AutoCAD LT and Plug-ins

I have kept this to myself for quite some time now, but I think I need to let it out. As far as possible I prefer to play by the rules. My company, SYCODE, is a member of the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN). Every ADN member, or for that matter, anyone who uses the ObjectARX SDK to develop plug-ins for AutoCAD, has to first agree to the terms of the ObjectARX License Agreement, which clearly prohibits the use of the SDK to develop plug-ins for AutoCAD LT.

“You may not use the Software to develop applications for AutoCAD LT®, DWG TrueConvert™, and DWG TrueView™, as the aforementioned products are nonextensible applications and the use of the Software to develop applications for these products is expressly prohibited by this Agreement.”

Now this post is not about whether Autodesk is right or wrong in putting this restriction. After all, it’s their software and they are free to restrict or allow access to it as they please. I am writing this post in light of the recent demise of LT-Extender, a LT enabler by Torsten Moses. Or maybe suicide would be a more deserving term in this case. This post is about how one ingenious ADN member has been able to extend its middle finger towards Autodesk and its ObjectARX License Agreement.

The ADN member I am referring to is ASVIC, a developer of software related to Mechanical, Piping, HVAC and Structural Steel Detailing. They simply bundle a LT enabler along with their software, in this case drcauto’s LT Toolkit. Their usage instructions lay it out:

“Mech-Q for AutoCAD LT2000-9 requires a Lisp Enabler to work. The Mech-Q installation will also install the Lisp Enabler.


The LT Toolkit serial number and authorization code will be sent to you either by email or with the software CD when you download a Mech-Q demo or when you purchase.”

And if you want to purchase LT Toolkit only you can do that as well. ASVIC resells LT Toolkit and I guess that is how they bundle it with their products.

Out of curiosity, I asked the ADN Program Manager what Autodesk had to say about this, especially since ASVIC is listed as an Autodesk Partner and its products are listed as Autodesk Partner Products at the Autodesk web site. I was told that Autodesk would investigate and take appropriate action if necessary. That was two years ago!! ASVIC is still listed as an Autodesk Partner and its products are still listed as Autodesk Partner Products at the Autodesk web site.

So I am now trying to figure out the point of all this. If Autodesk does not mind it’s partners bundling LT enablers in their products and even recommends them to its customers by listing them as partner products on its web site, then why not just let AutoCAD LT load plug-ins?

Am I missing something here?