Here is some interesting news. Autodesk people visited a studio where I consult today. The fellows straightaway started by saying that they can help me ‘legalise Autodesk software’. Now, I am well known in some studios in Bangalore, India as an Open Source Evangelist. I teach Blender as well as hold workshops on software like Wings, Gimp, Inkscape Etc. They were not looking for the studio where I consult. They were specifically looking for me!!
Now this took me totally by surprise. So I asked them if they are trying to sell 3dsmax or Maya to me. They were categorical that some sources have informed them we are illegally using their software Etc. They had my name right but the company name was wrong. Of course their information is also wrong. Not only do we use only open source software in our firm, we are actually vocal about the benefits of opensource over commercial software. I had also posted that I will institute an opensource 3d pipeline at the local art university where I hold guest lectures.
I have actually stated on forums and websites that Blender is a far better alternative to software like 3dsmax for people who are cost concious. Obviously this is not illegal right? I have the right to review, evangelise or advice. The Autodesk person admitted that he knew I use Blender but also insisted that we use his sftware. I suggested that perhaps he has the wrong place, but he had my name right. Now perhaps Autodesk is working on improper or unverified information or maybe it is just a blatant attempt to undermine opensource success.In any case I lodged a written complaint against Autodesk at the local police station for tresspassing, and a cautionary statement against harrasment and attempted I.P theft (Can’t have these fellows wandering within a design firm looking at work in progress. They sell their products to other design firms and I don’t trust their intent.)
It is obvious that Autodesk is trying to take some measures against opensource 3d spreading in small cities like Bangalore which are quickly becoming animation outsourcing hubs. By trying to harass key evangelists like me perhaps they hope to make a dent in the public acceptance of software like Blender.
They were trying to make me start using Autodesk products by forcefully selling it to me. Their approach is ‘we have proof, so just buy the software legally’. This seems like a new way to promote Autodesk products, but it doesn’t work with everyone. In India a lot of people pirate 3d software, so they must have come fishing and just their luck that they ran into a Blender Head.
They refused to disclose the identity of the ’so called informant’. Which is obviously a lie. There can be no informant because we don’t use Autodesk products for any body to Inform about. I’m still curious though.
I would love to pursue the matter. I know Autodesk is a large company and they can make things difficult etc. but they trespassed into my office premises and falsely accused me of using their products. I asked him to put all this in an email. (I was secretly hoping to post it here…) but he refused to put his accusations in writing. I have his name and business card though.
- Any ideas (Legal Ones!) on how I can do something about this?
- Do you thing it’s worth pursuing or should I ignore them?
- Have other commercial 3d software firms tried similar tactics with open source evangelists?
- Am I right in suspecting Autodesk of foul play or do you think it’s a genuine mistake on their part?