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Render Engines and the Joy of LEGAL obligations – Part 2

Before I have an ‘Occupy After Effects’ movement on my front lawn – I wanted to provide some clarity on the decision we made, and why we made it.  For reference:

First off – this decision was not made while we chomp our cigars with feet on desk counting cash.  It was a legal requirement that came in at the 11th hour of CS 5.5 for which we had no capability to rectify in the timeframe (and still have reliable / stable software).  It’s that simple. No conspiracy.  No cash grab.  Simply making sure we are playing by the rules and not breaking the law.

Did we like it? – hell no.  Are we doing something about it? – hell yes.  Can I tell you what that is? – unfortunately – not at this time. (isn’t this fun?)

We cannot disclose what we are doing about it as we would also be breaking another set of financial and legal rules that every public company in existence MUST follow – not just Adobe.

Again – it is not the answer I would like to give – but it’s the truth.

What I am really happy about through all this though are 2 things:

1. People care enough to let us know when they think we are doing something wrong.

2. The render engine sure gets a LOT of use!

Therefore – please understand the current licensing issue for the render engine is not what we want, and is not some conspiracy to make a few more bucks.  That we are exploring ways to get to a viable solution sometime in the near future that gets back to an easy way to deploy the render engine – while still meeting those pesky legal obligations.



It would be nice to have a similar system to Cinema4d. Having clients and a server controlled through a website.

We’ve just found out about this Must have a license for the full program per node and it’s not going down well. Yes we understand you must pay for royalties to the codec people etc, but what is not obvious is why you have to pay for a full license for a full product (the composition part) that we will not be using as the product will be on a couple of render servers whose sole purpose in life is to help render frames.

It doesn’t take a PhD to figure out that Adobe will need to release a CS5.5 After Effects Renderer (with it’s own license and 1/3rd cost or whatever of the full program) but you have to run it through 1500 lawyers to make sure you have covered every single word in multiple contracts so you can’t be sued by said codec people….

Should have thought about this sooner Adobe…

Is there any progress on this? Whatever solution Adobe comes to…will it be updated to CS5.5 or will you have to move to CS6 for the solution?

I’d like to per-order/order CS6, unfortunately i can’t do this until i know what the new render farm policy is.
CS6 has now been announced and is on pre-order, what is the status on the render farm issue.

[It’s been fixed. Will write a blog post shortly – but for the most part, things have returned to the way it was in CS5 and before. You can install on as many machines as you wish unlicensed. The caveat is: IF it is installed on an unlicensed workstation (or render node etc) – a few formats will not work unless AE is licensed. Formats such as AVCHD that are used as either footage or output will just show as missing footage. IF the workstation is licensed – then all works. Will get a full list of what formats are effected out in the blog post -S]

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