Selling Something Which Is Free

With Autodesk offering their free Inventor LT only in the US and Canada, some enterprising people have now started selling Inventor LT for $199.

I am not quite sure why Inventor is restricted to US and Canada in the first place. Scott Sheppard tried to explain to a reader who reminded him that the world was not limited to USA and Canada.

Scott replied, “Yes the world is not limited to the US and Canada. Due to overwhelmingly high initial customer demand for the Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview, we are currently focusing on the high volume of customer feedback we have received so far and have decided to make the Autodesk Inventor LT Technology Preview available for download only in the United States and Canada at this time. A diversity of feedback from around the world is important to us, and we will extend availability to more countries in the future.

I wonder who came up with that excuse. As a software vendor I would love all the feedback I can get and from wherever I can get it. A customer’s feedback is not a large box that I need to make place for in my office, as they are making it seem to be. It is just a bunch of bytes.

Autodesk controls your ability to download based on your IP address. So they already which country you belong to. If they want to “focus” on the feedback from the US, then look only at the feedback from the US. It’s that simple.

Software vendors, me including, do not act on each and every feedback we receive. But all feedback is accepted and added to a heap, which gets sorted by priority and then acted upon. But not allowing someone to use software for the fear of not being able to do justice to his feedback is stretching it a bit too far.