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
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.