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Legal & License questions about plugin development

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Message 1 of 5
Anonymous
1098 Views, 4 Replies

Legal & License questions about plugin development

Hi,

 

I've digged through all the related Terms & Conditions on Autodesk's website, but
the legal language is sometimes not easy to understand...

 

Now, I still have some open questions & would be happy if someone could answer them
out of personal experience, or as far as the legal side is concerned, I would be
grateful for additional answers from Autodesk's forum support team.

 

  • If I want to develop & distribute to the public a (C++) plugin (paid or unpaid) for F360,
    do I have to sign a developer agreement with Autodesk ?
    Is it sufficient in this case to use ADN Open, or do I have to signup and pay for
    ADN Standard membership ( https://www.autodesk.com/developer-network/membership-options ) ?
  • If I want to distribute to the public a (paid or unpaid) plugin for F360, am I obliged to
    do this exclusively via the Autodesk App Store or can I also do this via external websites or
    portals like e.g. Gumroad ?
  • Are there any EULA or legal restrictions from Autodesk's side about what functionality such
    a plugin would be allowed to provide ? (Except logical ones like not just re-wrapping the service)
  • For the sake of a concrete example, if I would develop a plugin that provides an export (not import)
    as .3dm (Rhino3D) file, would that be allowed ?
  • More general: Is it allowed to develop plugins (for the public) which provide additional export
    file formats ?
    Would I have to disable the use of such a plugin for users of the personal / non-commercial editions ?
    (In light of the recent changes of the personal edition of F360: I am not talking of providing
    any export formats that would re-provide formats like IGES, which have been disabled in the personal
    edition.)

    Sorry for the lengthy questions. Just want to make sure that I understand the conditions correctly & do
    not step on someone's toes at AD.
    This might also be interesting for other (potential) plugin developers.

Thanks 🙂

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4 REPLIES 4
Message 2 of 5
kevinvandecar
in reply to: Anonymous

Hello @Anonymous,

 

First, we want to welcome you to Fusion development! 🙂 Autodesk is a very open company and as such and in general we do not restrict plugin functionality or distribution. Here are responses to each of your questions...

  • If I want to develop & distribute to the public a (C++) plugin (paid or unpaid) for F360,
    do I have to sign a developer agreement with Autodesk ?
    Is it sufficient in this case to use ADN Open, or do I have to signup and pay for
    ADN Standard membership ( https://www.autodesk.com/developer-network/membership-options ) ?
    [Kevin]- There is no requirement to sign a developer agreement. The ADN program is meant to support developers. "ADN Open" is a set of free and proactive resources available publicly and at no charge. With the step-up to ADN Standard or Professional subscription you gain direct "API Support" (Fusion is included) and also access to development licenses of many Autodesk desktop programs. There is no requirement to even use ADN Open, but we hope you find value there. 🙂

  • If I want to distribute to the public a (paid or unpaid) plugin for F360, am I obliged to
    do this exclusively via the Autodesk App Store or can I also do this via external websites or
    portals like e.g. Gumroad ?
    [Kevin] - You can distribute your plugin as you want from wherever you want, and you might consider multiple places. We would love to see it on the Autodesk App Store, but it is not a requirement. The benefits on the App Store is that Autodesk software generally leads people to the App Store when they are looking for additional functionality. We also confirm the software has a good experience for customers and will provide you with feedback as appropriate. As a publisher, you can also have a "publisher page" that allows you to include details about you and/or your services/business. You can even have links to your website, etc.

  • Are there any EULA or legal restrictions from Autodesk's side about what functionality such
    a plugin would be allowed to provide ? (Except logical ones like not just re-wrapping the service)
    [Kevin] - No... You can develop useful functionality as you want and where you can see beneficial improvements. You can even develop competing or automate functionality, as long it does not cause customer confusion with basic workflows, or prevent built-in functionality.

  • For the sake of a concrete example, if I would develop a plugin that provides an export (not import)
    as .3dm (Rhino3D) file, would that be allowed ?
    [Kevin] - No problem... You could even develop an export of same file types that Fusion already supports if you clearly labeled it as a separate from built-in format. Some formats have caveats, or version specific functionality, so there could be reasons to support same format in different way. Import would also be fine.

  • More general: Is it allowed to develop plugins (for the public) which provide additional export
    file formats ?
    [Kevin] - Yes.

    Would I have to disable the use of such a plugin for users of the personal / non-commercial editions ?

    (In light of the recent changes of the personal edition of F360: I am not talking of providing
    any export formats that would re-provide formats like IGES, which have been disabled in the personal
    edition.)
    [Kevin] - No. and again, in fact you could even provide "yourIGES" plugin if you wanted. It was a business choice from Autodesk perspective, but you can provide functionality separately from Autodesk as you want, just be sure it does not appear to be the Autodesk functionality - make it clear it is yours (or your company's version).

    In case it helps, here is the help article about the recent differences for Fusion 360 "person-use".
    https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/fusion-360/learn-explore/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Fusion-360-Free-License-Changes.html 

Hope it helps!
Kevin

 


Kevin Vandecar
Developer Technical Services
Autodesk Developer Network



Message 3 of 5
Anonymous
in reply to: kevinvandecar

Hello @kevinvandecar ,

 

your answers certainly helped. Thanks a lot !

 

There are just 2 final follow-up questions from my side.

 

  • Currently I do some testing with the actual version of F360 personal edition.
    If I start to sell a plugin that I have developed, do I have to subscribe to the commercial
    edition before starting to sell, because selling plugins for F360 can be considered commercial use ?
    Or do I only have to subscribe to the commercial edition if/when I earn more than 1000$/year
    solely with selling (a) plugin(s) ? (1000$ was the limit given in the T&C for Personal/Hobby use.)

    The start-up edition is not possible as alternative, because I currently don't want to found a
    start-up just for selling plugins...

  • It would be nice to sell plugins via the Autodesk AppStore.
    However, if I understood the terms correctly, the seller (in that hypothetical case: me) is
    responsible for all Taxes & VAT(!) resulting from each sale.
    (Autodesk is not a "Merchant of Records" at the AppStore.)
    That means, if the seller e.g. sells to clients in the EU & certain other countries, the seller is directly
    responsible for compliance with all taxes & EU VAT laws (including paying those global and local).
    (E.g. google for VAT and MOSS...)
    There are external businesses offering this as a service, but this can be too expensive or not feasible
    for freelancers & very small businesses.
    Other app stores like e.g. the Unreal, Unity, Android or Apple app stores seem to handle this as a
    "Merchant of Records" and are so taking care about international VAT obligations for people selling
    apps in their app stores.

    Has Autodesk any plans for the near future to also offer the "Merchant of records" option in
    the Autodesk AppStore ?

    Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer (IANAL), ask a lawyer for legal advice.

 

Again, your detailed answers already helped a lot and I will mark the solution as accepted.

 

Nevertheless,  I would also be happy to hear your thoughts about the 2 follow-up questions.

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Message 4 of 5
nachikethan_s
in reply to: Anonymous

Hello @Anonymous 

At present Autodesk has no plans for processing any payments. Payment gateways (PayPal and BlueSnap supported for Autodesk App Store) need to be setup by developers…

As mentioned in Fusion 360 Personal FAQs... Fusion 360 for personal use is for non-commercial design projects. Developing apps for commercial use using Fusion 360 Personal is not encouraged. 

Message 5 of 5
Anonymous
in reply to: nachikethan_s

Hello @nachikethan_s  ,

 

thanks for your time and the clarifications.

Should I ever consider that a plugin that I have developed during & for my own personal/hobby use of the

F360 personal edition could be worth selling to the public, then I will make sure that I have signed up for

the commercial edition of F360 before doing so (that is, before starting to sell it to the public).

 

 

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