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Unity Licensing for Academic, Non-profit, Open-source usage.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by matmuze, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. matmuze

    matmuze

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    Hello Everyone,

    Sorry if wrong forum category, I did not know where else to ask this question, if you know please be kind and help me redirect.

    In my research department in visual computing in Europe we would like to use Unity3D as a research tool, to develop academic, non profit, open source programs.

    Unfortunately, with Unity's licensing we have to pay for Unity Pro because the revenue of our university exceeds a certain amount, fair enough...

    However... although we are officially employee of the university, the hardware and the salary of PhDs, Post Docs and research staff is not paid by the university but funded by project money which Post Docs and Professor had to fight nail and tooth for... this money does not come from the university but from funding bodies from the region, the state, the European-union, or various international research funding bodies...

    But because our department is actually very poor (most of them are, we still use monitors from the 80's), we cannot afford a Unity Pro licence per seat...

    Here comes my question: Is anyone aware of any loophole in Unity's licensing that would allow us to use Unity for free, to code non-profit and open-source software ? if so please let us know.

    Otherwise, if there are Unity people reading this thread, could you please change the rules to make our lives easier ?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
    mgear and Martin_H like this.
  2. goat

    goat

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    Folk working on phDs and such usually have cheaper housing, food, and health care costs than your typical retail sales worker so if you're smart enough to be living such a live style with such government support you should enjoy the privileges you receive compared to all the minimum wage workers that are paying their way themselves and they get no special discounts from Unity; they get Unity Free. You use Unity in the capacity of a University student or employee or for private use you use Unity in the capacity of every other private citizen out there.
     
  3. matmuze

    matmuze

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    Again, we don't generate revenues from the software we produce... Plus I don't know where you live but here in Europe you can consider yourself lucky in you earn as much as an hair dresser as a PhD student... Roughly 1500 euros per month in Germany (which is a rich European country)... And we don't get free food, nor we pay cheaper rent than regular people, we do have free health care tho, but just like anybody esle here in western Europe...
     
    Martin_H likes this.
  4. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    Did unity's license change in that way? The revenue cap has always been in place for the free version.
     
  5. goat

    goat

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    That is better than retail sales jobs in the US of A by a long shot. I also lived in Europe a long time and I envied the high pay that retail sales clerks, hair dressers and other jobs in Europe make compared to the USA.

    In Switzerland I paid much money for my health insurance, even more than I paid in USA, so Germany is not just like any other country in western Europe. Most people in Europe don't have to contend with the bank account drainer that the people in USA working retail sales must deal with and that is buying a car, maintaining the car including much gasoline, and then if that wasn't bad enough, paying ridiculous insurance premiums for the privilege of driving to work because there is no public transportation available.

    And if you are a waitress or waiter you get the extra privilege of working for $2.13 an hour and hoping that your customers tip you at least 8% of the food sales you sold to the customers because that is what the IRS is going to demand in taxes from those waiters and waitresses. So a waiter staff worker in the USA earns $426 for 200 hours work in one month before taxes. So let's hope they get some really big tips, ahem, but most of the time at most places they don't get even 8% especially if they work breakfast hours. They get a bit of loose change most of the time.

    So, if waitress or waiter in USA must use Unity Free then why shouldn't a European phD student have to use Unity Free?

    As Zombiegorilla said the rules Unity has for various revenue caps is quite clear and being phD student in Austria doesn't create a new set of special rules.

    If the costs of multiplayer usage scare you from trying it at your income level well it does anybody that isn't independently wealthy or have the backing of Sony or Microsoft. There is really nothing else different between Unity Free & Unity Enterprise that is even worth pointing out from a enabling a style of game play that you want.
     
  6. matmuze

    matmuze

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    So basically your answer is that every PhD student should pay for their own Unity Pro licence, just because they can in theory afford it ? That's just plain ridiculous. Please stop answering to this thread, you are not really helping, thank you.
     
  7. mgear

    mgear

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    There are education licenses, although sadly not free but bit cheaper than pro still..

    Did you get any official reply from Unity about using free version?
     
  8. matmuze

    matmuze

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    It is not about teaching Unity to students, but rather to use it in our lab for prototyping research projects in visual computing...
     
  9. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    I wonder if posting a possible loophole is a good way to get banned from unity forums.
     
  10. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    What were you doing before? The licencing in that regard, hasn't changed, you were still required to have pro before the new tiers were introduced. You say you have a large code base developed already, so what licence have been using up to this point?
     
    Kiwasi likes this.
  11. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Unfortunately pro is the proper way to go.

    You might be able to get an educational lisence for PhD students. Contact sales directly, details of the educational license are not made public, I imagine this is because it's done on a case by case basis.
     
  12. Moonjump

    Moonjump

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    He said they would like to use, so presumably were not using Unity before. Unity's educational licensing is the opposite to most of the software industry (paid software is usually available free for educational use, Unity has a free version but charges for educational use), so it is not surprising the original poster is asking questions about it.

    And something has changed anyway. There are now solid alternatives available for free, it is very hard to justify paying for software when there are free alternatives, especially when all the other software used is provided for free.
     
  13. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    he edited it. The initial post said the have been using it for quite a while and have built up a lot of developed content. Editing that out doesn't look good.
    Originally:
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  14. Moonjump

    Moonjump

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    Yes, that does change his case.
     
  15. GoesTo11

    GoesTo11

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    A few random thoughts:

    Unity is probably not the best choice for an open source project since it is not open source.

    Cheap educational software is a privilege and not a right. Companies are under no obligation to give you a discount (although it is sometimes in their best interest).

    In my experience, a lot of software used in academics tends to be expensive (Matlab, Statistics software, Image analysis software). It often makes sense to consider open source alternatives(Numpy/Scipy, R, ImageJ). In this case Blender may be an alternative.

    When I went to grad school, I did not get reduced rent, cheap food, or significant health care benefits. I did take a huge cut in salary from what I would have made in private industry (and that was with working part time and being well funded). The only perk was that my funding included travel money so I was able to go to many cool places; although I also had to go to Cleveland.
     
  16. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    How barbaric. What sort of country do you live in? ;)
     
  17. mgear

    mgear

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    Moonjump likes this.
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