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A question about licensing

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I'm creating a desktop application for visually building web layouts and animations and plan on purchasing a business license GSAP for timeline based key framing and its cool animation features. However, my app will have a couple of different licenses, personal and developer where personal grants the end user full use of the application for personal projects that wont be sold to anyone else and developer grants the end user the rights to sell products made in the application. How does this affect GSAP? The end user will be creating animations visually through drag and drop and keyframing and GSAP will be powering this functionality under the hood. Are my developer licencees going to need to purchase a business license in order to sell the things they create in my app? Additionally are my personal licencees going to need lower tier licenses for their projects to use the results of the additional plugins? 

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Great questions, @Orasmus. Don't worry - we really try to make our licensing simple. 


Your usage would of course require the "Business Green" license (which it sounds like you were planning on getting already - great). Your license covers an unlimited number of your Work Products while it’s active. The only caveat is that it covers your unedited work, meaning that if your clients/customers want to make any changes, they’d need to get their own license. Otherwise, it’d make it easy for a huge company to circumvent the license by hiring a freelancer to start a project and then take it in-house and piggy-back on that single-developer license without getting their own license for their numerous developers. See what I mean? But again, all of the work you do is covered as long as it’s not edited by others outside your organization. 


So in your case, if your end users are building things directly in your application (and they're not editing GSAP-related code), they don't need to get their own licenses. Just make sure you get the appropriate license for your organization, covering the correct number of developers on your end. 


Our entire licensing model (which you can read about at http://greensock.com/why-license/) is based on the honor system and a simple number-of-developers pricing structure. We don’t require that you “register" each person or project on our site, nor do we inject “phone home” scripts that report usage or suddenly cause things to stop working if your license expires. We extend respect to our users and trust that it'll be reciprocated. 


Does that answer your question(s) adequately? 


Hope to see you on the membership roster soon. Let us know if you have any other questions or concerns. Happy tweening!

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Thanks for detailed reply @GreenSock,


When you say



if your end users are building things directly in your application (and they're not editing GSAP-related code), they don't need to get their own licenses.


While the user isn't directly editing GSAP-related code in the traditional sense, here's an example of what they will be able to do. The user will have a canvas for visually constructing widgets/page elements that they can use on their own web pages. They will be able to add other widgets/elements to the one they're constructing, some of which will be GSAP powered widgets such as text animations, transitions, or pretty much any kind of feature GSAP provides (including the additional paid features). So they could drag an element into their widget that contains some text that will be tweened using the text plugin. They will then have a collection of properties they can adjust, such as the text content, ease type, delimiter etc. There will also be a visual scripting system where the user will be able to hook into any GSAP callbacks and then visually write their own functionality to be called by them. The end result will be generated source code, containing GSAP code that is generated based on the users properties and visual scripts. The user can then include that code on their own website, publish the widget they have created to be downloaded by others or even sell it to a client.


After writing this i'm pretty sure the end user is going to also require their own license since they are basically writing GSAP code, just through a visual wrapper, but i'd like to double check:)

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It is admittedly a gray area, yes, but as long as they're only using your tool to create these animations and they don't edit them apart from your tool, they wouldn't need to purchase their own license unless they're charging multiple customers too. In other words, the standard "no charge" license would apply to them (and we'd appreciate it if you made that clear in your licensing doc to your users). Otherwise it would obviously create an easy way to circumvent the GreenSock license. But my guess is that most of your customers will NOT be using these animations in a commercial context like that and they won't be editing things apart from your tool (and I also assume your tool wouldn't be directly competing with GreenSock), so their usage would be covered by your "Business Green" license. See what I mean? 


The posture we take with licensing in general is to work hard to keep it from being an impediment while at the same time being responsible about creating a funding mechanism that'll ensure ongoing development and support. Sometimes it's a fine line. Are there some situations where we risk being taken advantage of? Sure. But we firmly believe that most users want to do the right thing and they'll eventually support our efforts because ultimately it benefits them too (especially the ongoing support). We trust that if we just keep putting value into the marketplace, it'll respond and we'll be just fine. That gives us confidence in cases like this to air on the side of generosity and leniency. We hope that'll also translate into happy customers who are very loyal and spread the word about GreenSock. ?


Thanks again for caring enough to understand and honor the licensing terms. We love serving users like you. 

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