Hi All --
Moving this to a separate thread so it doesn't get lost in the ether. Here's my two cents on licensing and I'd love your feedback:
Firstly, the Autodesk licensing model is subscription and the EAGLE paid license will require that you install the SW and then generate an account to retrieve your license entitlement. Once you have this, you are good to go and the SW will run as expected. If you lose your network connection, the SW has a 14-day heartbeat that will enable you to work offline for 14 days. I know that some folks would prefer to never have to connect, but this is required to support a monthly subscription model that can be selectively enabled and disabled when you use the SW (so you only pay when you use it). The total cost of ownership for those folks using it less than a few weeks a year will thus be substantially lower and still enables you to access the full software for less money. <Insert revolt here>
WRT to "what happens if autodesk decides to one day just shut off the license server?" ...ok, sure, that's possible, but so is a reality TV star becoming President of the..cough...nevermind, bad example.
Point is, that's a pretty remote possibility (think: time travel and alien invasions) and it wouldn't benefit us *at all* to upset the users we just spent real money hoping to bring into autodesk and earn their business. As the guy with both development and P&L for the product, I can tell you that it's counterintuitive and wouldn't benefit us at all. We know this. We make SW used by governments, movie studios, game developers, MEs, Civil Engineers, machinists, etc. and you can bet that shutting down a license server is not to our benefit in any of these categories. To demonstrate this behavior in one category, without a path for user SW and data, calls into question ALL of our tools' viability under this model. Not helpful.
Now...a question was raised about "but what if I drop my subscription and I want my data". Awesome, the data is yours and lives on your machine. And for SW that stores data in the cloud (we have some of these) we always provide a path to your data. If this again fails with one product, it puts all of the others up for discussion. Again, not helpful. (Read: strategy = doomed).
"So what about needing an entitlement for the freeware to open the data I created in another version (a *paid* version) and reading it? What if I want access and I dont want the 14-day time out?"
So here's the deal...We can do better here. So we will. Here's my commitment to the group here for freeware that ensures you always have a license that you can fall back on without need of internet connection *except when you first install it* (which after all, you would have had to get it in the first place): in version 8.1 or 8.0.1 or whathaveyou (let's call it 'a future release'), if you install the SW and authenticate once, we'll remove the timer req. So what I'm saying another way is, the freeware will require you to login the first time to get your license, but if you log out beyond that, you're good. You got your entitlement and you can use it freely without connection.
Caveat: to install an update, you will need to login. The update server (which issues the new version...e.g. 8.1 or 8.2. or 8.0.1, etc.) requires that you login and get the update, but beyond that, logout. Thus if you want to go off-grid in a mountain cabin somewhere, get your license at Starbucks (blagh! I understand they have 'free' wifi, but no frappucinos! ...that stuff is bad for you) then get your license and go on your merry way up to the snow drenched peaks. When you hear from the other mountaineers or your local yodeler that a new version of EAGLE is available...download, login, get your license, get your 'decaf double-pump vanilla non-fat latte macchiato' and head back up the slopes.
Point being, we can do the freeware better. So we will.
Hope this is clear. Let us know if you have questions!
Director - Autodesk