Lightworks Free becoming crippleware?

Changes in the latest beta:

  • Enabled native file import for all file formats within the Free version. The only restriction now is on AVID DNxHD which still requires a separate license
  • Enabled the Titling effect within the Free version.
  • Disabled all export formats within the Free version except for YouTube (limited to 480p max) and Lightworks Archive
  • Disabled the ability to render in the Free version (This is now a Pro feature)

Two EditShare staff members have posted on this subject. I reproduce them below.

Matt Sandford wrote:

This is an important release for Free users and new users coming to Lightworks. The Free version of 11.5 now offers a great package for the hobbyist user. Import all your files quickly and easily, cut them together, add a preset effect or title to make it look great then upload it to YouTube.

Research since implementing the ELS licensing in 11.1 has shown us that too many people fall at the first hurdle with Lightworks and the main reason for that was due to the previously limited file import capabilities.

We have a lot of new users coming to our website everyday to get their hands on Lightworks. You only get one chance to make a first impression and the previous Free licensing was not giving them the best impression. The new licensing changes and the new changes in 11.5 should go a long way to improving that first experience of Lightworks.

That is not to say we want to upset or lose any of our existing users. We need users to help us support this project; by purchasing a Pro license you are supporting the project


JamesRichings wrote:

We’ll be making an announcement later this week to clarify all the changes and also the next steps for Lightworks. But in the meantime, please remember that we announced a 4-stage plan originally and we’re still working towards that. At the moment, we are at stage 3 and working on true cross-platform support. I think our Linux release demonstrates our commitment to this.

We have no desire to deviate from our original 4-stage plan… its just taking a lot longer than we had hoped. And that’s because we want to do it right, and not a rushed job.

With regards to the codec licensing issue, I just want to re-iterate what Matt said in an earlier post:

We received mountains of feedback from users - Pro and Free users. The biggest stumbling block we found was that Free users struggled at the first hurdle - just getting content into Lightworks was difficult or time consuming. We have worked hard to address this and open up the codecs on import. But all these codecs do cost us a lot of money. Yes, FFMPEG has the majority of codecs… but it comes with no license agreements and does not cover patent royalties. We have to pay for those separately, hence we use only a very small fraction of FFMPEG. This is something that we must comply with. Of course, in an ideal world there wouldn’t be so many codecs, and they wouldn’t cost either. But they do. So, we have managed to open up the import, but at the expense of removing options from export.

Of course, we realise that not everyone needs all codecs and if they do, the Pro version is available. This is a great way of supporting Lightworks as well, but we understand it’s not for everyone.

Currently the export is limited to 480p, but that’s not to say that is how it will stay in future.

Once we have worked through the development required to make Lightworks truly cross platform, we will address Open Source. That is going to be a complex stage as there are proprietary technologies used within Lightworks, so it’s not something will undertake lightly or rush. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t heading towards that.

nice recursive link…

[Edit: posted a link to a closed part of the Lwks forum, above are the main points instead]

Looks like Lightworks is going to be just another one of those applications that would start out as free to get a userbase going and then go commercial when it becomes developed enough so as to ensure more development.

I think what one needs to note when reading this is this, if an app. is not being developed under the Zlib, MIT, or GPL family of licenses, you know that it may not be the intent to keep it as a powerful free alternative to commercial software, this has happened many times before with promising software from GameMaker to small applications based around the latest image-manipulation technology.

For some Blender users, this will be a setback unless we can get an active developer for Blender’s own VSE, you can’t have a pipeline shorter than editing the cuts of your new Blender animation just by changing one window type to another.

great !

now u can easily import everything but cannot export any :slight_smile:

and the new user new big hurdle will become how to get it out!

the way i see it is that blender should really overhaul the VSE, and it will be the only truly free NLE.

“currently the export it limited to 480p…”
thats really impressive considering its probably going in at 1080p+

Funny thing is that Blender has the VSE and the Compositor and 3d scene integration with particles and all kinds of roto and masking and all, but few people seem to realize it. 3pointedit and a few others have some great tutorials using it though, so hopefully people come around eventually :smiley:

I have Vegas, but I have gotten tired of the glitchy previews and the output not coming out as I had hoped, so I keep leaning on Blender for my video edit needs.

I don’t think Ton is aiming at making VSE a fully fledged NLE to be used for anything else than assembling 3D animation.

It isn’t Ton doing the work - there are plenty of people that make their own scripts and tools, and eventually the VSE is supposed to get some love as far as what I have read over the last year or so.

And if it were only for assembling 3d animations, then it has far exceeded that use a long time ago.