Inventor Licensing & User Agreement Intent?

I guess I’m the only guy who’s read the Autodesk Education Community’s updated Terms of Use unless every other FIRST team has students bring their own personal computers into their workspace… Read carefully and you’ll find that teachers/schools can no longer install Autodesk products on school-owned machines without purchasing a license…

A passage from the Autodesk website explaining the Education Community License Update:
“…eligible Education Community members, including Students and Faculty, may use the free software licenses made available via the Education Community on their own personal computers in the classroom for purposes of providing and receiving instruction.”
(I emphasized the bold)
They go on to explicitly state that schools cannot install this software in a lab, or on any school-owned computer. (The laptop I’m using now is technically a school computer.) This includes any student machines issued by a school (ex: one-to-one student laptops).

(Truly trying my best not to whine…)
I don’t understand how FIRST teams are expected to utilize this software donation without violating the User Agreement. Our team exclusively uses our school’s computer labs for our design work both during the day (in classes) and after school (at team meetings). I’d imagine we’re in the majority here. Most of my students do not have computers capable of running the software on their personal devices… It’s hard enough to find a lab of machines meeting the requirements for Inventor 2013 in a typical public high school! What ever happened to handing out a DVD with ‘X’ number of licenses per team? At least then we had something to plan around. At this point I’m left with few choices: 1. Abandon Autodesk products in favor of truly free alternatives. 2. Accept the license and break the rules by installing in school. 3. Or ask students to bring $1000+ laptops to school every day (and go out and buy one myself. That’s some kind of ‘donation’ alright.

Is it truly the intent of Autodesk to take this tool away from FIRST teams? If not, can someone – preferably an Autodesk employee – please respond to explain what I’m misinterpreting? How can I let my team have access to this invaluable software at our site? Having been an Autodesk advocate for 10+ years and teaching with AutoCAD, Revit, and Inventor, I’d rather not throw all that experience out the window… but the financial constraints of legally purchasing the software for my classroom now seems insurmountable. I started my career teaching Solidworks, and I used Pro-Engineer in college (albeit a lifetime ago) so I’m not against switching platforms… but I shouldn’t have to! Please help me make sense of this new licensing strategy!?!

And you teachers out there - feel free to chime in too. I know I’m not on an island here. What are you doing/planning for next year?

I run ProE/Creo student edition on my home desktop computer and my personal laptop, neither of which cost more than $400 or so. The school where we work does not allow any software to be installed on their computers which has not been vetted by the school system IT department. The team has to purchase our own laptops for students to do CAD work on. So, come on over to the non-Autodesk side of the force…

We have the same issue except with Solid works. We were hoping to purchase a Lenovo W530 for a CAD workstation, but we would not be able to install Solidworks on it because our school district claims all club property as district property.

My team’s school buys an educational site license for its classes. So it doesn’t come up.

It you are only using the software only for First you are complying with the intent if not the letter of the license. And no I will not pay your legal fees if bad things happen :]

We are in the same boat. One of the selling points of FRC was that we could have access to the software and install it in the Mechanical DRAWING lab, yes you heard that right. The idea being that many of the second years were FRC kids anyway. I’m not sure how one would do it now as you would have to make up fictitious names and emails or at least an email account for every installation.

I see Autodesk moving in the right direction with these tools. I appreciate what they are trying to do but I also wish they would think through how teams might actually use the software.

While I’m at it, dear Autodesk, please fix the 123D products as well. Would it kill you to just put in an undo button? Especially on the ipad version.

On the 123D product, there is an undo option even in the iPad app. You may want to double check that you have the most recent version installed. On the iPad app the undo and redo buttons sit just above the horizontal toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Undo is on the left. Redo is on the right.



Isn’t anyone from Autodesk going to reply?.. I guess I’m asking, “Do you want me to expose 50 kids per year to Inventor or not?” This just seems to be bad business, and I was hoping I was wrong. Please tell me what I must be missing!

Can I ask how much that costs annually (ballpark)?

That was not shared with me. I also don’t know if it depends on the school size or other factors.

As for a question for Autodesk. I would ask them directly rather than posting in public forum. You will be more likely to get an answer for your specific problem.

Just make sure to cross-post the answer here for others.