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“I read part of those licenses and they made specific mention that it was a student license and can only be used for academic purposes. I guess I just figured that all “student” licenses were the same way. Good to know editing software isn’t like that!”
Actually, it is like that, the people giving you advice here just don’t know what they are talking about.
Technically, when you buy software you aren’t really buying it you are actually licensing it from the company that created it. Because of this they can bind you to the terms of a licensing agreement. While the software sold under the full retail license and the academic license are the same the agreements in general are not. While in general you are free with a retail license to do just about anything you want (usually except backwards engineer it) an academic license is more restrictive. Some of them are intended to only be used for the duration of your studies, others only to be used on non-commercial projects, others may be more restrictive, companies have a lot of leeway in how they write the agreements. When you click that little button “i agree to the licensing agreement” button you are effectively agreeing to abide by it even if you haven’t read it as many don’t. Now, while not all academic software license agreements may have limitations like these, FCP, Premiere PRO, and AVID do.
Of course I must add that it is nearly impossible to enforce these licensing agreements. But technically they do exist.
To address some specific issues:
>>FCS sends you a bundle for $600 and you can do whatever you want with it. Load it up to more than one computer if you want. Just don’t register the software. There’s no limit to the student version that I have except that I won’t upgrade to FCS3, which won’t be for years anyway.<<
Actually, If you read the material that came with the program it should tell you that while you can install it on multiple machines, you are limited to running the software on one machine at any given time. One of the things that FCP will do when it turns on is check your local network for any other machines running FCP and if it detects others with the same serial number it shuts itself down. It is a security mechanism to prevent people with multiple machines from buying one copy of the software and ghosting it to multiple machines to create their own studio. Unless they changed it very recently, the academic version has has a clause against using it for commercial work.
>>And besides, Apple doesn’t check to see if you’re really a student. So when FCS3 comes out, just keep saying you’re a student.<<
You realize that technically that would be fraud right?
I have spent the last 17 years working in media. For five years I helped run the day to day operations of the Visual Communications, Digital Media, and Digital Filmmaking programs at the Katherine Gibbs School in NYC. As part of that jobs I had to deal with licensing agreements concerning software from Adobe, Apple, Avid, and Microsoft.