Onshape changes terms of service



Awwwww, bummer. I really liked OnShape although I didn’t use it much.


If I understand that quoted paragraph correctly, the only person who can’t make commercial use of the designs is the original designer. Go figure.


That’s the way I originally interpreted it as well. However, I don’t think it’s completely correct.

First, I interpret it as no one using the Free OnShape subscription would be permitted to use any Public Documents for commercial purposes.

However, since you’re effectively granting rights to anyone to “use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Document,” it’s entirely possible for someone (including yourself) to export the document and use another tool that would allow for commercial use. The specific details of how this could be enforced would be open to litigation.


I recall that Autodesk is in business at all because all the competition had their software locked seven ways from Sunday and as a result nobody ever learned to use it and they all pretty much failed. With AutoCAD you could have a copy for home use and learn how to use it. It was not as good as many out there at that time but the pool of capable users became huge.

Somewhat later they realized that five times as many books were sold for every legal copy of AutoCAD and from that decided that there were four times the number of illegal copies as legal ones and since they had no competition left started tightening up the security stuff. Their reasoning was a bit faulty as many like myself bought books of several writers as each had different strengths, and many folk were buying and reading the books just to keep up with changes when they did not have a job or were employed by folk using older versions.

So when they say they are losing income I am somewhat skeptical and their attempts to corner all the available markets by buying the competition, and other mismanagement has been a greater loss than the users that have cracked copies that would not have any copies if they had to cover the same costs as a big commercial user.


I’m still developing, management is the same. It’s the eternal battle, to accrue technical debt in favor of new marketing bullet points.


Depending on who owns you and what your cash flow situation is, losing piles of money in accounting terms can be a problem or not.


Have to agree with you – the subscription price is incredibly high – you can subscribe to the entire suite of Adobe products for less than half of that.


I don’t think that’s allowed by Onshape, as the ToS for Onshape say:

If you intend to use the Service outside a trial context to create and/or edit intellectual property for commercial purposes (including but not limited to developing designs that are intended to be commercialized and/or used in support of a commercial business), then you agree to upgrade to a paid subscription to the Service.

and I would venture a guess that exporting into a different tool doesn’t skirt that


That’s for lawyers to litigate, but if you are granted unrestricted rights to use, copy and modify documents, then you are granted those rights. They can’t be both unrestricted and restricted.

And it would not be illegal, even if your interpretation is correct; it would be a violation of the terms of service, which is very different.


Haha true. That’s a good catch about the difference between violating ToS and breaking the law. My bad, I’ll go fix my earlier post so others won’t get confused about that point.

I still think the ToS reads that if you can’t use the free lisence with intent to commercialize. But intent is a hard thing to judge a lot of the time…


I agree that seems to be the intent. But, I think the language does create enough uncertainty that someone could make an argument for how to ‘skirt’ that intent. Then the lawyers can fight over it. Regardless, I wouldn’t bother, because even if I’m correct and it doesn’t violate the terms of the contract, it’s enough of a gray area that it’s not worth the hassle, in my opinion.