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owenm

TransformManager license advice?

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i bought a transformManager license a few days ago. it works beautifully and i would be singing its praises except i have doubts about the license itself. i may be out of touch with costs but i assumed after paying $299 i could pretty much do as i liked with it. heres the problem: the owner of the site i am building has made it clear she wants to own the site and have the freedom to sell it. the site will probably be subscription based. it hasnt made a nickel yet, but the hope is that it might sometime in the future.

 

legally i dont understand the fine points at all. if i build a site i am in a way selling it to the client, and if there is third-party code in there i am in a way re-selling that code, even if i dont claim it as mine. so what exactly am i allowed to do?

 

the license seems to imply that the $299 i paid may not be sufficient for my needs. i would like some advice. or a clearer outline of the limitation of the license, in order to decide if i need to return the product. i would hate to code it myself since i know i woudnt do as good a job, but financially it may not be possible to pay more.

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Fair questions. Let me clarify a few things:

 

The GreenSock licensing model doesn't separate things into the typical "commercial" and "personal/non-commercial" categories because that model makes it too cumbersome and expensive in most cases. I wanted things to be very accessible while at the same time allowing "power users" who are directly leveraging GreenSock code in products that are resold over and over again (like components, games, software, etc.) to provide a cash flow mechanism that funds continued support and innovation, protecting it from common weaknesses in open source models (see http://www.greensock.com/licensing-considerations/ for more details). I firmly believe this model ultimately benefits everyone involved, delivering a better end product.

 

I come from an agency background and realize that the VAST majority of the "commercial" uses out there are just one-offs. Like when you build a site for a client, they pay you a one-time development fee and that's it. These types of uses are covered under the standard GreenSock license (the one that came with TransformManager). But if the code will be used in a product that is resold/licensed to multiple users/customers, you need the special commercial license that comes with corporate Club GreenSock memberships. While the membership is active, it covers an unlimited number of products/sites that you create (you don't need to pay a fee for each product in which you use the code).

 

In your case, if you create a product as a single developer and sell it to a customer who is going to resell it to multiple customers, either you or they need a corporate Club GreenSock membership. If you have one, it'd cover your work product even if they resell it. If they want to use GreenSock code in some other product (not created by you), they'd need to get their own corporate membership.

 

Make sense?

 

I'm confident that if you consider the development costs you'd incur by building a similar tool yourself, it'll be at least 10 times more expensive than simply using TransformManager and getting the corporate membership (not to mention the fact that the membership gets you a bunch of other bonus classes and a license to use the tweening classes in your commercial products too). I've heard from many developers who have tried to do something similar (it doesn't seem that hard at first) but they ran into a bunch of "gotchas" along the way and eventually had to throw in the towel after burning an insane amount of hours. Trust me, it's much harder than it looks, especially when you need to accommodate multiple selections and scaling at any angle :)

 

Ultimately it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis from a business perspective for you. If you're confident that it would cost less (or about the same) for you to build a similar tool yourself and your project's timeline is long enough to accommodate the build time, it'd be silly to buy TransformManager and the corporate Club GreenSock membership. If you hate the licensing model, I certainly wouldn't blame you for taking a crack at building a similar tool yourself. But I think that if you ask folks who have purchased TransformManager, you'll find that they're glad they made the investment and think it's totally worthwhile.

 

You can get a corporate Club GreenSock membership at http://www.greensock.com/club/#corporate

There are more licensing details too at http://www.greensock.com/licensing/

 

If you decide you'd rather not keep TransformManager, I'll gladly refund your full purchase price (there has always been a 30-day money-back guarantee).

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thats much clearer, thank you.

 

so the thing seems to hinge on whether the client re-sells it. Let me be clear that while the client would like to be free to re-sell her site, there is no scheme under discussion for re-selling multiple copies of any part of the site, like a component or application... so no matter what happens there will only be one website with one owner. does that make any difference?

 

if you could just clarify that point, i will take the decision to my overlords. i may just need to let them know a corporate license may be needed in the future depending on what they decide. thanks again!

 

BTW, i get how much work this saves. its a wonderful product. im well aware i cannot duplicate the functionality of transformManager in a cost effective way. doing it myself would basically mean slapping together something far crappier and less capable in a short time. and even that is harder that it seems. just the thought makes me sad.

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If it's a one-off site that won't be resold/relicensed to multiple others and users of the site aren't charged a fee to access the part that uses TransformManager, then no, you don't need the special license that comes with the corporate membership. Like if you sell it to your customer who simply turns around and sells it to one customer (not multiple customers), you're good to go. That's what you were asking, right?

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thats what i was asking. but looking at the license pages again i think they are pretty clear. it really hinges on whether there is a subscription fee for the website it seems. which there probably will be. there is no special fee for the part that uses transformManager, but it will likely be a site that charges for subscriptions in general.

 

i think when i read the license page i was in denial, i thought everything there made perfect sense for the free products but i didnt think that a product that costs $299 would be subject to exactly the same limitations, i guess that was really the source of all my doubt. but is seems that the limitations on usage of the free products is the same as for transformManager, so i guess its pretty clear now.

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