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AutoDesk understands the importance of getting the software into the hands of students. Using the "Educational Edition" plot stamp is an excellent and a simple method of implementing the student edition software. Having worked for decades in education and the software businesses, this is a very cost effective method of implementing this.
The only way society works is when we all abide by the laws. If the only reason we did what was right was to have the police looking over our shoulders results in a police state. To cry about AutoDesk making the paying customers of the software to police their software is a poor excuse for professionals "getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar." Yes, I realize that one company got burnt because some other business partner used an Education Edition of AutoCAD and it has now "infected" all the drawings.
If you get caught holding counterfeit money, the government does not replace the money for you. As complex as fire systems are and since they have life-and-death impact in buildings, you would think you could educate your employees and partners about the importance of using legal software. If you can train the installer to install the fires systems correctly, you can also train your employees and partners to use legal software.
If AutoDesk did not have the policies that they currently have concerning the Education Editions, you would be paying twice as much or more for the legal copies of the software. How long do you think you would stay in business if every Tom, **** and Harry were stealing sprinkler components from your warehouse? Putting a padlock on a warehouse is easy, butting a padlock on software is another issue. AutoDesk put a padlock on their software. If you don't like it, use the competitor's CAD software instead.
Does anyone know if the AutoCad student versions are upgradeable to the full non-student version? I have a sales rep telling me that my license is not upgradeable but I think he is lieing to me.