Attorney Steve® Software Compliance Essentials - Autodesk Maintenance Fees
April 2023 Updates: If you received an Autodesk audit letter read this article. You would think they would appreciate their good paying clients more, but having handled HUNDREDS of these audits, they do not.
If your company is using Autodesk software with a maintenance program when the maintenance program expires you may not be able to install a newer version or update (even with auto-installation) without being pursued for breach of contract (violation of EULA) or worse, for willful copyright infringement, which can leave officers and directors at risk of PERSONAL liability.
Autodesk EULA and information regarding maintenance fees
"Maintenance plans and subscriptions purchased through a reseller or Autodesk sales can be renewed as early as 90 days prior to expiration. To avoid potentially losing access to your software, services, or benefits, it is important to renew your contract before the expiration date. If not renewed, notifications are emailed to Contract Managers 45, 30, and 4 days prior to expiration. Please see the Renewal Policy below.
Note: If you have a multi-user license, update your network license file with your renewed licenses immediately after renewal. This will ensure that users have continuous access to software."
Also, section 2.4 of their EULA states (may not be applicable to all products, please review your licensing agreement):
"2.4 If You have upgraded or crossgraded Your Covered Software (and corresponding Maintenance Plan) (“Old Covered Software”) to a version of an Autodesk software product (and corresponding Maintenance Plan) (“New Covered Software”) that is not a successor or substitute to Your Old Covered Software (as determined by Autodesk), the provisions of Sections 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 above shall no longer apply to prior versions of Your Old Covered Software and You must Uninstall all copies of versions of the Old Covered Software and any such prior versons (including any copies resident on Your hard disk drive), and upon request by Autodesk, return any User Documentation to Autodesk or Your reseller within sixty (60) days of installing any versions of the New Covered Software. Autodesk reserves the right to require You to show satisfactory proof that all versions of the Old Covered Software and such prior versions have been destroyed and/or to conduct the audit set forth in Your Maintenance Plan Agreement."
There is also a "definition" section (again, check your AutoCAD, Maya, Inventor, or Revit EULA) which notes:
“Maintenance Plan”: means, in relation to particular Covered Software, the Relationship Program offered generally by Autodesk referred to as a “Maintenance Plan” under which Autodesk may provide (among other things) Benefits related to that Covered Software. Different levels and/or types of Maintenance Plan offerings may be comprised of different types of Benefits based on the related Covered Software and Territory. Maintenance Plan Benefits may vary based on the related Covered Software and Territory.
“Maintenance Plan Fee”: the fee paid, or payable, by You for a Maintenance Plan.
Autodesk Software Compliance Resources
1. What happens if I do not renew Autodesk maintenance (discussion board)
Contact an Autodesk Software Licensing and Compliance Law Firm
When it comes to dealing with Software Audits dealing with Autodesk, there is no other firm in the United States that can match our skill, experience, and proven results. Whether you are dealing with an "internal audit" directly with Autodesk, or have received a letter from their copyright software law firm Donahue Fitzgerald, we can help. We can help guide your company through the process whether you are an architect, designer, engineer, landscaper, or other creative professional and seek to obtain the best possible outcome. There is no substitute for experience in this niche area of copyright law. If you received a letter from the Business Software Alliance ("BSA"), or Donahue Fitzgerald or Autodesk, call us for a free initial consultation. We can be reached at (877) 276-5084.