hand over any free user who was using an Onshape-based design for profit no matter who made the design.
  • Toshimichi_OdaToshimichi_Oda OS Professional Posts: 50 PRO
    Hi  @SethF ,
    Thank you for your comment.

    When using in Onshape, any paid user would have the legal upper hand over any free user.
    But anybody can use the data without any restrictions outside Onshape.

    For example it is possible to sell a public domain product or a product with public domain parts, if you don't mind other people can make and/or sell, use the same product or a product exclusively improved by a paid user in a private document.

    Sometimes public domains are more useful than proprietary ones.
    Onshape includes many open sources which are copyleft and reliable.


  • SethFSethF Member Posts: 115 PRO
    Hey @Toshimichi_Oda,

    And thank you for the good discussion!

    You're right that public domains can be very useful. But the wording feels pretty hard to get around. You can't use the free license to develop a product for a commercial purpose. If Onshape means that you're only prohibited from doing so with proprietary rights reserved, they don't make that at all clear. 

    As fnxf quoted:
    ... If you intend to use the Service outside a trial context to create and/or edit intellectual property for commercial purposes (including but not limited to developing designs that are intended to be commercialized and/or used in support of a commercial business), then you agree to upgrade to a paid subscription to the Service...
    from https://www.onshape.com/en/legal/terms-of-use
    And to @fnxf 's point, hopefully no one would ever take legal action against you. But using an Onshape free license to make/edit your own designs for any commercial use seems like a very vulnerable legal position to put yourself in. If you're just using it to download other people's public work, then I think you might be fine.
  • Toshimichi_OdaToshimichi_Oda OS Professional Posts: 50 PRO

    I agree with what @SethF said.

    It is not easy to contribute to and/or use copyleft things for business. But I believe it is possible and its success generates business profits.

    Back to @luke_washburn229 's first question,

    I think that he can make/use/sell a product outside Onshape which is created using Onshape if he do not mind the data is without exclusive rights.

    If he want to add a change which should be exclusive, he can become paid user and make the document to private document. It is no problem to become paid user from free user or to make free document to private.

    I started to be a free user, became a paid, got back to be a free, and now be a paid user. I have selected a free or a paid by comparing the right of a paid user and  money paid.

    > Why not do what Fusion 360, or Unreal Engine do which allow free use under a certain revenue level?

    I have no doubt that Onshape takes fee from anyone who makes even a small amount of money by exclusively using Onshape. Because there is no reason Onshape should help other businesses.

    I like Onshape. I hope paid users increasing.


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