In these days when CAD software vendors are having 90% discount sales and even give away software just to get entry into a company, nothing really surprises me anymore. But something I came across today at the web site of Russian CAD vendor ASCON made me sit upright. ASCON has been running an peculiar trade-in offer since April this year for KOMPAS 3D, their solid modeling system. By this offer a user can exchange his old CAD software for KOMPAS 3D at half the price. I am not surprised at the 50% discount. We have seen worse. What baffled me was how exactly does someone trade in a software license, which is basically non transferable. The End User License Agreements (EULAs) and the lawyers that write them see to that. So I asked ASCON to enlighten me. This is what I wrote to them:
“Almost all CAD software End User License Agreements (EULAs) that I know prohibit a user from transferring the license to a third party. So how can a user avail your trade in offer without violating the EULA of his current CAD software? Also after ‘trading in’ the old product what do you do with it? Do you resell it to someone else, use it yourself or destroy it?”
Irina Voronkina from ASCON promply replied to me. This is how she explained it:
“In this trade-in offer ASCON does not require transferring of any CAD license. To get KOMPAS license with 50% discount by trade-in offer – end-user should sign a confirmation letter that they would like to replace their concrete CAD license to KOMPAS and agree not to use former CAD license in commercial goals anymore. We do not care if other CAD license was 2D or 3D, out-of-date, not supported or even piracy copy. The new users also gets 1 year support, maintenance and CAD webinar trainings for free from ASCON. So actually we do not get other CAD license and do not violate other vendors rights.”
I must say the phrase “even piracy copy” raised my eyebrows. I wonder why would someone using pirated software be ready to give a written undertaking that he would cease to use it for commercial purposes. Anyways, now I know how software trade-in happens, at least in Russia.
In related news, Alibre announced that their $99 offer will end on 29th September 2009. They have also expanded their sale by adding discounts on Maintenance, Alibre Translate and the Training Bundle.