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Unity 4 New EULA Restrictions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by npsf3000, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. test111

    test111

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    I really know why Unity changed the EULA and why streaming and gambling (note the AND) is a cash cow for them.
    Anyhow they are doing a mistake: without a real contribution in this business (technology, hosting etc.) this action will switch many operators to new technologies.
    I would like to tell you that FFMPEG and still images can build a video stream.

    About Unity developers, with all respect, I would like to read from legal brains here... the opinion of developers is useless.
     
  2. test111

    test111

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    Kaspar, sorry, I did not want to be offensive to you -personally- in any way.
     
  3. test111

    test111

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    bravo !!
     
  4. Kaspar-Daugaard

    Kaspar-Daugaard

    Unity Technologies

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    The way I look at it is that the Unity editor includes the right to distribute the Unity runtime to end users, so they are licensed because you have a license.

    Once you have third party using the software, who's not the person playing the game, and who is using it for commercial purposes, that's a much trickier scenario. We have always had extra licenses for running Unity on different platforms (like mobile or console) so when you think of streaming as a platform, then maybe licensing that separately is pretty reasonable.

    My own concern is that this makes it harder to figure out the licensing model if you are doing unusual networking models, but honestly I think it's reasonable that if you start a business running primarily someone else's game engine as a middleman, you are paying something for that.
     
  5. Kaspar-Daugaard

    Kaspar-Daugaard

    Unity Technologies

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    Thanks, but you are also right! :)

    I think I have said all I can as a developer, so I am leaving the thread for our legal and business people to respond to.
     
  6. Swearsoft

    Swearsoft

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    yep, please someone at Unity answer this. Some sort of clarification is required. Since streaming is very close to what an authoritative server does. The difference I guess is where the rendering occurs. I guess if someone wants help setting up a streaming system being able to get help would be great, but limiting what people can do before they have even done it sounds a bit counter-productive.

    For gambling I guess someone needed access to Unity source in order to provide code to auditors, which means that someone would need access to a source license, even though they could develop their application without it.

    I guess the embedded systems clause includes coin-ups too...well over 50...
     
  7. saymoo

    saymoo

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    Change the EULA, because as it states now, it is not fine at all (if you are going over 50 copies). Since all those games have a GUI.

    if the restriction is purely for third party hosting (e.g. now the developers own infrastructure/servers), that state so in the EULA (the EULA should be very clear to anyone, that's a legal requirement).

    It's not what UT ment to restrict, it's what is worded in the EULA that counts (legaly). So if UT ment something else, than put that in clear wording in the EULA. ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  8. Kaspar-Daugaard

    Kaspar-Daugaard

    Unity Technologies

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    The EULA states if it "provides the user interface or primary functionality [of the device]" and not "a user interface" so I suspect it's fine. :)

    Anyway, leaving now and waiting for a proper response.
     
  9. Chaoss

    Chaoss

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    I'm creating an online game that runs on a server, receives input instructions and send out video to the client in a web browser window (A bit like how Onlive works, but it is a custom created solution). I hope this doesn't break licensing. I purchased a pro license for 4.x with the 3.x to use in the interim, I purchased the pro license under the assumption that the type of game I am developing would not break any licensing agreements with Unity. If they keep adding clauses like this eventually it'll kill my project and I'll have to move to an alternative engine. I would love someone from the admin team to assure me my game will not get asked to be taken down after all the time, effort and personal funding I've put into it.
     
  10. antenna-tree

    antenna-tree

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    Hey guys, while we will try and get someone from sales or legal to answer these questions here I will request that you please voice your concerns on the blog post that went out a few days ago here:

    http://blogs.unity3d.com/2012/12/04/unity-and-gambling/

    Comments posted there have a much better chance of being answered as, believe it or not, most of our sales and legal guys don't visit the Unity forums ;-)

    But they are watching that blog post and will answer questions there much more promptly than here.
     
  11. saymoo

    saymoo

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    They should, must, need to assist here aswell. :D
    (as part of their jobs, hehe)
    Most developer/licensee talking/discussions/thoughts are expressed here, not in the blogs.
     
  12. superpig

    superpig

    Quis aedificabit ipsos aedificatores? Unity Technologies

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    Restricting it based on hardware platform is one thing, because that's a restriction on what I distribute: I'm allowed to distribute the PC runtime but not the iOS runtime, and so on.

    But what you're describing here is different: it's a restriction on who I can distribute to, rather than what I can distribute. If there were technical aspects to this - like a customized build of Unity that has been optimized for rendering directly to a video stream - then that'd be like a platform restriction and would make sense, but I've not seen anyone mention that such a thing exists (unlike with the gambling license, which does come with a lot of necessary extra stuff).

    EDIT: To clarify: my understanding is that if I were to give my game to OnLive, I'd be giving them exactly the same binary bits as I'd give to an ordinary player. The Unity EULA says that giving the bits to OnLive is not OK, but giving the bits to the player is OK, so it's making a rule about who I distribute to, not what I distribute.

    I don't think that characterizing services like OnLive as "running primarily someone else's game engine" is a good idea. They're running primarily our games, not Unity's game engine. It feels like a paint company saying that while regular artists are free to distribute their painted works, they have to have a special license to sell to an art gallery because an art gallery is primarily exhibiting the paint company's product.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  13. ronan-thibaudau

    ronan-thibaudau

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    Aye. It doesn't make any more sense than asking for money from app store if it was primarily run i g unity games.
    There are 0 arguments for those changes really and, as someone NOT directly concerned by those changes, but owning a 4.x pro licence as well as thouthands of euros worth in assets from the store i'm very unhappy about both the change, the lack of communication (both external and internal as jnity employees themselves seeem to need clarification) as well as the mindset those changes represent.
    I agree with what was said earlier, if you want to milk new market offer new services for them priced accordingly, don't just hope that "but they're making lots of money" stands as a justification to bill certain industries more
     
  14. kablammyman

    kablammyman

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    that blog post only talks about the gambling portion of the new EULA, the other arguments that really have people worried wasn't addressed at all. Bringing it up in that post seems too offtopic IMO.

    I'm not sure how i feel about these changes, but its not good. I'm not ready to jump ship (its not like i have a choice in the matter, I use what work tells me to use) but this will keep us from upgrading to 4.0. We are exploring creating gambling content for perspective clients, but now we have to worry about streaming services too? If the EULA for previous versions of unity gets effected, who knows what we will do at that point.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  15. keithsoulasa

    keithsoulasa

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    If Unity changes the EULA for 3.5, which makes it unusable for your team, can't you sue Unity for breach of contract ?
     
  16. bngames

    bngames

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    This need to be cleared up by Unity heads ASAP!
     
  17. BrUnO-XaVIeR

    BrUnO-XaVIeR

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    Sometime later... "-We are glad to present a new Unity addon for Unity 5, only $1500: Unity Stream Pro!! Are you OnLive? Oh at this case: as cheap as $150.000 bucks!,!,!!!"
     
  18. NoBullIntentions_P

    NoBullIntentions_P

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    I think SuperPig has already raised the most salient points more eloquently and more concisely than I could, so I will just say that I wholeheartedly agree with him. I'm actually very disappointed that UT would try to "sneak through" changes like this. I realize it's their legal right to do so, but it's not what I expect from UT. You've wiped out every bit of good will you ever earned from me with this one. I hope you take a long hard look at this decision again, because it's a big mistake in my opinion.

    EDIT: Oh, and I have commented on the blog.
     
  19. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

    Unity Technologies

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    I am another Unity employee. I am not in a position to elaborate on the streaming/onlive discussion, but I can talk to the embedded and gambling points.

    Embedded - By embedded we mean a product that you buy from a store that is a complete system. So, let's suppose this is a radio. The radio has an LCD screen, and the interface on that screen is a Unity application. As a consumer you cannot change the hardware, and may or may not be able to install new software on the radio. This would be classed as an embedded product, and would fall foul of the 4.x EULA. The developer would need a separate license from us. (I've seen people talk about six figure sums, but I have no idea where those numbers come from.) Other examples of embedded systems might be a satnav/dashboard in a car, or a jukebox in a bar. An application you develop with Unity and deploy on a mobile phone, or web browser, or console is not an embedded system. (The devices themselves are embedded systems, but you as an app developer are creating content for it. You're not creating the embedded system.)

    Gambling/Gaming - this means a casino-style or online betting products. Such things are usually heavily regulated in many territories. If you are creating a product that needs a license from your government, then you'll need a license from us too.

    What both of these areas have in common is that they require extensive additional work from us. This work can involve porting our runtime to new CPUs and GPUs, or providing service level agreements. For example, many gambling/gaming systems need to run for many days solid with no crashes. Also these customer typically want source code access. The EULA is a way of inviting companies involved in these areas to talk to us. Our business is naturally widening. We started off as a game engine, now we're used in simulation, architecture, training, gaming, etc. These areas (we called them 'verticals') have different needs and expectations. It's perfectly possible that in the distant future we have a different version of Unity for each of these verticals. And each might have their own unique EULA.

    No, the 3.x EULA has not changed.

    Finally, it's painful to see the community react badly to the changes in the EULA. These changes were never intended to affect the indy devs and small teams that we've grown as a company helping and supporting. I'd be amazed if more than 1 in ten thousand customers are affected. It's the assumption that we are somehow "bad" or "evil" or trying to screw you guys over that pains me (and many of my colleagues). Now, for sure, we could have made a much better job at communicating these changes. I am sure that's because we never considered them as impacting you guys. It would certainly not be the case that we secretly changed the EULA through some evil intent. The founders, the company and our investors love the community. We'd not do anything deliberately to harm you.
     
  20. ronan-thibaudau

    ronan-thibaudau

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    This makes no sense at all. An EULA is a legal document, not an ad slot in a newspaper. You don't use it as "a way of inciting companies yo talk to us".
    It's also untrue that this represent "any" adutional work from unity, unless companies ask for it.
    No one here is shocked that you offer alternative licences fot companies that want something specific to their needs but that through EULA changes you're FORCING them into those new offerings
    Same for the intent. It's an important kegal document, if the intent is good but poorly though put the result can only ve disastrous.
    Put yourself on the other side of the fence for a sec and see it this way. The EULA changes :
    1) unanounced
    2) removes some rights
    3) adds no rights
    No matter what the intent is you cannot expect this to be appreciated
     
  21. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Do you want to know why this is being badly received? Read the following:

    This is FALSE. What you've actually done is simply remove this capability from developers, regardless of whether or not we require additional assistance. This is what we're annoyed about. If you had simply offered some new, advanced licenses that come with special source we'd not have complained. What you've actually done is the opposite, you've taken away existing functionality under the false pretex that we somehow require your assistance.

    Gambling is the one area where you *might* have a point, but you'e failed to actually prove that this is the case. For these other platforms, it's a complete and obvious sham - there's no requirement that you assistant for streaming or embedded solutions.

    This is EXACTLY what concerns us! Yesterday we could use the Unity Engine for pretty much anything. Today we can use it for most things, barring some restrictions. Soon we'll have to get a new license for every single product we want to release, as Unity attempts to squeeze us for every last dollar.

    Why the sudden change in business practise?
     
  22. SevenBits

    SevenBits

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    Maybe they just got greedy. Unity is beginning to attract more high profile developers. It could be that they've decided that since they are no longer a mom-and-pop game engine that it is necessary for them to branch out more and try to get more money. Take a look at Apple. Once professionals began to use their products they really raised their prices.

    Now, I'm not inherently supporting this, and I'm absolutely against it, but I understand their reasoning.
     
  23. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    That's a perfectly legitimate reason for them to give... and if they give it there's some perfectly legitimate responses we can give :)
     
  24. JohnnyA

    JohnnyA

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    This just in: business makes decisions to protect or create revenue channels.
     
  25. keithsoulasa

    keithsoulasa

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    The six figure assumption comes from the fact the price is unknown .

    Unity could ask for a 10% cut on each watch , Unity could ask for 15% of the total development budget , Unity could say hey your a start-up and you'll probably fail in making a Unity Phone anyway, we'll let you use it for no additional charge .

    The problem is if I call from Big Company X, Unity can come up with whatever price they think Big Company X can pay . What if Microsoft decided to stream Unity games to their Surface tablets , Unity could, in theory , charge Microsoft a half million dollars , while a lone dev in a basement might get to stream for another 1000$
     
  26. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Close, it comes from the original developer who ran foul of these rules, and was quoted six figures by Unity. See gambling thread.

    And as a business trying to protect create revenue channels I'm asking why one of my providers is trying to 'steal' from me. We don't need excuses, we need answers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  27. Graham-Dunnett

    Graham-Dunnett

    Unity Technologies

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    Yes, we've removed your ability to make an embedded system that uses Unity for the GUI, and we've removed your ability to make gaming/gambling products. Both these now need a license.

    You will not previously be aware of the engineering effort we have spent porting Unity to embedded operating systems, removing SSE instructions from the runtime, or making sure that counters in the Mono runtime don't wrap around after some number of days of continuous use. Or the work helping gaming/gambling customers who have unusual multiple monitor support. And yes a lot of this does end up back in the main stream product line. My comment earlier about CPUs and GPUs actually means old chips that no-one every sees anymore, but are cheap and suited to embedded systems. Removing SSE support doesn't actually help most of our current customers, for example.

    Your 3.x license can be used for pretty much anything you want. It's EULA did not change. You upgraded to a 4.x, and it's EULA had changes. Unity 5.x might have a different EULA. We've not taken away your ability to make a business from using Unity. If we said that Unity 5.x cannot be used to make a first person shooter, and instead said you needed a special first-person shooter license from us you might decide to not upgrade. If you did upgrade to 5.x and later found out we'd changed the EULA and you can no longer use 5.x, then of course you'd be hopping mad at us. It's surely the lack of publicity about the 4.x changes that is the fundamental problem here. At least that is how I see we've let you down.

    Gambling/gaming, embedded system developers, architectural and military/simulation customers typically do have staff lawyers who read the EULA from top to bottom prior to authorising a go-ahead. Those are really the audience for these changed terms.

    I personally don't know how much these additional licenses cost. I suspect it's more about splitting the customers into verticals rather than a cold-blooded attempt to extract cash. Maybe someone who's sought an embedded or gambling license can share their experience.

    Taking a complete tangent, it is of course these "big customers" who pay to make Unity free. They understand this since it increases the pool of people who know the product, and typically, recruitment, and finding experienced users is a challenge for many companies.
     
  28. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    And streaming, don't forget streaming.

    Excellent, well done!

    Problem is of course that you're making the fatal assumption that should impact us. If you decide to put bug-fixes into the main branch... well that's what we pay for. If you have to make very special changes for a niche market - then sell that separately. But don't prevent us from using what we paid for because you think we needed some special attention.

    I do understand, and have made it clear myself this is Unity4 only - the Unity 3.5 EULA is unchanged. However you've fundamentally changed your business practise without consulting your users? You've changed from a tool provider to attempting to own and control the content your tools output - this is a drastic change that goes against your own motto!

    Again, you're making a fatal mistake by assuming that you know the only way things can be done. You provide the tools, we create the innovative products.

    Or to put it another way, it's the free [and pro, this license affects both] users that make Unity an attractive engine for these 'big companies'. If you try to devalue us then I hope that we do the same to you.

    Responding to PM now.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  29. David-Helgason

    David-Helgason

    Unity Technologies

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    Sorry to step in so late – only came across this thread now!

    My colleagues Kasper and Graham analyzed the new EULA terms as well as anyone could have, but to go into the reasons for the changes.

    Overall what we want to do at Unity is to build a robust and long lasting business, and a business that can keep supporting game developers of all sizes with ever-improving tools and an engine that is rapidly nearing the cutting edge of game technology. To do that we have to think very deep about the future, as we'll be both shaped by it an shaping it.

    Regulated gambling. Only regulated gambling companies are affected by this, and you'd be surprised by how few these are. It's also a slow and complex industry, and one that it takes a lot of effort to engage with. We do this well, and have found ways to give them really excellent service while also charging them for it (making Unity's "gambling team" quite profitable, which gets reinvested in Unity itself). Also importantly the regulated gambling companies hire and acquire quite a lot of smaller developers, so not only is Unity being able to build a solid gambling industry business a good thing, it positively impacts our ecosystem.

    Embedded systems. Over the years we've come across consumer device companies in many industries that wanted to use Unity on devices ranging from slot machines to radios to cars. These are complex projects and to these companies Unity isn't a game engine but more like a magical graphical operating system. In the past they would come to us since they would invariably use either some obscure embedded systems or Linux, and since Unity didn't support these, we could work charge them for some fraction of what Unity was worth to them – which often was quite substantial and again helps our strong team doing fantastic work.

    Always going by our original goal which is to enable game developers to build great games and get them to important platforms, we decided to go and support Linux with Unity 4.0 to enable game studios to target Linux opportunities such as the Canonical Software Center and Humble Bundles, and we decided not to charge for this.

    That's a decision we feel really good about, but it had the adverse effect that we were going to lose out on these things. So we added a clause to the EULA at the same time: that to use Unity to build the primary user experience for a device (the game for a slot machine, the dashboard for a car, ...) a license would be required.

    Not making apps for devices or anything like that: just the primary user experience. And since we absolutely don't want to limit developers from bild information kiosks for exhibitions, VJing apps, and similar, we added a 50 device limit before you have to worry about talking to us.

    Game streaming/rendering. I believe that game streaming will become important in the next few years. Though Onlive has gone through tough times, Gaikai got acquired by Sony, and some of the chip companies are building really interesting cloud rendering servers. Most software has limitations and a different pricing model when it comes to being run on servers, whether it's operating systems, databases, or games. And to add to that, Unity's Linux support allows these companies to save substantial money licensing Windows, so also here the Linux support comes up.

    The EULA change was to get ahead of this and make sure that we'd be ready when this started happening. Honestly we haven't even defined what the licensing model will be, and I didn't actually expect that anyone was already rendering Unity from a cloud. For those who are please get in touch with me at david@unity3d.com and we'll take care of you – we're not looking to stop small companies from doing cool stuff.

    Most importantly though: if what you're currently doing is limited by the EULA, please get in touch and you'll find us absolutely nice and reasonable to deal with!

    (Excuse me if this went long, but also if it doesn't answer all your questions – I'll try to stick around the thread in the next few days and address further questions. Only I'm going to a party soon and it won't be until tomorrow morning that I will see responses here.)

    All the best.
     
  30. Chaoss

    Chaoss

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    Thank you for clearing that up David. It was a little disheartening first hearing about the streaming clause.
     
  31. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Hi David,


    I can build 'embedded systems' with Windows, with iOS, with Mac, with Android etc... but now because a some customers wanted some obscure versions of Linux I can't build any embedded system [>=50 devices] without your approval?

    When did Unity decide to stop being a tool provider, and start trying to control the content that your users author? This is the fundamental issue.


    Thanks,


    NPSF3000
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  32. Daniel-Talis

    Daniel-Talis

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    :confused:
     
  33. TylerPerry

    TylerPerry

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    Well, get over it... if some gambling place wants you to make a full system that is going to be embedded on there system then they should be paying enough for the license... and you couldn't do it before Unity 4.X so why the problem... at least we can target Linux now, would you prefer that they take away Linux?
     
  34. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Err what? They've taken away plenty of pre-4.0 capabilities... Read the thread again.
     
  35. nipoco

    nipoco

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    Can you give us a practical example how this affects you?

    Personally, I don't see any impact on the content I produce with Unity.
     
  36. imaginaryhuman

    imaginaryhuman

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    From what I read it just sounds like Unity is not wanting to be exploited, ie they don't want someone using the Unity platform as a way to stream game output that is potentially created using a different piece of software e.g. streaming games made with other engines. .. sensible business decision. .. and the embedded thing is simply that you can't create an electronic device whose main user interface runs on the Unity platform, ie can't make the next iPhone have its menus/icons driven by Unity. Or on the contrary, rather than just protection for Unity, it just means that the big companies who want to stream videos of gameplay have to get a separate license, and companies wanting to use unity to run the main user interface of a mobile device etc has to get a separate license. I don't see how this really affects 99.9% of developers.

    All this paranoia and mistrust and `just like Apple` stuff is nonsense.
     
  37. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    There are plenty of potential problems, things that we'd normally be able to do but now can't. Examples I give are:

    1) Streaming services - They may become a fairly substantial new platform... and instead of it simply being a matter of uploading a .exe now one must get permission for Unity? While it's still fairly immature, we've got a guy right now on the forums who's demoing a functional service for iOS games that's only $50/month. These delivery systems could be a substantive market for ALL developers - but Unity have decided that they should dictate what we can and cannot do?

    Think of it this way, if tomorrow Kongregate or Apple or Steam decided to offer streaming of their catalogues... we'd not be able to participate - even though the software could operate unchanged.

    2) Embedded Systems - As much as Unity likes to talk about specialised hardware and software, one can set up an embedded game with any device - iPad, Windows PC etc. I've got opportunities in my local market for Kiosks, for Point of Sale software, for iPad based Arcades... now all of these options are under the whim of Unity.

    3) Gambling - the hardest to defend because of the regulation - the only problem is Unity haven't demonstrated that every Gambling app actually needs to be regulated as so far as the Unity component is concerned, even when directly asked.

    4) Precedence - Unity now thinks it has the right to own the content we produce - this means anything you are doing today, or are thinking of doing tomorrow could suddenly be 'taxed' or banned at the next EULA change:

    Already David Helgason - CEO of Unity has stated that:
    "Most software has limitations and a different pricing model when it comes to being run on servers ... And to add to that, Unity's Linux support allows these companies to save substantial money licensing Windows, so also here the Linux support comes up."
    How long before they decide that network solutions like uLink should pay up or get out?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  38. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Actually, that's perfectly allowed under the EULA [not that one would do so] - you've misread the situation.
     
  39. BrUnO-XaVIeR

    BrUnO-XaVIeR

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    Just what I've been trying to say. I personally see no substantial need for this thread...
    UT made something I don't like?? Ok, time to move on... They don't?! Ok, I stay... ... Simple.
    The rise of upgrade prices for example, many devs including myself were jumping off boat that day, UT decided to take prices back to what they were and it all ended up fine for everyone. But bitching just for the sake of doing so is kinda unnecessary.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  40. nipoco

    nipoco

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    @npsf3000

    Ok I see your point.
    Thanks for the explanation.

    Regarding the streaming issue. My guess is, that UT is aware of a possible shift in this market from 'classic' downloadable games to streamed interactive content. If they don't act now, they could lose a substancial income stream, because some of the platform/licenses will be obsolete in the future and replaced with streaming. So eventually, it's a necessary business move.

    At least I don't feel that UT is trying to scam, or exploit us. I also don't see that they dictate us, what content we can produce and what not. Some fears seems exaggerated here IMO.
     
  41. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Yes and no. Yes, revenues could drop in some far off point in the future - but then again so would costs as you'd only need to produce for one platform instead of the half a dozen Unity supports now. Of course, there are plenty of legitimate services Unity could build to increase revenue, rather than altering the EULA.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  42. BrUnO-XaVIeR

    BrUnO-XaVIeR

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    Not much long, I guess.
     
  43. loadexfa

    loadexfa

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    If more companies use Unity to build games or other products then there are more jobs for Unity developers. I believe that is what he meant by "Unity being able to build a solid gambling industry business a good thing, it positively impacts our ecosystem." If more gambling companies use Unity then there will be more Unity work available.
     
  44. loadexfa

    loadexfa

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    So far when viable markets have emerged which are friendly to small developers (iOS Android in recent years) Unity has made them available for an affordable price. If streaming becomes cheaply available for small developers I don't see why you think Unity will react any differently than they have in the past. Unity has a solid track record of providing low cost and free tools for various popular platforms. Doing otherwise would be counter to how they have operated up till now and would stifle the growth of Unity's developer community which is bad for their business in the long run.

    If streaming is available to small developers now and you want to do it, then email Unity. Is this option you mention proven viable or a startup taking a gamble? Nothing against startup gambles, but we shouldn't worry until there is a real marketplace to sell our games.

    My understanding of David Helgason's clarifications don't agree with what you said here. Perhaps have an attorney review both his remarks and the EULA. Or email Unity about your circumstances and let their response guide how you react rather than your assumptions.

    What do they need to defend? It's not Unity who is regulating gambling applications, it is governments. Dealing with this takes time and effort for everyone involved. Pretty straightforward.

    So they are following a standard practice when it comes to licensing software for a server. Things are changing in the game market and they need to be ready for it. As I mentioned above, if there are opportunities for small developers to make money on new platforms, so far Unity has provided their tools at a very affordable price (assuming you think $400 or free is affordable). Perhaps you don't consider streaming a new platform, that could turn into a pointless semantics argument so I'd rather leave it alone.

    They aren't restricting our content exactly, they are restricting the executable generated by their tool. A subtle difference but still not the same thing.

    Now that they have clarified the purpose behind these changes, trust they will do right by us. Doing anything else will be shooting themselves in the foot.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  45. SevenBits

    SevenBits

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    Well... I'm not liking this news. But the good news is I'm on 3.5, and since this legal crap wasn't in the EULA when I downloaded it, I'm free from this S***.

    Sadly I guess that this means I'll really have to re-consider getting Unity 4 to port my games to Linux...
     
  46. Jaimi

    Jaimi

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    No, not at all. This would only be true if they were licensing the editor to run on the server, and the streaming of editor functions. I would agree they need a license change for that. As it is, this restriction doesn't make sense. It's like MS saying what you can/cannot do with your word documents.
     
  47. loadexfa

    loadexfa

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    This is exactly what MS does when it comes to databases which, using a loose definition, is similar to a collection of Word documents made available to client systems connecting to the server. Unity's generated executable is providing the content we created (C#/js code, art, sound, etc) to client systems. Conceptually this is very similar to how a database server works.
     
  48. Jaimi

    Jaimi

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    This is not similar at all - The database is the actual product, and contains all the tools to edit/create etc. In our case, Unity is like Visual Studio - it creates a runtime that we distribute, but you don't get Visual Studio (or Unity) with the runtime.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  49. Noisecrime

    Noisecrime

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    Accept that Unity aren't providing anything for the license. They have not announced they are offering a streaming server built to push out Unity content. If they did, then I could fully understand them to be selling an additional license to obtain this streaming tool. Heck if I could get a project funded for it, i'd be first in line to buy a license and get the tool. However they haven't instead you'd be using off-the-shelf streaming software to stream Unity content, there is no added value from Unity, they come across (unfortunately) as just wanting a slice of the action, whilst suddenly restricting what I can use Unity for.

    It is this fundamental point that runs through the issues some of us have with the changes to the ELUA. None of them necessarily demand anything further from Unity and in only a few cases have Unity provided additional work to support them, but we are locked into buying these licenses regardless of whether we want to use Unity's solutions or not!

    I appreciate the time David took to reply to this thread, to present the issues from Unity's point of view and can certainly understand UT as a business needing to keep making money. Indeed I'd fully support it, if it was done right, but making these blanket changes to the EULA is in my opinion the wrong way to go about it. As npsf3000 has gone to great lengths to point out, what has happened is that we have had options removed from us and new licenses thrust upon us instead, often with very little visible or tangible benefit over previous versions Unity.

    Take the linux build as a point in case. Yeah it was nice of Unity to offer this and I had assumed it was due to the upsurgance of interest in linux and linux gaming. I had no idea they were doing this for supporting cheaper to run servers so you could stream games. However instead of offering linux as an additional license for those who want to utilise it, they change the ELUA and in the process prevent a whole eco-system from being used unless you purchase their license! If linux needed to be funded beyond that of Unity Pro, then it should have come as an additional license, there is even a happy medium as an exclusive 'linux server license', meaning that indie dev's can still release linux games with Unity Pro, but Unity can still charge for when its used on linux servers.

    This puts 'choice' back into the developers hands. They can weigh up the costs of using Linux vs say Windows for their streaming server and decide which is best. Unfortunately as it stands now, we have no choice.


    But its not just games, the streaming clause now prevents all options. I've mentioned this example before, but in my line of work, it is quite feasible for a client, say a museum or exhibition hall want to offer streaming Unity content whilst on-site. It would not need to be up to the standard demanded by gaming and would greatly help in avoiding all the issues of trying to support many mobile devices.

    I've even been part of a group who have developed prototypes of Unity interacting with mobile/tablets via webpages, just one step short of streaming. Yet should we be asked I'm pretty sure I could find an off-the-shelf product to fill that little gap and achieve that next step of supplying streaming content. In fact as I said above, had Unity came out and said they'd developed an integrated tool for linux servers to stream Unity content, I'd more than likely go with that and be happy to pay the license. However since AFAIK Unity haven't I not only have to find a middleware solution, but also pay Unity for the privilege.



    Although I don't believe anyone with actual experience in this field has stepped up yet with concrete information, a number of developers have stated that the usual approach to gambling would be to use a backend to deal with it and only use Unity as a front end delivering the gui/graphics. If so then its the backend that would need legal certification, not the front end. Its certainly the approach I would use if I ever had to do such a project. If this is the case why should developers again be forced to pay an additional license fee to Unity, when they are not using any additional tools, features or support from Unity?

    Again its the fact that 'choice' has been removed. Again if Unity had announced they had an additional license for gambling that provided a more robust subset of Unity features with additional support and accredited to various legal requirements, then I don't think anyone would be complaining. In fact i'm sure anyone involved in this field would jump at the chance of getting such a license. However they haven't instead its a blanket ban on developing Unity gambling apps, regardless of whether or not you required any additional support or features from Unity.



    This I agree with you on. If anything Unity have always been trustworthy, they listen to their community and not too big to make changes when they see something is unpopular and on a personal level I find them a pretty inspirational company to work with. Unity has empowered me to produce so much better content than before and for that I am grateful. So much so that I hate to be 'calling out' the issues I see with this change to the EULA.

    However I cannot simply ignore these changes because they might not currently affect me, as in the future they could and more to the point what kind of precedent is this setting? I mean something that has not been address is the fact that I was completely unaware of these changes when I pre-order Unity 4. That is a very poor situation to have come about. I have no idea if the changes had been made when I pre-ordered or not. However in the future it will certainly be something I look at.

    Just to be clear, I have no problem with Unity operating as a business, developing new licenses as long as they provide something tangible and don't completely close down our existing or alternative options through a blanket EULA.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  50. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Because Unity has already acted differently.

    In the past Unity added new capabilities to the tool and sold them. Now, Unity has identified existing capabilities and removed them.

    Because David Helgason's story does not match what is written. The EULA applies to more than the examples he's given, and in response I've raised my complaints both in public and in private with Unity.

    It's only straightforward if Unity have to get involved - this is not established as of yet.

    I'd have to disagree with this - it's our software that we're licensing, not Unity's.

    Of course streaming is a platform... one we've already licensed to use. Same as Facebook, Steam, Kongregate etc.

    That exe is content that we've already licensed to use - why are they suddenly changing our agreements?
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
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